Back in the USA
My wife and I are now back in the USA after about two weeks in New Zealand. We did both the North and South islands, drove something like 1500 miles, hiked under Mt. Cook and Mt. Aspiring, cruised in Milford and Doubtful Sounds, swam with the dolphins, saw several seal colonies, and spotted three sperm whales--oh, and I saw the Magellanic Clouds and 47 Tuscanae!
Some thoughts about coming back:
one doesn't realize how much of melting pot the US is until one spends time in the old British Empire;
we need $1 and $2 coins instead of bills, and we need to loose the penny.
Fish and chips is pretty good, if the fish is fresh.
Kiwi beer is weak.
There are good used bookstores in NZ--I found copies of Fletcher's and Austin's commentaries on Aeneid VI and IV, for NZ$12 (US$8.50?);
Driving on the left isn't that bad--I got pretty used to it;
Kiwis are always using "wee" to indicate little, small, modest, familiar;
Kiwi women commonly use "Darling" as a vocative with everyone and anyone--it takes a little getting used to!
Wendy Houston of Lakeview Homestay, near Twizel, makes the best roast lamb Marsha has ever eaten;
There's a Mexican place in the Whangamata that makes the worst chicken quesidillas in the world--trust me!
sperm whales are really interesting after all, but they aren't entirely safe either . . .