100 hours

We have 100 hours before we get on the plane….not that I’m counting.

We said our ka kite anō’s (“see you again” in Maori) to Jason and Cynthia and headed to Santa Barbara to spend some time with my sister and Frank. I can’t say enough good things about my sis, she is truly a wonderful person. We have always gotten along really well… except for maybe my slob years when I was 12. One of the things that I really treasure is that we were roommates in college for a number of years and this really allowed us to build our relationship outside of our childhood. It seemed a bit odd at first to room with your sister, but I look at that now and am so grateful to have had the opportunity together.

The weather in Santa Barbara was, not surprisingly, wonderful. Sadie was happy to see her cousins (Tuuk and Hanky) and the first day we headed out to the beach for walk. Sadie rarely tries to get other dogs to play, but as we were walking on the beach she kept chasing after Tuuk and trying to get Tuuk to play with her. It really made me happy since we were going to have to leave Sadie in Santa Barbara. She loves the beach and she clearly loves her cousins. It was all going to be ok. Susanne and I were going to shed a lot of tears, but we knew that Sadie was going to be very happy.

Hiking in Santa Barbara

The only downside for Sadie is that my sister is a huge Bruins fan and hockey in general. This means there is much shouting and mumbling that goes on when the Bruins are playing. Needless to say, this does not sit well with Sadie. She has, as previously discussed, very strict rules against mumbling of any kind. If something happens and my sisters mumbles, shouts, or makes a noise of any kind she runs off her chair and into another room. I am sure she is wishing she had her “no mumble room” from Wenatchee. But all in all, I think she will be happy in her retirement in Santa Barbara.

Congrats to Jess!

We were very stressed out about our upcoming PCR COVID test that we had to take and be negative before we could get on the plane. It was the last really big hurdle we had to get over before we knew we would make it to New Zealand. To this end, we decided we would get up early and drive down to LA for our 7:30 am appointment. One good thing about this plan is that we got a brief chance to see my niece Jessica who was flying in from Michigan after just graduating from law school! Congrats Jess! We are all so very proud of her; she is a rock star!

We set the alarm for 4:30 AM so we could make sure we got to the appointment in time. I broke down crying that night thinking about leaving my girlie girl Sadie behind and spent some time on the bed cuddling with her. In the morning, we said our goodbyes and headed out in our sexy mini-van. The drive was easy and we got there with plenty of time to spare. The whole testing thing is a bit ridiculous, but there you have it. We got our noses swabbed and crossed our fingers.

We took a walk along the beach at Marina del Rey and waited to go over to Susanne’s nephew’s house so we could spend the day hanging out with her sister, niece, nephew, and various other family members. It was really great to see everyone as we hadn’t seen them in quite awhile. The whole time I was super anxious about our test and kept checking my phone obsessively for our results. Around 3 pm I got a text telling me my results were in. I logged on and they were negative!!!!! Woohoo!!! Susanne logged on and her’s was negative as well. Double Woohoo!!!! We were off to New Zealand!

With Susanne’s niece

After a lovely afternoon, we headed back to the hotel to decompress and get ready for our trip the next day. It turned out to be a very nice hotel and the lady at the front desk had upgraded us to a marina view room. We were treated to a lovely sunset that seemed a fitting way to end a very stressful process. Tomorrow we will be off.

Last night in the US for awhile
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