The Journey Begins

The 40 hour travel day was worth it!  And we’ve only been here 2 days.

Often times blogging equals journaling and the posts from this journey will definitely serve that purpose.  I want to look back when I’m 80 and be able to remember this trip of a lifetime.  Join me as you like, and of course, feel free to comment, too.

The first leg of the trip had me leaving my home in Radford and driving to Roanoke at 4am.  A four hour layover at Dulles Airport outside of Washington, DC gave me the opportunity to enjoy the scenery and an airport bar / restaurant.

The five hour flight to San Franciso was uneventful, and soon I was having a joyful reunion with Alys.

We were both so impressed with Air New Zealand.   The plane was enourmous and new, the service from the flight attendants was wonderful, and the food and ammenities kept us occupied during that 12 hour journey.  We loved being able to order wine and snacks and play games using the touchscreen right in front of us.


Yes, sleep was a bit elusive, but all in all, it wasn’t bad.  There was one glitch, though. The plane had an air conditioning malfunction which led to a delay out of San Francisco.  We knew that making our connection would be a challenge and we practically ran through the Auckland airport trying to make our next flight.  Unfortunately, the Customs folks were concerned about dog treats and the possibility of fruit being brought into the country, and ultimately we missed our plane.

Always one to find the upside to a negative, the wait for the next flight gave me the opportunity to taste my first New Zealand beer.  It may have been 8:30 am local time, but it was 2:30 in the afternoon on the East Coast. Perfect time for a beer!  I ordered the Panhead (because of the motorcycle) but since the keg blew right when I got there, I enjoyed the All Blacks Steinlager, named for THE Rugby team of New Zealand.

After a long day of travel, we were greeted by Pauline and the famous Siddy.  Soon enough, we were seeing Boomdeeadda again, too.

Danella has opened up her home to us, and what a marvelous hostess she is!

Stayed tuned for Day 1 in Dunedin!



I’m anxiously awaiting this coming weekend.

On Friday evening I’ll pick up Alys at Dulles International Airport, and we’ll head into DC to meet up with Boomdee.

The next day, we’ll get to spend time with Julia and Lisa, and maybe even Stacy.  What fun this will be!  It’ll be a quick 36 hours for me, but well worth the drive.

This past weekend though, I was in Roanoke to photograph a political event.  When that task was completed, I was able to spend a few moments outside enjoying the grounds of the Hotel Roanoke.  First built in 1882, renovated in the 1930s, and finally restored,  remodeled, and re-opened in 1995, the Hotel Roanoke is now a gorgeous and historic destination for both vacation and business.

The Market Square Pedestrian Walkway allows guests to walk from the hotel, over the train tracks, and down to the many shops and restaurants in the downtown market square.

I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to visit any of you this past weekend.  I’ll look forward to catching up when I get back home.

And I can’t wait to share photos of the Old Town Alexandria blogger gathering!