Hey Everyone!!! Over the past few weeks I have begun to sort through my things. I have dropped some clothes off in the charity bins and started to build my package of items I need to mail back to Canada. I came across my journal that only had 1 entry in it. I had high hopes to maintain an updated blog and journal during my travels. It looks like I was only able to do one out of the two things well. Something about reading my own writing and being able physically turn the pages is so appealing. I PLANNNN on trying again to keep a journal for my days in Thailand. Journaling is something I keep trying and failing at. For those interested in reading how my first 10 days were in New Zealand can read my journal entry below:
Tues Sept 25th, 2012 8:22pm
WOW! I have already been in New Zealand for over 1 week. After all the stress and money put into this adventure – I am actually able to finally live it. I must take note that CC remembered how much I love Hello Kitty and bought me this adorable journal. How awesome would it be if I was able to keep a journal and a blog these next few years. I know I have tried in the past…I really like the idea of having a travel journal that I can read back down the road.
Looking back on how much time and thought I put into packing my luggage grr Groin; I really wish I had packed warmer clothes. It’s not quite summer here and I never really – well never thought about how windy it would be! I have worn long sleeves every day since I have arrived. I am SO MAD at myself for not packing more hoodies.
Before I get too far into this, I want to note just HOW GENEROUS the Whitleys were to ME. They graciously offered to move me into their home and allowed me to stay in their home. FREE of any payments. No rent! No food! No I.o.u or pay at a later date was ever expected from me. I was even allowed to have a garage sale to try and sell my stuff. There are good people in the world and this family is proof of it. They have been beyond generous to me and I can’t thank them enough for all they have done to get me to the point where I am now in my life. Just amazing! The remainder of my stuff is stored in their house so I could save of storage fees. I am beyond blessed to have them in my life. It is so exciting that they will be COMING here in 4 months!
Emzie has been so good to me since I arrived. She brought me warm clothes, and bought me warmer bedding and hot water bottle. She has tried to make me as comfortable and as warm as possible. She even brought me gloves and cut the tips off so I could text and type! OUR FAMILIES are so different! I always call her the princesses in the castle coming to rescue the damsel in distress. Her host family treated her arrival a bit more “welcoming” and tried to ensure that she was as comfortable as possible. My family isn’t as financially secure as Em’s fam and their living accommodations aren’t as ideal. We are living in Mount Roskill, New Zealand but are trying to find a house in the North Shore for November. I am hoping it all works out smoothly as I am looking forward to moving to the North Shore. It will be closer to Emzie and out of here. Let’s just say my family does not walk around their neighbourhood at night…
Our Sumzie 2012 adventures have been exciting thus far. We drove to Piha beach which was about a 1 hour drive. We climbed Lion’s Rock and were rewarded with a gorgeous view. We tried to not let the strong winds dampen our beach experience! We’ve also walked around the viaduct and seen a little bit of Mission Bay. We strolled around downtown Auckland for post cards and hoodies but came away with nothing. We weren’t worried because we know we will be doing much more shopping in the future.
OBSERVATIONS off the top of my head:
People here are super friendly
Food is expensive
Gas is expensive
The lanes are narrow and cars tend to park on the road making it HARDER to keep the traffic flowing
The water tastes different
My hair is wavier here
My skin is really dry and my nails seem to be growing faster
It’s a very diverse; lots of different cultures and religions that all seem to blend together well
For having only been here 10 days I feel like I have adjusted nicely. It has been hard with the time zone difference to stay connected with people. I am not allowed to use my phone at all from 7:30-4:00 (but usually closer to 5pm) during the day. Other than that I feel pretty good. The girls are both sick right now but I am hoping my immune system is strong enough not to catch their cold. Understanding the kiwi accent can be hard at times but it’s not too difficult. I just find myself saying, “pardon” when I can’t understand – so they can repeat it to me again.
So besides being cold ALL THE TIME and the house not having heat, and the door being kept open every night I am doing pretty well. I am REALLY thankful that I have a travel buddy here with me. Great travel buddy and built in morale support.
I am so thankful I moved on from that situation and found the Kiwi family that I did. I love my family and am not shy about my love for their cat Magic 🙂 My adventures in New Zealand will be ending in a month (or so) and I will begin many new adventures in my homeland! I am sad to be leaving my Kiwi Fam Jam but am so excited for the next step!!!! Thank you to everyone who continues to support me and read Brown Eyed Girl!
