As we wait to clear New Zealand customs at Auckland International Airport, the clerks go through a shift change.  The large ginger (redhead) that relieves the official in our line has chops that look like flames jumping off of his cheeks.  We plunk down our passports and commence the small talk.  “Whee-are you’s two head’n?” he says.  “We aren’t quite sure yet, we are going to figure it out along the way”, I respond.  He counters, “Huh-ave you’s booked a room er hired a car?”  Nug chimes in, “Not yet, but we will when we get through customs.”  The orangutan jumps on his soapbox, “Do you’s ah-know what wee-ould happen tah me if I pulled thee-at maneuver in thee States?”  Ummmm….no…they always tell us “Welcome home” Nug says while I pinch her so she doesn’t say anything else.  It must have been a rhetorical question because he’s not listening at this point.   “They would puh-ut me on thee next flight back home.”  I see Nug starting to bubble up and I pray that I can keep a lid on my little freckled firecracker of a wife. “Have you’s buh-een to New Zealand before?”   We retort in unison, “Yes, and this is what we did last time!”  He thumps his chest for another 5 minutes before stamping our passports and letting us through.  We spend 15 minutes getting sorted and find a place off site of the airport that will rent a car for half the price of any car rental agency in the Auckland airport.  They pick us up and take us to their office which smells like my armpits if I neglected to shower or wear deodorant for a week.  We get a station wagon riddled with cigarette burns on the seats and as we soon find out (while driving on the highway of course) a thriving spider population.  One pops down in front of my face and I squeal like a 5 year girl while it flails around and Nug yells for me to stay on the road.  I’m able to fend off the attacker successfully as we navigate the Spider-mobile towards Raglan.

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