The Adventures of Kiwi Kyle | Part 1

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the first international blog post in the history of kelseyv.com!  I’m Kyle, Kelsey’s older brother, and I’ll be chronicling my experience here in New Zealand over the next six weeks.  While it is common for me to travel for my job, it has exclusively been in the U.S.  However, there is a client in New Zealand, specifically Christchurch, that needs my very particular set of skills.  After talking it over with my wife Kari, we decided I should take this short-term assignment.

While I had traveled outside the U.S. before, it was for my honeymoon in Jamaica, where they want more people to come to the country.  As a result, they have very relaxed rules on getting into Jamaica.  I learned rather quickly that not all international travel is so easy.  Kari and I got to the airport on Thursday and hopped in line to check one of my bags.  Once at the counter, I told the Delta employee I had a connecting flight in Australia before heading to my final destination of Christchurch.  She then asked if I had an electronic visa, and I immediately responded, “An electronic what?!”  Apparently to even step foot in an Australian airport you must have electronic travel authority (ETA).  Kari and I quickly jumped online and applied for one.  10 minutes and $50 later, I was cleared.  Phew!

We then got back in line to check my bag.  Once at the counter, I told the Delta employee I wanted to check the bag all the way through to Christchurch – I surely didn’t want to have to worry about grabbing it in LA or Australia and go through security again!  That request somehow didn’t quite seem to make sense to the Delta employee, and we were getting more and more nervous.  If we couldn’t get through this process quickly, I might not make the flight!  Luckily, a more senior employee helped me out, and I am happy to report my bag made it all the way to Christchurch.

The flights from Atlanta to Christchurch were long and uneventful, my favorite type of flight.  I thought I’d be in a reading mood, but that ended up not being the case at all.  So, I watched The Lego Batman Movie and Trainwreck.  While it was not as awesome as The Lego Movie, The Lego Batman Movie was still pretty good.  The unique plot, one-liners, and multiple references to previous Batman movies, cartoons, and comics made it an easy watch.  On the other hand, Trainwreck was just that, a train wreck.  I’ve enjoyed Amy Schumer the stand-up comic but personally ran hot and cold with her TV show.  I just wasn’t buying her at all in this movie and can’t really tell you why.  She just didn’t do it for me.  I honestly thought Bill Hader blew her out of the water, and Colin Quinn being in the movie was a delightful surprise.  However, at the end of the day was it worth killing two hours on a 14-hour plane ride?  Yes.  Would it have been worth a Redbox rental?  Not so much.

So, that’s it for now, readers.  I did get to Christchurch safely and in one piece, and as the weeks pass, I hope to blog about a variety of things.  The town of Christchurch, the food I eat, the things I do, the little differences between New Zealand and the States, just to name a few.  If anyone out there has any recommendations on anything, please send them my way!

san francisco – day 1

folks, it’s time this hard-working lady treated herself to a few days off from work.  where to, you ask?  well, if the title of this post isn’t a hint, i’m headed to san francisco.  yep!  a four and half hour delta flight brought me to this city on the bay for a long weekend to visit my cousin brian.  i know, how exciting!  he’s been living in this fair city for a little while now, and considering i’ve never spent time here, i figured a trip westward was in order.

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do i have much planned for my days in san fran?  not much besides a wine tour on saturday.  well, i take that back.  i plan to practically eat my way through the city.  i’ve promised myself i’ll do enough walking to justify the obscene amount of calories i’ll probably be consuming.  that order shouldn’t be too tall to keep since the weather in northern california is forecasted to be pretty gorgeous during my stay.  ah, thank you, mother nature, for your kindness!

but first, where does each cross-country journey begin?  an exhilarating flight across the nation, of course!  i hustled down to the airport this afternoon with my brand spankin’ new luggage (thanks to kari for helping me pick it out at tj maxx), left it at the baggage drop, and then patiently waited my turn in the security line.  i was a bit surprised by the number of fellow travelers this time in the middle of the week.  oh well, i was in no real rush, so i shuffled along and through like a good little guest.

after hitting the ladies’ room and filling my water bottle, i leisurely strolled on over to gate a24.  the gate attendants were getting ready to board first class, so i popped a squat and waited my turn.  i am a lazy boarder, so i usually just hop on at the end.  i mean, what’s the rush to squeeze yourself into a cramped airplane seat?  i always check my luggage since it’s free, so i don’t mind the later boarding.  plus, if you stick around the gate, you can be super touristy and take pictures of relatively boring and typical scenes.

isn’t this well-framed photo of my plane and jetway super interesting?

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and how about this one of the gate and all my fellow flyers?  we’ll be best friends long before touchdown in san fran!  oh, except for this lady on the right of the picture.  i’m sure she’d kill me if she knew i’d gotten this sweet shot of her white-washed jean backside.  hehe.

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oh, and here’s my personal favorite.  isn’t this delta sign just so picturesque with the fire hose totally photo bombing the entire thing?

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you didn’t think the simple act of boarding a plan could be this interesting, did you?  ah, just you wait!  i am a woman of many talents, one of them being the gift to make normally routine and bland life events highly entertaining.  i like to think i get it from my parents.  thanks, mom!  thanks, dad!

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