So 3 more days till i hop on an 11 hour flight home to HI, stay the night and then hop on another 10 hour flight to Auckland, NZ.

The family and I are renting a Winnebago and driving down the length of New Zealand. As my brother-in-law so eloquently put it to me, "it could be the best trip of your life....or the worst".

In any case, I am sooooooooo ready for this and in need of a vacation.
Here is the loose itinerary copied exactly from my sister's e-mail to me:

-Cormandel Peninsula
-Matamata (Hobbiton)
-Te Awamutu (where Crowded House is from, don't roll your eyes, very important to Rob)
-Raglan (surf beach)
-Waitomo Glowworm Caves
-Lake Taupo
-Tongariro National Park
-New Plymouth (willing to skip this entirely, as it's out of the way)

-Abel Tasman National Park & Golden Bay
-Paparoa National Park
-Franz Josef & Fox Glacier
-Glenorchy & Paradise (LOR filming site)
-Milford Sound
-Otago Peninsula (penguins & wildlife)
-Aoraki/Mt. Cook National Park

I love how my sister felt the need to defend going to Crowded House's hometown for the sake of her husband (that's love!) and how for Otago Peninsula, the penguins are their own separate category from wildlife unless they are of a domesticated variety in which case they would not be considered wildlife. Bless her heart for planning this crazy trip.
How we're fitting this all in 2 weeks is beyond me so I am looking for tips/advice/recommendations so PLEASE, let me know if you're in the know.

and regarding kiwi speak:
A month after i started working in NY, my company hired someone over me who I was to assist. He was originally from New Zealand and as you can imagine super laid-back and easy going and very much, a dude. For the first month I would do small tasks for him and once completed he would thank me. Every once in a while, he would throw in a "sweet ass"?! I would generally ignore the comment, smile politely and quickly walk out the room feeling slightly awkward that i didn't have the balls to ask him to clarify. I mean i knew he wasn't telling me i had a sweet ass. Not only is that inappropriate but it just didn't make any sense in a normal social response sort of way...
Me: Here are those drawings you asked for...what do you think?
Him: Sweet ass!
However (!), what made it 1% plausible was that he, kind of fit a euro/metro-ish stereotype, the kind that wears white cowboy boots, super distressed bootcut diesel jeans, tight fitting tees with cheesy bad graphics on them and who designs (among many other things) women's pleasure toys (no joke), plus i knew nothing about him and just maybe, he was the kind of guy that told chicks in passing they had sweet asses. But common sense told me more likely than not, it was all a misunderstanding, lost in translation or an audible malfunction. I don't know why i didn't look it up on the internet.....I guess i figured if I looked up "sweet ass" it would come up as you know, "sweet ass" and i was actually more amused by the whole situation so i let it go on for about another month. i asked a couple of my friends about it and they had no clue so finally a friend (who was probably sick and tired of hearing me talk about it) looked it up and found this as defined by the urban dictionary:
1. sweet as

Second most common phrase in New Zealand after "awesome". Said when something is rather good instead of just "good" or "OK". Often followed by "bro".

Not "ass" but "AS". I was so close...
Hopefully he will never read this posting as i feel a little bad but it was funny and i did admit to him, 6 months later, what i thought he was saying. Despite the clothes he wears, he really is a nice, chivalrous guy.

In honor of all new zealanders and going to new zealand...
∆ the clean - tally ho!

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