It turns out arranging travel from Denver to Christchurch, New Zealand to McMurdo station in Antarctica for work on the WAIS Divide Project to procure a deep core ice sample and back over two months and then incorporating a month of annual leave in Christchurch before flying back to Denver for a primadonis scientist is a bitch.

How about, I will go to New Zealand on annual leave that I haven’t yet accrued (the process of accruing leave is still such an abstraction to me, and it’s a part of federal employment I will never get used to).  I will stay in New Zealand and I will get Leo lessons to be a sheep herding dog.  It’s in his genes.  He’s half border collie and half blue heeler, the poor little guy can hardly help himself from tearing around in circles and nipping ankles.   The image of Leo racing across a rugged landscape surrounded by mountains (think Middle Earth, near Rohan) rounding up sheep makes me feel ridiculously happy and I find myself living vicariously through my little dog racing across the New Zealand landscape in my mind.  It feels like a nice life.

Is it possible that it’s only 10:47 AM?  *Has sinking feeling it is entirely possible*

Some pictures of New Zealand to excite, places to pine for, and to one day venture…

Auckland, NZ

Christchurch, NZ

Wellington, NZ


And, in case you need to get your bearings…

And apparently the people are lovely.  Brett, Jermaine, and Murray come immediately to mind…