Saturday, April 14, 2007

Road Trip, Day 9

Uh oh. The alarm in our hotel room didn't go off. Luckily, Curt woke up at 7:35 anyway ... but we needed to hit the road at 7:50 to catch the ferry. No time for showers. We just threw everything in the car and started driving.

The drive from Nelson to the ferry terminal at Picton is another winding road over mountains and along the coast. It only takes 1.5 hours to get to Picton, but that was enough time for Nolan to get carsick. He said he wasn't feeling too good. Curt pulled over. Nolan threw up in the bushes. All those pies he'd been eating probably didn't help.

When we arrived in Picton, we found out that the ferry was running an hour late, so it turned out that we had lots of time. Oh well. This gave Curt & Erica a chance to get coffee & tea, while Nolan and I went in search of carsick medicine. The village of Picton is little more than a ferry town, and it serves a few thousand ferry passengers every day, so I was guessing they sell PLENTY of seasick pills. Sure, enough, the chemist had a substantial selection, and recommended SeaLegs. Sold.

During the break at the cafe and the chemist's, we also used Picton's public toilet, which ordinarily would not be noteworthy except it was downright weird. Curt used it first, and reported that it played cheesy Burt Bacharach music while he was in there. Obviously, that made us all want to experience it. When you pushed a button, the door slid open like on Star Trek. There was even an automatic toilet paper dispenser that gave you an exact amount. There didn't seem to be a flusher button, but a recorded voice told me that it would automatically flush when I pushed the button to exit. It felt like something from the Jetsons.

While waiting in line for the ferry, we learned that the crossing today was going to be rough and there was a "moderate" seasick warning. Fortunately, we were freshly stocked with enough seasick medicine for all of us. And it was a good thing we were, for the crossing was indeed choppy. A few of the more miserable travellers were in the bathrooms puking, but we all managed to survive with our stomach contents intact. Oh, and we played Scrabble on the ferry (again) and I won (again).

We arrived in Wellington at about 2:00 and even though everyone would have preferred to take naps, I made them all go to the museum instead. We walked through the shopping district and along the waterfront to get there. After the long ferry ride, it felt good to be out in the fresh air and walk around ... at first. Then we walked for another 2 hours inside the museum, and before long my feet hurt. Still, Erica liked the bush walk and the skeleton of the pygmy sperm whale hanging from the ceiling. Nolan liked the bugs (again) because it had big wetas. I liked the chocolate chip cookie at the cafe.

Back at the hotel after dinner, Curt took some cold medicine for his sniffly and sneezy nose, and combined with the seasick medicine, he fell asleep at 7:15 p.m. It's been a long day. It's been a busy week. It'll be good to be back home tomorrow.

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