July, my birthday month, is typically enjoyable, but this year it has betrayed me. Now I am another year older, and have been reminded in a shocking way how much it sucks to get old. A week before my birthday, I found myself in agonizing pain in the acute care of the hospital. I was lucky, I was told, to get the last bed. There were many other sick people in there, mostly older, with probably worse problems than me. My doctor initially thought I may have appendicitis, but it turned out to be a kidey infection. They put an IV in my arm and gave me fluids, but wouldn't let me drink in case I needed surgery. They also gave me morphine, which was great at taking away the pain, but then when they tried to examine me and localize the pain, I wasn't feeling too bad at all. They gave me IV antibiotics and kept me overnight, so I could get an ultrasound in the morning. I was released the following day, but still had pain for several more days while taking oral antibiotics. Work was generous with sick time, and covered what needed to be done.
I had been in Wellington several days prior with my sister and niece. Stephanie and I explored while Barb attended a meeting. We spent part of our Independence Day touring Parlaiment, preceeded by a trip in the cable car up the hill to the botanical garden and walking down. Wellington is a compact city with great public transportation and is close to some nice nature walks. We took our chances with the weather and walked about 6 miles round trip to Sinclair Head Seal Colony. We were not disappointed, and saw (and smelled!) many fur seals.
Along the way, you pass the Red Rocks, which we learned all about while stranded by the rain for about an hour at the visitor center.
Fortunately the rain eased up and with the wind blowing hard, our pants dried out in about an hour.
We spent another rainy afternoon at Te Papa, the national museum, where I photographed this Kiwi bird skeleton showing the largeness of its egg. Freakish, isn't it?
About half of our tree order arrived this week. They are bareroot stems that Darin and I intended to plant on our land in Maungarutoto today. Unfortunately, we had some bad sour cream on our tacos last night and both of us wound up with horrible food poisoning. We were up at least every hour last night to puke and crap our guts out. We're trying to recover today so that we can go tomorrow instead. On the positive side of things, this is a good opportunity to update this blog.
June was pretty stellar compared to July. June ended with a 4 day road trip around Northland, including Cape Rienga. Normally there are direction signs to London, Sydney, San Francisco, etc. out at the lighthouse, but the wind was so strong only London remained attached. We got nailed by the rainstorm (below) on the walk back to the car. Really, the raindrops were very painful on exposed skin. My pants were so wet on the short walk back to the parking lot, even my socks got wet. We really enjoyed the Kauri forest and all the associated museums (Gumdigger's park, Ancient Kauri Kingdom, Kauri Museum is the best!), but the highlight had to be the sand dunes on the way to Cape Rienga.
Steph made it to the top of this one. It was so beautiful and we had the place to ourselves. Darin and I hadn't been to most these places before. Four days really wasn't enough. We will definitely go back. Care to join us? Just give us an excuse to take you!