I do not have anything really insightful to write, therefore I am just going to briefly breakdown what we have done in our first few days in Auckland and post several pictures. I hope you enjoy the visual aspect of our journey, although I can already tell you that these photos do not do this country justice.
We arrived in Auckland at 5:50 AM on Thursday July 11th, which was early enough to see the sunrise. Apparently New Zealand is one of the first countries in the world to see the sun rise for a new day because of the international date line. The whole concept is weird to think about because America is almost an entire day behind. For instance, I am writing this at 9 AM on Saturday morning and it is 3 PM on Friday in Denver. Since our arrival we have been going non-stop!
Joe picked Kevin and I up at the airport and we briefly stopped at his house to drop off our things before we went on a hike. We hiked to the top of Mt. Eden, which is an inactive volcano within walking distance of Joe’s apartment. The views from the top were amazing as we could see the harbor, mountains, islands, and the ocean (photos below). After our hike we went on a trek downtown via the public transport and stopped in a pub at 11 AM for a beer (it was 5 o’clock in Denver…really though!). After the pub we stopped in Joe’s favorite sushi shop, Umiya, where I had six sushi rolls for about six dollars. The exchange rate is about 75 cents US = 1 NZD.
We finished up the day when Joe dragged us along to watch the girls basketball team he coaches…the thought of Joe coaching basketball is scary, but luckily the girls had learned how to shoot from some prior experience. They lost 40-38 and the gym was like an ice box. Kevin and I were both struggling after walking around all day, not to mention the 18 hours of travelling we had done without sleep. Needless to say, it was time for bed.
The following day we went to work with Joe at Remuera Intermediate School. The kids were great and we taught an American football lesson in the middle of the day. Kev and I were both shocked when we walked into the staff room after work and all of the teachers were drinking together. Apparently, drinking in the staff room after work in NZ is not unacceptable behavior…we joined in, of course. The staff party was then moved to a pub where we remained from about 4:00 to 11:00…needless to see, it was a fun and expensive night!
We are going to go on a hike around the harbor followed by a rugby match tonight. Go Blues!
Sorry for the bland post…I just thought I’d let the pictures do the talking this time: