Tasting Notes: Goldie Vineyards

Goldie Vineyards

I have a complicated relationship with wine. I probably don’t need to explain why I like it, but the flip-side is more subtle. It’s just that its impossible not to sound like a snotty sophisticate when talking about wine. I feel like every time I open my mouth I’m saying “mmmyes, Alfred, I’ll have the ninety-nine Chateauneuf du-Pape.  Post haste!” Why can’t I talk about the way something smells without sounding like an affected debutante? Wine is way too wonderful to have artificial barriers erected around it. Some producers agree with me, and I’ll go out of my way to support them.  Goldie Vineyards on Waiheke Island is one of those producers.

Goldie came recommended, and was steps away from our afternoon work at the burger truck.  We checked out the website and found they offer tastings for just $5! Giddyup. This was way more our pace than some of the ritzier places on Waiheke.

We coasted down the dirt drive and tossed our bikes against a nearby tree.  Hmm, the tasting room was empty.  Not just of clientele, but staff too. No problem, we’ll find someone that can help us.  We hunted around a bit until we found Heinrich, who greeted us warmly.  He was a young man in his early thirties, hair unkempt and wearing a weathered sweatshirt.  We felt right at home.

Heinrich, whom we later found out was actually the winemaker at Goldie as well, expertly guided us through four generous tastes of wine, detailed below.  More than just a wine tasting though, we got to know him a bit.  He and his wife emigrated here and he was interested in our plan, or lack of plan as it were. The conversation veered to and from the wine, and we learned not just about what was in the bottle, but what went into making it.

Chardonnay (2011) – awesome. very smooth, buttery, oaky. High praise from Stina: “There’s no chardonnay I’d rather drink.”

Rosé (2011) – Good. Big strawberry nose. Almost candy-cane on the nose, but not an unpleasantly sweet taste.  A totally different rosé.

Syrah (2011) – Delicious. Light bodied, heavy vanilla and smoke nose. Smooth, silky tannins. My favorite.

Cab/Merlot (2010) – Good. Medium/full body. benchmark of the style. Plum and dark berries. Soft and velvety. “Silky.”

Heinrich highlighted the difference in body between the two reds. It turns out 2010 was a very wet year on Waiheke, while 2011 experienced a drought. I prefer lighter reds anyway.  I loved the syrah and found the 2010 very good.

The Goldie experience was excellent.  We felt welcome and at home.  Maybe because it was a weekday in the winter, but it was an uncommonly casual wine tasting experience.  Wine shouldn’t always be so stuffy and sophisticated.  It’s a beverage, not an investment opportunity.  Well, I suppose for some its both.  I sincerely hope its not only the latter.  But many vineyards strive to achieve a certain caché that drives consumers like me away.  I’d rather feel welcomed than part of some exclusive club.  Goldie does that perfectly.


Bouldering on Waiheke


The gate was unlocked, but it still felt like we were breaking the rules.

“There aren’t any signs saying ‘Private Property’, so I guess we can just let ourselves in?” I said to Christina.

“This is the right spot?”

“I think so.”

It turned out that we were indeed in the right spot, the right spot in many ways.  We’d just entered Stony Batter Historic Preserve on Waiheke Island, a short ferry ride from Auckland, New Zealand. We felt so privileged to go bouldering in one of the most beautiful places we’d ever seen, it seemed illegal.

Boulders dotted the green pasture as if they had rained down from the heavens that afternoon. There were panoramic views to the sea, with waves crashing on rock outcroppings and peninsulas hundreds of feet below. Clouds rolled over jagged volcanic islands in the distance while tiny sailboats bobbed miles away as they drifted from island to island. It was enough to bring even the hairiest of men to tears.

I’ll be honest – the climbing was good, not great. But it didn’t matter.  Anyone complaining about sending average problems in this kind of setting needs to reexamine their priorities. That’s not to say the climbing was bad – several problems on the Thumb Boulder and in the Zoo Area were great fun.  But they were the exception rather than the norm. Check out this guide for in-depth directions and problem descriptions. Many thanks to the authors of that document.

Access of this kind shouldn’t be taken for granted.  In another part of Waiheke Island, what’s said to be the most romantic beach in New Zealand has been shuttered from public overland access. Reasoning depends on who you ask, but some say that a native tree species that had been introduced to the property surrounding the beach was threatened. Stony Batter, where we’re climbing in a field populated by sheep and cows on a site rich with World War II history, could easily suffer a similar fate.  And would it be wrong?

