Sorry for the brief hiatus — travelling across the globe can do that to you.

I have made it to the country in which my race is being held (still have about a 3-hour drive and a couple of adventures before I finally get to the site).  The trip over was fabulous – got up front on the leg from LA for the win.  I spent a long 9 hours in the Sydney terminal before boarding the flight into Wellington where Sam and Laura were waiting – just so happy to see their sweet faces!

I haven’t blogged since I travelled back east to attend my mother-in-law’s funeral in South Carolina.  Jesse and Glenda both spoke and did a lovely job memorializing her.

Ben and Glenda

The two kids and I got on a plane the very next day, flew to Atlanta, then within about 2 hours boarded planes to Paris, Colorado, and Los Angeles.  I trained another day in the warm California sun before getting on yet another plane, this one headed Down Under.

The first thing I saw in the Sydney airport - we have to make the Kiwis fat too

My bike and bag w/gear arrived safely in Sydney where I cruised the airport like a homeless person/grocery cart combo til I could check them on the flight to New Zealand.

I got lots of guesses on the case: musical instrument? sound equipment? surfboard?

Sam had texted me before leaving the states asking for the usual I-can’t-get-this-here-would-you-bring-me-some _______, so I got the requested items:  graham crackers, Nilla wafers, marshmallows, black beans – I got them all through New Zealand’s hyperactive biosecurity panel except the black beans.

Moment of truth - will it go back together?? The answer is: Absolutely - in the hands of the master.

No training today, but Sam and Laura and I will ride tomorrow, then we’re headed to Mangaweka where they were raft guides all summer and kayak a day or two.  I check into my rustic cabin on the lake on Sunday, and begin the countdown to Saturday.  Jesse will begin his long journey over next Monday.

Thank you for all your kind comments – Dora, Renee, Susan, Lisa – your words mean so much more than you can know.  I will have them memorized and at the ready when I’m in the water, on the bike, and on the run.

I’m enjoying myself in spite of the stress, and really and truly can’t wait for the race to get here.  I’ll have to check out the internet situation at Taupo to know how that’s going to look, but I’ll do the best I can with the blog.

Thanks for reading!