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Two Love Birds Head Out To Spoil Their Wedding With An Early Honeymoon

When in Rome, Go See Auckland

NEW ZEALAND | Monday, 4 April 2011 | Views [634] | Comments [1]

After not showering, doing laundry, and eating lots of PB&J sandwiches for 26 days, we thought we would drop into the "Big City" of Auckland on the North Island to get some city back in us before going to Hong Kong and Beijing.

We were fortunate enough to again have willing hosts who took us in and provided much needed internet and laundry time.  Oh and they just happened to have the primo spot in town.  Our American hosts live in Vermont part of the year (I think you can guess which months) and across the harbor from downtown Auckland the other part of the year. They double and get two summers enjoying a great little community full of used book shops, bakeries and beaches on this side of the world.  They are also just steps from the ferry that links them to downtown on which we happily arrived to see them waving for their deck.

With only 4 days in the city, we had 2 major things to accomplish.  The first was to get our Visas for China and the other was to call back to Wedding Headquarters in Vermont to get the scoop from our Wedding Planner/Mother of the Bride on all of the progress since we set sail in November.  The call back home went well and the good news is that we ARE still getting married.  Getting a Visa proved to be a bit tougher.

After researching websites, downloading forms and finding the Consolate for the Peoples Republic of China, we headed off only to show up just after they closed shop on recieiving applications for the day.  Trying to see if they would make an exception for us didn't seem like it would do a whole lot for us so we returned home (which invloved a long bus ride and then ferry trip) and set our alarm nice and early for the next morning. By our second trip to the Consolate we felt like pros on the public transportation system. We submitted our paperwork and were able to pick up our PRICEY visas 5 hours later.  Yippe!

With our time to kill we walked around Auckland's huge public gardens (you know it seems like every big city outside the U.S. we have gone to has amazing FREE gardens.)  Anyway, this one had rows and rows of pepper plants and wild-looking eggplants, and even the cool fern-like plant that curls up when you touch it.  Victoria had to pull Travis away from the plant or he might still be there! 

To celebrate our visa success we statisfied our ever-growing craving for good Mexican food and put together a darn tasty enchilada dinner. We were pretty pleased with the outcomes in that dinner was delicious and our hosts thought that we made it for them...ha!

With another day at our disposal our hosts drove us up the coast a little ways to a great reserve smack in the suburbs that felt like a million miles from the city.  Looking for a litle exercise we put on our swimmers and attempted to stay afloat while swimming along the shore and quickly found out that while we once had faint hopes of doing a triatholon some day, we are S.O.L. when it comes to any distance swimming.  After draining half the ocean out of our ears we all hopped back in the car to pick up a double chocolate truffle cake for the birthday of one of our hosts.  After a night with a wonderful sunset from the deck, expensive champage and delicious chocolate cake, how could we top this...How about leaving for Hong Kong the next morning at 5:00am on a 12 hour flight?  That ought to do it.

New Zealand By The Numbers:

50 million: Number of sheep on the South Island

1 million: Number of people living on the South Island (though we and others think this is too high)

4,124: Number of kilometers we drove in our RV

25: Number of nights in RV

25: Number of different campsites (we were on a mission to see it all by goodness!)

1: Height in miles of the world's highest cliff, located in Milford Sound

19: Number of degrees of the world's steepest street.  It was impressive

50,000: Number of chocolate balls Cadbury Chocolates rolls down the above street as an annual fundraiser (much like a rubber-ducky race).

9: According to our Cadbury guide, the number of pounds of chocolate the average American eats in a year.  Compare that to the Swiss who eat 22lbs/year!

7: Number of days without any rain.  And 6 of them where the last days we had.

1: Number of times we were stopped by a traffic light (they are firm believers in round-abouts)

Dozens: Number of times collectively we stalled our manual transmission (mind you we were shifting with out left hand and the stick itself was over 2 feet long).  It also required 2 hands just to get 'er in reverse. Oh Bertha...

Back to the land of unsafe water, mystery foods, and a language we don't understand...why are we doing this again? We will soon find out!





Hey, I hear congratulations are in order! When you get back, you should talk to my friend Lia who is from Minn. See you soon!

  Cammy Apr 7, 2011 3:12 PM

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