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!