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30 October, 2002

First leg of the journey; USA to NZ

A long (11 hour) plane flight, a few cups of coffee, and I am on the other side of the world! And now to be in an internet cafe, typing away. The world does seem smaller these days!

Our flight to Auckland landed at 5 am local time. In Auckland, once we had cleared customs, we changed to a domestic flight to Christchurch. I say we, because as I had expected, last night in Los Angeles there were about 30 other people also heading "to the ice" on my flight, so suddenly I had company! This was reassuring for me, since I am a first timer and not sure how the whole process works.

This afternoon I spent some time wandering the Botanical Gardens here in Christchurch. The gardens had many plants that were familiar to me from my home in Ohio. I was surprised to see so many "old friends" in the plant world so far from home. Species like rhododendron, horse chestnut and tulips. I savored the colors and smells as I know in just a few days I will be in a place much more foreign.

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