Auckland! Auckland! Auckland!

Auckland is a very unique city! Before arriving here I had hear it was quite comparable to Vancouver, so this is what I was expecting. I guess in some ways it is. there are lots of people, all over the place. There is a beautiful waterfront, right on the ocean. Some of the buildings are really quite gorgeous and the weather can change in a matter of moments! 

One thing that I always notice about a new city is what people wear. There really is no standard here. You'll see tow girls walking together, one dressed to the nines, decked out in sky-high heels and jewels all over her, and her friend will be wearing a messy sundress and converse sneakers. It's a bit random, but it definitely makes me feel better about my backpacker wardrobe!  

The buildings are unique! Really really old character buildings in among brand new all glass towers. There are palm trees all over the place and it is very humid. Their trees are massive!! Not really tall like in Vancovuer, but very very wide and big. It's quite neat to see. The drivers are very entertaining, just honking and honking for what appears to be no reason at all. 

Our hostel, ACB Base Backpackers, was right off of Queen Street, the main strip of downtown. (Thanks for the heads up about Queen Street Sue!) It was nice to just wander up and down the street, looking at all the shops and people. My favourite part of downtown is at a busy intersection. The traffic lights stop cars in all directions and a big mass of people walk in every direction in the middle of the road. It's beautiful chaos. You have to be careful though, this only happens at a few intersections.. and seeing as they drive on the other side of the road, we're still adjusting to which way to look first before jetting out into the street. 

Realizing that we aren't really downtown people, we did some fun day-trip excursions, exploring the outskirts of downtown Auckland. We went trekking to One Tree Hill - a historical monument on top of a hill, Mount Eden - an old volcanic cone, and wandered along the fancy Parnell Village. Everything here is just so BIG!! The green spaces are massive amounts of rolling green hills, all very lush still for it being the end of their summer. 
We saw our first sheep up on One Tree Hill. This was a very exciting moment for the two of us! We baaa'd and raaam'd and ewe'd ... just like on Babe, but the sheep weren't big fans of that. We learned that we haven't quite honed our sheep-speaking abilities yet - all the sheep just got up and walked away from us. Give it time, they will come! We'll make friends.. just you wait!! 

New Zealand, at least Auckland, is definitely more expensive than Victoria. Just a plain, drip-coffee, size small is usually $4! So a latte is a truly delicious and wonderful splurge! Is it wrong that I care more about a delicious cup of coffee than a healthy meal? :s hmm.. priorities.  
Internet is usually $3 for an hour, unless you find one of the few coffee shops that offer you one hour wifi in exchange for buying something. Currently I am happily seated in an Esquires coffee shop, looking at a teeny tiny adorable birdy happily bouncing around the coffee shop beside me.
It is rainy here today, but still very warm!

More on Auckland and Our Next Adventure

I have come to my own conclusion that there is no rhyme or reason as to why New Zealanders do what they do. Prices for things change randomly throughout the day. why? Just because. They never have a reason. They build brand new beautiful buildings right beside old, run-down shacks that look like they'll barely last one more winter. why? Just because. We asked four different bus drivers the same question and got four different answers as to how to get to the same place. And I think they were all wrong.. haha.. Luke just got us there with his own sense of direction. Oh.. turns out, Luke is a great day-trip planner and has a wonderful sense of direction!! I am very very verrrrrry thankful he possesses these skills!! For anyone that knows me well enough knows that , well, I get lost in my own head, let alone trying to find my way around a new city!! 

Today Luke and I begin our "around the middle of the North Island" adventure for at least 5 weeks we'll be trekking around and stopping in a bunch of neat little cities. We'll be busing on this adventure!

Raglan - a little surf town with a cool vibe
Rotorua - a unique town with lots to see and do
Waitomo - to do some underground cave adventuring
Taupo - because we heard that it's cool
Tauranga - to try our hand at working on a farm!
Wellington - because we heard its a lot like our little Victoria
Marilyn
03/19/2012 8:26am

Glad you guys made it over there (or down under there) safely! I'll keep following you...nice blog!! Luv ya!!

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sweet dea
03/23/2012 4:00pm

Thanks Marilyn!! Glad to hear from you! My laptop seems to be buggered up but ill write more when its fixed!! :) xoxo

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Aislinn
03/20/2012 2:46pm

I stayed at ACB in September!!! It's so central.

If you're still in Auckland, try checking out Waiheike Island... Reminded me of an upscale Salt Spring :) And heads up Rotorua is smelly, but lots of 'native' culture there... Loved it.


Keep having do much fun!!!

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Sweet Dea
03/23/2012 4:02pm

Yay ACB! Very central! It was perfect. And quite clean too :) we will be back in Auckland so we'll fit that into our schedule. I think I've heard people saying things about it, but all these crazy names blend together, hah!

Take care!!

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brenda
03/20/2012 6:24pm

really love this dea, you are a great writer and i"m enjoying your updates, miss you two tons but so excited for you both

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Sweet Dea
03/23/2012 4:05pm

So happy to hear from you missy, and to know that my words put a smile on your face! I'm thinking of you all the time!! Xoxo

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TaMMA
03/21/2012 12:44pm

Yay Dea! I was so excited to finally get internet back so I could read up on you. Tell Luke that the seaman is very proud of him for his navigation skills

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Sweet Dea
03/23/2012 7:46pm

TanMan! How's sea life? I have told Luke, although I literally tell him everyday.. As he laughs at my pathetic attempts to tell him he's going the wrong way, then realize I'm going the wrong way..then try out the puppy dog eyes. Hahaha. Its never-ending. Miss you!!!!

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Marilyn
03/21/2012 12:52pm

Don't drown!! There is quite a lot of flooding on the North Island! We got some pictures here...quite devastating! However, on another note, it snowed here in Burnaby yesterday! Gone today...but still chilly! I'm jealous!! Take care!!

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Sweet Dea
03/23/2012 7:47pm

Snow!? That's ridiculous! And don't worry! No flooding where we are! Headed to Rotorua now. Supposed to be a fun little town! Xoxo

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Annie
03/21/2012 5:59pm

I just finished a LONG day of work and this was the perfect way to lift my spirits and put a smile on my face. :) Always thinking of you! xoxox

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Daphne Goode
03/25/2012 10:24am

Hi Dea;
Finally caught up with all your blogging...LOVE IT! You are definitely giving us the taste, feel and emotion you are enjoying in NZ--thank you for all you are sharing! See what I mean about Rotorua??? Definitely the hot springs would have been a treat, but you can smell it miles away, right? Your photos are a treat as well.
I don't know how we are managing without you at WestShore Chamber, but somehow, we are muddling through!!! All is progressing well, and we have almost a brand new show ready to hit the airwaves. I am going to consciously try and remove work talk from future emails, though, just wanted to share the excitement about the new show, because you were KEY in getting the whole team motivated. Looking forward to following every word in your blog, and SO glad you are reading Tolle's work. Remember our last meeting? We talked a lot about inner happiness, and I don't know if I mentioned that Tolle's book was the best thing I did while recuperating from knee surgery in January. Reading that book, The Power of Now, I think of now as a "tune-up" and very necessary as a regular check in for oneself!

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