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Trip Prep & Visa Update!

April 30, 2010

So yesterday Ashley & I cruised through some New Zealand books in the travel section of Borders and then we hopped across the street to REI.  There we checked out tents, sleeping bags & pads, backpacks, and Ashley tried on some Vibrams 🙂
There’s a lot more intricacy with the backpacks than one would think.  Hip straps, shoulder straps, load straps, chest straps… there’s a strap for everything!  We had fun getting sized up, trying them on, taking them off, loading them up with pillows & sand bags, putting them back on and walking around the store.  With the weight on your hips instead of your shoulders and back, 25lbs. doesn’t feel like much.  Good stuff!

Here’s  Ashley’s take on the whole deal:

“I am hopelessly, crazy, head-over-heels in love.

With a backpack. Yes, folks, the Gregory Deva 60. Unfortunately, my dream pack already has a mate, the Gregory Baltoro 70. I’ll be happy to take the bloke that was attached to it earlier this afternoon.

Registering (or-pre registering, the cool scanner thing was not available) at REI is going to be one of my favorite pre-wedding activities. I couldn’t hold in the drool as we tried out tents, sleeping pads, backpacks, AND i tried on vibram five fingers and found out that I’m a size 38. I think it is still sinking in that in a little over 150 days i will have gotten married, given away all my belongings except what will fit in a 60 litre backpack, and have moved to New Zealand. What?!

Life can surprise you, or so it would seem.

My favorite part of today might have been the following conversation with Graham (the most helpful salesperson ever):

graham: Remember to put your lightest things on the bottom, like your sleeping bag and sleeping pad, then next come your clothes, then your shoes and cookware and stove.

me: well we probably won’t be getting a stove, and in between our stays when we are backpacking/camping we can just eat raw.

graham: well that will probably be really hard, its hard to go a week without a hot meal, and plus its hard to get all the nutrients you need…

me (in my head): he does not know who he is talking to…we TOTALLY got this! :P”

Overall, it was a splendid day… oh, and we just checked our visa status on New Zealand’s immigration website:

drum roll please……………………………………………………….APPROVED! 😀 and there was much rejoicing

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