Thursday, August 27, 2009

Top 10 Things That Made Fiji Awesome

Sara at Domestically Challenged has this new thing: Top Ten Thursdays. I thought my trip wrap-up in Fiji would work well for that, so here goes.

10. Walking on the beach at night. The weather was SO perfect!! After trying to squeeze in all the activities we could in Australia and New Zealand it was great to get to Fiji with no set plans and just relax in the warm weather.

9. Seeing this guy catch a fish while we were walking. I tried to get a non-blurry picture, but I don't think that guy was crazy about us taking pictures so this is what you get.

8. Running into the missionaries in Nadi. (PS-they pronounce it Nandi. Who knew?) Even better? They were wearing dress-skirts-lava-lava things.

7. Hard Rock Cafe. Enough said.

6. Our awesome hostel that wasn't at all creepy.

5. We were a little nervous about the cleanliness and such, so we used out t-shirts as pillow cases. And we pushed our beds all together cuz it's fun..not cuz we were arguing about who would sleep closest to the door.

4. Day Cruise=AWESOME. So pretty. So fun. Blue water. White beach. Apparently I can only use two-word sentences to describe the wonderfulness thereof. Do you know what I did there? I went scuba-diving. That's HUGE for me. HUGE! I have this thing where I'm terrified of the ocean and all things inside it. I've never even wanted to scuba dive...but when the Fijian guy was talking about it, for some odd-spontaneous reason I signed up. I'm not gonna lie, I was too freaked out the whole time to really appreciate it and I'm most likely never gonna do it again as long as I live...but at least I did it the one time. Right?

3. Being mermaids. In theory it was a good idea but once the idea was carried through the massive amounts of salt water in both my nose and ears dampened the activity.

2. I told you; pretty pretty beach. Can you believe a place like this really exists?!

1. Seeing this guy at our hostel reading Twilight! I know it's fuzzy. My cousin that took the picture was trying to be sneaky and not have the guy realize what she was doing. C'mon, whether you like the books or not, it's kind of awesome, no?

Verdict: Pretend that for some odd reason I have lots of money when I get married: I'm fully going there on my honeymoon. The only thing I'd change? Maybe not stay in a hostel with inordinate amounts of geckos and questionable bedding.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Defying Gravity. And Death.

First I defied death. Many times. I hate driving. I hate it in Utah when I drive on the right (literally) side of the road. But then I went and did it in New Zealand! On the left side of the road, but the right side of the car. It was weird. And many times I would try and turn my blinker on, but guess what? The blinker mechanism is on the other side in these cars, so I would turn on my windshield wipers instead. It happened way too many times.

Do you see the crazy speed of the cars around me in this picture? They were going 100 mph!! Oh wait, that was kilometers. JK Still, it was scary. But, I prayed for help, and I can promise you I got it. Hence the being able to come home in one piece.

As far as defying gravity, I mostly just helped it along when my cousin Becky and I went bungy jumping. Marie was too scared/sensible to join us.

These are the bathroom signs. I'm not really sure how that would work out...

Here I am getting multiple safety things attached to me.

And here I am taking the dive. I wish I would've jumped instead of just falling. I think it would make the picture more exciting. But hey, the jump was pretty amazing by itself. Seriously-it's one of the most exciting things I've ever done! I got a post-card of this picture and I REALLY wanted to send it to my parents before I got home to surprise/scare them. But alas, the mail would've been too slow. Sad day.

And don't worry, here I am being towed back up to safety.

And now I'm able to enjoy the amazing New Zealand skyline after surviving my fall.

In case you were wondering which one I liked more; I would bungy jump a MILLION more times before I rented another crazy car.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Scenery and Such

One of the best parts of New Zealand was how amazingly gorgeous it was! My cousins and I went on a day hike just outside of Rotorua in a rain forest type place that was very green and very lovely. There were double rainbows as we drove home that we tried to capture, but my digital just couldn't fully show how beautiful it was! After the hike, we stopped at a natural hot spring (shockingly enough it smelled of rotten eggs!) to take a little swim.

Of course you HAVE to stop for pictures when you see a ginormous chair like this.

There were sheep everywhere!


This is at Piha; a black beach where they filmed the second Johnny Lingo. It was SO amazingly beautiful! We had the place basically to ourselves for a good hour and half and had fun hiking around, playing and jumping in the waves, and taking crazy pictures. We wanted to stay for the sunset, but I was a little nervous about driving back on the winding, rainy road so we decided to forego that option.

I can't explain why, but I just think this picture is great. I love the outline of the feet in the review mirror. So relaxing and carefree.

Coming up: the two craziest things I did in New Zealand.

Friday, August 14, 2009

New Zealand, Part I

I don't know how many parts there will be to New Zealand. I just know I really loved it there and have lots of pictures.

