Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hedgie slept in (lazy little bugger) while his handler jaunted about town in the early morning to visit the art museum, the botanical gardens/historic museum, and grab breakfast a local eatery. By default, I am stuck typing this for him as he is still snoozing.
Breakfast (for those who are both morning people and not-so-morning people) was served up with incredible hospitality at Drexel’s. The wait staff is the most team oriented and organized ever seen and yet still engenders a warm family atmosphere. The food is also hard to beat and I cannot recommend this site highly enough. I had forgotten that in kiwi land, tipping is not a standard, but the hostess assured me that the entire wait staff got together once a month for fun outings, and the tip I was insistent on leaving would be used for go-carting or some other activity. Everywhere the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly as it was last time I came through.
In a short wander through the botanical gardens/historic museum and the art museum, I am reminded that cultural jaunts like these are supported by donation, for there is no admittance fee. Shame on all who do not take the time to look at Ellen Spencer’s painting of three women completed in 1929 but unable to be exhibited until the death of the model in 1979 because she feared the indiscretion caught on canvas. The historical museum reminded me that at one point, people were surviving (or not, depending on the crew) in Antarctic weather dressed in sail cloth shirts, hide boots with lamp wick laces, and canvas pants. The progression of hand wear through time and the countries represented was a laugh in comparison – the US, NZ and Japanese versions of modern day shown were thick, elbow length mittens of military in origin. The Russian concession to finger coverings was a bright neon blue pair of wool gloves not much thicker than US standard glove liners – I guess that shade of neon blue has particular heating properties I am not aware of.
At 12:30, Hedgie is due for the “fitting of the wool” at the CDC for ECW. However, he is having such sweet dreams and catching up on his shut eye, I left him at the hotel and went alone. Where would any of us be without those who have gone before? The returnees were a marvel at sharing info (white boots are great for waterproof abilities, but they suck if your feet sweat and more gems like this). All in all a successful fitting, but if I have to make the weight they have listed on my form, I need to amputate a limb (or two) to get to the mistyped 110.
Post fitting, I made a quick stop at the grocery for milk, Meanuka honey for wound care, and dinner fixins for the room as we are flying out at 5:30am for MacTown.

Ice to English translations:
CDC: Clothing Distribution Center – a warehouse of pre WW military cast offs and those ever attractive bunny boots
ECW: Extreme Cold Weather Gear – clothing designed to keep you from freezing vital anatomical parts off while vying for the “I look most like the colorblind Michelin Man” title.

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