Auckland Part I

Auckland is by far the biggest city in New Zealand. In the entire country of New Zealand there are about 4 million people. 3 million live in Auckland. {as told by our cab driver with an awesome accent} What I absolutely loved was that even though Auckland was still a big, and somewhat dirty city was that you could drive a few miles away and find beautiful tropical forests and beaches. You could be 10 minutes to downtown and 5 minutes away from nature.

Our first few days in Auckland were a nervous blur. Ryley and I didn't really know what to do with ourselves, almost like we didn't actually believe that we were really there. Plus we hadn't really slept in 36 hours which never makes a person feel that good. The first day we went downtown and looked at an art museum and took in the culture. I will say that I was very surprised at the personal style. Ryley and I were the only ones in jeans and t-shirts. Everyone was dressed very sleek and in blacks. No one had big name brands across their shirts. Everyone looked classy. I don't know why, but that's not what I was expecting. I was thinking more of very laid back Hawaiian style where basketball shorts and flip-flops were all anyone needed. Anyways, Ryley and I were walking around and hadn't really had a meal in days that wasn't from an airplane, which hardly counts. We started wandering around and all were saw where Asian shops after Asian shops where no one really spoke English, the food didn't look like the Asian food we were used to, and absolutely no one was in any of their shops which made us feel a bit worried about why there was no one in there. Ryley, having never been out of the country, was extra worried about what he could eat. The only other places we found were cafes. {which are very popular and trendy there}There was seriously a cafe on every corner and usually 5 in-between. Seriously everywhere. We finally found an Asian place that was way too expensive and tasted more like beef soup in rice. Oh well, our stomaches were full, and that's all that matters. We went home to our little house we were renting and passed out.

The next days we adjusted a bit better. We did more beach and out doorsish things which is way more our style. We drove to beautiful beaches that took our breath away. The first beach we drove to the road literally drove straight into the ocean. It's a good thing we weren't going fast because our car would have been gone. {the cars drive on the opposite side of the road and the steering wheel is on the right instead of the left. A bit scary at first let me tell ya!} When we walked through this park path {picture directly above} just covered in plantation we were seriously giddy. It was so insane how lush and full and beautiful every inch of land was there. We also went to Piha beach. This is a black sand beach that the sand is actually magnetic. {another side note... all the sand on the west side of the island is black and all the sand on the east side is white. Pretty cool I thought} This is the first beach in my life where I was taken back at how powerful and intimidating the ocean was. I felt completely helpless against those massive waves pounding like bombs over the cliffs and rocks. Ryley and I climbed around and through rocks pressed up against the water. I found out later there is a tv show that is all about people having to be rescued from the very places we were climbing. Woops. This is one of my favorite beaches that we went to our entire trip. Because it was winter, and because I didn't want to die, we didn't go swimming. It wasn't cold, but I wasn't craving any suntan time. Everyone we passed was bundled up in wool coats and Uggs and scarves. Ryley and I were rocking shorts and jackets and got looks like we were crazy. Turns out 60 degrees is freezing there. That's my kind of winter!

The next morning we took the advice from the lady who's house we were staying in and we walked to Humbug cafe right down the street. I have never eaten such mouth melting breakfast. Not only was it delicious, but it was beautiful. The entire cafe was beautiful. This is one thing that I loved about New Zealand. People care about design and originality. They take time to make things beautiful and it makes your experience so much better than walking into a ugly cafe with no style at home. Ryley had french toast with fried bananas, sweet bacon, and butterscotch home-made syrup on top. I'm pretty sure we inhaled out mean in about 4 minutes. We washed it down with some gourmet hot cocoa. {People drink tea and coffee, and well wine as well, more than anywhere else I've ever been! I seriously don't know how people get dehydrated because no one drinks water and all they drink is tea and coffee.} Ryley didn't mind since he is a hot-cocoa-aholic.

The End of Part I
Part II 
coming soon...


Rachael said...

Horrayyyyyyy!! Missed you!
Your pictures are fantastic and your stories make me want to travel! Love you!

Benjamin Vinton said...

that's awesome guys sounds like an incredible experience! i'm super jelly