Tag Archives: Pizza

When In Wanaka

After spending a few months on the island continent Australia I was itching to spread my wings. I had a semester break at the end of September/beginning of October and I knew where I wanted to go: New Zealand.

The scary part was that I was going to be doing this 100% on my own. I wasn’t going to meet anyone there that was part of my university or study abroad group. I was doing this for me. It was a huge step for me to travel and make plans on my own and it gave me confidence for future travel adventures. In my head I already knew that I wanted to go and see some of the Lord of the Rings filming locations, so I made it a mission to do just that. I decided to start my adventure on the South Island or Te Waipounamu in the city of Queenstown and I booked a day tour that would take me around to various locations used in the filming of the Lord of the Rings films.

An odd connection from Brisbane to an overnight in Melbourne to an AM Sydney flight and running through the Sydney airport to catch a flight, then a few hours staring out a Qantas window, a movie about a Scottish cyclist (The Flying Scotsman) and a crappy Robin Williams movie (License To Wed) later … I landed in Queenstown.

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I had arranged to be driven to Wanaka via a shuttle bus. the only problem was that I didn’t know/remember the name of the bus. This was before the smartphone era so I had to boot up my laptop and then try and find WiFi at the airport and STILL, I was stuck. I knew when I was going to be picked up, but I didn’t know by who. When the time came to be picked up I wandered around the shuttles and saw one. I guess I looked lost because the driver immediately asked if I was going to Wanaka and if I was staying at the Minaret Lodge B&B. I was relieved that he named the right place! I handed him the money I owed and off I went.

I stared out the window and took in the beautiful scenery. I hadn’t seen anything like it before. Everything was so green and pristine. Truly beautiful.

The bus snaked up a windy road and when we reached the top, I was surprised to see snowflakes fall lightly on the window. It was nearly October. It was supposed to be transitioning from Spring into Summer. Brisbane was warm-to-hot nearly every day. I also hadn’t seen snow fall since I was about 10 or 11 years old. I nearly forgot what it looked like.

One-by-one, and sometimes more, people were being dropped off at their respective hotels until it was me and two other people left. The sun had gone down long ago leaving only the orange glow of the streetlights to cut through the darkness. The bus pulled up to a driveway covered in tiny pebbles and I was let out. I was greeted by a kind woman, who was also the owner, who showed me to my Hobbit-sized room.

After traveling all that way, I had nearly forgotten that I had booked a room that would make me feel like a hobbit.

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After getting settled the owner asked if I wanted to head into town to get some dinner, since she was heading there. I would have to walk back, but I didn’t mind so I took her up on it and she dropped me off right next to the restaurant she recommended to me: The Cow. Situated right next to the Post Office, The Cow Pizza & Spaghetti House, is truly one of the best pizzas I have ever eaten. It’s a warm and inviting place full of history and great pizza. I sat down, ordered one of the local seasonal beers and of course a pizza.

I don’t recall a time before this where I went out to dinner by myself. It was nice. I was able to take in everything around me. I felt the warmth of the wood fire, I heard the locals talk and I saw people young and old enjoying the ambiance, each other and the food. You can’t beat that.

At the end of my meal I noticed a few t-shirts hanging around and I asked the waitress which one looked better on me. She told me the tan one and it’s still a shirt that I own and wear to this day.

On my way back to my room I took the road parallel to Roys Bay and you know what I heard? Nothing. It was a silent, quiet night and I was able to enjoy the serenity of a nighttime lakeside walk on the aptly named Lakeside Rd as I made my way back to my Hobbit-sized room.

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“Jaw With John” – It’s Time To Bring Out The Big Balloons, As Katy Perry Said

Ten years ago my friends and I were all reaching a milestone birthday. There were surprise parties, dinners and girls’ nights out to celebrate. Because I’m the youngest in the group, my birthday arrived several months after everyone else’s. When my big day came, I received no acknowledgment at all — no lunch, no calls, not even an email. I was disappointed and hurt.

