Warning: this post contains graphic photos of gnarly wounds… that are fake. If you’d rather not see them anyhow, look away now.
We almost skipped Auckland completely. I’m sure it’s nice and all, but Mr. December and I couldn’t find any attractions that seemed unique to Auckland. There was a tower (not as tall as the CN tower,) a harbour (like so many other cities,) dolphin watching (did that in Akaroa)… the list goes on. But then—I found the one thing we hadn’t done or seen anywhere else: Weta Workshop.
Weta is an SFX company that does the effects, prosthetics, animatronics, and world-building for all kinds of movies. We took the tour. We got to see things like how animatronics work, how artists sculpt new creatures, the making of chain mail (out of plastic,) and what those scary creatures actually feel like. The whole thing was hands-on and interactive. We all loved it.
I had signed up—along with K and R—for a workshop after the tour. E was well below the age cutoff, but they let her come in and watch as we learned to create fake wounds. E came in handy, actually—I used her as a model for my work. K and R got really, really into it, and the results were quite impressive. So impressive, in fact, that three people inquired about what had happened—one of whom was a nurse, who assured R that her wound looked very realistic.
Against my better judgment (I took no part in it, I promise!) Mr. December and the kids called the grandparents and showed them the fake injuries while narrating a tale of woe and injury. They believed it until they saw that four of us had wounds and they all looked kind of similar.
NEWS FLASH: E ate something substantial that wasn’t French fries!
(Sun bursts through the clouds, chorus of angels sings.)
I flat-out refused to buy her French fries for dinner. Instead, I offered her shawarma, which she really liked when we were in Galapagos; she accepted a Turkish flatbread full of chicken shawarma (“And nothing else!”) and wolfed it down, only coming up for air and to tell me how excellent the food was. I’m going to call that a food win!
Tomorrow morning we fly to Singapore. I don’t know how we’ll be feeling when we get there or what the time difference is, so don’t panic if I don’t post tomorrow.