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!

19 comments:

Deb said...

Oh, you single, international, bright young thing. Go on, live your life so old married things like me can imagine the fun...

It looks like you guys had a great time. What a wonderful experience! I looked into a program that would take teachers and move them to different countries, but I'll probably have to wait until the kids are in college to do it...

Kristina P. said...

So Rotorua is basically the same as Magna?

April said...

I love the Zorb! Hate that you had to smell sulphur tho! Yuck.

Becky said...

Gosh, Rotorua sounds like the perfect vacation spot for a non-smeller like me! Who knew?

Someday I'm going to step foot outside of the U.S. and I'll be able to write a cool blog post like this.

Becca said...

The trip looks AMAZING!!! I'd be lying if I didn't say I was totally jealous! Can't wait for more pictures and travel logs--that way I can live vicariously through you!

Kazzy said...

Road trips with good friends are so so so much fun! Love the photos!

Nutty Hamster Chick said...

I think they did the Zorb thing on Amazing Race. I love that show and that is so cool that you got to do that also. Can't wait for the rest of the story.

Emily said...

Rolling around in a plastic ball filled with water in a foreign land. Sounds like your kind of trip!

When are we going to plan a trip like that with the old Nauvoo roommates? I miss trips with you guys.

Buffy Dayton said...

Gotta love that Zorb!

sara said...

Wow, I'll totally go as soon as someone opens a Zorb park in Utah. Sounds awesome!

rychelle said...

i've always wanted to do that zorb! where are the pictures of you IN it?

JD said...

An NZ trip is a dream of mine-- would love to go at some point.

Smart Helm said...

U shore are adventurous! That ball rolling thing sounds like a Japanese Game Show. Are the New Zealanders and Japanese friends? :-)

Connie said...

Beautiful girls.. beautiful places..looks like so much Fun!!!!
Too bad you didn't get a picture of your dancing at FHE.

JustRandi said...

So TOTALLY JEalous!
You look like you are having an amazing time!!

the Lola Letters said...

Wow I really wanted to SEE a pic of the Zorb-thing-a-ma-jig. b.a.d.

Also, amazing cheer jump on the dock.

impressive, really.

*lex & josh* said...

How fun!! So jealous! lol. Oh I'm so happy for you guys--it looks like you had a blast! yay!

wendy said...

My son served a mission in Wellington New Zealand and HE LOVED IT. it looks like such a beautiful place. glad you had such an awesome time.
Now that I have high speed, I hope to be back into the blogging world and keep up with your "stories"
as my son said -----it's a new zealand phrase you may have picked up------------GOOD ON YA.

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

I am so jealous!! I love the one of you jumping, I could never get that high.