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Sat, Jul. 26th, 2008, 04:37 pm
Halfway Day

I'm halfway done with vet school! Yesterday my vet class had its huge Halfway Day outing to celebrate this fact. This was funded mostly by calendar sales, plus a few other fundraisers; in total we raised about $25,000.
Yesterday we piled onto two buses at 8 in the morning and were driven to Taupo, which took about four hours. About two-thirds of the class were dropped off in nearby Turangi for a day of whitewater rafting, while the rest (including myself) went to Taupo Airport for skydiving. I didn't actually jump because jumpers had to pay $100 of their own money (the fundraising only covered half the jump), which didn't seem worth it to me for a tandem since I've done 67 solo skydives. So instead I took over my friend Kay's really nice camera and scurried around taking a zillion pictures of everyone else getting ready to jump and landing with their tandem instructors. The weather was picture-perfect, which was really lucky since it had been cold and rainy every day for the last three weeks or so, and today was freezing cold again with sleet/snow.
After jumping the dropzone took us into Taupo in some vans; we dropped off luggage and checked into our hostels, then hit the town for a snack and took cabs out to the free hotpools in Spa Park. We had about forty minutes to lounge in the hot river before zipping back to the hostels to change for our dinner cruise. The people who had done rafting didn't get to town until 5:30, so they didn't have time for hotpools; I'm glad I went with the skydivers.
The cruise was sort of neat I guess, but not really that exciting since it was too cold to hang around in the outdoor areas, and the windows got too fogged to see anything from inside the boats, so really it was no different from having dinner in a hotel ballroom or something except that occasionally the floor rocked back and forth. The party itself was great though, lots of music and drinking and a really excellent meal followed by more music and lots, lots more drinking. We were on two boats that were tied together so there was sort of a loud boat and a quieter boat where you could actually have a conversation. The boats hung out until about 11pm and then took us back to shore, where most people continued partying at various bars in town until the wee hours. Should come as no surprise that I chose not to do this, so I went back to the hostel and slept.
Got up early this morning and braved the cold with a few other early birds to go get a nice breakfast at a waterfront cafe. I also convinced a few people to go get gelato with me later that morning, since I can't get gelato in Palmy. The gelato lady was very surprised to get any customers since there was freezing rain falling by that point. We walked back to the buses eating our delicious gelatos and got some very funny looks from people.
Bus ride back to Palmy took awhile since there was snow on the Desert Road, but it was fun anyway.
It is absolutely freezing in Palmy, I am huddled by the heater in my room waiting for the other heater to warm the kitchen up so I can go make some brownies instead of studying.

Sun, Jul. 27th, 2008 04:02 pm (UTC)
lemurllamamom: Woo Hoo

Sounds like fun! I'm glad you were able to use the hotpools. I was reading about the big storm that hit the North Island, I guess it was almost like a hurricane.

Only a wee bit more than 4 months until you come home for 6 weeks! Yay!