Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Home Again


Rangitoto Island

After a very long journey, I am home at last. I left New Zealand on the evening of Tuesday April 21 and when I arrived in Los Angeles twelve hours later, it was technically the same day. In fact, it was still Tuesday when I flew out of Los Angeles at 10:40 pm. Although recovering from a double dose of jet lag I want to jot down a few memories of my trip before they begin to fade.

I stayed at the Spencer on Byron Hotel; from my room I had a stunning view of Rangitoto Island. Rangitoto is a relatively young volcano, now extinct, and beautiful to gaze at across the bay. One of the most compelling aspects of the trip was the fact that in New Zealand the month of April is equivalent to September in Pennsylvania, with the crickets chirping nostalgically, and the leaves beginning to change. While I could always intellectually grasp the difference of the seasons in the southern hemisphere, to experience autumn during the Easter octave must be one of the most unusual experiences of my life.

On the other hand, the Eucharistic Convention has to be one of the most well-organized events I have ever participated in. I was treated like royalty, and for this I must thank John and Beth Porteous, whose kindness and generosity made it possible for me to travel to the other side of the world. I must also thank Nicholas and Gabrielle Reid, who opened their home and family to me, in those hours when I was not busy at the convention. I have always found spending time with the people of a country to be more enlightening and inspiring than trying to see a great deal of sites all at once. Gabrielle was my guardian angel, who got me wherever I needed to go, picking me up at the airport in the wee hours, and giving me a great deal of support and encouragement as I prepared for my talks. Nicholas is a poet and historian, the author of several books, who also writes the program notes for Opera New Zealand. I thoroughly enjoyed the lively discussions about politics, opera, and history that I had with the Reids. They took me to Kelly Tarlton's to see the penguins, the sharks and the stingrays, then to the Auckland museum where there was a fascinating exhibit on the Maori culture. Auckland is truly the "City of Sails" and someday I would like to return in the summer, since there is so much to explore there. Share

12 comments:

Matterhorn said...

Lovely to see you back. I'm glad it was such a fantastic trip!

christopher said...

Welcome back, and thanks for saying hi to the hobbit!

Georgette said...

I hear they are a lovely, hospitable people in NZ.

Welcome home, ME. May your jet lag recovery be quick! :)

elena maria vidal said...

Thanks, everyone! Yes, the New Zealanders are lovely and hospitable people. There were some perfect strangers who helped me along the way. I am watching The Lord of the Rings tonight to look at the beautiful countryside again.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

It's great to see you back, Elena. I'm happy to hear that you had such a wonderful trip. All the liturgy and Latin sound wonderful--and of course, the people sound lovely!

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

So glad you enjoyed your trip. I've been to the places you've mentioned, and it's nice read about them again. The jet lag is a peculiar experience, isn't it? I hope you can return some day, as you wish, and see some more of the country. Lovely place, lovely people.

Alexandra said...

Welcome back from your adventure across the world!

Ted said...

What a wonderful experience. How nice to go to a beautiful place and meet charming people. You are so blessed!

godfactauthor said...

Yes New Zealand has lovely people! Thanks so much for blessing us with your presence and knowledge. It was great to chat with you one on one.

God bless

Brendan
http://hubpages.com/profile/godfactauthor

elena maria vidal said...

Thank you, my dear friends!

Hi, Brendan, it was great to meet you and chat with you at the convention! I am looking forward to reading your book!

godfactauthor said...

Thanks Elena!

I'm very impressed how you reply to all of your comments! It shows how much you value all of your readers! Would you like to receive a PDF copy of the book or shall I email you contact in the US to get a copy?

God bless

Brendan
www.godfact.com

elena maria vidal said...

Thanks, Brendan! I try to answer all my comments but alas am not always able to do so. A PDF copy would be great! I would love to review it for you!