From the very first day I arrived in Australia….all I have heard is:
“YOU HAVE TO GET YOUR BUTT TO NEW ZEALAND!!!!!”
Thinking it was odd people were already trying to send me off to another country upon arrival, a trip over there was something I knew I had do.
Recently, many aspects of my life have not been going the way I wished they would, leaving me feeling disconnected and in a bit of a rut. When this happens, and it does from time to time, nothing helps fix the situation like taking a little getaway. Especially a getaway I have been saying I was going to take for a year!
Soooo I finally shut up about saying I was going to go and put my money where my mouth was.. well, I technically put mostly my company’s money where my mouth was… and bought my ticket to New Zealand 🙂
The plan was to work from our New Zealand office for 2 days, to dazzle and entertain our New Zealander clients with my American charm, of course. Then have two days of fishing, boating and tramping.
Note for my American friends- tramping means something totally different in New Zealand (Thank God!) 🙂
So..That was the plan!! But this is what happened……
I get to the airport after work on a Friday night. I am in a red dress, a winter red dress with long sleeves, in no way like a “sexy lady in red hubba hubba” type deal. I put my stuff down to go through the scanner as I watch everyone in front of me just walking through. When it comes to my turn, instead of just breezing through like everyone else, authority grabs me and guides me towards the whole body scanner.
I stand inside having no idea what the heck to do with my limbs, while simultaneously trying to refer to the horrible Ikea looking pictures on the wall for guidance.
They run the scan – I see a green light – but before I was able to get 2 steps out of the machine they grab me saying,
“Miss, we need to run it again”
“Noooo.. But. What whyyyy?? Just hurry up and let me get to the duty free chocolate already!!!!!!”
They full body scan me again and I am green again so they let me go to get my bags. As I grab for my stuff I have another person pull me aside who starts tapping all over my body with a mental wand. Confused whether if he was trying to turn me into Cinderella or a rabbit, I just stood there annoyed as he was tap tap tapping all over my body. He explained it was just a routine explosive test and not to worry, but in that moment he tapped my purse and a loud beep went off followed by a red light. REALLY!?!
THIS CAN’T BE GOOD.
They then rescanned my body before puling me aside in a private room where they continue the fun by emptying my purse out. Candy wrappers, casino cards, calculators, hot sauce packets – you know, the normal stuff – one by one they empty out every item before confirming I was indeed NOT carrying explosives (DUH) and finally let me on my jolly way after over 20 minutes of bullying.
Now feeling a bit violated, molested and grumpy from lack of chocolate I WAS NOT consuming, I was really ready to get the heck out of Sydney and off to beautiful New Zealand.
When I arrived in New Zealand, it looked exactly like how I imagined…..
Look at it’s beauty in all of it’s Glory!!!!
Tired, rainy and hungry, I quickly checked into the hotel and ordered my routine room service. Not being what one would call a “morning person”, I decided to be lame and hit the hay as I had client meetings starting way to early for any actual brain functioning.
I take that back, I can beeee a morning person… but “morning” needs to start after 11 🙂
When I woke up I sat and admired the stunning views before heading off to my meetings. These all just involve your normal charm here and charm there, and this American struggling tremendously with understanding anything anyone was saying because of their crazy accents.
Luckily there was FOOD!
Plenty of food to stuff my mouth with when they ask a question I dont know the answer to, leaving my co worker with no choice but to answer it for me.
Yes, I know, I AM A GENIUS.
Once the show was over, we went back to the office to do some actual work, and what I mean by actual work is buy a bottle of Champagne to celebrate… ummm…. well…
Screw it, we just wanted some champagne!!
We spent the evening running around, as my lovely coworker took me from bar to bar all over the city to check out the night life and culture. Everywhere we went there was great wine, delicious food, and very friendly people. I really enjoyed the vibes and energy I was feeling from all around the city, OR actually, that could of just been all the wine..
That next morning I woke up to very loud knocks on the door from the cleaning lady. Annoyed as it was louder than HELL, I told the lady to come back later as I was still getting my beauty sleep – which means – Still drunk, need sleep.
About 30 minutes later I hear the knocking again.
“ Stiiiiiiiiillllllllllllllll sleeepinggggggggggggggggggggg goooooo awayyyyyyyyy”.
I fall back asleep just to get woken up AGAIN 20 minutes later with an even louder banging. I said again,”please come back later I am still sleeping lady” but this time a man responded
“ Miss this isn’t the cleaner, it is the hotel manager, you were supposed to check out over 3 hours ago.”
