Trip Start Feb 28, 2011
22Trip End Jun 01, 2011
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The second day in Auckland was my first day of rain and I spent it in the Auckland Memorial Museum. The first settlers in New Zealand were the Maori and the museum included their history, amazing art and the story of how the English took over their island. The theme of the museum displayed on a big banner outside the museum was "I Am Today". I thought it was incredible how a museum all about the past could have a slogan that seemed to contradict itself. As someone who has recently learned how to live in the moment it made perfect sense and has been how I have been living each day recently
Later that day I was walking around for thirty minutes going in and out of restaurants, looking at menus trying to settle on a place to eat. I finally just wanted to eat and decided the next place I walked into I was going to be it. It happened to be a place called Velvet Burger. What a great decision, it's New Zealand’s version of In and Out Burger. It was a huge double burger of New Zealand beef and a special sauce. They also happened to play a remix of my favorite song "Juicy" while I was in there. The opening verse of the rap song is dedicated to all the people that told him he would never amount to anything. Every time I hear that song I think back to my high school guidance counselor who told me I shouldn’t go to Binghamton University because my SAT’s scores were about half the average of all the other students. I was able to get accepted only on a full athletic scholarship but he didn’t feel like I should go. Five years from that day, I walked out of Saint Joseph’s University with a master’s degree on top of my degree from Binghamton University. Listening to that song is another one of those moments when you just know you’re at the right place at the right time doing the right thing. I asked the guy working there where if there was a good place to get a drink anywhere nearby since it was Friday night. He said go outside turn left and up the stairs
My new friends decided to check out another place and invited me. We got to a great spot on the water where they played great music. I remember one point where I was talking to people from Ireland, Scotland, Egypt, Ethiopia and New Zealand. And that is why I love traveling. The next day I took a short ferry ride to Devonport Island and climbed up Mount Victoria. It's not much of a climb but from the top I could look back and see Auckland in the distance.
"I Am Today"-Auckland Memorial Museum