Since I’m so far behind I’ve decided to just start from the beginning in chunks dating the individual blogs with the date I’m referring to. Hopefully before too long I will be all caught up. So for now I’m not going to talk about the crazy thanksgiving night/party, this will come later ;}
Woke up 5ish in the morning, not so much fun since I started packing the night before around 10:30-11 and didn’t finish until around 1ish. Yes I started packing for a trip to the bottom of the earth, aka the south pole, 15 or so hours before I actually would be flying out. Ahh the life of a procrastinator :} This is a shot outside of my families house in Eaton around 5am before my mom and I drove off to Denver to my final orientation at RPSC headquarters in Centennial. The last time I would be seeing the place for quite a while.
The orientation was the typical lame corporate orientation, basically a waste of time but a paid waste of time. You don’t really learn anything until you get here, I don’t know if anyone remembers the stuff from the orientations, maybe who knows. This is a shot of folks waiting for the bus to take them to the airport.
I was waiting for my family to come ad pick me up. I asked them to be there at 11 and of course they were not, and were very late. Showed up 11:40ish I think it was. Thankfully my brother Justin was driving my other bro Jarod and my mom over. I say thankfully him because he drove like a maniac and got to the headquarters far sooner than if my mom had been driving. I made my brother get out so I could drive because I was in a MAJOR hurry to get some stuff done before the flight. I just happen to drive a bit crazier than my brother :} I needed to hit up REI to grab some shoes and socks and a couple of “water” bottles, my normal drinking nalgene and my 2L, not so much for drinking…
It was pretty smooth sailing from there on except for when I tried to sneak through a pay parking ticket thinger behind another car and almost had the thing slam on my mom’s car. Other than that I just ate with the fam one last time, went through security and waited with Pip at the terminal for my flight to Los Angeles.
As I was flying out over Colorado and Denver I was thinking to myself I can’t believe how crowded we are getting, how much of the land is becoming nothing but roads and housing: then I flew over LA…
I’ve never seen such human clutter: houses, roads, buildings as far as the eye can see with occasional trees. Disgusting imho.
Cool sign thinger inside LAX
I was pretty lost when I got to LAX, there were buses I could take apparently but I wasn’t sure if had to pay for them, if I needed a ticket for them or what so I walked my toosh off to the international terminal with my giant bag. This was not a short walk let me tell you. I did get a few pics of a cool construction project and the plane I flew in on that, had I taken a bus to the terminal, I would have missed.
Pip and the plane we flew in on.
Cool construction thinger
Then I had to wait quite a while in the international terminal for my flight to Auckland, New Zealand. Oddly enough I have no photos of that, weird. Anywho the plane finally showed up at around the time it was supposed to dunno what that was anymore. I completely forgot until I was sitting in the terminal that I asked to have an aisle seat in case I needed to go puke while on the flight. I get very very motion sick, and was worried with such a long flight I would spend most of the time in the bathroom. Thankfully the motion sickness pills worked. And I never got sick. I lucked out with my seating because I was in the first section of seats in the rear most seat of the section, meaning I had no one sitting behind me, it was a large open space. I also lucked out in that the middle seat did not get booked so the window seat guy and I stretched and took advantage of the opening there. They had these monitors in the seats ahead of me where I watched a couple of movies, Tropic Thunder and Wall-E.
I tried sleeping but was a bit cramped and anytime I had my arm on my right elbow rest the frigging stewardists would come by smash my elbow with their dang cart. And if it wasn’t my elbow it was my knee stuck out too far. The nice thing was that they really didn’t seem to care at all…the food was decent to good though many complained about it.
We finally landed in Auckland after a very very long flight which was not that bad at all, just long. 6,652 miles from LAX.
We crossed the International Date Line so my dates are probably not accurate after this. I’m just going off what my camera is showing as date taken.
Arriving into Auckland was crazy, I had no idea where I was supposed to go, I was freaking out about customs, I just knew they were going to grab my external harddrives and check their contents which would pretty much screw me major or cause me to lose them which would just tick me off. They didn’t and I made it through with no problems. It was a huge rush to get to the other flight from Auckland to Christchurch. I got lost had no idea where I was supposed to go, but luckily found someone I recognized and just followed them on a hurried trek across the airport to the domestic terminal.
Many of us were a bit worried while waiting to check into the next flight because it was taking FOREVER. They, for the longest time, only had one person doing check-ins with a line of 50 or so people with multiple bags all trying to get onto the flight that was boarding in 15 minutes. After the plane had been boarding for 10 or so minutes they finally brought someone else over to help get us trough the line. We all barely made it onto the flights, by a matter of minutes before they closed the doors. It was stressful to say the least, and incredibly annoying. Thankfully all of us who had that flight made it. The flight was beautiful.
When we made it into Christchurch we met up with the shuttle company and hitched a ride out to our hotel, Hotel SO. Most if not all of the folks going to the Pole were set up at Hotel So. It was a cool little hotel, very trendy. As many put it, the rooms looked like a rejected Ikia catalogue. I thought it was awesome.
It was a blessing to see computers with internet access again. Going from non stop access between work, home, and my blackberry to what seemed like a week without internet access was terrible.
The elevators in the place had these glass backs with odd shapes that lit up corresponding to the floor level. I think I was on square maybe?
Then I finally got to my room with a real bed, I was so happy.
The rooms have no windows, just a very large mirror, a huge tv and various little gadgets.
I kicked the tv multiple times when sleeping. The “bathroom” was a weird glassed in space station or something. And there was a mood lighting dial by the bed that changed lights in the “bathroom” I set it to love but no one ever showed…lame. I was just worried my “date” got sent to the wrong room. Thankfully there were no charges on my credit card, so I think maybe it was just busted.
There was also a blue light that you could turn on and off under the bed. I’m not exactly sure what the point of it was. Whatever the reasoning, it was awesome. Pip thoroughly enjoyed it, he said “it reminded him of home” whatever that means.
The other really cool feature of the room was the alarm clock. I know what you’re thinking how cool can an alarm clock possibly be? Well this one was awesome, what it did was simulate a sunrise in the room, there were special “sun” lights that slowly turned on 10ish minutes or so before the time you set the alarm for, until the “sun” is fully up and the tv turns on to a serene mountain scene with soft peaceful music. Shweet.