Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ok, a little behind cause of no Internet

Hey everyone, this is a back log of the posts Ive been doing in Word since I havent had any internet.  Take a look at whats been going on!  Note, this is one VERY long post, since its the past 3 days or so:
(note, I have a ton of photos, so this post will be edited later adding in Photos.  Remember: LIMITED INTERNET!  I promise though, photos to come!!!!


“you want WHAT for that?”

Oct 26th.

Ok, so today has been… interesting.  A little frustrating… but it is just the tip of the iceberg still.  So, lets start off with the good.  Went and took a tour of Oktobor today.  Dude… what I thought was this little studio on the road, is HUGE!  There’s so many people!  Its so cool too.  Seriously, this is more what I thought an Animation studio would be like.  MY TIME HAS FINALLY COME!  Haha.  Ok, so some details.  They actually have an Animation team, a Modeling team, Rigging team, Lighting, etc etc.  Just like it should be!  The only down side is that a lot of the groups are spread out from each other a bit, like, in different offices, but still not far from one another.  The whole Animation team is on one open floor with offices around along side the walls.  It’s nice too.  Wood floors, lots of windows, and for the most part people seem very nice.  A lot of people had their noses in their work when I came by, obviously at the start of a day on a Tuesday, but still, I think this is going to be good.  I hope anyway!

Met Myke, the Animation Director, and Fraser, the Producer.  Myke is a 2D Animator, so he doesn’t actually do any of the 3D, which is good for him, haha, and will be interesting for us.  I think we have a lot to learn from him (from what I have heard), in terms of acting and performance for sure.  It was interesting to hear him say that since he doesn’t understand the ins and outs of Maya, that he can request something hapin a shot, and its our job to figure out how to make it happen…no matter how limiting the technology.  Haha, it’s “ignorance is bliss” for him.  Which is good.  Challenging for us.  I am excited, because he definitely strives for good work.  And it shows.  Penguins is an awesome show, it’s really really well done.  I need to watch it more.  Well, I guess I don’t actually, since I’ll be making it!  :-P

Anyway, so everyone there is nice, it’s a gorgeous studio, and I think it will be a blast once I get settled in.  I’m going to be SO nervous starting out, but at least its not just MY first gig, it’s a bunch of us.  Plus, a lot of people are really young in the studio, so it should be good all around.  I feel a lot of early mornings / late nights in my future…

 Next we went to turn in my app for my IRD number (that was easy) and then to look at setting up banks.  Ok, now one thing that I want to say about Auckland as a whole so far: EVERYTHING IS ASTRONOMICALLY EXPENSIVE.  For just basic things too.  Meals are expensive, shopping for clothes is expensive, internet, phones, banking (yes, banking), sending mail, renting a place to live, etc.  Insane.  You literally must pay for every single thing you do.  This is something that’s a huge down side, so I am going to have to be very careful about how I spend my money.  Luckily, Mom and I keep running into these funny little shops that are almost like dollar stores, only instead of everything being for a dollar, they’re either just cheaper than normal (cheap quality too, but at least its affordable), or one store was like, $3.00 for anything:
    Its funny too cause usually they are very Asian inspired.  Kinda awesome.  Looking forward to shopping at those places to my house-wares and whatnot.  Definitely gotta do it cheap.  Amy would be proud J  Haha.  I also find it interesting just how high the Asian population is here.  Its huge!  SO many of the shops are Asian, lots and lots of Asian food, and tons of Asian markets.  Not what I expected!  Cool though.

So, a little bit of information on Banking in NZ.  If you do anything via paper (a.k.a. using a check or “cheque” as it is here), it costs you money.  You have to pay a fee to get checks, you have to pay another service fee to cash checks, and you have to pay a service fee any time you do something at the counter at a bank.  Like, most of us would go up to the counter to cash a check.  Nope, can’t do that here, unless you want to pay for it.  Instead, they want you to do everything electronically.  Paying rent electronically, paying other people the same way… there must be a system here that’s just different for that, where you get someone’s account number, and it goes into your settings or something, and you pay them virtually.  Funny for a place that charges you for internet usage everywhere you go (OH, and I can have wireless btw wherever I end up living…. Thank goodness).  And they also suggest banking using your “mobile” (phone).  Also funny for a place that charges you around $1,000 for a smart phone (yes, its that much JUST for the phone), on top of paying out the ass to get internet service just to manage your account.  Haha.  Kind of hilarious how they do things.

