Ringing in 2011 with the Kiwis! (And a man from Bristol)

Yesterday was New Years Eve day! Hooray! And we got to experience 2011 before a lot of other people, one of the very first New Years’ in the world!

We started the day off by feeding some crazy ducks and birds by Josh and Louise’s. We even saw an infamous Pukeko! They look like tiny little dinosaurs.

Then we went to the beach by Josh and Louise’s house. We drank some beers, swam in the ocean (which was so warm, by the way!) and played rugby and a hybrid kiwi-american version of 4 person cricket. Matt and I couldn’t figure out how to bowl (pitch) the ball without bending our arms like a baseball throw. It was pretty fun and isn’t as confusing as one could be led to believe. I couldn’t exactly master how to throw a rugby ball either, but one thing at a time! One guy on the beach said there was a shark in the waves, but we didn’t see anything. Louise and I get to say we swam with the sharks though, and the boys can make no such claim because they didn’t even swim in the water! (chickens…)

After some cleaning up, we prepared for our New Year’s Eve celebration! We went over to a friend of Josh and Louise’s house and ate some food, started drinking there, and watched everyone play a GIGANTIC Jenga game. They had some delicious food to eat and everyone there was super nice. They had hired a bus to take everyone (about 40 or 50 people) to a boat on the harbor for New Years. When we got on the boat we had some more drinks, and danced the night away until 12:00am, when we watched the fireworks the shot off around the bay. We had tons and tons of fun on that boat. 🙂

This morning, the first day of 2011, we all slept in late and were a little worse for the wear. Josh and Louise had some friends and family over for a BBQ and they made some yummy burgers and sausages. We got to eat some NZ ice cream (hokey pokey and goody goody gumdrops), and I’m really enjoying the Lemon and Paeroa soda they have over here. I’m going to have to figure out how to get some of it when we’re at home!

For tomorrow, the plan is to go to a rugby tournament. They’ll have drinks, music and food all day long, and we’ve never seen an actual rugby game, and even though this is just “7’s” which is a shorter and quicker match, it should be really cool to see. It’s bed early tonight I think! Cheers!

Monday, What Happened to Tuesday?, Wednesday & Thursday

So! We made it to New Zealand, as you could probably tell from our cryptic facebook posts. We left LAX at 10:00pm on Monday December 27th, after a traffic-filled drive up from San Diego, and arrived in Auckland, New Zealand at around 7:30am Wednesday December 29th. Our flight didn’t seem too long, because it was a red eye, we got a bit a sleep and watched some movies. I wouldn’t say that the flight was exactly quick, but it definitely wasn’t as bad as we had thought it would be. The airplane was actually quite nice, and had adequate leg room. Our new neck pillows and some homeopathic sleep remedies helped as well. 🙂  Josh and Louise were there to greet us at the airport, and it is weird to be the ones being driven around for once!

So we missed out on Tuesday (hopefully Tuesday treated you all well in the US), and after landing Josh and Louise took us for some coffee and along the way to their home, which is like 3 hours away from the Auckland airport, we stopped for lunch at a little train station cafe. They have a train that operates there still as well. The weather was gorgeous and sunny, and as we were trying to figure out the calculations between Celsius and Fahrenheit, a man tried to explain his own calculation to figure it out, but ended up just confusing us even more.

We had some sandwiches and I got to see if my credit card would really work over here (it did). And then we continued along to Josh and Louise’s house. We finally got to meet the infamous Winston, and also met Louise’s dad.

Josh and Louise showed us the beaches right by their house, and drove us up to Mt. Maunganui which is close too. There are a lot more people here this time of year, because it’s peak season in the summer and right around New Years. We weren’t really feeling too much jet lag but we still went to bed pretty early after watching Taken at their house.

This morning, Thursday morning, we woke up late and had some fun shopping around where there live; the boys to the electronics store, and the girls to the clothing stores! Later in the evening we went to De Bier Haus and had some drinks and played pool, then to one of Josh and Louise’s favorite restaurants, The Flying Burrito Brothers. They made pretty authentic Mexican food, and we should know. 🙂 After dinner we all went to see Little Fockers at the theater in Tauranga.

Tomorrow being New Year’s Eve day, we’re going to have a ice picnic on the beach, and then go on a boat in the harbor for the Eve!  That’s all for now! -Alana