Fun in New Zealand!

Trip Start Feb 17, 2008
Trip End May 08, 2008

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Wow, what a great trip we are having so far!!

We arrived at O'Hare around 3pm on Sunday, February 17th.  We were delayed for a few hours, but did make it to San Francisco in time for our connecting flight.  After a few hours layover, we took off on our 15 hour flight to Sydney.  It was gorgeous watching the moon throughout the night as we were flying half way across the globe.  We arrived in Sydney at 7:30am on Tuesday, February 19th.  We had another couple hours layover in Sydney and then began flight #3 to Auckland, New Zealand.  We landed after 3 hours and had a few more hours to relax before heading off on our last flight.  It was a different experience spending time at the Auckland airport as we saw people walking around barefoot (as that is common here) and there was NO security as we boarded flight #4 to New Plymouth.   It was a short hop of a flight, only 30 minutes and we ended our initial travels at 7pm on Tuesday, February 19th.  That was a lot of traveling but well worth it. 

We were greeted at the New Plymouth airport by Jesse's cousins Chris and Pam.  We had a wonderful dinner at Gusto's along the Tasman Sea.  We went back to Chris and Pam's house in Oakura (our home base for our stay in NZ).  We stayed up late talking to Chris and Pam as they were only going to be in NZ another day.  We are so lucky that they have opened up their house to us for this trip...we have truly been spoiled.  

We have spent a lot of time getting to know Oakura, a small sea-side surfer town.  There is a gorgeous black sand beach that we have frequented many times already.  Although I have been to an ocean on a few occasions, this was truly the first time I have spent time swimming in the waves (and trying not to get pummeled).  Jesse tried to catch a few waves surfing and ended up with a rash on his chest because he didn't have a wetsuit. 

One of our first experiences here in NZ was their annual Americarna event, where they parade and showcase about 800 American cars.  There was everything from old classic, restored muscle newer Corvettes.  We even saw a Shelby Mustang with a license plate of Elenore (Gone in 60 Seconds).  What a sight it was to see all these cars so far away from home.  I am not sure I have ever seen this many gorgeous American cars in one place in the US.  

The people we have met here have been so friendly and welcoming.  We feel that we have made many new friends already.  Between the scenery and the feels like we are in paradise.

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Dianne Duggan on

I'm so pleased that you enjoyed your stay in Oakura. My son Rowan, Sue his wife and Molly, Anna and Chester have lived there for about 5 years. It would be wonderful if you had met them on your visit. Its such a small place, its not unlikely. I hope you are continuing to be amazed by beautiful New Zealand. The people there are truely welcoming and I love the way they teach their children to respect each other in school. They do indeed go barefoot, even to school I learned during my visit there four years ago. Good luck with the rest of your tri[p.

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