Anyway, so I went to a couple banks to research my options, and still have yet to deposit my money (gotta get a document from my work place that I’m missing), so I will do that tomorrow.  One more important thing off the list when I do that.

Then, I started contacting realtors for apartment hunting.  Yes… the dreaded apartment hunting has begun.  It’s frustrating.  Places here are SOO small… ridiculously small.  And very expensive for small.  Granted, I have only seen three places in person as of today, and I have a couple more scheduled for tomorrow, but still, I am a little worried that I won’t get what I want.  It will definitely be small.  Kyle will not like this.  Haha.  I’m worried about that whole scenario.  I really don’t think he’s going to like living in this city.  I want him here so badly with me, and so we can go experience so much of what ELSE New Zealand has to offer outside of the city, but I don’t think he’ll like living here.  He’s going to FLIP when he sees what things cost… and how small apartments are.

I can handle small.  I can deal with living in a cute little space for a year, no frills, etc.  A little space that I can make my own.  I did it in College for 4 years.  And I kinda liked it.  Its just…. Different.  Simple.  You learn to live like other things are more important… like your time OUT of your apartment.  Its just a totally different mentality here I think.  People don’t spend their money on lavish apartments and nice cars… they spend it on doing things with their time.  Kind of cool, and I think I will like that once I get used to it.  It’s just VERY small.  Literally, like, the place we are staying in right now, for two of us is like the size of someone at home’s walk-in closet.  I could lay on the floor with feet against the wall, and put my arms above my head, and touch the other wall.  Hilarious.  Its ok though.  I’m here to learn how to live differently.  That was the goal.  Right?  I hope so. Take a look:

If it was just me, a studio apartment would do just fine I think.  I am going to look at a Studio tomorrow that looks (and sounds) like its very big, according to photos (which have proven to be a tad deceiving in terms of space) and according to the man renting it.  And a very big studio sounds stellar compared to a very small one-bedroom, if you ask me.  I’m excited to see it.  It’s on the other side of the AUT campus too, which is very pretty.  So, its probably over a mile from work.  But really… its near Albert park, and I LOVE that park so far.  Plus, sounds like its in a quieter place than downtown, which is also good.  I don’t mind walking a little extra if its in a neighborhood that I want to be in.  Not to mention if it has everything I need… like laundry capabilities that don’t charge extra (some places here are like dorms in school, where you do your laundry in the basement, and pay per wash), actually having an oven, having a full refrigerator, etc.  The basics.  I don’t ask for much J.  Anyway, we’ll see. 

I want to have a place secured before Mom goes home.  That would make me feel SO much better.  Even if I can’t move in until next week some time, that’s fine.  I just want to have a second opinion.  I know, I’m a big girl and I should be able to decide and figure out for myself, but with this whole move I’ve been getting very easily overwhelmed, and its very nice to have another set of ears and another opinion.  My mother has very good judgment, and she makes very valid points, so its nice to have her here to help me with these decisions, even if I have to make the final decision on an apartment by myself. 

Well, anyway.  Its been quite the day, back and forth around the city based on who would call me back when, and who could show me a property.  I feel bad, dragging Mom up and down these hills is tiring her out!  I still have pseudo post-Marathon legs, so its not too bad for me.  Kinda reminds me a little of Spain, but then again in Spain we were running all over ALL DAY, none-stop.  Mom and I are taking a more laid-back approach for now.  Haha.  I don’t want to kill her!  :-P  I do hope we get to go out and see some sights before she goes though, I would hate to have had her come all the way over here and not get to see any scenery! 

Tonight we’re having dinner with Joanna’s sister Ngaire, out in Ponsonby.  I am very excited to see Ponsonby.  We have yet to be over there, as its farther outside of the city.  Its been recommended to me heavily that I live over there, but I won’t have a car, and that’s a big concern in terms of getting around, since Ponsonby is more residential than city like.  It would be harder to get groceries and to just generally get around it sounds like.  We will see tonight though when we go to eat.  Can’t wait! 

Hopefully I can get into an internat café again tonight and maybe POST these finally!  I know people are dying to hear all about Auckland!  Haha.

Peace out for now….


Title:  “Dining, Rotating, and observing…but not jumping.”

