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June 14- sitting in a courtyard

It has been such a long two days it seems like. Yesterday was Sunday and I woke up pretty early thanks to one oft roommates. It was all good though we had to be out of rooms by 10am. I was packed the night before and ready to go. After I got bags locked in the little room the hostel provided, I walked to one of the bus stops close by and waited for a bus. One going the right way finally came about 20 minutes later and I paid 2 dollars to ride it up to the street with the cable car. I found the right stop, got off and walked up to the cable car station. The car went straight up the hill making a couple of stops first before getting to the top. Of course the view of Wellington was amazing from this height and I got some pretty awesome pictures. When I was finished being a tourist, I went into the observatory and planetarium. There was a 45 minute show in a cool theater with reclined seats and a 360 view of the movie. It was about the journey and exploration into space and I thought it was really neat. The planetarium also had some cool exhibits and short videos on space, the planets, and the universe. When I was finished going through it all, I caught the next cable car back down the hill and mad some lunch in the hostel. We were allowed to stay down in the first level for as long as we wanted. Our bus was scheduled to pick us up around 5:30 so I had a few hours to relax. I walked across the street to the grocery store at one point and bought some chocolate fish, like strawberry marshmallows covered in chocolate, super yummy. Our bus finally came and drove the group to the airport. New zealand is so different than US flight regulations. You check yourself and your bags in, find your gate (only one out of three) and then wait to be called to go throuh security and board the plane. We only waited about 20 minutes and we were let on the plane. I had a middle seat in between two of the girls on our trip. The flight was only an hour or so long but we had o fly lower than normal because of the ash cloud from the volcano in chile. After a slightly bumpy landing, we caught a van out to our hostel which was another 20 minute drive into the country. Our hostel used to be an old hospital back in the early 1910s. It’s super cold all the time and their heaters only run for abou three hours every day. 

Today I walked around the city for a few hours after sleeping in until 11, which is the latest I’ve slept in for the whole trip. I decided that I wanted to go on a horse ride while I was here, so I walked to the visitors center and booked a ride with a horse farm for tomorrow. I am super excited about this!!! I’m going to have to catch a bus out to point chalmers and then a van from the horse farm will pick me up from the bus stop and drive me the rest of the way. I’m going on a two hour ride through the farm and then down to the beach. It should be awesome. Wednesday our group is touring the Cadbury chocolate factory that’s right down the road from main street in Dunedin. Yum for samples!! Then early Thursday morning we are getting on a plane to go from Dunedin to Auckland, staying in a hotel for the night then boarding the big plane around 1 on Friday to come back to the    States. What a busy last few days! I dont have Internet and I wrote this blog on an iPod, so sorry for any mistakes in spelling and typing. This might be my last post before I get back in country, but I’ll be sure to include any updates from now until then when I can. 

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June 13, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

2 Comments »

  1. Hello Dear Laura,
    All of your families here in the States are frantic to hear how you’re doing over there with the earthquake!! When you read this, it’ll be old news, but we are all praying as hard as we can,, and your mama says she won’t hear anything until Wed. night,, and maybe not then!! So, please know we love you and are praying diligently for your safety. love you, possum

    Comment by Possum Thomas | June 13, 2011 | Reply

  2. I can not tell you how wonderful it is to see that you are “back up and running” Laura! This has been the LONGEST 4 days EVER, waiting to see a blog from you! I didn’t realize how much your blogs helped me to feel connected to you some what! I was doing fine until Aunt Tris and Uncle Glenn called late Sunday night to see if we had heard anything about the earthquake that hit in Christchurch, AGAIN! Bubbie and I immediately went on line and found as much info as we could and also looked at maps to compare mileage between Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. I am thankful that you all had just flown to Dunedin. Wellington is 22 miles closer to Christchurch. We all started praying for your safety immediately. This is a perfect example of giving all of my worries and fears to the Lord, knowing that He has control over it all and have faith that He was going to continue to surround you all with His shield of protection! What a sigh of relief when I saw a message come in that you all were safe!
    You have really been on the go young lady!! The Planetarium sounds AWSOME!! Did you see Curtis Brown commanding any of the spaceships by chance??? Haha! (His picture seems to be world wide!) I am so glad that you are taking every opportunity to go and explore all of what New Zealand has to offer… even if it means that you are on your own. You won’t know what to do with yourself when you get back to the States and all you have to do is jump in a car and go!
    It’s funny that you have to travel ALL THE WAY TO NEW ZEALND to ride a HORSE!!! I just can’t imagine what it would be like to ride through that GORGEOUS country side AND on the beach!! I wonder if you were able to get any pictures at all??? No, you were probably holding on for dear life! Did they give you an 80 year old mare, or a feisty, young 3 year old?? Anyone from the group go as well? Now that I think back, I don’t remember seeing any BenGay or Naproxen in your luggage!! You are probably ONE SORE young lady about now!! It’s gonna feel good trying to get up and down those hills!! Look like you been riding a barrel?? haha!
    You are one LUCKY girl!! Getting to tour the all time famous CADBURY CHOCOLATE FACTORY!!! I never even knew that they were made in New Zealand!!! PLEASE eat some of those yummy samples and think of me while you are savoring every bite!! Sounds like you are having the time of your life! I have been helping to get ready for Doris Meachum and Ann Brown’s retirement party that is tonight. You know how us Kindergarten teachers go all out for 50 th birthday’s and retirements! It’s going to be so much fun… we have a lot planned. Bandit is suppose to come over for a play day one day this week and I am excited! We have to make sure he comes over a lot while you are here. He is going to the beauty parlor Thursday morning! I am going to be painting the utility building probably on Thursday. I am so thankful that you are safe and having a good time! Looking forward to hearing from you soon! I love you and I am excited about seeing you soon. The chicken will be ready to put on the grill and the grape salad will be in the fridge, waiting! Good- bye my love, Mama

    Comment by Donna Collins | June 14, 2011 | Reply


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