If indeed those trees were being threatened then it was right to limit damage. Humans make enough of an impact on the natural world.  If we see an opportunity to curb the damage, we should seize it.

The same story can be told at any climbing area.  Sections of the Gunks are perpetually closed due to nesting birds.  Rumney State Park is home to a rare type of fern, limiting access to a main sport climbing wall. And this is exactly how it should be.

It takes buy-in on every level for access to remain open.  City officials must see the benefit, property owners must take pity, and climbers must follow the rules. Oh, and it helps to put your money where your mouth is by donating to the Access Fund.


A Day in the Life: Waiheke Eco-Lodge

The Eco-Lodge

As you may know, we’ve thrown off the shackles of our former life for a simpler existence trading work for room and board in New Zealand.  Sounds nice, right? But what does that mean, practically? How do we spend the hours between sunrise and sunset?  If you’re wondering how we go about our daily lives as WWOOFers, this is the post for you. I present a new series here, called “A Day in the Life.”  As we move from place to place – roughly every two weeks for up to two years – we’ll document an average day to give you a better idea of what it’s like to do this.  First, a bit about our surroundings.

Waiheke Island is a 40 minute ferry ride from Auckland, which is the most populous city in New Zealand and main entry/exit for international travelers. Locals tell me the island was settled by farmers seeking a self-sustaining, utopian ideal.  Some of the crunchy flavor still exists, but is increasingly being pushed out by the rich. Satellite images show opulent homes with helicopter pads adjacent to old farmhouses.  On summer weekends, the island fills with tourists from the city seeking refuge.  Imagine Martha’s Vineyard in a jungle, and you’ve got Waiheke.

We’re working for Sue and Dave, the owners and operators of the Crescent Valley Eco-Lodge.  The Eco-Lodge is a small, secluded bed and breakfast in a less-traveled part of the island that offers guests rest and relaxation in an earth-friendly environment. They compost extensively, use a rainwater collection system, and grow a lot of their own food. As a personal testament to their methods, in a week here we’ve produced about ten small pieces of actual trash – far less than a full bag – and nearly all empty Tim-Tam wrappers. Yes, in one week we’ve developed a crippling chocolate biscuit addiction. I’m not ashamed.

In exchange for a few hours of work per day Dave and Sue provide us with a simple cabin, breakfast, and lunch. A average day goes something like this:

We wake up between 7:30 and 8:30am; no alarm is necessary because our small outbuilding doesn’t have a toilet. I like to think of it as getting up “naturally.” The mornings are a bit chilly here, so we get bundled up in our fleece and long-underwear and walk a few feet down the hill to the lodge, where Sue has already set out our breakfast.  It varies day-to-day (awesomely), so one day may be muesli and yogurt and the next eggs and bacon.  I love the surprise. We eat a leisurely breakfast in the dining room of the lodge while reading, writing blog posts, editing photos or wasting time on the web.  It’s just like home!

A surprising benefit of the time zone difference is the flow of email.  Because the US workday ends at 9am our time, I can check (and usually delete most of) my email in the morning and I’m free from the slow trickle of messages throughout the day.  Usually when I check again at in the evening there’s nothing new. This is ideal.

At 10am we split up to do our daily tasks.  Sue and Dave also run a catering company that operates a food truck, so one of us is usually assigned cashier/sous chef duty on the truck.  The other stays at the homestead and does prep work, landscaping, or cleaning around the lodge.  Landscaping can be as easy as pulling weeds or as hard as hauling buckets of rocks a few hundred feet up the hill.  Prep work has been: cutting a bucket of onions (oh, the tears!), making dozens of burgers, or similarly monotonous tasks. We both prefer the truck. Sue and Dave seem to know everyone on the island, so it’s cool to meet all the locals that stop by for lunch. I’d argue that the landscaping work is more rewarding though; it’s nice to see immediate results.

At two o’clock the prep/landscaper person rides (coasts, really) one of the rickety bikes that are available for our use down the hill to the truck for lunch.  We serve delicious burgers (chicken, venison, or beef), sausages (boar or venison), and other very meaty things. So far, the venison burger is my favorite, but I haven’t worked my way through the entire menu just yet. I learned just yesterday that venison has less than half the fat of beef, which makes eating it every day a bit less disgusting.  A bit.