Oct 25

Ok, so today, its out to tour the city.  Need to calm my nerves a bit.  Going to go get a pay as you go phone, see if I can contact Joanna’s sister Ngaire, maybe meet up with her, and get some things taken care of.  Find the office, maybe get an idea of what its like in some other parts of the city.  Really anxious for that.  We’re going to check out the sky tower too.  Should be cool!  And I gotta get a planner, so I can get rid of my addiction to Google Calendar for the meantime.  Back to College it is!  Haha.

Ok, more later!

So, btw, Mom and I DEFINITELY crashed for a solid 12 hours yesterday.  We got back from running around the city a bit, around 4:30pm.  We were kind of lounging around the room, and then we turned on the tv (oh yes, we get 3 channels in the room…), and a few minutes later, we were both out for the count.  And we slept… until 5:30 this morning.  Haha.  I guess we needed it!  Felt much better today though, definitely felt more normal.  Yesterday I was pretty loopy, saying all kinds of crazy things. 

So today, it was good to get out and get a little more of a grip on the city lay out.  First thing we did was head up the street to the Sky Tower.  We were going to get a phone next door, but they weren’t open yet.  It was a holiday today (Labour Weekend), so most things were either open late or totally closed.  Anyway, we grabbed some starbucks, and headed over to Sky Tower which is literally a block up the street from the hotel.  Pretty cool for sure.  Its huge, I believe it’s the highest in the city, about 1,067 ft high.  We went inside the Sky City area, its like a hotel / casino / tower / restaurant, etc, and wanted obviously to go up to the top.  Its expensive though, $25 a person (as we are learning EVERYTHING in this city is), so Mom discovered a better solution… if we booked dinner reservations up at the observatory at the top, we would save money, since all you need to make sure you do, is spend $30 each on dinner at the restaurant.  Trust me, that wasn’t hard, as we later found.  Anyway, so we booked dinner reservations for 5:30pm, and headed back out to take an extended look at the city. 

On our way out, we see this large group of people standing outside, looking up at the top of the tower.  There was someone about to jump off of the top!!!  Now, before you freak out… this is completely normal.  They call it “Sky Jump,” and offer bungee jumping right off the top of the tower!  Haha.  Hilarious.  Anyway, so of course we stood there and took a photo of the guy on his way down.  Pretty neat, but no thanks for me :-).

Then we headed back toward the hotel, and I picked up a 2Degrees cell phone from a local electronics shop.  I was SO excited to have a phone.  Its so minimal.  Literally, SO basic.  $49 for the phone, and then $5 for the SIM card, and then you pre-pay for your minutes and text messages.  I put $20 on it, so we’ll see how far that goes.  The best part: I get the SAME rate to call and text INTERNATIONALLY as I do to call / txt in NZ I believe!!!!  SO COOL!  SO of course, the first thing I try to do is contact Kyle.  Sadly, it didn’t work since we didn’t know how to do the whole country code thingy.  We’ll try again tomorrow, since I think I know now how he can at least reach me.  At least I have a phone!

Anyway, onward into the city, we headed toward the water, which luckily is very close.  We went toward the Viaduct where a lot of the ships come in and there are ferry ports as well.  Took a little walk around and took some photos of the scenery.  GORGEOUS.  We had a perfect day too.  Relatively cool, hot in the sun, but overall a really nice day. 

We passed a couple of humorous restaurant signs:

Haha, good stuff. 

From there, we decided to head on up and see if we could find my office.  On the way, of course I am getting used to the fact that the cars are on the “wrong” side of the road to me.  So, naturally, I turn my head as we’re walking and think to myself “WHY is that little boy DRIVING?”  When in fact, he was definitely in the passenger seat.  Haha.  That gave me a bit of a chuckle. 

Oktobor definitely isn’t far from the middle of the city.  A little under a mile away.  Its in kind of an industrial looking area, but near apartments, and get this: RIGHT next to a bike shop!!!!!  AND, they lead RIDES!!!!  Naturally, we went inside and talked to one of the guys who owns it named Clint.  Really nice guy.  He mentioned that a lot of people ship their bikes over, and ship them right to their store, and they will assemble them for the shipper.  Wicked!  So I’m pretty sure I’m going to ask mom and G to ship my bike if they can.  That would be awesome.  Plus, I could learn some bike routes around the city, not to mention having another form of transport aside from buses and my own two feet.  Also, of course the advantage of meeting other people, and athletes (Clint said theres also running groups he could set me up with, as well as lots of places to swim, and groups, etc) so that I can continue to train and maybe even race!  Oh, and one other thing:  Auckland is WAY hillier than we thought.  Seriously.  Like, I’m talking some San Francisco hills in some select places.  Its cool though because the hills help distinguish where some things are.  For example: Queen street is at the bottom of a big hill between downtown and Albert Park.  Albert Park (more on that in a bit) is probably one of the higher parts of the city (aside from the volcanic mountain-hills), and on the other side of Albert Park is the University.  Now, if we go back to Queen Street (down the hill from Albert Park), and then go up and then down the next hill, you’re in Freeman’s Bay, and headed toward Ponsonby.  Pretty cool.  I’m excited to check out Mt. Eden on Wednesday, one of the Volcanic cone areas. 

