Apologies for the delayed posting -- I have had nearly no internet access while in Christchurch.
This log starts with flying -- lots of flying. I flew from Minneapolis to Dallas to Los Angeles to Sydney to Christchurch. For me, I left at 1PM on Tuesday in Minneapolis and arrived in Christchurch at about 3PM on Thursday (the 25th) in New Zealand for a total of about 32 hours of travel. Despite NZ being 18 hours ahead of Minneapolis, I'm going to call this (long) day Day 1 for the purposes of this edition of the blog.
Once I made it through NZ customs and to the hotel (completely knackered, by the way, since I slept very little on the over-Pacific leg of the flight), I met up with the rest of the crew that arrived the day prior. For dinner, we took a bus down to the City Centre area of Christchurch to find a brewpub that Jeff had picked out. Christchurch was quite badly hit by an enormous earthquake in 2008 (?) and subsequent aftershocks. A large part of the City Centre area, in particular the older buildings, were rendered unsafe by the quakes. Walking through this area to get to dinner was a bit saddening. On the bright side, the place we ended up at (Pomeroy's, if you're ever in Christchurch) was a treat, with excellent house-brewed beer and great old-world ambiance.
No pictures today -- the only one I took was a blurry one of downtown Sydney from the plane, and not really worth posting!