Friday, March 12, 2010

First Day off Antarctica

Back on green goodness!

My first day off of Antarctica was brilliant. I was in Christchurch, NZ at the peak of the their summer. I stuffed myself with free breakfast at the Windsor and was loving it. It wasn't that different from what I was getting at McMurdo, but perhaps it was like going out to a new restaurant. It was just something different. Nature's finest candy, the fruit, was already chopped up to throw in my granola. I think that was the only major change. Actually, the food wasn't the best part of breakfast at all. It was Winnie. Winnie is the Windsor's dachshund hound coming over to beg for a little food. I'm a dog lover and hadn't seen one in months! I was loving it. Winnie wasn't loving it because she was begging for food and I wasn't offering any up. She has lost weight since I saw her last, but it wouldn't take much to make her big enough to lay down by just lifting her legs.

The Avon River horseshoes its way around the Botanical Gardens

Roses in the Christchurch Botanical Gardens.

After a quiet breakfast, I headed over to sample nature's best eye candy, the trees and flowers at the Christchurch Botanical Gardens. I'm not sure how much time I spent there. It was a lot. The smells were intoxicating. The ducks were endearing. The sounds were still overwhelming. I just laid there and soaked it all in. It was a gorgeous 65 degree day. I couldn't have ordered up a better day. It even drizzled a little bit to remind me how great it was to have water falling on my face again.

Roses in the Christchurch Botanical Gardens.

Roses in the Christchurch Botanical Gardens.

I feel like in the every day bustle of life we ignore so many of our senses. Unless something is so in our face we can't ignore it, we just rely on what we see as we bustle through life. However, my first days off the Ice aren't like that. They were all about shedding my A-type personality and doing nothing so I can soak up the little things. It didn't hurt that I was unbelievably exhausted from so many goodbyes on the Ice. Whether napping or just laying there, I was super happy to do nothing in the gardens. I watched kids plays, dogs romp, ducks beg, leaves blow, heard insect wings rubbing, kids scream, and smelled everything.

Roses in the Christchurch Botanical Gardens.

A dahlia in the Christchurch Botanical Gardens.

This year, I made plans to hang out with Ice folks on my first couple days back. That was a mistake. I'm not sure if it was because I was so tired or if I just need time to myself, but I just wasn't able to enjoy it as much as I could have if I had had a day or two to myself first. On the other hand, that was the last chance to see a few of those people before they left New Zealand. Someone told me that it is always someone's last night or birthday and that attitude would bite me in the bum. It didn't this time though. I was able to spend the next week or two balancing out spending time with others and getting myself rested up.

A yellow dahlia in the Christchurch Botanical Gardens.

A red dahlias in the Christchurch Botanical Gardens.

1 comment:

  1. there is also grass in pittsburgh. it's just a little bit brownish yellow most of the time...