#4 - the first day on my trip

Auckland Travel Blog

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leaving LAX

Well, I made it!  I'm in Auckland, New Zealand on day one of my big adventure!  All I've had is a flight from LAX - Auckland and a super shuttle ride from the airport to the hotel, but I already feel like so much has happened. 

I have to admit, when my mom dropped me off at the airport - I was definitely a bit nervous.  I think my words to her were "holy shit" as we hugged goodbye.  And as I entered the airport to find the Qantas counter, I defintiely got a bit vaclempt (how do you spell that word?).  I think it was a combination of some anxiety about actually taking off on this trip by myself and an overwhelming feeling of "i'm-so-psyched-and-proud-of-myself-for-doing-this".

i think david beckham is in there somewhere!
  So anyway, I took a minute to compose myself and then I went to get my boarding pass.  The ticket agent was so nice and put in an window seat where she knew there wasn't going to be anyone in the middle!  That's just the best.

Then, at LAX, I ended up meeting a very nice couple - Patty and Aaron.   They are traveling to NZ & Australia for the next 4 months & it turns out we may be in Adelaide, Australia around the same time so we are going to try to meet up.  Also, they know the consular general (or something like that) in Chiang Mai, Thailand - so said they'd connect me with him for when I'll be in Thailand!  So cool.

And the flight was actually quite nice!  I had a very sweet seatmate named Natalie who was just finishing up 6 months of travel and heading home to New Zealand.

part of beckham's welcoming committee
  It was fun to chat with her about her travels to the UK and the US.  She works at a summer camp every year in Virginia & then travels after.  I told her she should check out Mountain Camp.  :)

Anyway - the other exciting thing that happened when I landed was when I walked out of customs.  There were a ton of people screaming & taking pictures & there were all these cameramen.  I was so flattered at the welcome I received coming into New Zealand!  :)  They really shouldn't have.  Oh, okay....David Beckham had apparently just arrived as well.  I tried to get a picture of him - I'll post it here - it's the one with a group of people in the airport.  Can you see him in there?

So - then it was off to my hotel.

the sign in the airport! here's to the adventure!
  I rode into Auckland with a very nice group of people - spent most the time chatting with a couple people from Melbourne and this guy from Holland.   I'm really looking forward to meeting all sorts of interesting people like them along the way!  :)  Oh and they were all very happy that Obama won.  (as a side note, the super shuttle was $30 NZD - which is about $16 US!  I'm obsessed with the exchange rate right now...I think the US $ is pretty strong...so it's not feeling too expensive yet.  Of course, yes, I haven't really done anything yet ..but you know what I mean!)

My hotel won't let me check in for a few hours, so that's how I found myself in this internet cafe.  I just grabbed a Starbucks at Queen Street & Victoria Street (it was $3.20 NZD - $1.70 US...not bad for a tall americano, right? see...obsessed with the exchange rate) and after I leave the cafe I'm going to head down to the harbor & grab a little snack.  Very exciting, right? 

Okay, I think that's it for now.  I'm going to figure out how to get my pictures downloaded so I can post a few from my travels so far.  And next I need to get a local SIM card.  That's my to-do list for the day.  :)


SuperYenta says:
We miss you already and hope you're having a great time! Sending lots of love on the Tree Frog's first birthday! Love SuperYenta, Mardi Gras Dundee, and the Tree Frog! MWAH!
Posted on: Dec 06, 2008
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leaving LAX
leaving LAX
i think david beckham is in there …
i think david beckham is in there…
part of beckhams welcoming commit…
part of beckham's welcoming commi…
the sign in the airport!  heres t…
the sign in the airport! here's …
photo by: Fulla