It’s holiday time for Me AGAIN!!!! My original plan was to have 3 weeks off work while Ana and Kaik were in town. Later, my Kiwi-Mom and I decided to I would work Monday and Tues of this week and then still have Wed-Fri off. It worked well for all of us because the girls and boys were able to be entertained at the same time 🙂
When I was woken up (Ana let me have a decently nice sleep in) the weather wasn’t amazing so we decided it would be a good day for an indoor activity. The girls had never been to Sylvia Park Mall (the 2 floor mall that has some of its stores outside). Ana wanted me to be adventurous and drive without the gps. I had been before but Emzie drove so I wasn’t sure if I was up for the challenge. The drive was pretty straight forward once we knew what turnoff we needed to take. The girls and I had a pretty productive time at the mall. We tried not to stray from buying anything we didn’t need!
In the evening we picked Em up and headed towards Mission Bay. We were all missing Victoria’s Qoola (a frozen yogurt bar where you get to choose your own toppings and your payment is by weight) so we treated ourselves to New Zealand’s Kiwiyo. I wish you all could have been there. Ana always has a big smile on her face but while she was making her selections she was BEAMING from ear to ear. Our verdict being it wasn’t the equal or better to Qoola but it was yummy. We took our creations by the beach to eat.
Emzie wasn’t too amused by all the birds that were closely watching us. We took advantage of the opportunity to practice our action shots and photo poses before calling it a night. We dropped Em off at home and promised we would pick her up again tomorrow. She gets Fridays off work so we ladies would all be bunking at my house for Friday – Sunday until we had to drive the girls to the airport Sunday morning.
Thanks for reading and a special thank you to Ana for her active participation in the blog!
There will definitely be a blog for tomorrows sailing adventures!! 🙂
xox Amanda and Ana
This title just took on a whole new meaning 30 seconds ago. I AM without a voice because I am sick. My little 4 year old says, “You have no sound! Will you have sound tomorrow?” That said — I have lots to tell you now. I am ALSO speechless because I just FINISHED my blog and was adding pictures to it when I accidentally deleted my WHOLE post. So angry so angry. Hate when this happens!
The weekend was amazing. Emzie and I got the sunshine we prayed for on Saturday. We walked around Sky Tower!!! The tallest man-made structure in New Zealand with views up to 80km (52miles) in every direction. *Thank you pamphlet! When we walked the SkyWalk platform we were 194 meters (636 feet) in the air. Our guide Sibohan was great. She offered us lots of “activities” we could try. Sitting backwards over the edge and leaning forwards and back were great. I just wish that the walk included a jump off the building. We watch a handful of people jumping and it took around 25 seconds for them to get down. They descended pretty slowly…I guess to make the 300$ leap worth it? I was very proud of Emzie for not letting her fear of heights get the best of her.
I kept reminding her that this was her warm up to skydiving! After our walk around the tower we took the elevator up to the Sky Deck where you can get a 360degree view of the city from 722 feet up. The elevator ride with its glass floor and windows was a neat experience. Once we got up to the top we took a ton of photos. I posted them all on Facebook if you want to take a look 🙂
We decided that we wanted to be really touristy that weekend so we drove up to the top of One Tree Hill so we could get lots of shots of New Zealand’s rolling hills and their sheep/lambs. Emma and I rocked our I love NZ shirts and fit in well with all the other tourists trying to take photos. It started to rain and got dark really fast but I still think our iPhones captured some great pictures! I wish the lighting was better but we had a fabulous time posing for all the shots.
Sunday was a nice sleep in day for me. I slept most of the morning trying to see if I could recover my voice. Emma couldn’t stop laughing at my manly husky voice air bubbled voice. Every time I tried to talk some weird sound would come out of me or I would think I was talking but no sound would come out. We took advantage of the sun and went to Mission Bay again. We got a lot of exercise walking along the beach and taking action shots of us by the water.
The weekend was great and I can’t wait to get out and see more of New Zealand. Thanks to everyone that is reading my blog. I am trying really hard to update my Facebook photos regularly as well as my aPAD. I wish this post was as detailed as my original one 😦
My next blog will most like be about my observations since moving here.
~~If you want to see the pictures on the blog BIGGER just click the picture and it will appear in a new window in a larger format!