1. Swimming Lake Okareka, Rotorua
Was the water freezing? Oh yes!
Was it worth it? Oh heck to the yes! It was the clearest lake I've ever been in and it was soooo fun!
I think it's kind of beautiful (wink wink). What do you think?
2. Wai-O-Tapu Hot Springs
Enjoying the free hot springs,
the free mud spa,
and the natural beauty (thanks for that one Kylie).
3. Eating Hell Pizza (It's what it's called okay?)
When the names of pizzas are things like "Greed," "Purgatory," and "Mordor Mayhem," you can't help but down at least 8 of them!
4. Visiting the Rotorua Flea Market
This is a rotten picture, but this flea market, despite smelling like eggs (I forgot to mention that Rotorua is has hot springs and geysers just like Yellowstone!), provided us with super cheap and delicious food (Maori fry bread with golden syrup = YUMMY!) and cheap souvenirs. What could be better??
5. Visiting H2OGO (aka Zorbing)
Imagine sitting inside a washing machine as it's going and then rolling down a hill, and you've imagined zorbing. As strange as it sounds, it is SO fun!! If you ever have access to zorbing DO IT. I mean it. I'm not exaggerating when I say that it is one of the most fun things I've ever done, so do it! You can thank me later.
This was pre-zorbing. We didn't even know how awesome it was yet!
Katelyn was the best zorbing buddy ever!
We pretty much just sat on each other and rolled on top of each other the whole way down. We had no idea where we were going and it was great!
This wasn't my zorb, but you get the idea. Oh it was SO fun!
6. HOBBITON!! (Matamata)
This turned out to be one of the coolest things I've ever spent $67.50 on! Let me just tell you that Hobbiton (the location of the Shire in all the Lord of the Rings movies) is one of the most magical, most picturesque places that ever existed ever!
Wasn't even in Hobbiton yet and already loved it.
One of the first things we saw was this little pathways, which you Lord of the Rings fans may recognize as the pathway where
Each hobbit hole made me love the whole place even more!
Seriously so pretty!
I would garden and weed all the time if this is where I got to do it!
The hobbit hole of all hobbit holes (they told us it was actually a hobbit mansion), Bag-End.
The party tree! (LOTR fans will know what I'm talking about)
This is Samwise's house. The cute yellow door! Ah! It gets to me every time!
The Green Dragon (where we enjoyed specially brewed Ginger Beer which, don't you worry, is non-alcoholic)
I would fit in, and I do mean literally (okay so maybe not by Tolkien's actual height requirements, but still), perfectly!
You want to live there now too huh?
I really want to live in Hobbiton, so this is the hobbit hole I will be moving into in April...
...and this is my future husband, who spends most of his time in Hobbiton (he may or may not have been our tour guide). The best part is that his name is Sam. So fitting for one in Hobbiton, don't you think?
Let me just tell you how we actually met. Our little trip to Hobbiton placed us in Sam's tour group. After the main part of our tour was over, we all went to the Green Dragon for our complementary drinks. As Sam was getting them for us (he's such a gentleman!), he also showed us a picture of some of the actual LOTR cast at the actual Green Dragon pub from the movies. One of the cast members in those photos was the actress who played Samwise Gamgee's wife Rosie Cotton. Rosie had super curly hair just like me! So naturally, our director Erika kept pointing to Rosie then me, and explaining/asking Sam, "She looks like Rosie! Doesn't she look like Rosie?" (Thank you Erika!) I didn't think Sam had noticed until he passed me my drink and said, in his melt-my-heart-instantly accent, "Here you are Rosie." It was from that moment forward that I knew we were destined for each other. I'm Rosie and he's my Sam, and we will be living our happily ever after in Hobbiton. Come visit us!
If only right? Back to real life now.
7. Ice cream in Pokeno
This little ice cream shop is one of the best human creations. I might even consider it oh like the eighth wonder of the world. It rivals the pyramids because wait for it, wait for it, wait for it....it allows you to order an ice cream cone with up to 12 scoops!!! That's right 12. Not 10, not 11, 12!!
We could've been all fancy-schmancy and loaded up, but most of us just stuck with three (raspberry lemonade fizz, limonata cheesecake [TO DIE FOR!], and mint chocolate cookie...YUM YUM YUM)...
...or four scoops. (Cute Brittany did get 7 though...her cone was epic)
Erika and Elise!
I'm heading to the South Island for about two weeks and I'm not sure what my internet access will be like. So, don't be alarmed if I don't post for a couple weeks. I'll make up for it as soon as I'm back in Auckland! Thanks for reading my blog you wonderful people!