February 10th 2015 started off as any other day, went to Dennys for breakfast with the cousins. It still didn’t hit me that we (Ben and Junior) were leaving later in the evening and had yet to finish packing. Unsure what I needed and what I didn’t for the most part, a year later I think I packed the right stuff. Ate dinner, chilled at home all day with family then it was time. Time to pick up Ben as we said our See You Later to Jess (Ben’s sister and niece) and Marleigh. Got back home and determined what pair of shoes to bring, made a wise choice they are still going strong. Said See You Later to my family some were sad, some were happy others thought we were crazy. Jessie and Chango Mango drove us up the 101 freeway to the 405 and to LAX. We got dropped off the the international section which I’ve never been to, it was new and a bit scary. They just pulled up to the side as we got our stuff said our thank you and See Ya to them, I had no clue when I’ll see any of our family again. There was no fear just excitement and making sure we got checked in soon. That was the last oxygen of California we would for some time. Now in the terminal at our gate waiting, we bought some pricey food but had no choice we were hungry. Ate some magic cookies and now wait time to hear our Gate number over the intercom to start boarding. BAM! It was our turn taking the jump, the jump of traveling everyone talks about but never does. One nice gentleman changed seats with us in order to sit together. Last phone call made to my mum, sent our last messages with our Californian numbers. Munched hard on our food.
Plane has lifted off, we had no idea whatsoever in when we will be back nor what we were going to do in New Zealand. Two years ago I had only an idea where New Zealand might be and that’s it. Half an hour in to the plane ride dinner was being served with two cans of Fiji beer to go along with the airlines, Fiji Airways. Ate the dinner, wasn’t bad wasn’t the best. Shortly thereafter after we PASS OUT. As we woke up from a nap, “WHOA”. It was no nap we slept for about 9 hours. We turn on a movie each and by the end of the movie, “Everyone buckle up we will be landing shortly”, the captain says. A quick stop for 10 hours in Fiji, came with a warm welcome figuratively and literally. There were natives dancing for the incoming passengers, us amazed at what was going on as we slowly start sweating. It was February 12 we lost a day while flying. Us not knowing what to do, traded some cash and started asking what can we do. Soon we hopped in a taxi and took us to a port that wasn’t open yet and nothing there to do. As we sat we were wondering what the fuck are we doing. We got into another taxi in which he convinced us to pay a bit more and would take us on a bit of a tour and he did. It was amazing, learned McDonald’s is jokingly called the American Embassy in regards that USA people rather eat there than local food. We went to a beach resort, spectacular view and cloudy which would follow us on our trip to this day. Next a local market we went, tried some local drink kava. Still not sure what’s the purposes, but numbs your mouth a bit and taste chalky. Try every thing once. Went to a temple, fishing port, passed by sugar factories then back towards the airport to a hotel which we had lunch at. The sun was beaming hot.
We stayed at this resort for an hour as we time to kill. Shortly after made our way to the airport a 10 minute walk. We checked back into the airport and realized its hotter in the airport than outside. The plane was a bit delayed and we could not board on yet so we played a card game but only one because it was too hot to concentrate. As we boarded we met a (Finish) who we later ran into at a park in downtown Auckland. The sky was grey and rain coming down, on our way out of Fiji. Weather that would and still is following us. I (Junior) passed out once again as the plane took off. Finally, I woke up to a BEAUTIFUL Red Colour sky, it was the beginning of many AMAZING sunsets and sunrises here in New Zealand.
We finally made it to our destination Auckland, New Zealand, with a new friend waiting for us, Rosa. She with her family, who is related to Ben through marriage, took us in and let us stay in the cottage. The cottage was nice, small and had everything we needed. We drove an hour from the airport to our new home town Helensville, a small town northwest of Auckland. There they farmed a bit of cows, also had chickens, sheep, horses, birds, a cat and dog. It was Rosa and Nigel with their daughter Haley and husband Byron, their two kids Caleb and Charlie. They were the first of the friendly Kiwi’s in this beautiful country. The first weekend they took us to the beach, clear, warm, blue water. With the neighbors help we worked a few times at a Joinery Factory, cooking at the local RSA pub, and picking weeds for three days at what seemed like a mansion to us. Picking weeds showed us again how nice Kiwi’s are, the family let us stay with them and fed us. So generous and giving.
As I found out it takes time for a blog and sometimes the wind blows us another way. We’ll do our best to catch up to present time as we want to make a post for every month we’ve been gone . Its more work than expected and when traveling you never know when you can work on it . More to come.