We landed in Auckland on Monday evening and headed to the house of strangers/friends. Thanks to Royce (PS-where the HECK are you?), who hooked us up with this amazing family. We had so much fun staying with them. We had a big Family Home Evening that night (which included Tim Tams as treats!). The girls started doing a native dance for us...then dragged my cousins and myself in to dance with them. I'm sure they regretted that since we (or at least I) looked very foolish. Anyway, I truly cannot say enough wonderful things about these people and I'm SO glad we got to meet them while we were there. Hopefully they come to Utah soon since my return plans to New Zealand are in the distant future.

The next morning we got into our rental car (more on that later) and headed down to Rotorua. On our way-ish we stopped in Hamilton to see the LDS temple there. It was beautiful! It is the same model as the Swiss temple, and one of the first temples built outside of the United States. I was not aware of that until this trip.

More of the three-headed beast.

Then we continued on to Rotorua which, quite frankly, smells awful. No joke---smells like rotten eggs. My cousin Becky was, for once, grateful for her allergies which prevented her from smelling it. Marie and I just tried to not inhale very deeply. The reason for the smell is the sulfur in the area. The nice thing about it, though, is the natural heat in creates. Here we are in our hostel that had heated floors which were awesome in the 55 degree weather! We laid our clothes out on them at night so they were toasty in the morning.

There was a naturally heated mineral pool in our hostel. It felt amazing, but you could only stay in it as long as you can stand smelling like rotten eggs. Hence the plugged nose.

We took a walk that evening (Tuesday) around Rotorua. The scenery (and the wind coming off the harbor) more than make up for the smell.

Before we left for New Zealand, another cousin told us about this thing called the Zorb and said we HAD to try it. I'm so glad we did! It was a blast. Basically, you get inside these large rubber balls and are then pushed/rolled down the hill. We did the water version, so our balls were filled with about a foot of warm (thanks heavens!) water that sloshed around while we rolled. It was amazing.

Here we are after---by the official "Zorbonauts" sign. The hill we cruised down is behind us. We're freezing here cuz we're back out in the cold. But it was fully worth it. I can't wait till the bring something like this to Utah!

And now, I have been wanting to tag-along on Motherboard's Friday tunes that she puts up, so I finally am! But I'm only doing 5 songs cuz it's already a long post.
1. Within You - Ray Lamontagne
2. Unforgettable - Nat King Cole
3. Tune Out -The Format (great road-trip song)
4. Stella's Theme - William Joseph (this guy is fully LDS)
5. Write You a Song - Plain White T's

Now, I'm off to a party cuz it's Friday and I'm single so apparently that's what I should be doing!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sydney, Australia

First stop on the crazy trip I took with my cousins was Sydney. We had a delayed flight, missed flight and lost luggage---but finally made it there and headed straight for a ferry to take us across the harbor to the Taronga Zoo.

Here are the three of us in front of the opera house. Me, Marie and Becky.

I wish I could kiss a penguin in real life...they're my favorite animal. But it looks like I'll still have to content myself with plastic ones for the time being.

This zoo was amazing and we were able to get really close to some animals. This kangaroo ate out of my hands!

This would be me eating kangaroo steak that night. Seems a little evil I suppose after I played with his cousin, but it tasted really good:)

We took a taxi to the Sydney, Australia temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints that night. We just had a google map and pointed to where we wanted to go. The driver was definitely confused, but luckily when we got close it was there lit up like a beacon and we spent a few minutes taking pictures and wandering around.

'Member how I said luggage was lost? Yeah-this is the result. I borrowed a dress from my cousin for church, but when we were walking around afterwards, I had to use my tennis shoes cuz my feet were too small to keep wearing hers. Plus, it was kinda chilly outside, and so even though I'm morally opposed to leggings I had to wear some to keep me from freezing. Maybe my cousins were kind of embarrassed of how I looked and walked far ahead of me...

Here we are in Chinatown---we took a lot of these pictures that I think make us look like a three-headed beast. But how else were we all gonna fit in?

Then we headed on to Paddington market---crazy crowded and busy, but tons of fun! I found a boomerang there for my we just need to learn how to throw it.

And can you guess who I immediately thought of when I saw this at the convenient store?! My cousins and I bought TONS of these. Every day we bought some to take home...and that night they magically disappeared and we had to buy more!

That's the conclusion of Australia. Up next: New Zealand!

Friday, August 7, 2009

I Need a Vacation From My Vacation!

I'm back! And I'm exhausted. And maybe a little head cold-ish. And maybe I have bruises up and down my legs and a fat lip from volleyball, scrud and soccer. And a sun-burn. But it was so worth it! Traveling in far off lands was amazing, my family reunion was all kids of fun, and I can't wait to sleep in my own bed tonight!!

I came home to a google reader with about a million new posts! Gosh-you guys write A LOT! Sorry if I didn't read your posts...but I'll be back in the swing of things once I can remember what day it is. Seriously, is it the 5th or 6th?

Pictures coming soon.