Road Trip!

Trip Start Feb 20, 2013
Trip End Jul 05, 2013

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What I did
Horse of the Year

Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Monday, March 18, 2013

My first road trip in NZ! It was very exciting - unfortunately, it was not like the movies. What they leave out in the movies is the soreness from sitting so long in a car, the expense of gas, and the music which ends up playing on repeat. Apart from the actual drive, which was still pretty good because of the beautiful views, the trip was very good. We (Sean, Nicole, and I) left on Thursday to go to Sean's mom's house in Tauranga. We stayed the night and met up with Sean's brother, Dylan in the morning to drive down to Hastings. It was about a six hour drive total. We went down to support Sean's youngest brother, Finn, in the Horse of the Year in Hastings. Finn and his horse Riley do show jumping, but couldn't compete because his horse got injured. We'd already bought the tickets, though, so we went anyway. Horse of the Year is a week-long event full of competitions of all kinds. We watched horses do dressage, which is where they appear to be dancing, and also got to see some show jumping. Friday night, there was a horse show and a famous NZ Olympian (Sir Mark Todd) was part of the show. When we got back to the rental house, I got to meet Riley. I half-conquered my fear and actually pet him, but I still haven't ridden one yet.
Saturday morning, we took a break from the horses (and the heat) and went to the New Zealand National Aquarium in Napier. I saw my first Kiwi bird there, which was pretty cool. There was also a neat exhibit on dinosaurs and the discovery of them in NZ.
Saturday afternoon, we went back to the Horse of the Year and watched the World Mounted Games. This involved teams from all over the world (including the US) doing a bunch of relays with the horses. They had one event where the riders had to get off the galloping horse to grab something off the ground and then jump back on the still-moving horse to hand off to the next person. It was very exciting and I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only US fan there. NZ ended up winning, with US taking 5th place out of 10 teams, so I was cheering for both countries in the end.
We had a quiet night on Saturday in preparation for the long drive home. Now it's back to school and my class schedule is getting pretty busy. I have my first test next week, so I'll be busy studying for that, but not so busy that I can't have fun!
I'd also like to wish my sister a very happy birthday! I haven't forgotten about my friends and family back home. I think of everyone often and will be overjoyed to see everyone in the summer.
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