SO yes, back to Oktobor.  Very excited to get inside and meet people tomorrow morning.  It’s a small building, but its 3 floors, and I think its going to be very cool!  Its across the street from Victoria Park, which is just literally a big sprawling area of green field.  Huge.  It would be fun to go play a sport there (we saw some sports teams out there from afar) or chill. 

Onward from Oktobor, we went to find a place to eat lunch.  Found a little Asian place, and had some pretty good Asian food.  Also started scouting out some apartments as we walked, in more of an Asian-based neighborhood.  Not sure Id live there, but can’t hurt to look, right?

After food, we headed back toward the main city area, and checked out some other streets.  I noticed these huge dense trees down past Queen street, and was curious to check out what was there.  We got side tracked by this place called the “Look Sharp Store,” which is hilarious with the name.  They sell… well… EVERYTHING really.  And relatively cheap.  Its almost like a dollar store, that’s not a dollar… and that sells Halloween costumes, houseware, sheets, goofy cheap jewelry, as well as notebooks and pens.  It literally has almost anything for a relatively cheap price.  I’ll be going back for sure once I have a place to live. 

Finally, we head down toward the trees, and figure out that it is Albert Park we have discovered.  OMG the place is gorgeous.  Up a HUGE hill, so climbing is a bit challenging, but thankfully post-marathon legs = strength.  After a little walk, we end up at the top of Albert Park… and let me tell you, I will be hanging out here for sure.  The university students seem to hang out there a lot, kind of their equivalent of a JMU Quad  I guess.  Everyone out laying in the grass, studying, hanging out, playing games, etc.  Beautiful.  Seriously.  I think its my favorite place right now.

After taking lots of pictures of the awesome foliage around (yes, its getting toward the end of Spring here, and everything is very very green and in full bloom), we went and took a quick look at the University, before heading back to the Sky Tower for dinner.  The university seems pretty nice, and its definitely in an ideal spot for sure.

We took another look at queen street on the way back to the tower for dinner.  Discovered that pharmacy things are very expensive (at least on Queen), and that I may be asking mom to ship me some stuff in bulk… haha.  They don’t have stick deodorant… only spray or roll-on, which is interesting.  A lot of other things seem to be the same for the most part, just pricey.  Chapstick: $6.00.  Yes.  $6.00.  Crazy.  So we’ll see what we can figure out there. 

Dinner time.  Headed up to Sky Tower, and went up a tad early to the top at the Observatory.  Pretty cool!  GREAT 360 view of the city.  It was nice to see where things were relative to everything else.  Saw my office, etc.  Good work.  We were also fortunate enough to catch a “sky jumper” as he was jumping off!  I got a hilarious picture…. The dude looks like he’s being hung!!  Hahahaha.

Then we went down one more floor to eat.  The restaurant REVOLVES in a full circle as you eat, so you get an ever-changing view of the city while you eat!  It makes it around in one full circle in one hour, so we stayed a tad over an hour to get the full-effect.  It was pretty nice.  Beautiful for sure.  PRICEY too…. $70 or so a person.  But the food was stellar, service was also stellar, and the view was…well…stellar.  Haha.  Can’t beat it!  It was really, really nice for our one expensive dinner night, though we still don’t know what a Quark is.  Ha!  Something on their menu as part of dessert.  What the heck is that?  Our dessert had “hokey pokey ice cream” in it too.  Hilarious.  New Zealanders sure have a way with words.  I will DEFINITELY be taking Mr. Kyle here when he comes.  That’ll be fun! 

