Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Well, we have arrived in Christchurch after multiple bag drags and several plane changes. Seems the airline graciously consented to not lose my bags, but has lost others’ luggage. Checked into the room that is as retro 70’s shocking turquoise and cocoa brown as it is Japanese in dimension. The room is as wide as the double bed is long and as long as twice the bed width. Let me give the home Hedgie viewer a better visual – you can touch the toilet by stretching out your toes while sitting on the edge of the bed. Compact, efficient and trendy. Three guesses what Hedgie thinks of it?
With time on his little paws, Hedgie has made fast friends given his gregarious nature and startled deer-in-the-headlights look. Lee Parker, returning to the Pole in Power Plant, took pity on him and was gracious to escort the little rugger about town. He enjoyed punting on the Avon (small wooden skiffs push poled through the 16” deep Avon creek – er, I mean River – that trundles its way through the city from one end to the other, fed by an artesian spring), a trip through Christchurch cathedral (where he was grossly embarrassed by his handler’s inability to turn off the camera flash – something another tourist reported he and his wife had been ejected from a church for), wandering through Christchurch botanical gardens (an olfactory treat due to the wonderful weather), and dinner at a local family’s home. The Clare Clan (Sharon, Calvin, Uncle Don, Paul, Angel, Rafael, Gabe, and the newest addition baby Aurora) were warm and hospitable in true kiwi style. They opened their hearts and home to us and fed us well.
Tomorrow Hedgie is off to the CDC for fittings and is worried the socks may be too long. I assured him he could ride in the hat instead should his fuzz not be sufficient for the journey on the cargo airplane.

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