Tuesday, 27 November 2007

A view inside

Technology is wonderful. As I've posted before, buying books off the shelf down under is a definite no no for me, as it's far too cost prohibitive. I've stared a wish list on amazon.com so that I can store books I eventually want to purchase (otherwise I don't have a chance at remembering them), and will buy them when I'm planning a trip back to the States. Nothing like discounted costs and free shipping, as well as...a view inside the book. It's almost as good as being in the book shop (minus the comfy chairs and coffee) and pretty much, I won't add anything to my wish list before being able to 'browse'. Trips to the book store now only consist of the coffee, comfy chair and a stack of magazines.

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Momma Down Under

Well, my mom's just finishing up her week-long visit to Auckland, and we're both totally worn out from running around like chickens with our heads cut off all week seeing things. So far, we've seen:
  • Eden Gardens (which I totally agree is one of Auckland's best kept secrets and one of the must do things here)
  • Mt Eden
  • Sky Tower
  • Downtown Auckand & Viaduct area
  • Waiwera & nearby areas on a Saturday road trip
  • Mission Bay
  • Auckland Botanic Gardens (a SERIOUS disappointment to me, although Mom liked it, but I put that down to her not seeing the Sydney & Adelaide Botanic Gardens first)
  • Newmarket & Auckland Museum (the Museum being another Auckland must do)
  • Waiheke Island on a day long vineyard tour (where by the end Mom was "make sure-ing" her glass was empty)

Amazingly, the weather has been the best it's ever been since Steve and I arrived here, with almost no rain after a week of rain every day. I'm learning what the sun down here is really like, as I burned bright red after two days of being out and about in it minus suntan lotion. Won't make that mistake again.

Pics, from top clockwise are: my sexy husband and I, a view of the city from Mission Bay, the view from Sky Tower, two photos of the Botanic Gardens, Eden Garden, and four pics from the vineyard tour.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Guy Fawkes

Guy Fawkes Day is 5th of November, but the fireworks were the weekend before. We could see these from the front of our hostel. Strangely, this holiday is celebrated in New Zealand, but not in Australia, although they're both still commonwealth countries with the queen as the head of state. Guess there's less chance of a fire starting here, as the fireworks have been banned in Australia for about 30 years. Anyway, the holiday celebrates the unsuccessful plan of Guy Fawkes, a Catholic, to blow up the English Parliament a lot of years ago. He was executed, and although I think they sometimes burn him in effigy on top on bonfires as part of the holiday, I don't remember how.

Not as rare as you think

It's bad enough people did it in the 40's and 50's, but this reminds me of a Halloween party I went to about 7 or 8 years ago in which one of the attendees came in wearing an afro wig, face covered in dark brown make-up, and shouted while waving a toy gun: "I'm a n----r with a gun!!" What the fuck is wrong with people? (These are probably the same dudes who tell you to Vote Republican to Keep America Safe!)


Sunday, 4 November 2007

A kitty stuck under the house, obnoxious Americans & Anti-American-isms

Woke up at 3,30am on Saturday to a strange scratching noise, stumbled over to the french doors to hear meowing, and a couple of minutes later a paw sticking out from...the floor! In the 1-inch gap between the wall and carpet tack two eyes peared up at me. One of the hostel cats has been stuck under the house now for 2 days. We've ripped a not enough big hole in the floor, called out the SPCA, taken some bricks out of the outside wall (which should be a big enough hole yet the cat is only peeking her head out for food), and as of this morning, I don't hear any more meowing, but I'm not sure if she's out. Positive thoughts needed.

The other night, I was introduced to a new hostel stayer who is from the East Coast and told he was another of my country-men. About 50% of the Americans I meet on the road are horrendously annoying, and this is one of them...talking about how much money he makes, asking others about their financial situation, being too loud and know-it-all, etc. This being said, it still hugely pisses me off when people make comments about all of us Americans based upon their experiences with a few. I've had a few of those experiences this weekend, and it's really just enough already.