After dinner, we rushed back a bit, so I could grab my computer and get my first dish of internet at a local internet café.  The internet here at the hotel is wicked expensive, but I went to this little city mart, literally one block up, and paid a dollar for an hour of internet service.  I will be doing this from now on until I have a place to live / I start working.  Sadly I was online at like, 2am US time, so I didn’t really catch anyone awake but Bobby, whose always awake at that hour J, but I got to take care of some e-mails.  Also set up dinner with Ngaire, my friend Joanna’s sister, who lives here.  Joanna was my Tri Team President when I started at JMU Tri.  Pretty funny!  She set me up with Ngaire when she heard I was coming to Auckland.  It will be great to meet her and get an insider idea of NZ.  She has already given me some great advice, which has been awesome.  Looking forward to it!

Alright, well, Mom is now passed out as I’m writing this (its 9:50pm here now), so its time for me to pack up and get to bed.

Goodnight everyone!  Busy day tomorrow.


Sunday, October 24th, 2010.  First day in Auckland.

So, the past day… and a half?  Has been interesting.  Ok, lets go back to when we were in Cali, just for a start.

Thursday, got into San Fran late.  Picked up some dinner at the airport, and checked into the hotel.  Let me just say, that pulling your own weight in luggage, is NOT enjoyable, if you do it by hand.  However, after our first bout at the airport, we then resorted to those handy carts they provide for you.  Much better!  Haha. 

Ok, so Friday we checked out of the hotel in the morning, stashed our luggage, and then went on into the city to hang out around the Wharf area.  Unfortunately it was kind of rainy / misty, so it wasn’t the prettiest of days, but that’s alright.  Hung out around pier 39 (such a tourist spot, but theres a lot to see and do), picked up a few “aids” for our long flight to come (got some airplane bottles of booze to knock us out), and did some window shopping.  Then we had a late lunch at Scoma’s, which was phenomenal.  Really nice seafood place, and our waiter was hilarious.  We shared this fantastic seafood stew-type deal of clams, fish, shrimp, and scallops in a tomato based sauce.  Phenomenal. 

On from there, we moseyed around the wharf, and then caught our shuttle back to the hotel.  There, we got our luggage, changed our clothes, and prepared for our long-ass flight.  Getting through the airport was relatively simple, as normal, except for the fact that Air NZ charges you $50 for one extra bag outside of your one free one.  So really, you don’t benefit financially at all from flying in the US with checked bags.  Oh well. 

Anyway, got on the plane, no problems.  Had MUCH more leg room, more comfortable seats, a tv at each individual seat with a wide variety of entertainment.  78 movies to choose from, music, television, etc.  Pretty cool!  I FINALLY got to see Toy Story 3 (don’t kill me… No, I hadn’t seen it), which was nice, very good movie.  I could have watched more, but after they served us dinner (which was actually REALLY good) and our complimentary glasses of wine, I was ready to sleep.  Fortunately, I definitely slept for a good while during the flight.  Turned out it was only about a 12.5 hour flight, not quite as bad as the 14 we had expected.  We got up every once in a while, walked around the plane and loosened up, so it really wasn’t bad at all.  Not like I had anticipated.  They served us breakfast too right before landing in Auckland, which was great. 

So, landing in Auckland.  Well, let me just say that I have been nervous as hell this whole time.  Nervous all day, butterflies, just… not sure what to expect.  And its weird not having access to anything.  No internet in our hotel like I thought we had (well, there’s internet, but its expensive), so its hard to do the research I wanted to do.  No phone, so I can’t reach home, or really anyone at this moment in time.  I will go today to find one.  Did a little question asking around town yesterday and stopped in a couple places to look at phones.  They are EXPENSIVE.  I knew this coming over, but still.  Its just not like what we have at home at all.  I mean, kind of, but for example: you usually get a free (basic) phone with any phone plan.  Here, you have to pay for the phone.  And I mean….. $60 + for any phone.  If you want a smart phone….. be prepared to shell out around $500 for a phone.  And that’s just the phone!  Not to mention you have to buy a SIM card separately, etc.  SO, for the meantime, I’m going to get a “2Degrees” phone set up, which is a simple pay-as-you-go phone, until I can do more research on what plans will work best for me.  This way, my calls and texts locally are cheap (40c a minute or so), and I can monitor easily what I am spending without being locked into a plan.  Vodafone requires a 12 month plan for most things, and I don’t want to lock into something like that right now when everything is up in the air.  I need to have a phone though to be able to reach some of these realtors to find a place to live! 

