Ana was excited to have Emma over so that someone was up in the morning with her while Kaik and I had a nice little sleep in. They enjoyed their morning tea. When I got up Ana treated me to a delicious breakfast sandwich with egg, avocado and tomato! We started our day adventure off in the direction of One Tree Hill but had a little difficulty getting there without using the GPS (since we could not remember the proper name for the park). Cromwell Park is what the GPS prefers we call it. The top had extreme winds as we were trying to not get blown over and keep the hair out of our faces while taking pictures. We spent the majority of our time chasing sheep trying to pet them. Though Kaik got close a few times, no one actually touched a sheep. Next we headed to downtown to check out some neat shops along Queen Street and do last minute souvenir shopping, as it would be the girls’ last time downtown shopping before their departure.
Emma was delighted to see a guy dressed up as the ‘Mad Hatter’ and excitedly sat down and had tea with him, on the sidewalk, with a huge smile on her face as she loves Alice in Wonderland. I found his voice to be very creepy but give him credit for putting in all the time to do the full face of makeup and dress himself in quite the elaborate outfit.
The evening was spent indulging in Grey Goose Momma Whitley so generously bought us from the duty free shop. We loved our joint Christmas present. Even with all the public transit confusion we were able to get ourselves on the right bus and rode it for about an hour until we arrived at downtown Auckland.
We went to a bar which was half inside and had an outside portion which was pretty neat since it was a nice night. Over time the bar did seem to get a little crowded and Ana (during her kiwi-style dancing) ended up stepping on some glass. Emzie’s handy dandy band aid really came in handy. Even though the bar wasn’t closed a yet we ventured to find yummy food, the best thing after a night out.
“This seems like a dark alley…” “It’s a shortcut!” “Lane -Fu@k it – just take it. YOLO” [I was scared but we survived :)]
We just missed our bus and would have to wait at least 45 minutes for the next one so we chose to take a taxi home. After asking around we decided to go with the taxi that could offer us the best estimated rate. The ladies had a fun night and could finally say they had experienced the downtown night life.
Only one more day before Ana and Kaik depart for Australia 😦
I am saddened that their adventures with us are coming to an end.
One more group beach day before things get back into our daily routine.
We had a pretty lazy morning today. We had breakfast and hung around the house until after morning tea. We packed lunch and then headed over to Albany Mall. I took the boys to Whitcoulls (it is very similar to Chapters; but also sells craft kits and toys). The store is two floors with the top floor being the kids’s section. They have a huge colouring section and play area for guardians to take children. During the summer, the store hosts free activity times to sample their products. While the boys took part in the colouring segment, Ana and Kaik visiteda few shops. We all met up to eat our packed lunch and shop around to a few more shops around Albany mall. We headed back to Whitcoulls so we could colour large Disney colouring sheets. The boys had a great time having 3 girls to colour with them.
Once dinner and dishes were done the girls and I excitedly headed to downtown Auckland. We went back to Queen Street to poke our heads into the souvenir shops. Once it got dark we finally got to go on the Sky Screamer!! We were all very nervous while being strapped in as it looked a lot scarier than the Sky Swing in Rotorua. When I lived in the hostel I watched numerous people on the ride being flung INTO THE AIR then flipped around all screaming their heads off. I couldn’t wait to do it myself and my high expectations were NOT LET DOWN. My favourite carnival ride has always been THE ZIPPER where you go around on a “ferris wheel” and as you are going around your individual carts flip in circles! . The Sky Screamer was 10x better than any Zipper ride!! Highly recommend the ride to anyone who likes that belly flopping feeling. WE felt like we were falling and flying at the same time. I would have done it over and over again if we didn’t have to pay. We refused to pay 10$ for a single picture of us, or 40$ for the video so I made my own…thank you iphone 🙂 I made a video of our ride and posted it on my facebook account. It doesn’t have any sound but it’s pretty funny watching our facial expressions!
After our exhilarating ride we decided to each treat ourselves to some delightful McDonalds before heading home.
