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Published: December 4th 2006
Left Los Angeles on the 2nd of December. Lost the 3rd somewhere in the Pacific. Arrived in Auckland at Micah's house early in the morning. Micah was at work and Heidi was still sleeping. Austi was happy to see us. The first thing out of his mouth was - "We have fireworks!"
We were in New Zealand for 49 days. We stayed at Micah's house in Auckland for the first week and then traveled north to the Bay of Islands for a few days to give Micah, Heidi and Austi some space. We returned to Auckland on the day before Micah started his Christmas vacation from work. The five of us then piled into Micah's Nissan Pulsar and took an 8 day trip around the East Cape of the North Island. We looked like a traveling road circus and were actually beeped and honked at while leaving Auckland with all of our belongings strapped ad hoc to the roof of our trusty Pulsar. We had the best time...freedom camping and exploring the hot springs of the North Island. We returned to Auckland the day before Christmas and stocked up on supplies for the holiday. We ate like kings, drank good beer and decorated a Christmas tree. Austi even left a note for Santa with some ginger beer.
A few days after Christmas, Kelly and I decided to extend our stay in New Zealand and fly down to Queenstown on the South Island. We rented a compact car, bought a tent and camped our way back to Auckland over 12 days. Took in a Cricket match in Queenstown on New Years Day...saw the Milford Sound. We saw about as much as we could in New Zealand. Kayaking in the Abel Tasman, camping in the mountains, camping in the forests, camping on the beach. We made it back to Auckland on the 12th of January and hung out with Micah, Heidi and Austi for one more week before making our way to Australia. Lots of baseball with Austi and great fun with M & H. We were sad to move on. We felt like part of a family in Micah's house. They were great hosts and it was great to get to know little Austi. On the 19th of January we jumped over to Australia.
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