Oh, for it feels SO good to revisit this blog!!! Like revisiting an old friend, if you will.
I am returning here to tell you all about my last few remaining weeks spent in New Zealand. Middle-Earth. Aotearoa. Land of the long white cloud. Oh, yes. For it is the most beautiful country on the planet!!!
I would tell you more about Sydney before I left there, but to be honest, there’s not much to tell. I was really just working so that I could buy my plane ticket home and to have money to go around New Zealand with Curtis once I got there. Although I didn’t get to see any of Australia, I will say that Sydney is an AWESOME city and I met some very cool people there. I would like to go back and see more of the country. Being that it’s so huge, there’s a LOT to see.
Actually, I can tell you about this. One of the few things I ACTUALLY did.
There is a museum in Sydney called “The Powerhouse Museum” and there was an exhibit there called “The 80’s Are Back”. Being a product of the 80’s myself, I had to go. I later found out that they had on display there one of Michael Jackson’s diamond gloves and his black sparkly jacket that he wore for Motown 25, when he performed Billie Jean live for the first time and also did the moonwalk for the first time. AWESOME!!! Here's a photo from that performance. It's really just an excuse to post a photo of Michael Jackson but you never know, some people might not have seen it!!!
I met up with another Michael Jackson fan that I met online. Her name is Rianaa and she is the sweetest girl!!! Here are some of the photos that we took while we were there:
The 80's albums wall. There's Thriller!!!
Michael Jackson collecting cards.
Michael Jackson doll. I own this, I own this!!!
Me with Michael.
The jacket and glove. Sweeeeeeeeeet.
Me with Thriller.
Me and Rianaa with Thriller.
Me with the glove. I love this one!!! I can't believe I was that close to it, ACK!!!
The whole display.
Me with Mike, again.
My roommate, Carolina, came with me also. And can I just say, that out of all the people I have shared a room with on my travels, she has been the best roommate I have EVER had. She’s from Peru and she is such a sweetheart. I hope that I get to see her again.
This is Carolina.
Me and Rianna at the end of the day.
I also had a last night out with my housemates. Here's some photos from that night:
Sid, me and Carolina. Sid is from India.
Sid has a thing for women's necks. I wasn't the only one he was doing that to!!!
Kamila, me, Sid, Erica and Octavio.
Carolina, me, Erica, Kamila. The two girls on the right are from Brazil.
Octavio, Sid, me, Carolina, Kamila.
Carolina, Octavio, me.
Sid and Carolina. See???
Carolina and Octavio. Peru and Brazil represent!!!
Sid and Octavio.
Carolina and Sid.
Me, Kamila and Carolina.
My friend Johanna stopped by to see me off. She's from Sweden.
Carolina and me.
Okay, so anyways. Back to New Zealand!!!
Curtis and I have been planning this trip since way back in the day so it was nice to actually finalize the trip. Like buying and reserving things and all that fun stuff that comes with planning a trip. It did get a bit tedious at times. Oh the amount of hours we spent on the phone!!! Curtis spent a lot of money calling me.
Curtis bought his plane ticket and it arrived at 6:30 in the morning on April 19th. My plan was to get a flight from Sydney to Auckland to meet him at the airport and coordinate it the best that I could. The closest flight that I could get to the time that he was coming in was 11:30 the previous night. UGH!!! That was the one I had to go with and I made the decision to spend the night in the airport because it would so not be worth paying for a ride to a hostel, paying for a hostel and then paying for a ride BACK to the airport just to meet up with Curtis. NOT WORTH IT. I’d rather stay in the airport on my laptop and fight to keep myself awake until Curtis arrived. Which is what I did. I spent the time creating the ultimate road trip playlist to listen to in our rental car. I called it “Goin’ Places: The Ultimate Road Trip Playlist” and it is, by far, the ultimate road trip play list. I think I shall keep it forever.
Curtis finally arrived and we got all our things and went to pick up our rental car. Curtis kept saying “Sara, I’m in New Zealand”. Yeah, I know, Curtis. So am I. So, by this time, I’ve been up for almost 24 hours and the adrenaline is kicking in. Because that’s what I needed to run on if I wanted to stay awake. We planned A LOT in the first day. After picking up our rental car we were then gonna drive to the small town of Matamata which is where they filmed all of the Shire scenes for the Lord of the Rings films and then from there drive to one of New Zealand’s bigger cities called Rotorua. It’s in that city that we had our first hostel booked. Here’s photos of our rental car experience:
In the shuttle from the airport to the rental car place.
Curtis' first time driving on the other side of the road, haha!!!
Neither of us had eaten so we stopped at one of New Zealand’s many road side cafes, The Pink Pig:
It was in this cafe that Curtis discovered the drink “L&P” which he would continue to drink throughout the entire trip.
Half an hour later, we made it to Matamata where we had a reservation to do a Shire tour. As you enter the town, this is what you see:
welcome to hobbiton
They are quite proud of themselves for being the town that houses the Shire. Good on ‘em!!! Curtis and I took photos:
On our way to the set:
This is the map they provide you to see where everything used to be.
Curtis is excited.
Loads more sheep, as usual.
They were building up the set again for “The Hobbit”!!! SO EXCITING!!! It hasn’t even been given the green light yet but we saw them working on it. YAY!!!
This one is where they are putting "The Green Dragon" back in!!!
Here’s photos of Curtis and I on the set:
The party tree!!! ACK!!!
This is the pathway that Gandalf drives his cart through, right before the Hobbit children run up to him asking for fireworks!!!
A close-up of the party tree.
The pathway up to Bag End!!!
This was when I actually lost it. Not only was I incredibly delirious but I couldn't believe that I was inside BAG END!!!
This is my favorite shot!!!
Inside looking out. Party tree on the right!!!
This is the window that Gandalf pulls Samwise through when he is eavesdropping.
This picture turned out great but it makes me puke. It's like Curtis and I are a newlywed couple and we just picked out our new home. Gag.
We tried out our own forced perspective shots!!! One of the many techniques used in the films to make the hobbits look small!!!
After the tour we got to go to a wool shed and watch this HOT KIWI BOY sheer a sheep. It was awesome. Mainly because of his arms. They were like Wolverine’s arms. Yum...
And then he proceeded to shave this guys head who was on the tour with us!!!
Then we got to feed baby lambs. ACK!!! SO CUTE!!!
The tour altogether was about 2 hours and I was SO HAPPY that I FINALLY got to see the Shire. I could NOT leave New Zealand without seeing it, it was amazing.
Afterwards we headed on to Rotorua. I was eager to check in to the hostel and take a shower as I had then been up for 36 hours. We made really good time since we left so early. It was still light out when we reached Rotorua. We even saw a rainbow:
The first of many that we would see on our trip. And we stayed at “Rotorua Central Backpackers” which was a VERY nice hostel. Clean, nice rooms, friendly staff. I highly recommend them.
We went out to get a bite to eat and had our first drink in New Zealand. Well, Curtis’ first drink, anyway. We each had a Speights. It’s a New Zealand beer and it’s quite tasty.
We then headed back to the hostel and by this time I was delirious from lack of sleep, everything was funny. Actually, I think it was because I hadn’t been around Curtis for so long, I forgot how animated he was and everything HE was doing was funny:
And so ends our first VERY LONG DAY in New Zealand.
Day two and other days soon to come!!!
Don’t worry. There will be loads of updates as we took 2,000 photos. Holy crap!!!