Y’all can thank Mr. Mo, my beloved father-in-law, for this post. The other day I texted him, “Mr. Mo! You got a birthday coming up! Whatchu want?” He replied, “Blog posts!” Ha! For the past several weeks, Clay has been referring to this blog as “our constipated blog.” We are SO backed up with a gazillion pictures and stories to share, but no matter what we do, we just can’t seem to get the dadgum stuff out! Well, Happy Birthday, Mr. Mo. I guess your birthday was just the laxative we needed!

After bidding farewell to Napier, we headed down to Windy Wellington in order to take the Interislander ferry to the South Island. Come along with us!

Pretty much ALL of New Zealand is windy. And I ain’t talkin’ about summer breezes that make you feel fine and blow through the jasmine in your mind. I’m talking GALE FORCE WINDS. I was unaware that winds like this existed. Just look at how many different definitions Kiwis have for wind!
Beaufort Scale. It just so happened that our ferry crossing fell on a day with gale force (8) winds! Woohoo!
Taken up on Mt. Victoria in Wellington. Good luck keeping your hair all purdy and in place when you come to NZ, ladies. Normally, “feeling the wind in one’s hair” has a sexiness and a femininity associated with it. Quite the opposite of sexy and feminine here.
That there is our green goddess! We were waiting to drive it into the belly of the massive Interislander ferry. This “ferry” crosses the infamously turbulent Cook’s Strait multiple times a day, toting travellers back and forth between Wellington (on the North Island) and Picton (on the South Island). Of course, one could book a quick flight, but why would you do that?? It’s not every day that you can sit in this line for an hour, drive your car onto a cruise ship, and proceed upstairs to enjoy three and a half hours of beautiful views, gale force winds, and rough seas!

Quick side story about that hour long wait in the car. My apologies in advance for being uncouth Mimi! So right when we pulled up, I had to pee really bad, like I always do any time we go anywhere. The bathrooms were waaaaay down there by the ship. So I immediately hopped out and got my speed walk on to go do my bizness. Well, at the start of the trek back to the car, I got an itch…in a place that is not, hmmm, ladylike or appropriate to scratch in public. Let’s keep in mind here that I am already self-conscious about people staring at me or judging me in general. Now add to it that I’m walking back facing hundreds of cars head on, full of people just sitting there with nothing to do but wait and look around, and I have the most intense lady itch of my life. I kept trying to nonchalantly turn around and give it a quick scratch while pretending to observe the ship. Then I would turn around and continue my walk of shame. Every time I turned around to scratch, I was facing a dock worker who was driving an eighteen-wheeler that was loading things onto the ship. I am more than positive he knew what was going on. The rest of the onlookers probably thought I had turrets. Just when you think you’re looking alright and about to strut your stuff for a line of cars, trust me, God will humble you…often in the most hilarious of ways.


Macmama telling us “Love y’all!!!” before we board the ship.

It can fit lots of cars, trucks, and even trains!!
Stressing out about what all I needed out of the car before going up top to the deck. “Clay, do you want this bag of nuts? What about five massive water bottles? The ship’s water supply could be contaminated, you never know! Do you think we need toilet paper? We can’t forget the hand sanitizer! Wait! Don’t leave me down here!”
Waving to the passengers on a Wellington bound Interislander!
Before the wind started whipping us around.
Clay enjoying that bag o’ nuts I remembered to pack.
These mates were a hoot. Notice pretty much no one is out there on the deck at this point because the gales were somewhere between 38-40 mph. But they were bound and determined to sit out there and finish their cereal out of their Union Jack cereal bowls. You could tell they both really wanted to throw in the towel and go back inside, but neither of them wanted to be the first to wave the white flag.
About to take flight and join the seagulls riding the wind.
This girl’s skirt kept blowing up to her head, exposing her undies and shapely gams, giving the Union Jack cereal bowl lads some nice entertainment. Being part of the hippie entourage, I was actually surprised she had on any underwear at all.
This solo-traveling chica was the bomb diggity. She struck me as someone who had been planning her epic New Zealand adventure since childhood, and she had saved every last penny and was not about to miss one second of her long-awaited trip. She stayed up top the entire three and a half hours getting blasted by the wind and loving every second of it. We actually ran into her several days later when we were staying in Nelson. We were in Jens Hansen’s shop, who created The One Ring for The Lord of the Rings trilogy. She must have been a huge LOTR fan, because she came in asked if she could please hold the ring. When the jeweler got the box out, opened it, and placed it in her hands, I thought she was going to cry. She was so mesmerized. Don’t you just love passionate people? I sure do.

By the way, most Kiwis have taken the Interislander so many times that they just go straight to one of the indoor viewing lounges, order a beer, and watch whatever rugby match is on. Not us, the Union Jack boys, Hippie girls, or Lord of the Rings girl! We had to experience the fury and beauty of Mother Nature from the top deck!

This is not an exaggeration. It was that hard to walk against.
My hair stayed wild like this even after we went below deck to get a cuppa tea before the ship docked in Picton. I can read Clay’s face like a book. He was embarrassed for me, but he tried ever so hard to act like he wasn’t.
See? I could be the next Joker.
I sent this card to my mom shortly after our seafaring adventure. She is the queen of a perfect blow dry. She is the only one that can make my hair look good. I’m almost 30 and I still don’t know how to fix my wild hair.
One of the many pretty views along the ride. I’ve always wanted to live in a light house. So romantic sounding. So much solitude.
And all the people said: Amen.
I could not stop staring at the peacock who had nested on the top of this man’s head. Note to self…if you let your hair resemble a bird’s nest, a bird may just decide to make its home there.
Don’t worry, I got my handy antibacterial wipes out and sanitized every last one of them.
They live in that van she is walking towards. I’m sure it smells of flowers. And maybe weed? That’s just a wild guess. They brought to mind that scene in Forrest Gump when Forrest reconnects with Jen-nay during her hippie phase, and this perfect song plays…


And just like that, our South Island journey began…