Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Day Seven: Where I spent all day trying to do laundry
Yay, day seven!! I wasn't really expecting too much from day seven because it was primarily a travel day and because I was going to do some laundry if it killed me.
Our B&B hosts were like "Why didn't you just do laundry here?" and I was like "Um. I guess that would have been a good idea!" but we had a ferry to catch and needed to get going.
Robert & Diane, our B&B hosts, were really lovely. But you know who was not really lovely? The other guests at breakfast that morning.
They were two dudes in their 50's who were traveling together and each had his own room in the B&B so they were the extent of the other guests. I was initially annoyed because there are three sides to the breakfast table and on morning #1, each couple took a side. THIS morning, however, they spread themselves out and Carrie and I each ended up sitting next to one of them. But okay, maybe that's B&B etiquette that I made up in my own head.
But as you do at breakfast in B&Bs (*this* B&B anyway because I have no other frame of reference), you chat with your co-breakfast'ers. One was from NY somewhere and he was traveling with his friend, another American, but who lives in Belize, I believe it was. Neither of their wives like to travel so they just go together (and very likely, their wives enjoy the quiet while their obnoxious husbands are out of town).
To be fair, the one from Belize wasn't bad but maaaaaan, the other one rubbed me the wrrrrrrrrronnnnnng damn way. He talked to me like I was a dumb blonde from California, which was notttttt appreciated, so when he asked me what I did, and I swear he was expecting me to say I was a gift wrap technician at the mall or something, I gave the most complicated version of that answer possible. His response was to lean over to Carrie and tell her that I was a pain in the ass. She was not BFFs with him either but I think she could see my blood starting to boil so she was trying to stay cool enough for both of us.
At some point during breakfast I agreed to try Vegemite and Marmite and do a side by side comparison. That dude was very critical of my spreading technique, he was interrupting my commentary and was generally just harshing my gig (but the end result was that both Vegemite and Marmite are gross).
I was encouraged when we got up to head out and Diane gave me a knowing look and said that it was going to be an interesting couple of days -- so it wasn't just me! He really WAS an asshole!!
But enough about him! Diane and Robert were wonderful and I should have done laundry there!!
We drove half an hour or two to the town where we were to pick up the ferry to the north island. I wasn't expecting that town to be as lovely as it was, but it would have been lovelier if the laundromat wasn't being hogged by a weird dude with a staring problem. No laundry for us!
But we did have a perfectly lovely piece of cake for lunch at a perfectly lovely sidewalk cafe just off the water.
You're so lovely, Picton, New Zealand!
And then it was time to board the ferry, which we did alongside plenty of people observing one of New Zealand's favorite past times: Being in public without shoes on. I think this was more prevalent on the north island, but that might also be just because our time on the south island was mostly in tourist destinations and TOURISTS WEAR SHOES. ESPECIALLY WHEN WALKING THROUGH PUDDLES OF WHO-KNOWS-WHAT IN THE CAR LOADING AREA OF A FERRY! (We ditched our car on the south island, but we still boarded near all the cars.)
We found the bar on the ferry (of course we did), and we spent a leisurely few hours internetting, drinking wine, reading the newspaper, and watching rugby. At one point I walked out of the bar to go to the bathroom and a handful of passengers had broken out their instruments and were playing jigs in the rotunda. People were smiling and children were dancing and it was adorable.
When we arrived in Wellington there was some hubbub about taxis and there were some English couples who were totally getting worked up about OMG WE'RE NEVER GOING TO GET A TAXI WE'RE GOING TO DIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIE, but Carrie and I just relaxed about it all and BOOM, there was a taxi (though I do believe Carrie did go with some of the husbands to stand in line for a pay phone in order to make the taxi magic happen).
Our handsome and charming cab driver deposited us swiftly at the Novotel, which maaaaay have had an odd blood-splatter looking theme to its room decor, but was TEN THOUSAND TIMES mo betta than the hostel we'd be sleeping in the next night, so blood splatter, schblood splatter.
Operation: LAUNDRY continued that afternoon in a sister hotel's laundry room. We enjoyed the lobby's bar and free internet while we waited and then later folded our laundry while chit chatting with a couple of adorable English seniors on a bus tour.
English seniors have GIANT underpants, a fact I observed this day and then again a few days later when I had to RE-DO my load of laundry because I DIDN'T READ THE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY AND NEGLECTED TO PUT SOAP IN MY WASHER (seems like a no duh, I know, but there was a dispenser and I didn't realize that I needed to turn the soap dispenser knob) and I was NOT about to do it all over again that night. Luckily Carrie had the load with the underwear and she's a better reader than I am so it was just my, less critical, load that was messed up.
While hanging out in the lobby we got a restaurant recommendation from the front desk. Asking hotel staff for recommendations can be tricky, but when they're on, they're on. (And when they're off, they can't think of anything that isn't a tourist destination.) This gentleman was on! He sent us in the direction of a gastropub a handful of blocks away and we had a completely lovely dinner and extensive conversation with the manager, who was disappointed that we were leaving the next day because I think he was dyyyyyyyyyyying to spend some quality time with Carrie. He was cute and he was very friendly and I think he was even her type, but we had big plans for the next day and had to push on.
All in all, it was a day spent trying to do laundry, travel, waiting, doing laundry, waiting, and then waiting some more. We certainly found ways to make the waiting enjoyable because that's the way we roll, but I must admit that in my heart, day seven was about logistics. And laundry.
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