On Friday Kitty and I met him at the airport. Now since we have only met online and know each other through a few pictures, there would be that risk of us missing one another at the airport. I decided to minimize that risk by fursuiting. How could you miss a guy in a bear suit holding up a "Welcome to Albuquerque" sign complete with New Zealand flag? It worked! He easily found us. There was also the added benefit of cheering up a lot of people as they came out of security. Kitty said she saw many people with grumpy looks on their faces (which would be common after flying) suddenly burst into smiles as they saw me standing there. Anyway...it was a quick trip back to Fur Central where I grilled up some steaks. xeltifon also came over, so it was a nice relaxing dinner on the patio.
On Saturday we took him to Old Town for a little touristy shopping. First we had to introduce him to the wonders of green chile at one of our favorite local restaurants. It was a nice relaxing stroll around town. Then it was back to Fur Central for a somewhat impromptu furmeet. It actually became a large furmeet with 20 folks in attendance. I think a good time was had by all. I even put a non-fur into a fursuit. I think we have a convert! I ended up spending most of the evening in a zebra zentai. How did that happen?!?
On Sunday 5 of us took the hike of doom! 4 of us including ari_foxy, xeltifon, bearwitin, and myself made it to the summit of Manzano Peak (elev. 10,089'). It was about an 11-mile hike roundtrip with a 2,800' elevation gain. remoaaron wimped out and headed back to the car. His punishment was that he had to endure drunk, homophobic brownnecks back at the trailhead. The hike was spectacular in that we had the trail to ourselves. Well, there was bear scat all over the place so perhaps not all to ourselves. No bears, however. *sadface* Even Mesa joined us for the trek. I think this was his first real hike. He seemed to really enjoy the trail. Overall it was about a 7-hour ordeal. I think all of our legs were ready to fall off by the end. The reward was tasty food and milkshakes at the Route 66 Diner back in ABQ.
Yesterday was supposed to be a day of relaxation and recuperation after the hike, but it ended up another full day of touristy goodness. Southpaw wanted to take the tram up to the top of the Sandias, so we obliged. It was a beautiful day! After that it was still early, so we took him to Wildlife West to see the critters there. Koshari the bear was active but away from the window. Moonshadow the mountain lion came running to the window when I got there and put on a nice show trying to catch Kitty's kitty backpack through the window. It also worked for Spirit the bobcat who sprang to life trying to play with the big cat toy. After seeing all of the animals it was back to Fur Central for a little BBQ with scritchwuff and shajoni. Southpaw then got to watch "Meet the Feebles" like every good fur from New Zealand should have at some point in their life. It was then off to bed.
And so we bid a fond farewell to our dear friend who leaves for the Northwest this morning. We hope he had a wonderful visit, and I hope to get down to NZ next year to spend a little time there. I'm sure I could be "first fursuiter" at a lot of sites down there!