Well, I arrived in Christchurch. It was not without incident. The plane from Chicago to LA was delayed by over an hour and a half. Fortunately my flight from LA to Auckland was also delayed so I was able to actually make it onto the flight. We got into Auckland late so I didn't think I was going to make my flight to Christchurch, especially since I had to dick around at baggage claim because my bag didn't make it. I strolled over to the domestic terminal pretty leisurely since I figured my flight had already left but lo and behold, they were holding the flight since over half of it were USAP folks. So in the end, I made all of my flights and only ended up arriving 30 minutes later than I was supposed to (sans bag, of course).
There were a lot of USAP people on the flights. Many more than I expected. I only ran into two people that were actually part of the ANDRILL project. Christchurch is just as I remembered it. I'm actually staying at a bed and breakfast that I walked past numerous times when I was here last. It's a really nice place. The proprietor is really awesome; I think she is used to the Antarctic groups. She set up our shuttle for tomorrow and told us all about the notification system so we know when to be ready to head to the ice. The rooms are pretty tiny--just a bed, a night stand, and a little chair. There is a community bathroom and shower. They have a lounge (where I'm presently sitting) and there is a nice dining room where they serve breakfast (eggs and bacon!).
Once we got checked in, I decided to show John Jackson, my roommate down on the ice, around Christchurch a little bit. We walked down to Cathedral square and then grabbed a bite to eat at the asian food mall that I found last time I was here. After eating airline food, the khmer style curry tasted fantastic. And then we wandered down to the Canterbury museum because there is a superstition that you have to rub the bust of Amundsen's nose for good luck before you head to the ice. So we did that and got pictures.
Well I'm going to head out and perhaps take a nap. I'm trying to stay awake to kick the jet lag, but we'll see how well that turns out for me.
PS: Cut me some slack on how crappy I look in the picture. I haven't been able to shower yet owing to the fact that my bags didn't make it and I've been traveling for 28 hours.