At Onetangi Beach with friends Javier and Leandro from Argentina.

After lunch we’re free to explore the island or relax for a few hours. We’ve become fond of the wine, the beaches, and the general beauty of Waiheke, so even sitting back at the lodge and enjoying the day is often enough. We’re constrained to a smallish portion of the island by the aforementioned rickety-bike-transportation-situation, but still, we’ve found plenty to do and plenty of joy in not doing a whole lot.

Dinners, as Stina mentioned in a previous post, consist of lots of fresh veggies from the market and a few ingredients from the garden.  Every few days she’ll ask me to go pick some lemons or rocket or rosemary, a task that I find immensely pleasurable.  I’ll always be amazed that a tiny seed can sprout into something delicious and nutritious with a little water, sun, and soil. It’s magical.  So I’m happy to gather what we need for dinner; knowing it came from the ground a few steps away makes the food taste better.

The sun sets around 5:30pm and we eat dinner soon after – it feels right to eat just after dark.  By nine we’re usually yawning and crawling under a heap of blankets in our humble little cabin up the hill, with a book that we’ll try to read for a few minutes before nodding off reluctantly.

It’s a simple life, but one to which we’ve adapted easily.  The crowds of the city seem galaxies away.  Now we take pleasure in providing food for ourselves and others; the most basic and fundamental of joys.


Rethinking Seasonally

In New York, eating seasonally is cool. It is a choice that food enthusiasts, myself included, make. Sometimes. When we feel like it. But when the only thing at the farmers market is turnips, cabbages, and onion, it is off to Whole Foods to get the rest of what is on the list. In New Zealand, eating out of season is a luxury. I first noticed this when we were grocery shopping in Auckland, and two red peppers rang up as $9.98. WTF?! I begrudgingly asked the cashier to take one of the peppers out of my bag, while I  had silent adult tantrum in my head: But I waaaaant it.

I really should have removed both from my bag, but I was caught off guard and being stubborn, so I kept one. One stupid, $5 capsicum. However, this was more than just red peppers being expensive. This was cramping my dinner stye. I, like many people, express myself through food. I like to make good food for other people to say “thank you,” or “I like you, let’s be friends.” And most of us who enjoy making food have our go-to recipes and ingredients that are relatively inexpensive, easy to prepare and taste delicious. Red peppers, specifically roasted red peppers, are one of my staple ingredients. They make my dinner distinct. And now, I had to make dinner without them. (Wah.)

Well, we are on an island. Everything here is expensive. Especially things that are not grown or made here. And as it turns out, red peppers are summer vegetables and it is winter here. If you want them, you are going to have to pay for them to come over from Mexico. Or wherever they come from.

Which is how it should be, isn’t it? There is plenty of produce that I buy year round from Whole Foods and it doesn’t even dawn on me that it isn’t the season. I mean, strawberries are obvious because there is no replicating a perfectly sweet June strawberry. But how about eggplant? Or Spinach? Or bananas? They are amongst my staples, yet I am unaware of their growing season because I can get them for the same price and they have about the same taste, year round.

Until I came here and found that I can’t afford to cook the way I did in New York.

Another curve ball came when we found out that our WWOOF hosts only provide us breakfast and lunch. Usually 3 meals are provided, but we are only doing about a half a days work each day and therefore are only provided 2 meals. This makes sense, and the details of the work trade agreement do vary from host to host. However, making dinner each night was an unexpected expense.

We hit the local grocery store in search of ingredients that are equal parts healthy, hearty, tasty and inexpensive.  In New York, I would find recipes and make my grocery list before heading off to the store, whereas here we are going sans list and searching for ingredients that fit our criteria. Our first haul included onions, bean sprouts, garlic, carrots, broccoli, white button mushrooms, pasta, pasta sauce, parmesean cheese, a pineapple, Tim Tams and a bottle of wine, all for $45. We have supplemented that with rocket (a variety of arugula), lemons and rosemary from the garden and the occasional butter, sausage or eggs left over from breakfast and stretched it for 5 meals.

Big pasta dinner for us and our host family. Can’t go wrong with bacon and lemon!

$45/5 dinners= $9 per dinner, $9/2= $4.50 per person. Not bad.

