We've got wheels!

Trip Start Jan 19, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Frienz Hostel

Flag of New Zealand  , Auckland,
Sunday, January 30, 2011

Yep... that's right,... we did some mad shopping yesterday!  We bought a car and a cell phone.  We are now set for 3 months of exploration around New Zealand.  We went to the car fare early yesterday morning and totally scored on a great vehicle... a 1992 white Toyota, Corona, one owner, in mint condition. (as far as a 92 car goes).  It's perfect.  Colin came through once again with the sales skills and totally hooked us up.  We'll probably end up making money when we sell it.  I also had my first lesson in left lane/ right hand side of the car driving when we had to take both cars to drop the rental car off, which surprisingly wasn't that bad.  Not sure what Colin was whining about. :)  (just kidding)  I got used to it pretty fast, even shifting gears with my left hand wasn't too bad.  I turned the windshield wipers on a few times when attempting to use my turn signal... but no near death experiences as of yet,... so we're happy.

After getting our car,... we went and got a cell phone that we can use internationally anywhere in the world getting new SIM cards... (except the US apparently), but that's cool.  And as long as we call people on a land line it's only $2 an hour! (vs. $3 a minute for cell phone calls)  That's amazing!  Exciting to make some calls... missing family already. 

All that shopping wore us out and we decided to hit the park for some relaxing in a natural area. (we're so ready to get out of the city)  Albert Park is only a couple of blocks from where we stayed last night, so it was great to be able to escape the city for a bit of serenity through tree climbing and straight up chillin' (Fiji style).  The trees there are beautiful... old and gnarly looking.  We found a quiet spot in the shade under some trees to hang out and play some cards.  I dominated once again.  For some reason, in Fiji, Colin won litterally every game we played (except one game of scrabble in which I took great pride in after losing 25 games of backgammon and gin-rummy).  He must'of had some crazy Fiji magic going on, but I'm happy my luck has taken a turn for the better, because it was totally starting to piss me off.  If you know me, you know I'm not a good loser. (full on pouting... it's not pretty)  and if you know Colin, ... you know how much of a gloater he can be... not a good combination.  Luckily, we are still in love after all that. :)

After the park, we decided to hit the Auckland Art Museum.  Unfortunately the main museum is closed until April for construction, but there is a smaller one with some of the main attraction pieces in it.  It was nice,...and I even got some illegal pictures of some of our favorite paintings. (Dad would be proud :))  To my defense, ... I didn't know we weren't allowed to take pictures and Colin told me to do it. :)  It all worked out in the end and we only got slightly repremanded...it wasn't like I stood on ancient Egyptian artifacts to take a picture or anything. (not naming any names... DAD!!) :)  Anyway... it was a nice afternoon.

We checked into our hostel and then went walking around the city.  We grabbed a bite of food and took it to the dock for a little picnic, where we watched excellent street performers doing hip hop.  Then we headed to the Sky Tower to go up to the top and see the sights.  Wow... 360 degree view of the city... tallest tower in the Southern Hemisphere aparently.  Beautiful.  Colin bought me a traditional Maori bone necklace which represents the bond between people (individuals, lovers, family, friends, cultures)... it's totally the touristy thing to do,... but I like it. :)

In the sky bar, we met Peter... you'll see the pictures... an incredibly sweet autistic man from Auckland who visits the Sky Tower every Thursday, Friday and Saturday and spends his evenings in the Casino. (he has NEVER gambled once in his life).  But we quickly befriended him and he chauffered us around the Casino and introduced us to everyone he knew... the dancers, the announcers, the main host ... pretty cute.  We had a blast and even ended up in the positive at the end of the night playing blackjack.  Fun fun.  Got some sleep and got up this morning and went to a catholic church for Sunday mass.  Beautiful church and service.  Now we are heading to the History museum and maybe the Parnell hot tubs for the night.  Life is good.

This is hopefully our last night in the city before heading out to the more rural areas of NZ.  I think we're ready to get our hands in the dirt and venture out to greener pastures. 

xoxo... til next time
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Rachael on

Love you guys! Adelyn says hi and to hug a kangaroo for her:)! Miss ya already:) Buen viaje.-Rach

Vanessa on

Fun pictures and great story-telling. Thanks for continuing to share. Please continue; I am loving it!

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