Now another milestone birthday is on the horizon. I’ve received my first party invitation. I don’t want to be petty, but I don’t feel like celebrating with a group of people who forgot about me when it was my turn. I also don’t want to dredge up something that happened 10 years ago. Should I just smile, attend the parties and plan to celebrate by myself at the end of the year? — B-day Blues

Dear Blues:

You have to mention this to your friends. Celebrating your birthday alone is awful. I’ve been there. I was hundreds of miles away from home and I was sent a cake and pizza to eat/share with my friends only, for some reason (they had class or were “busy”), I was eating the cake and pizza alone. A month or two later some of those people celebrated someone’s half birthday … are you shitting me? I brought it up – I think rather loudly – and the next year they literally set my floor on fire in the shape of a “J”. If you don’t bring it up you will be eating cake and pizza alone and that’s nothing to celebrate.

Here’s a Katy Perry song to cheer you up:

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“Jaw With John” – I’ve Smelled Worse

A few days ago I was at the airport gate waiting for our departure when a woman with a bag from a fast-food place came up and sat in our midst. She pulled out her burger and fries and ate them, then got up and left the area. (I couldn’t see if she went to her gate or found another seat.)

I exchanged looks with a couple of the other people waiting, as we all were aware of her aromatic meal.

Likewise, movie theaters now sell pizza and nachos in addition to popcorn, and the smell of some of this stuff is nauseating, especially if one hasn’t eaten in a while and doesn’t indulge in greasy fried foods. Is there a nice way to ask someone to eat somewhere else, or is this another convention that we simply have to live with? — Peter

Dear Peter:

Way to go with using your, supposedly, real name dude.

If you don’t like the smell then you can move. Unless it’s a designated “No Eating” area then you have no beef here. See what I did there? And please, stop trying to be all high and mighty by saying you don’t “indulge in greasy fried foods.” You’re not better than me or anyone else who does. Bringing it up only makes you look like a twat.

It’s a public space, the woman has the right to eat what she wants, where she wants. I am willing to bet that the eating area was fully occupied so she was just looking for a place to sit and eat before her flight. And she found one near you. Also, you “exchanged looks”? What the [expletive deleted] does that mean? Congratulations, your collective noses work. It’s not like she whipped out a day-old tuna and started cutting it up. It was a burger and fries. Chillax.

As for movie theatres, again, if you don’t like the smell then move. I have seen people bring in Chinese food and when they open that Styrofoam container I smell it and go “Gah, that’s not what I want to smell!” So what do I do? I bear it, because I know that it will only last a few minutes. Then I stuff my face with popcorn. Asking someone to sit somewhere else because you are bothered by its smell is a dick move. You wouldn’t do that at a restaurant would you? Um, excuse me, Miss, could you eat your Bloomin’ Onion at another table? The smell is bothering me. No! That would NEVER happen! Suck it up for a few minutes. You’ll survive.

 

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“Jaw With John” – Sounds Like Middle Child Syndrome To Me

When do parents quit paying for their children? We live frugally and put all three of our children through expensive schools so they could graduate debt-free. My son is 33 and getting married for the first time. His fiancee was married before.

They decided to get married at an expensive all-inclusive resort. Our son thinks we should pay for his rehearsal dinner for all 35 wedding guests. He says if we don’t do this, it won’t be fair to him.

We paid for the rehearsal dinner for my eldest son 10 years ago. We gave my daughter $5,000 for her wedding. We both had well-paying jobs at the time. We also spent $18,000 for attorneys for our eldest son’s divorce (he risked losing custody of his kids).

We are both retired now and living off Social Security and savings. My son has a well-paying job and his fiancee is interviewing for jobs. When will this stop? — Strapped Parents

Dear Strapped:

“When will this stop?” When you’re dead.

As far as the rehearsal dinner goes, I feel that he’s old enough – and you said he has a “well-paying job” – that he can fit the bill for the dinner. He’s already put the event at an expensive resort so why must you now pay. Isn’t the Father of the Bride supposed to pay for these things? Or was Steve Martin leading me on for all these years? I don’t know wedding protocol so this goes beyond my expertise, but I do know when someone is being taken advantage of, and that someone is you and your husband.

He knows you’re retired and on limited funds and yet still asks for moolah. Is he a middle child? This sounds very middle childish to me. He’s the last one married, wants the same that his brother and sister had, wants to make up for it by getting what he wants, blah blah blah.

Tell your son how you feel and maybe you guys can compromise. If not, order pizza or something and see how it goes.

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