Cooking here is a real lesson in back to the basics. No spices other than salt and what is in the garden. No fancy ingredients, just what’s in season and what’s cheap. The challenge then is to make it taste good. We have lucked out so far, with some hearty salads and pasta with veggies, with just one flop when I tried to incorporate some baked beans into a stir fry and wound up with barbecue sauce flavored bean sprouts, but we don’t need to dwell on that one.

So while it is taking some adjusting, shopping and eating what is in season, and what is affordable, feels a bit like an experiment, or a challenge. A challenge that we are totally dominating.


Wine on Waiheke

Our noble steeds having a drink.

Waiheke Island is a center of boutique New Zealand wine production. Its climate is similar to a Mediterranean island, with summer average temperatures slightly warmer than Bordeaux and Napa, but a lower deviation from the mean means less variation from early to late summer. In other words, its warmer on Waiheke in late spring and early fall, but cooler in the height of summer.

Due to the island’s small size (only 35.5 square miles) and rough, volcanic terrain, none of its producers are able to make large quantities of wine. So they focus on quality over quantity.  Of course, this means that very little wine leaves the island and even less leaves the country.  Good luck finding a Waiheke wine in your local shop.  If you want to try it, you’ve got to come to the source.

Our day of tasting began with a quick trip to the Ostend market, where we found locally produced crafts and artisanal goods.  We stopped by the burger truck run by our hosts Dave and Sue for a few sandwiches to-go and set out on our bikes toward Onetangi.

Our first stop was Obsidian vineyards, known for its Montepulciano varietal.  And unfortunately they were still in winter hibernation.  We took a peek into their tasting room, and it was reminiscent of some tiny producers we’d visited in the Southern Rhone a few summer ago, all the way down to the intimidating price list scrawled on a chalkboard. Oh well, one more added to the to-do list. Fortunately, Obsidian is adjacent to Miro vineyards and we tramped through the mud separating their fields up to Casita Miro, their café/tasting room.

Miro was a great experience.  The young barman (who was headed to a degree in viticulture the following year) guided us through a tasting of five of their wines, from rosé all the way to dessert wine.  Each was unique and excellent.  The rosé was light and dry, very delicate and floral.  A great wine for the beach.  We learned that they grow merlot grapes for the express purpose of making their rosé, while most vineyards use the leftover from their full-bodied red blends as an afterthought.  The care showed.

Their most interesting wine was a syrah/viognier blend.  I can’t recall ever drinking (or even hearing of) a blend of red and white grapes, but this was very good.  It had heavy spearmint and pepper on the nose, and a crazy chocolate/clove finish.

Make Miro a stop on any Waiheke wine tour.  It’s a bit out of the way, but a few hundred yards down the hill on Seaview Road there’s a nice public picnic spot with a breathtaking view overlooking Onetangi Bay.  From there you can also walk down a path to the beach and find very fine, soft sand and calm surf.  There are beach front bars and cafés just steps away.  Charley Farley’s came recommended, though we never made it there. After you’ve had your fill of the beach and are ready for more wine, take Onetangi Road back toward where you began in Ostend and visit one of the three vineyards clustered together on the way.

Stonyridge is one of the oldest (established in 1982) and definitely the most well-known producer on Waiheke.  This is probably because its Larose Bordeaux blend has been rated higher than Chateau Mouton Rothschild by people that are paid to do this. Heavier reds aren’t generally my taste, but if the simple malbec/merlot blend we tasted was an indication of their higher-ticket wines, I can believe the hype.  A taste of the Larose was available for $15, so don’t forget your credit card.

Neighboring Stonyridge are Wild on Waiheke, which also features a brewery and some outdoor activities, and Te Motu, which was another early-80s pioneer of wine on the island. You could easily spend a few hours here without getting back into the car.

Waiheke Island wines may not be household names, but that’s not for lack of quality. The producers that we visited make tremendous wines in the little space that they have.  If you care about wine, it should be a stop on your New Zealand itinerary. Add in the fact that the only way to taste these wines is at the vineyards where they’re made, and its a can’t-miss.  Just think of how jealous your wine-nerd friends at home will be!


Waiheke Island is 40 minutes from Auckland by ferry ($35 round trip).  Car ($80) and scooter ($50) rentals are available a short walk from the ferry.  There’s also an hourly bus (up to $3.70) that runs from the ferry landing to many of the island’s vineyards.  The population quadruples on summer weekends, so if you want to escape the crowds, come weekdays or off-season.


Waiheke Island Photo Gallery

We’ll have an in-depth update on exploring Waiheke Island as soon as we’ve had a chance to, well, explore it.  For now here are a few pictures from our first few days on the island.


Couch Surfing

Laptop time in Auckland-4011

We found Jon through the Couch Surfing website, but didn’t meet him until Friday morning right after arriving in Auckland. He showed us around, gave us a set of keys, introduced us to Leandro, another traveler staying at his apartment, and then took off for the weekend to celebrate his neice’s birthday. He left us with a booklet that said “The Bridge…” on the front of it, with some information about how to work the television and his restaurant recommendations in the area.

Who does that? Just hands over his home to complete strangers?

Over the course of the next five days I saw exactly what he meant by “The Bridge.” As travelers arrived in Auckland and dragged their inevitably jet lagged bodies through the door, Jon’s apartment served as a bridge from one leg of a journey to the next. It was a crash pad for those getting off the plane, a computer lab where I could Skype with my sister, a writing center for Leandro to work on his resume, a hot shower and comfy couch for watching the Olympics, and most importantly a friendly place in a new city. It quickly felt like home, and our fellow travelers began to feel much like room mates, instead of strangers sharing a roof.

Javier moved to New Zealand to open a PaKua studio. Here, he gives us a lesson in acrobatics.

By Monday, there were seven of us staying in Jon’s two bedroom apartment. Zach and I representing the US of A, Leandro and Javier from Argentina, Paul from Russia, Vinnie from Brazil and of course, Jon from New Zealand. During the day, each of us went about our business, opening bank accounts, getting cell phones, hiking volcanos, Skyping in Portuguese (that wasn’t me), doing laundry, and exchanging money. As cocktail hour rolled around, each one of us trickled back to the apartment with a bottle or two of wine in hand. Obviously, no one would rather spend cocktail hour in a bar with strangers.

From the time the first glass was poured, to when dinner was served, until after the plates were cleared, the “bullshit conversation,” as Jon called it, flowed. “What guides your travels? Your mind, your heart or your soul?” Jon asked over roast chicken and pinot noir. “Is it reason? Do you choose what makes most sense, or is it love?” My initial response was that the answer can’t be categorized like that, but before I could express why I didn’t like the question, the Brazilian had already started answering. And thank god, because the conversation that ensued was thoughtful and revealed a little more about each personality at the table, whereas my response was dismissive and would have squashed the conversation.

Paul (standing) made churro- style fritters for dessert, which were promptly slathered in nutella and devoured.

I get why Jon hosts couch surfers. He creates a warm, welcoming space for people who need it and is responsible for something that other people are going to remember forever- more so than anything else Auckland has to offer. And at the same time, he gets to participate in something really, really fun and meet all sorts of new people. I’m looking forward to doing the same when I get home.


Good Morning!

Sunrise from Prince’s Wharf in downtown Auckland


School Kills Creativity

While enjoying a post-workout glass of wine and some sweets this afternoon, the conversation among my fellow couchsurfers (there are six of us here) turned to education.  Javier, a kind young Argentinian, suggested we watch Sir Ken Robinson’s related TED talk.

It has absolutely nothing to do with NZ, but a lot to do with why we’re here. It’s also bit long (20 minutes), and a bit old (2006), but it’s filled with hilarious jokes, amusing anecdotes and, of course, inspiring and eloquent speech. Highly recommended:

Personally, I’m just now starting to realize what I want to “be.” I certainly wasn’t ready to make that decision as a freshman in college, as most American students are encouraged to do. So I bounced from one course of study to another, and another again, and finally just settled on something that would get me that piece of paper in a reasonable amount of time. And I’ve never used the material I studied since.

During our recent move into storage/massive purge of old things, I was finally able to throw out my old econometrics and public policy tomes.  This was cathartic — I could finally admit to myself that no, I am not and will never be a professional economist or politician. Thank god(s). It’s not that college was useless, I learned some critical thinking and social skills.  Oh, and I met my beautiful and wonderful-in-every-way girlfriend. So I think of her every month when I’m sending in that student loan check.

