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June 3- Sulfur City, Vegas, or otherwise known as Rotorua

Today I woke up in a slightly grumpy mood. I was very ready to leave the hostel, there were so many people there in the kitchen (when my mood started) and two weeks is just about my limit to live somewhere like that. I’m not sure if I wrote a lot about what the conditions were like, but I’ll tell you what got annoying. My room was right across the hall from the community shower stall and “toilet” stalls. They don’t call them bathrooms or restrooms here, you don’t bath or rest in a room with just a toilet. So we could constantly hear the doors shut at all hours of the night. Not to mention, they were pretty gross. My first shower was wonderful- I had been in my clothes for about two days straight from all the plane rides and it felt so good to be clean. After that though, everything gross became super noticeable. I think these past two weeks; I have taken the fastest showers ever just to be back in the room and out of the stalls. The hallway ALWAYS smelled so bad, like B.O. so we didn’t spend much time there. The kitchen and eating area was super big, but there were always so many people crowded around, getting food out of their cubbies, using the sinks and stoves, and just hanging out. Needless to say, I was ready for a change of scenery.

We were supposed to take a van (that seated about 10, which is our entire group) on the four hour bus ride to Rotorua. Cameron, our bus driver was super super awesome and brought a huge bus for our travel day. Everyone had about 4 seats to themselves and it was so nice to spread out and take pictures on the way there. We stopped at the Shire’s Rest and went on the Hobbiton tour. That was sooo cool! Unfortunately, we had to sign a waiver stating that everything we saw and heard wouldn’t be publically displayed until the second Hobbit movie was released. But I can put up all the sheep pictures I took! The set of the movie is right on a sheep farm and there were probably about 500 sheep just walking around the whole time we were there (had to watch where we stepped though!).

After our tour, we got back on the bus and rode for another two hours to Rotorua. Once we got there, we checked into our HOTEL (such a nice upgrade) and figured out who was sleeping where. There are three rooms, Dr. Cunningham gets her own room, and there are seven of us with four beds, a trundle, and a couch between the two rooms. So, I’m in a double with Beth and everyone else split it up the way they wanted. I think it will probably work out, no one seems upset with the situation. Although Ethan is sleeping outside a room of girls on the couch, that should be interesting.

The main street of Rotorua is about 15 blocks long and there are all kinds of shops around. I went window shopping with a few girls from my group, we stopped in some souvenir places and I got a few little trinkets to remember my trip when I go home. It was getting to be dinner time, so we ate at this cute café called Fat Dog. There was so much to look at on the menu; it took us about 10 minutes to decide just what we wanted. I ordered a roast chicken Panini and it was delicious! It had chicken, cream cheese, red onions, mango slices, and peace sauce. It was very big too and I was a happy camper after I cleaned the plate! I didn’t do much else after dinner except repack my suitcase (after I took out five outfits for the time we are here) and then it’s to bed! Tomorrow is going to be a very full day… Maori museum at 11 and then Maori dinner at 5:45. I’m sure there’ll be lots to say about that!


June 4, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Glad you’re back Laura.. missed hearing from you those few days..
    and am happy to see you have a new environment to explore!! Thanks for including details of what you’re eating.. it’s such a nice change from Fville hamburgers and pizza. 🙂 love, possum

    Comment by Possum Thomas | June 4, 2011 | Reply

  2. Hi Sweetheart! I can CERTAINLY understand why you might have a little grumpy attitude after 2 weeks of a “hostile” (haha!) living environment!! I believe I would be a little grumpy to say the least myself! But this is how we develop a tough skin and learn to adapt to difficult situations in life. That is why studying in New Zealand will broaden your experiences and it is such a wonderful opportunity for you…a great learning experience!! Not only to see how other people live in other parts of the world, but to also develop an appreciation for our everyday life in America. We all have so much to be thankful for. I think if you look at it as not how many more days until I CAN get on the plane to go home, but how many more days until I HAVE to get on the plane.
    Glad that you were able to move on and have a change of scenery and upgrades!! See how much you appreciate it!! 🙂 It is AWESOME that you guys had a BUS to travel on! How is Ethan holding out with all of that Estrogen in the air!! He is a BRAVE fellow!
    Rotorua sounds like an quaint little town. Your blog ALWAYS makes me so hungry after reading your meal selections! I would LOVE to experience and roast chicken Panini! Let us know how the museum and Maori dinner are! Can’t wait to hear about it!
    Bubbie and I had an awesome time in Illinois this week! Your absence was felt by everyone. The babies have grown sooo much since Easter! I will have to tell you everything we did and saw while visiting! As always, it was very tiring, but very rewarding! Ella and Sam talked about you a lot! They will be moving July 1 to another home and have soooo much to do to get ready. We went into the home that they are renting to take some measurements and Aunt Tris showed us YOUR bedroom when we visit again! GREAT backyard for the babies to play in …. that is why they are moving. Better run for now… it is 11:11pm Sat. night here and I still have wash to finish from our trip. We started back home at 8:30am and got back about 1:30am. There were 2 traffic stops. We had to sit about an hour through one stop and about 30 through another. And of course, Bubbie had to stop at Smokey Mountain Knife Works for a little while. 🙂 We also stopped in Tennessee to see the campground that Toney lives in. I love you and know that your sleeping days are about to improve!!! YAY! Have a GREAT time at the museum and dinner! Always and forever in my heart….<3

    Comment by Donna Collins | June 5, 2011 | Reply

  3. Hey Laura! Finally catching up with you. Just got the address on Friday from Bubbie. It sounds like you are having a wonderful experience! I don’t facebook but if you will send me an invite, I will accept it. Looks like you will have more great things happening once you get back too. I am so proud of you! I love you….Nana

    Comment by Nana | June 5, 2011 | Reply

    • Hi Nana! I’ll have to make a date to come visit when I get back and I can share all my videos and pictures with you. That might be easier than you setting up a facebook account. I’m having a blast here! I love you a lot and I’ll see you soon!

      Comment by lmmayerchak | June 5, 2011 | Reply

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