Wandering Around Waiuku

Hey there Delilah,

I want to let you know what Clawdeen has been up to during the past few days. She’s been out and about, using different forms of transportation to get around New Zealand. She went on an aeroplane to the South Island, and guess what… Clawdeen got to ride up in the front of the plane with the pilots!

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Here she is at Queenstown airport, waiting for the bags to be loaded onto the plane. Once the bags were aboard, Clawdeen went up to the cockpit. She was able to check out the instrument panel. Wow, look at all those knobs and switches! I hope Clawdeen didn’t push any buttons she wasn’t supposed to! The pilots said that it was their job to push buttons, so Clawdeen quickly got up to look out the window.

Clawdeen had a GREAT view from the window of the plane. She saw the Southern Alps, the mountains in the South Island. There’s not much snow on them at this time of year because it’s the middle of summer here in New Zealand. (The pilot held her up for a better look).

The plane took Clawdeen all the way to Auckland, in the North Island. Then one of the pilots brought her to me in Waiuku, which is part of Auckland.

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We went out sightseeing in Waiuku. I told Clawdeen that I wanted her to see the old train which comes into town. While we were out looking for the train, Clawdeen let out an excited little howl. She’d spotted a vintage car, all shiny and clean. The owner of the car told us that it’s a model A Ford Cabriolet, made in 1930, which is a very, very long time ago! Clawdeen liked the yellow wheels and told me that she hadn’t seen wheels like that on a car before. The car’s owner said that if Clawdeen was very careful not to scratch his paint, she could sit up on the bonnet. She did this, but afterwards she whispered in my ear that the car part she liked best was the mirror… I wonder why? She also sat on an old trike, but it was too hard to reach the handlebars so she soon hopped off again.

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Clawdeen then spotted a sign pointing the way to the railway station, so off we went to see the steam train. The train was further down the line taking on water. Clawdeen was a little bit cheeky and climbed up onto the front of the big steam engine for a photo. Oops! She fell over and landed right on her nose! (Oh well, a little bit of soot soon washes off). We decided that inside a carriage would be a better place to sit. The carriage had lovely seats, but Clawdeen felt very little sitting on them, so she hopped up on the back of her seat for a better view. It was much better being able to see all along the carriage from way up high. The friendly guard asked “how far is the doll going?” I replied that she was going all the way to Brooklyn, New York! He told us that the train doesn’t go quite that far, but if she wanted to she could help him change the points to see if we could get on the right track! Clawdeen helped the guard pull the lever to change the points, and then he said that if we were quick, we could go into the big steam engine and sit in the driver’s seat. Well, we weren’t about to pass up an opportunity like that, so up into the engine we went.

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Inside the cab of the engine Clawdeen sat on the seat. It was folded up, and just the right size for a teen werewolf. Clawdeen had a quick peek out the window and then it was time to say goodbye to everybody. The guard waved his green flag and blew his whistle, and the train left the station with a puff-puff-puff. Clawdeen waved to the driver and then she watched and waved as the train pulled away down the tracks.

When she got into her car to drive away, we had to stop at the level crossing, where the road crosses the railway tracks. I told Clawdeen that she had to be careful at level crossings and to look both ways down the tracks just in case a train comes along. Well guess what… a train did come! I told Clawdeen that when I was a child, I always liked seeing trains at level crossings and I still feel really lucky if I get to stop and wait for a train to pass.

After that, with a toot-toot, Clawdeen drove off down the road looking for the way to Brooklyn. I do hope she finds her way back home to you soon, Delilah. I enjoyed having her here to visit!

Sending lots of love, from Waiuku, New Zealand.

By Lex Priestley

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