One Down, One To Go

After two nights in Aongatete and a wonderful evening at Hobbiton we made the five hour drive back to Whangarei where we hopped aboard Dazzler to drop of some items and pick up others. We all spent one night in Whangarei at the Discovery Hotel before making the two hour drive back south to Auckland. We stayed in a wonderful downstairs apartment that is part of a larger home. It is just fifteen minutes from the airport and it was perfect.
That night were all completely exhausted from our 19 days of traveling New Zealand. All in all we traveled over 2000 miles, visited 9 cities and saw some of the most amazing parts of New Zealand from pastures and beaches to mountains and glaciers. Yes, we certainly had an amazing time and we couldn’t have had better company.
Dan and I had an early morning flight out of Auckland the following day. You see, while our New Zealand adventure had come to a close, our United States adventure was just beginning. Next stop….Brisbane, Australia for a four hour layover and then on to Los Angeles.
It’s been over a year since either of us have see our family and friends so for the next month we planned to do just that. We arrived in Los Angeles, spent one night with Jack & Mary and then started making our way north toward the Bay Area to see Dan’s oldest daughter and her family.
Since I’d never been in this part of the world before Dan decided to take the scenic route north. We traveled on Highway 1 all the way up the coast of California. Oh my! This is one beautiful route! We stopped in Pismo Beach for lunch one day at the Ventana Grill. OH MY GOD! They have New England Clam Chowder that is better than any I’ve ever eaten in my entire life. It is so creamy and full of huge clams. Seriously, if you are ever in the neighborhood you have to stop there. They win awards every year for their chowder. Oh yes, the view is amazing too!
Dan took me to Morro Bay one night. This quaint little seaside town is absolutely adorable. There’s seals swimming all in the bay and along the main road there’s lots of restaurants and shops. He even took me to this beautiful hotel where we had a fireplace in our room that had a balcony overlooking the bay and the seals. Yes, it was pretty sweet.
On our way up Highway 1 we even stopped at a beach that was literally covered with hundreds of Elephant Seals. They are truly awesome creatures and I got a video of two males fighting on the beach. Stay tuned for that one. It’s short but pretty cool.
We spent one evening with Dan’s daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter before driving back to Los Angeles and hopping a plane to Florida. Our very dear friends, Jay and Connie, picked us up at Tampa airport and took us to surprise my mother. You see she thought we were coming in March so we were just a tab bit early. I just love to surprise her and needless to say she was shocked but also thrilled.
For sixteen days we enjoyed spending time with some of our favorite people in the world. My mom fell in love with Dan. It was the most time they’d spent together since we’ve been together and of course he was his typical Captain Save-A-Hoe self. He fixed things around her house that needed to be tended to and even took her car to get several things dealt with that were going bad. He cooked for her and drove her wherever she needed to go and he blew the leaves off her driveway everyday. Yes, he did all the right things. Mom even said she’d send me back to New Zealand and keep Dan. Hmmmm!
Our time in Florida flew by and before we knew it, it was time to say our goodbyes and get back on a plane for California. We spent another week there staying with Dan’s sister, Tina and seeing his middle daughter and her hubby. Unfortunately his youngest had moved to another state so we didn’t get to see her on this trip. There’s only so much time and money to go around.
Before we knew it a month had gone by and we were on a plane headed back to New Zealand. We were both glad to be back on Dazzler but she’s on the hard so it wasn’t the super wonderful feeling of coming home.
It’s my first time living on a boat while it’s on the hard and now I know why they call it being on the hard. No, it’s not because you’re on land. It’s because living on a boat that doesn’t move and is sixteen feet above ground where you can’t use the head or the sink and must trek up and down a flight of stairs and walk across the yard to use the facilities IS HARD! But there is work that must be done so we have no other choice. For you landlubbers, living on the hard is sort of like living in your house when it’s being completely remodeled. Nothing is where it’s supposed to be, everything is a mess and nothing is easy.
Oh well, it’s just three weeks right? And once it’s done we will be back in the water and headed for warmer weather. OK! I can handle it.

Author: Dan & Jilly

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