7 am...not even the birds were awake in this pre-dawn darkness, but six ladies were up and ready for a girls' day in Dunedin. Danielle was the bus-driver; Adele dB, Adele S, Petru, Bronwyn and I were the passengers who made a merry and somewhat giggly and very chatty party. Danielle did a round-trip pickup and by 7.30 we were heading out of Timaru in a southerly direction. By Oamaru some ladies were in severe need of a coffee fix; stopped at an awesome little place whose name escapes me but there were some funky chickens on display. The drive to Dunedin is extremely scenic, with the road directly alongside the ocean at one point. We live in an incredibly beautiful country (have I said this before?)! Arrived in Dunedin in high spirits and hit Spotlight and Bendon running. Underwear shopping with a Lady Mob is great fun...giving opinions on the various bits of garments (some of them were VERY bitty indeed) and suggesting items for one another which we thought were either highly suitable or highly unsuitable brought fits of laughter. Bronwyn and I happened upon a free sausage stand, provided by the local radio station. We thought the vendor was joking but no, the promo was legit so we scored a barbequed sausage on bread with fried onions. Bronwyn kindly dropped bits of onion on the ground to accompany my fallen ones :) Our tiny purchases made, we jumped back in the van to venture into the city center for lunch, finding a burger place which was to our liking (it was one of several graduation days today and we were concerned that everything would be booked up, but the situation was less drastic). The burgers all have interesting names and considering you are what you eat, we changed our names accordingly: Danielle, Adele, Adele, Petru, Bronwyn and I became Babe, Hottie1, Velvet Lady, Hottie2, Wee Vegan and Chicken Little respectively. The names fitted and may well stick!! Danielle had managed to gather two more local friends so we ended up being a party of eight, but the two didn't join us for the rest of the afternoon and since I can't even take a stab at spelling the name of one, I shall simply leave them there. Lunch done and more coffee downed, it was time for the REAL shopping to happen in town and the mall. But first, we arrived in time to catch the impressive parade of drummers and pipers who led the procession of graduates - Dunedin is a university city and graduations from various schools happen throughout the year. Pretty spectacular and many moms were teary; some moms were in the parade with gowns and caps on! Split up after that and met up again at 3, tired feet and all, before the 2 1/2 hour drive home. All too much for Velvet Lady but thankfully Babe stayed awake - I don't think my operatic attempts helped as much as the java. To alleviate boredom we texted one another...oi, too many free texts on my package!