foto faves

foto faves

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

crispy bacon? NOT!

OK so one last thing on the NZ front before we go on to Sydney....

you may remember that TB and I were grousing about the issue of the "crispy" bacon not being crispy and I have previously described it as barely cooked - forget crispy...

the stuff they serve all over NZ never ever made it to the category of done much less crispy- and on the flight to Australia I was able to obtain photographic evidence on Air New Zealand tray tables of the Trichinosis threat that they call bacon in this country-


a picture worth a thousand words---- enough said....

well maybe not enough- LOL- seriously.... I LOVE bacon and this stuff was so disgusting there was no way to describe it.  Mike did warn us on the morning of the unbrief "briefing" that we would not find it crispy but perhaps they could have actually cooked it....

so maybe a recap-

the three worst things about NZ- the ATC at Wellington Airport, Air New Zealand counter "service" and the bacon...

the three best things about NZ (and there were many) the people we met, sheep/sheep dogs and corrugated iron... oh and white bait... and the Auckland, Wellington, Rotorua and Black Point museums and Possum Pete's... oh and bubbling mud pits and steaming rocks....

better stop there or I will be recounting the whole trip all over again! LOL

Monday, January 28, 2013

we return to Wellington

and get stuck there- LOL - only for an extra day but it was not pleasant but let's do this in order....

we headed out of Blenheim and returned the rental car in Picton - got lunch at the Train Station bar (other choice was Subway) -



I took the above photo because I had never seen a handicapped bathroom limited to paraplegics before and thank god they don't let them smoke- they certainly don't need any more problems than they already have.....

We had an uneventful three hour journey into Wellington and headed by cab to the Rydges in Wellington.  We have a very nice room. 






 

Ferry had arrived at 5:30 and we had a dinner reservation at 8 PM at Logan Brown - the place recommended by the late Johnny Apple of the NYTimes.




the food was superb the service fabulous the whole evening really was a wonderful conclusion to our time in NZ.

 













we went back to the hotel and scheduled a cab for the next day... our flight was scheduled for 1PM and due to arrive in Sydney at 5:30 (time change and lengthy flight) we checked in - checked luggage - went through passport control and to the lounge where we were informed our flight was delayed...

which turned in to canceled BEFORE 4 PM as they shut the airport down for FOG? OK I know I live in a city with one of the world's busiest airports and we have six runways - soon to be eight but we have never ever ever had our airport shut down in the middle of the afternoon for fog- what if it lifts? what ever happened to instrument landings - I know we are in a small country but for god's sake this is the CAPITAL's airport...

so we exit through passport control where they take our names and go to luggage return and get money (we had spent our last NZ dollars because we were leaving the country- or so we thought)  I stood in line with several hundred people (no Star Alliance Gold for Air New Zealand- they didn't give a shit) got rescheduled for the 6AM flight to Sydney.

Meanwhile I texted TB who was already on his way to SYD and called the SYD hotel and canceled for the first night of our reservation- called the Wellington Rydges and booked a room for the night and we head back into town wondering what poor people do... we have resources for emergencies- many do not...

we ate dinner at a mediocre Italian place on the waterfront and went to bed early as our cab comes at 4 AM and we start all over again---

oh yes and guess what the second day we are delayed for more than four hours as well- seriously - I guess it won't surprise you to read this -

I will NEVER EVER EVER fly Air New Zealand again- what BS

as you may know TB is a former air traffic controller and I told him visibility - what I could see from the lounge and then the waterfront and while it was foggy it was not less than a mile and a half and could easily have been up to three miles- he said instruments should have no issue dealing with that but - hey he's only a ATC guy....

we arrived late in the day on Christmas Eve to Sydney airport where we were fast tracked through passport control and customs - no 45 minutes in the "nothing to declare" line like our portentous NZ entry three weeks earlier.... we headed to The Rocks - by the time we check in to our hotel I am in LOVE with Sydney-  finally back to civilization- restaurants open on Sunday, people downtown in the evenings a REAL airport even though we aren't in the capital city.... what's not to love---

well stay tuned for Sydney post(s) and make up your own mind....

wine touring day two

so day two- off we go to the area south of Blenheim--

















after Wither Hills where everyone was very friendly and the views were even better than the very nice wines- we headed along to another.... Villa Maria and then Fromm-















then on to lunch at Twelve Trees at Allan Scott Winery-








then back to tasting - still a few more to go- Seresin and then Spy Valley and then Lawson's Dry Hills:











below- how Spy Valley got its name:






with that we called it "done" and headed back into town- later we had dinner at Accent a wonderful mom and pop place with very upscale cooking:











the wine we purchased the day before a Mustang PN from Cloudy Bay- was an excellent accompaniment!


so we headed back to the hotel one more time and prepared for the trek back to Wellington and on to Sydney - we had a couple of surprises in store for us but I will save them for the next post which will be the international adventure!