Rachel and I just returned from a trip to New Zealand with a stopover in Hollywood. And though we live in a visual culture where pictures take precedence, here’s a brief textual rundown of what we did:

Threw axes. Won a public pushup contest with a bachelor party fairy. Got tattooed. 6 flights, 7 hotels, and 2 ferries across 18 days. Hung out in Hollywood on Oscar night and saw no celebrities, but then immediately on arrival in NZ we nearly knocked over “Daryl” from “The Walking Dead” (and we paid down his tattoo tab for him). Consumed and filtered absurd quantities of NZ wine and flat whites. Caught up with old friends and our first babysitter. Spotted our one-time hand-drum teacher (nickname: “Ta Pow”). Survived left-side-of-the-road roundabout driving. Went to a lantern festival with a breathtaking, up-close moon. Stole the biggest lemon from Mel Brooks’s tree in Malibu (seriously). Saw our newest nephew for the first time (he wasn’t impressed, even though we gave him the lemon). Spotted dolphins, seals, stingray, two Kiwis, a Sun Bear, and a representative of the world’s smallest monkey species. Gave a talk on strategy to a small room full of NZ business-folk. Crossing the International Date Line meant we lost February 13, 2020 forever, but then February 26 sprawled into a 45-hour-long ultra-day. Gathered seashells and found a marvelous piece of obsidian (that’s Dragonglass to you “Game of Thrones” fans). Became (digital) card-soldiers in an amazing Alice in Wonderland exhibit. We both ran a long stretch of the coastal trail in Abel Tasman National Park. And in the most remote part of the world’s most remote country, we looked up and saw the Milky Way and more stars crammed into a night’s sky than we thought possible.

Most importantly, we did all these together.

(Except the tattoo part, that was all Rach. Needles are scary.)

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