But I didn’t make the most of college because I didn’t have any direction.  I wish I’d taken creative writing, foreign language, and public speaking courses. Of course it’s easy to say that now, but if I wasn’t forced into a track, any track, and rather encouraged to take a general course of study I would have inevitably hit a few of those by chance. Sure, I had some elective options, but I was so burnt out by heavy academic courses that I took bullshit like Human Sexuality and Sacred Music because they didn’t sound difficult and fit into my drinking schedule.

Back to Robinson’s point, I was never a particularly creative kid.  In fact, I rebelled against art and music classes because I thought they were a waste of time.  Why did I think they were a waste of time?  Because they weren’t given the same importance as math or science. So I don’t think that early education killed my creativity, but I do wish that I wasn’t allowed to ignore it.  I excelled in what they told me to excel in, but let the rest fall by the wayside because I could. It was a rational decision, there are limited hours in the day and I concentrated my efforts in places where I’d see results.  Wait, maybe I am an economist at heart?

Finally, this is why we travel.  It’s these conversations with strangers from far away lands that end up inspiring a rambling blog post. Serendipity is a wonderful and fickle mistress.  Grab her by the neck when you can.

Now, it’s happy hour.  Things are good. If you can believe it, winter in Auckland is 60 degrees and sunny.  Gin and tonics all around!


Day 1

Yellow Kiwis at breakfast

We landed in Auckland just before 6 am on Friday, successfully passed through customs without having to get rid of my stash of Luna bars and managed to get our tent and boots through biosecurity without any problems. We boarded a bus at the airport while it was still dark and watch the outskirts of town slowly light up as we wound through the surrounding towns and approached downtown Auckland. It is winter here, which means it is typically 55 and rainy. Yesterday was misty in the early morning hours, turning sunny then chilly at night. The jet lag wasn’t so bad, and was eased immensely by a delicious “tall black” (espresso w/ hot water, which we would call an americano) to get through the morning.



This is how the day went:

  • While still on the flight, I realized that I packed our WWOOF handbook (with the listing of farms) into storage. This was to be our survival guide and resource for work. MAJOR WOOPS.
  • Also while on the flight, I realized that I need immediate dental attention for a tooth that has become infected. When I visited my dentist in NYC a few weeks ago, he told me that nothing was wrong and I was over reacting. Turns out I’m not.
  • Arrived at Prince’s Wharf around 7:30 am, where we are couch surfing in the lap of luxury.
  • Upon checking my email, we learned that our first farm no longer needs us to work there. Heavy rains have made for little farm work. Instead of freaking out, we got right to work. Zach searched on HelpX.com for work trade opportunities for next week and sent some emails. I also requested a new handbook to be sent to Jon, who volunteered to hold any mail for us.
  • Got a recommendation from Jon, the dude with whom we are staying, for a dentist. Was in their chair at 11:00 am, got a script for antibiotics and was home by lunch time. I also think I made new friends there, with the nicest receptionist and most honest and helpful dentists I’ve ever visited.
  •  Zach and I headed out to explore downtown Auckland and check out a bouldering spot by Mount Eden, a dormant volcano. The walk there was about an hour and gave us the opportunity to see much of downtown Auckland, which Zach compared to Montreal. Mostly older buildings, pretty gritty, not dirty, just not pretty. Also realized not a place we want to spend much time. While we are here, we are taking full advantage of the conveniences of the city in getting settled. The climbing spot was on the property of  boys private school, so we cut through their athletic fields (where they were running laps barefoot) and followed a Harry Potter looking boy’s directions to the spot. It was a great area, with sport routes set and chalk from previous climbers, marking the routs. Unfortunately, it was soaking wet and pretty hard to find good, dry routes, so we didn’t climb much. We anticipate being back when it dries out.
  • On the way home, a bird took a poop in my hair. Not a kiwi bird. Just a pigeon.
  • Got home round 5pm, made beef stew, drank some red wine and watched highlights of the Olympics with Leandro, our couch surfing room mate from Argentina. Both of us were dead asleep around 8 pm.

“Don’t run, skip. As if the path ahead is full of daisies.”

Day 1 was not at all what we expected. We had a plan. It didn’t work. So we made a new one. But, isn’t that what it this all about? Being flexible and open and learning new things? Instead of farming, it looks like we are going to work for a caterer on Waiheke Island. Also looks like I’m going to have a tooth extracted (this is a good thing, that tooth has been a problem for years). And we have good luck bird poop to make sure all goes well.
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