18:42 - Auckland Airport - Drove up from Lake Taupo this morning/early afternoon; we drove more than 2400 km in New Zealand, and I enjoyed every bit of it. We're now waiting to board a flight from Auckland to Los Angeles. It's going to take a long time to get home to SF!
13:33 - LAX - Strangely enough, it is now earlier on January 15th, in Los Angeles. Los Angeles seems like a nightmare after being in lush New Zealand, where everything just seems to make sense. In our week over there, we only met two or three people who weren't jovial in mood. Here in LA, a thick red-brown layer of smog is sitting over the valley, and everything outside is yellow and brown. Everyone (including me) is chatting away on cell phones. In addition, all checked baggage is now scanned, and a good number of them are hand-inspected. From behind the barrier I watched them fumble around with my underwater housing, trying to figure out what it was. A warm welcome home. :)