“Ummmm yea totally just in the shower (turns on shower) checking out shortly”
But in my defence, that bed was way too comfy to sleep in any less than 12 hours. That would just be disrespectful! 😉
I spent the rest of my morning, well, afternoon wandering the city, going from coffee place to pub to restaurant to attach to wifi in order to get some work done. Place two was an Irish pub where I had the most delicious fish and chips. The rest of O’Hagen’s food looked amazing, definitely not your average pub food.
I had the harbour to my left, some hot guys to my right, and my email and chips in front of me.
Not too shabby for a Friday afternoon.
The next place I stopped was at the Sky Tower as I am a sucker for being anywhere with beautiful views. It is just unfortunate this sucker just also happens to have a very very bad fear of heights!
As the elevator began to take me to the top deck, I began to have a bit of an anxiety attack as the elevator is GLASS and you can see outside as you are going up.
I clinged on the hand rails for dear life, kinda screaming bloody murder, kinda making a scene.. which kinda freaked out the 4 other people in the elevator making them scream bloody murder along with me.
Good times Good times..
Once we got up there, all 184 metres up there, I was finally able to gather my stomach from off the ground and actually take a look outside. Within seconds, I could see the view was quite breathtaking and worth the near death experience I had just encountered. I set up my work station and spent the rest of the afternoon working from on top of Auckland and enjoying the 360 view.The only problem I had was..eventually, I knew I had to some how get back down :/
The following day my coworker and her partner took me to Piha Beach to do some hiking up to a waterfall.
YES YES YES! Finally some me against nature type action!
The beach was beautiful with green teal water shimmering from the pockets of sunlight. And the sand was black! I do not recall ever seeing such powdered black sand anywhere else before, making this beach even more divine. The hike up to the waterfall was easy thanks to my tramping shoes 🙂 and about 2 hours later we reached mother earth at her greatest.
We were only able to sneak away 2 hours before the weather took a turn again for the worse and El Nino came pouring down. We escaped to a local winery, where we indulged ourselves in delicious wine while staring out at a gloomy vineyards.
To rainy to do anything else, we headed back home to drink some scotch and play some poker.
I totally won, and what I mean by won was absolutely lost!
(And I even cheated, wtf?)
The rest of my trip was supposed to be filled of outdoor activities and fun and… super fun, but instead I became a prisoner to the weather.
So that meant… none of this:
Rain rain rain and not even fun rain.
Rain with wind and rain with hate!
On the flight back from Auckland I felt content I could finally tick NZ of my bucket-list and extremely grateful for my co-worker and her partner for their hospitality with taking in this girl with no questions asked. Even though I had a nice time, I couldn’t help but be a bit down and that most of everything I was really looking forward to doing never happened.
Mid flight I decided to just sit back, relax and listen to some music the airline supplied, trying to mentally prepare myself to return back to reality in Sydney. I came across a album I use to listen to every single day when living back in Orange County, during a time in my life where I was also feeling in a bit of a rut. It brought me back to the days I would take my daily lunch walks around the OC airport while day dreaming of being on one of those planes on my way to Australia, with hopes in finding a more meaningful life.
Rehearing the album now, at this point in my life, really put things in to perspective for me for the first time in weeks.
In that exact moment, I began smiling about where I was in life and how far I have came, instead of feeling unhappy with where I was not not.
Though everything is not going my way – a lot is.
Though life in Sydney is not perfect – it’s damn close.
My thoughts of feeling sorry for myself began to disappear as my normal positive outlook on life started to resurface.
Sometimes it takes something so small and silly like hearing an old song, to help remind you how good things actually are.
So I got off that plane happy with a smile on my face, while remembering that everything isn’t always going to go according to my plan, but in the end, maybe that’s the best part 🙂
I am trying to help raise money to support adults living with cancer this month. Please help out and donate, it would mean a lot to me and heck of a lot to those who are in need 🙂 Why not get your good deed for the day done now?
Link to donate is below, Thank you <3
This was funny to read because I’m from Auckland but haven’t lived there in so long it’s like a holiday destination now… and the weather is diabolical in winter. Rain with wind and hate, as you say. I hope you can return in summer and it’s so true sometimes listening to music from a previous “era” revives us from a slump!
You obviously didn’t see NZ at it’s best, shame. Try South Island in the Summer the next time you go, the area around Mt Cook and Queenstown should satisfy your walking wishes. See my first blog and the post in March 2013. (www.thereadrovers.wordpress.com)
Quite an adventure and beautiful pics
“ Miss this isn’t the cleaner, it is the hotel manager, you were supposed to check out over 3 hours ago.”
Funniest holiday story ever!