That is what is making me the uneasiness right now: having a decent place to live, and something I can afford.  My price range isn’t very high for the city… I mean, it’s reasonable for some places, but its just finding the place.  I also really want a one-bedroom, especially if Kyle comes (man, I hope he does…) which is more difficult because a lot of places are labeled as one-bedrooms, but are actually studios.  And they’re small.  I mean, everything is small.  Our hotel room is REALLY REALLY small.  Granted, its cheap, and easy walking distance to everything, but its like living in a walk-in closet with a mini kitchen.  Haha.  Mom has been awesome about all of this though.  I’ve been so uneasy, and she is so helpful in calming my nerves.  I am SO glad she is here.  It’s just hard.  I’m SO addicted to technology, and its very difficult and frustrating to be without it.  I can’t wait to have an apartment with internet!  At least I really only have to be without it for a week, until I get working.  I can at least use email at work for important things once I start.

OH, FUNNIEST THING EVER.  Dude, fate has a way of doing things, I really do believe.  Ok, so, Mom and I get on the shuttle to head to our hotel from the airport, and who is on our shuttle?  LEVI AMES!  DUDE!  He is a friggin AM student that graduated with Matt and I, AND HE’S WORKING WITH US!  How crazy.  Nice, nice guy.  Really looking forward to getting to know these guys and becoming friends.  Thank goodness the 3 of us are in the same boat:  This is our first real big Animation Gig.  I have done little stuff freelance and whatnot, unfortunately didn’t do much Animation at Pixeldust, so this really is kinda scary, having this huge show that we’re working on.  At least we will all be nervous and starting out together.  THANK GOODNES.  So cool though.  Hilarious how things have a way of working themselves out.

I go visit the studio for the first time tomorrow.  Got a lot to do tomorrow….  Today is a holiday, so unfortunately I can’t do my IRD number, Bank Account, or any of that really today.  So we’ll go visit Oktobor (Levi’s first day is tomorrow too) in the morning, then take care of those important errands, and hopefully take a look at some apartments.  Got one appointment already, so I just need to get a phone now so I can contact her directly.

Should be interesting!  This place is definitely a city…. At least where we’re staying, down near Queen Street.  Anxious to check out some of the other neighborhoods to see whats in store.  I keep hearing I should live in Ponsonby.  Hopefully I can find something out there that I can afford J  We’ll see!!!

Oh and everyone was totally right.  People here are SUPER nice so far.  We met the nicest older couple down in the lobby of our hotel.  Theres a little bistro place there, where they were eating and we were using the pay internet in the lobby.  They started talking with us, and were so sweet!  Gave us a bunch of advice, told us how to find a grocery store, AND even gave me their phone number!  They live about two hours away, but travel a lot and were here to sell the place the used to live in (I think?).  They told me if I like fishing, and ever want a place to vacation for a bit, they have an extra bed, a boat, and would love to have me.  And they said, if I ever “get into trouble” that I should call them.  SO SWEET.  I definitely will keep that phone number. 

Met another really nice girl name Victoria (I believe) who was serving us at this neato Belgian pub that we went to for breakfast (well, our dinner by then).  She is from the states, and has been in NZ for 3 years about.  She loves it.  And she was so friendly!  She set me up with a card, where if you use it at a restaurant (just present it, like a frequent buyer thing), you will accumulate 10% if your bill on it.  Once you accumulate enough, you can start using it to eat for free!  Neat.  So I signed up for that.  You can use it at a bunch of restaurants.  She was so nice, and really helpful.  Also gave me advice on meeting people and making friends.  Said to come by and hang out if I wanted, everyone working there is a traveler.  Also that to make friends, to start hanging out at the bars at local hostels.  That people were really nice, and that everyone was going just to make friends and people to talk to.  Could be cool.  Think I’ll suggest that to Matt, Carla, and Levi.  Maybe we can all go together.

Aiight, time to get ready to go explore more of the city….. and see if I can find a free internet connection anywhere to contact Kyle.  SO weird not having a way to reach him….


  1. Babe, I don't care how small a place is if we are there together and get to share the adventure!

  2. Wow Katie, that was awesome! I can finally stay awake to read it. LOL It was an awesome experience sweetie! I am so glad we did it together and that I now know that you will make an amazing Kiwi! Kyle will love it! I hope that he can eventually make it. If not, you will find a great place to live and settle in, I have no doubt! Miss you already and wondering what you are up to! Let me know how your first day at work went! Much love, MOM