If your phone alarm went off on an airplane, they’d stone you in the Middle Ages.

Salutations!

This week has gone by remarkably fast.  I am amazed that is already Tuesday evening.  So where have I been since I last posted? Lots of places!  On Friday afternoon, I met my parents in Auckland and we explored there a bit before hitting the sack and then embarking on our epic journey to the North.  We drove for a few hours – on the wrong side of the road, may I add (not legitimately, they just drive on the left here) – seeing AMAZING sights.  I mean, they just don’t look real! It was all fun and everything and we were able to randomly stop along the highway to check out awesome views and walk along some of the random beaches that just appear along the roads.  Awesomeness.  Of course the signs that were ALL over the highways saying “Tidal Surges, KEEP OFF THE BEACH.” were completely ignored until we walked out to a sandbar in one area and as soon as we got back the entire thing was covered.  I mean, it could have just been high tide, but after that, we decided to play it a little safer.  On the sand bar, however, I found this epic bone of something.  I have no clue what it used to belong to, but it looks so cool! 
The view from my home

After stopping in this cute little town for lunch/snack, we continued North until we stopped at the place I will call home one day.  WOW.  That place was amazing.  Now I just need to become a multimillionaire so I can buy the property and all the surrounding so I don’t have to deal with any other people ruining my awesome home.  We’ll see how that goes, I guess.  We drove all the way up to the North.  Winding, uphill roads, random sheep and cows in the road, and driving on the wrong side: EPICNESS.  The view was amazing once we reached our destination.  The water is so fake.  I don’t care what other people say.  It’s NOT real. It is all an illusion! 

Almost the very top of the North Island

Afterwards, we decided to make our way to Rotorua and figured we would stop somewhere along the way there to sleep.  Well, that failed beyond belief.  Everything closes before normal people go to sleep.  And that includes gas stations!  Slightly frustrating, but around 11, we found an open petrol station and a 24 hour McDonald’s around the corner from there.  We still felt good about driving, so we proceeded on.  We got to a town an hour outside of Auckland and decided to take a two hour nap in the car as we were all exhausted by then.  Once we got to Auckland we checked with way too many hotels, but supposedly they were all booked.  I was partially asleep, however, so I don’t remember much except magically appearing in Rotorua at some obscure time in the AM.  PHEW!  Sulpher!  We checked out one of the free parks with bubbling springs and whatnot before moving on to Taupo. 

Lake Taupo

What a gorgeous little town!  We ended up there by accident, but it was awesome to see sailboats and planes landing on the lake.  We had lunch before pressing on to Tongariro National Park, also known as Mordor.  SO COOL!  We didn’t climb it, but I plan to soon!  And then hopefully ski it! 🙂 

Mt. Doom!

The week went by surprisingly quick.  The parents spent a few nights in Palmy, but for the most part they were off exploring more of the North Island.   Last Monday, we had fire warden training.  For some obscure and ridiculous reason I am the designated fire warden for my floor.  I’m not quite sure HOW someone thought that would be intelligent, especially if an alarm goes off in the middle of the night, not to mention the fact that half the people who live in my hall think I’m a pyromaniac, but whatever. It included free food for us, so no complaints in that area.  I find it only slightly ironic that while we were supposed to be having this training, which also discussed how to avoid false alarms, that there was a false alarm at the neighboring hall.  :O 

Tuesday was fire club.  How awesome is that?! The geniuses there are even more psychotic than me and decided to play fire hackey sack and jump rope that was on fire.  The latter was awesome, especially when me and another daring soul decided to jump as doubles.  We failed the first two times, but the third time we were able to go for a while before I tripped the rope. Whoops.  While talking to someone else, he mentioned it was a severe adrenaline rush jumping over a rope on fire.  I guess I have some serious thrill issues because there was definitely no adrenaline rush, only the fact that it was so freaking cool.  Wednesday night my people insisted that playing intramural volleyball was a perfectly awesome way to spend an evening. I went.  I even played.  I will NEVER do that again.  I just do not do volleyball!  Then we gathered and watched the first half of The Fellowship of the Ring before calling it a night.

Somewhere near Wellington

Thursday evening I drove down to Wellington with the parents.  We checked out the town, had an AMAZING meal at this little place that was relatively empty and then we got some decent sleep.  Friday we explored Brooklyn.  YEAH!! BROOKLYN, NEW ZEALAND!  Which also has a Central Park.  Which is just WRONG people! It’s Prospect Park! There was also a Sackett St. and Shop of Soho. Not to mention Brooklyn Rd and Brooklyn St., ending on Goodall St. Awesomeness.  We explored more of the coast line and whatnot before heading to Nelson.  The flight was boring.  Dad learned people do not sue in New Zealand and was baffled by such an un-American concept.  

We met friends of my uncle’s in Nelson and they took us to their house. WOW. AMAZING!  Freaking AMAZING! The view was absolutely gorgeous. And that was at night! We then went out on a tour of the town and dancing. And when I say we went dancing, I really mean no one in my family. I’m glad to know where I get the non-dancing thing from.  But it was fun.  And places play awesome music here.  Good times.

Amazingly stunning view from where we stayed

The next morning we went out to the market.  AH! That place is dangerous! On the plus side, I finished most of my Christmas shopping.  So many awesome things!  Plus amazingly tasting plums.  I think I need to eat one soon, as there are still some left.  And other good food.  After the market, we checked out some cool gardens, got food, and drove to some other really nice place after picking up the rental car.  I suppose I should say it now.  Everywhere here is really nice.  In case you couldn’t get that from everything else I already have described.  The new car was more fun.  The directional was on the opposite side as the first one, so every now and then windshield wipers would go off when we wanted to turn.  Not to mention a certain driver decided to look the wrong way in a round about, yielded to a truck when we clearly had the right of way, flipped on the windshield wipers, and then stalled.  HYSTERICAL!  We had a good laugh for a few minutes.  We were going to go swimming, but the sand flies were out of control.  Geez!  I was eaten alive!  There was no way I was going to expose myself to more of them by getting in the water and then getting out.  So I just observed.  The view was awesome.  Sunday we went tramping – that’s hiking in New Zealand lingo – in Abel Tasman, a national park like place.  We had to get a water taxi to get to the “decent” parts of the trail, but I can’t imagine anything not being “decent.”  The place is BEAUTIFUL!  The boat was also able to get into places it normally can’t because the tides were the highest ones for six months.  Thank you full moon!  We got off and walked for quite some time, but it was gorgeous.  The water was basically on our left the whole time and the trees covered the path enough that I didn’t even get burned!!! 

One of the many awesome beaches of Abel Tasman

 

The weather was perfect and once we reached our final destination in which the water taxi would pick us up again, we had enough time to go for a swim and check out the awesome caves and such.  We ended up running back to the boat, but we weren’t he last ones on, so it’s all good.  The captain did make the comment “I knew you were trouble when you first got on!”  Good times. 
 
Now it’s back to the grind of a normal week.  I was even productive yesterday (which of course was the only reason I didn’t update this blog), as I wrote most of my assignment that isn’t even due until the first week of April!  Yeah, I’m that awesome!  😀  Anyway, apologies for the wait and that this is so long, but it is a week and a half worth of adventures!  AND there’s pictures! 

Abel Tasman

 
 
Cheers!
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