Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Part 1 photos from NZ

Its been about 1 month now since my vacation to New Zealand and I am so sorry that I have not been able to post the photos before. Now for the stories that happened during my great vacation.

Well I promised Dan and Greer that if they got married, I would be there. I was able to book the tickets in December 2007 and I took a trip to Busan to purchase the tickets. Dan recommended that I fly from Auckland to ChristChurch (Next time I am flying straight to Dunedin, the 6 hour bus ride stunk.) and to take a bus from ChristChurch to Dunedin. So the flight and buses were book and I was on my way to a wedding. I even told Dan that if he wanted to drop his pants that I would also (He is called no pants DAN for a reason.)

I was able to book a flight from Seoul-Hong Kong-Auckland, using Cathay Airlines.

I left on Feb 14th, 2007 at 0340 am for the long flight. I was able to catch the early bus. Now what I did not know was that the bus was non-stop and when I woke up from a nap, I thought that I was near Cheonan for the stop, but when I saw the signs for Incheon Airport, I could not believe it.

Then something very interesting happened. I renewed my visa and had it marked on the back of the alien registration card. It looks like it was a single entry only, so imagine my surprise that I had to get a re-entry visa for Korea at the Immigration office at the airport. It cost 30,000 won and i was set. I was upgraded to business class from Incheon to Hong Kong, I exchanged my won for NZ $ and I was ready to go.

I went to the computer lab and updated Facebook so Dan and Greer could see where i was. I ate a subway sandwich and then caught the flight to HK.

I had never been to business class before and i could not believe how nice it was. I had leg room and sat down and enjoyed the flight to HK. I watched "Atonement", ate a very nice meal and once again got zero sleep on the flight.

I arrived in HK and went looking for a nice place to eat and found nothing. I had heard that HK had a great airport, well maybe they do but the transfer part stinks and I hated it. I did not have a nice time in HK Airport. I did get some HK $'s for keepsakes.

Then it was time for the flight from HK to Auckland. I was told that it was going to be about 12-13 hours, so I got comfortable and once again, did not sleep on the flight. I really hate the small seats but, hey I got to sit in the aisle and my legs felt good so it was ok.

Then I arrived at Auckland and I ate breakfast at McDonald's and then I saw something that made me very happy, Slurpees! I could not believe that they sold them here in a big container. I had one with breakfast.

Then it was off to the domestic part of the airport. I caught a nice shuttle and was at Air new Zealand's counter where I met a very nice young lady. She gave me a nice seat and then I went to check in. Once again I still had not slept so i was running on energy. I checked in and finally got on my flight to ChristChurch. I slept for about 40 minutes. I landed in Christchurch and found my paper and took a taxi to my hotel. (Now that was a huge 50$+ fare, they have this shuttle for 22$ that I used on the way back and I have the card, if you are going to CC then please email me and I will email you the # to call for the service.) I checked in at my hotel and was given a container of milk. The milk was for the coffee and tea.

I took a nap and crashed for about 4 hours. I then went to a pizza place and I was a hit there. I was the first American that they had seen in a while, I ordered pizza's and we talked about my trip and why I was in New Zealand. Now at the same time on TV was Rugby Super 14. Now I had never heard of this but it had teams from Australia, NZ and South Africa playing in a league. Nothing else was on tv so throughout the night while sleeping and awake, I watched 3 games. I even saw the the town that I was going to, Dunedin, had a team called The Highlanders (The 2 weeks that I was their, they did now win a single match. I was watching it with amazement. I kind of understand it now but a few more games need to be watched before I understand it.

I finally got a little more sleep and soon checked out of the hotel, now here is where I made a great error, I should have booked a room for my return night in CC but but I thought that I could get a better deal, I did not, and it was an overpriced place that i stayed at when I left CC the 2nd time. (Thanks Ben for booking me into the nice hotel)

I took a taxi to the bus station and I was off on a 6hr bus ride to Dunedin.

Now what I did not know was that the bus had a lot of freshmen students going to the college at Dunedin its called the The University of Otago. So when I said that I was an University professor, I got a lot of strange looks. They were telling me of why they were going to college and what they hoped for. It was nice to listen to these students and see that we all share the same dreams and hopes, it was just expressed differently.

It was a long-ass bus ride with one 30 minute stop. I could not believe what I was seeing when the bus pulled past the city of Dunedin sign.

I saw a lot of hills. It was a very hilly place and I was wondering what kind of city will I be staying at for this week. The bus drive said that if you were waiting for someone to please take your luggage and wait at a spot, I was in the middle of moving there, when I saw 2 very familiar faces coming towards me, Dan and Greer's. I was so happy to see them. I still could not believe that in one week that they would be married.

They drove me to their rented place and I LOVED IT. It has a great view of the harbor and of the Pacific Ocean. I unpacked and gave them my wedding gift to them, an all-region dvd, divx player with movies that I knew that Dan and some that Greer would enjoy.

That night they said that they were going to meet a lot of the people that would be at the wedding and asked if I wanted to come along. I said sure and then I was off to met some of the people who would be at the wedding and some of their college friends.

Now I had heard of DAN'S BROTHER. Dan had told me stories about him and after a few moments, I realized that Dan had described him fair enough. I met Simeon Snyder, he was one of Dan's best man at the wedding. I met his girlfriend also. She sure did like all of the music videos that I had on my Ipod.

I met a few more people and then I realized that I did like the local beer that was brewed their in Dunedin. Its called Speight's. I drank a lot of it while I was in NZ and sad to say its not sold in South Korea.

Now, I have no idea who told me, but when i asked what Speight's meant I was told this "Special Piss Enjoyed In Great Hotel's Thru South" When I heard it I did not noticed who said it, I was laughing too hard and when i got back to Korea and when someone asked me about the shirt that i had, I stated the exact same thing.

Please enjoy the commercials for the Beer.


I must admit it, I had a great time that night with their friends. I also found out that one of their friends,Phil, who now lives in the UK, came back for their wedding also. I recall also being told that Nathan, Dan's other best man at the wedding, Was in the NZ Army and would be here on Saturday. This was that end of day one in NZ.

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