Haere Mai!

Trip Start Jun 01, 2011
Trip End Jun 01, 2012

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What I did

Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Friday, July 1, 2011

    I got to the Columbus airport around 2:00 pm on Sunday afternoon. After weighing my bags and discovering that both were significantly overweight, I had a feeling I might pay more to get my bags over to NZ than I paid to get myself over. Note to anyone traveling internationally: take ONE bag UNDER 50 lbs no matter how long you're staying. From Columbus I flew to Vegas, small layover, and then to LA.  By the time I got to LA, I had been traveling 6 or 7 hours and started to get a bit cranky. Luckily the guy on the flight over had some extra drink tickets so that helped a bit.

I gathered my bags up again and began to walk to Air Pacific terminal which was about a 15 minute walk (who knew the LA airport was so big). When I got to the check in counter I had to do some reshuffling between luggage because the airline would not accept any bag over 30 kilos. I was the dork with her luggage open for everyone to see trying to move 6 kilos from one bag to the other. That task was kind of difficult considering I had little idea how much a kilo weighed... When i was finally ready to check my bags the guy at the counter gave me a pretty good discount on my overweight bag. I guess he felt sorry for me haha. Ten hours later I was in Fiji, and 4 hours later I was in Auckland. Funny how they had no movie or any sort of entertainment on the 10 hour flight, but they played Justin Beiber Never Say Never on the 4 hour flight. I guess that's because the 10 hour was an overnight flight. I managed to get a couple hours sleep on the way over, but it was pretty uncomfortable. A little like trying to sleep on a bus or something.

When I finally checked in at the Holiday Inn in Auckland it was a full 24 hours (2 days if you count the time difference) later. I showered, walked across the street to get a large pizza and passed out. I tried to make myself sleep until the morning, and was successful for the most part, so jet lag wasn't a huge issue. Although I have been getting up earlier and going to sleep earlier than I'm used to. The next day was orientation and other au pairs started arriving. About 95% of the girls were from Germany, one other from the US, and a couple from Netherlands and Sweden. My roommate was a 18 yr old German girl who giggled and said 'ya' all the time. I loved her. 

On Thursday night we took a tour of the city of Auckland and went to the top of Mt. Eden. Really stunning views from up there, especially at night because you can see all of the city lights. The girls who worked for au pair link told me that it was a popular "make out" spot for teens to go. Duh. That night we had fish and chips (french fries) for dinner. While we have battered fish and fries in the states, I've never had anything quite like this. The fish was so fresh it was falling apart before we could get it from the packaging to our mouths. And the combination of fish, chips, and "tomato sauce" had a pretty unique taste. I tried Vegemite one morning with my toast; that also had a pretty unique taste. I imagine that's what oil out of a motor that hadn't been changed for a couple of years would taste like. NEVER again! yuck.

This morning I flew from Auckland to Tauranga which was a short 45 min flight. While the Auckland airport made sure to weigh my carry on to the last miligram (and yes I had to check it) there was absolutely no airport security to speak of.  No metal detectors or anything. Not sure what kind of an operation they are trying to run. Mark picked me up at the airport and the drive to Pukehina was beautiful. Lots of hills and lots of green fields. And even though it is winter here it was about 65 and sunny (the bad weather hasn't come yet). On the way home we picked up May from Kindy and she was so excited to see me. She is a little ball of energy and one of the most adorable kids I have ever met. To my friends and family reading this, I miss you and still not sure how Im going to manage a full year away. But I am really liking it so far. xoxo
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Angie on

I am so happy you are blogging about this year! Have a fantastic time and l hope you can feel all the love and good thoughts that are being sent your way.

Allie on

Hi Love!

This just made my day! :) Everything sounds so amazing, and I am so excited for you! I love the blogging idea...it is about as close as we can get to you without actually being there! I miss you already, and am looking forward to your next post already! Let me know when you are ready for a Skype date :)

Erica Brandt on

Hi Alexia! So glad you made it and it sounds like you are having a great time. It looks beautiful there. I will keep reading your post and lets skype soon!

Love you!

Ariel on

hi aliza!

I loved reading your blog. I really felt that I could picture what you were doing. I miss you already and do not stop blogging!!!

Kelci on

my little baby sista!
i miss you so much and im glad your having fun. i cant wait to hear your voice and see you on skype. so let me know and i will make sure im home :).
i love you so much!

Diane on

Hi Alexia, love the blog - what a great idea - we will be able to share your experience through you. Miss you much....love ya

Uncle on

Hi,Alexia I'm glad you are blogging your time in New Zealand...can't wait to read more about what's going there..love your favorite Uncle..ME!!!

Alecia Poppke on

This wonderful Alexia!!! Mom gave me your blog... I am so excited for you! I hope you have a wonderful experience. Keep us posted as much as possible! Be safe, Alecia :)

Erica Schmalzried on

Alexia! I'm so so glad you are blogging so I can know what you're up to!! Sounds like you're having a great time so far.. I'm so proud of you! Miss you!

Jami on

Hi Alexia---your momma gave me your blog to follow your adventure. Loved reading it...have a great time and keep blogging :)

Christina Wetzel on

Alexia I am so excited to be able to keep up with your trip! Such a good idea! Good luck and hope it keeps getting better and better :) Miss you!!

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