I am back on holidays tomorrow 🙂 Life is good!!!
xox Buddha Blessings everyone,
Amanda, Ana & Kaik
9 days later with only one bed swap and I am smiling. I can now laugh at myself for how terrified I was to move into a hostel by myself. The flooding of fears and anxiety were for nothing. Living in this hostel is like living in dorms. There are communal bathrooms and showers and you are always paranoid that you will forget to bring your key. You try to be as neat, and quiet so as to be as respectful as possible to your 5 to 9 other roommates. I chose the woman’s only quarters so there are only 6 beds in my room. The floors are carpeted and the bedding is clean and decently warm. I have heard from other roommates that the “Sanctuary” hall is nicer than some of the lower floors so I am glad I didn’t go with the co-ed rooms. Sounds like females get better treatment here! Woot! It was a BIG debate in my mind whether or not I should pay 3$ extra a night to have a room with a window or not. I decided the splurge would lessen my feelings of isolation. My bed used to have my head right next to the door. So I jumped at the opportunity to switch beds when one of the girls moved out. Now I am situated closer to a wall outlet and a better view of the window.
Internet is not free! My first day of moving in I was trying to seek out hotspots on my iPhone. A girl from Argentina kindly told me that the nearest places to get it free were McDonalds or the library. It wasn’t unlimited and would boot you off but at least they were nearby locations. So for the first day I tried to survive on just free internet. I found it extremely hard to be job searching, keeping in contact with friends and blogging while trying to remain connected on a free server. So by day 2 I had caved and paid for a 3 day package of internet. Not ideal to have to pay for internet while unemployed but I believe it helped me to stay sane.
I love living downtown. The hustle and bustle of the streets helps me to not feel so alone. I have been walking up and down the main roads every day. It hilly roads are becoming a great source of free exercise.
I have met lots of interesting people since moving in. I wouldn’t go as far as saying I have made many friends – but I have been involved in some great nightly discussions. ALL from my room. I do not talk to people in the lounge or kitchen. I just do not feel comfortable enough to spark up a conversation. So far from my room I have met ladies from:
It’s been amazing to hear everyone’s’ first time hostel experiences. It really is comforting to know we all shared the same thoughts and fears. I told them how on my first night here I slept with my passport and wallet tucked in my purse and my purse was under the blankets at the foot of my bed with a foot firmly planted on the strap. Another girl said she slept with her purse under her pillow but it was so uncomfortable. Everyone except for 1 lady travelled here with a backpack. We have laughed over Murphy’s Law about needing the item that is at the very bottom of the pack. Or how heavy the bag is to carry but thank goodness we packed what we did. New Zealand is expensive and we are glad we brought all the necessities from home. It has been sad to say goodbye! It sounds like everyone has been having great experiences and I have been encouraging them all to post pictures and blogs so I can keep in touch!
Job hunting has had its good and bad days. I have been in contact with families and had a few interviews and even went as far as making my own post on a website. Au Pair families don’t seem to be too interested in having someone live with them this late in the year. It seems like January is a really popular time for families to want someone to move in. It’s hard trying to stay in touch with wireless and no local phone number but I am doing the best I can. A roommate and I have seriously been discussing heading South and going fruit picking for a month or so. I had never considered doing it alone –but NOW that someone else wants to do it with me my interest has peaked. I opened a bank account and am in the process of getting an IRD number. Summer positions will start to open up soon so we are just looking into accommodations and rates of pay (contract vs. daily). It would be ideal if I could fruit pick for a few months and build my savings then come back and move in with another family. That way, Emzie and I can still travel on weekends and I’ll have some banked money for Australia — A girl can dream right?!
The other day, someone who loves me unconditionally; lovingly advised me:
“Just keep a vision of the right job/situation in your head and you will find it”
I keep reminding myself to stay positive. This isn’t what I had expected but this is life. I am living and breathing and everything happens for a reason.
Love that people are still reading the blog!