Ok that may have oversold it just a little...
But not really.
Friday: 8:00 am
We all loaded into James' van, Helen (lovingly named after our slightly psychotic math instructor) prepared for a road trip. We drove about two hours to Hamilton where the temple is at.
We finally arrived at the temple just in the nick of time. I don't think that I have mentioned this before but James' father used to be a race car driver and the roads in New Zealand are very, very windy and sometimes very narrow. Driving with him is always a mildly terrifying experience. But we arrived at the temple in one piece (probably due to divine intervention) and it was so beautiful. Once we got there, we were able to do baptisms for the dead and it was so wonderful. The Temple workers were so sweet to us and we were so glad we had made the trip down.
After a nice little lunch in the temple cafeteria, James took most of us down to Rotorua while some of the others stayed behind to do another session. We spent the rest of the afternoon watching Hannah Montana, Drake and Josh, and Keenan and Kel. I think that may have been Janessa's favorite part of the trip thus far.
The girls finally showed up and James told us to get dressed because we were going to the lake. Most of the girls responded with, "Ew, I hate swimming in lakes." Or, "Lake water is gross." haha. Being born and raised in Moses Lake finally came in handy! I love lakes! No matter how green or smelly or algae-filled. Though thankfully, this lake was none of the above.
|Testing the water. Though it was indeed blue, it was freezing.|
|But we are super hardcore, so we got in anyways.|
|Sweet as action shot, eh?|
Once our bodies were thoroughly frozen from the lake, we headed to some top secret hot pots that James new about. There are hot pots every where in Rotorua so the whole place smells like rotten eggs 24/7. Delicious. But anyways, dem hot pots felt mighty fine and so the smell was quickly forgiven. James told us to rub the white clay from the walls of the pots all over our faces. Apparently it is a very natural mad mask that will make you beautiful. Fingers crossed.
The most wonderful thing about the hot pots was that we got to take in all of the natural beauty that was surrounding us.
|What an opportune time to spread white crap all over my face. Kylie for the win.|
We headed back to our super sweet motel for some Hell pizza. It is seriously delicious and the pizza has awesome names like "lust", "gluttony", and "grim". By far the best kind was "Pandemonium". It had chicken and dried cranberries and cheese and... I dunno I didn't make it, but I certainly did eat it. Best part: the pizza boxes have pop outs to create little coffin boxes for your leftover pizza. I know. To die for right. hahahah. nailed it.
|Hell pizza - where they make one hell of a pizza!|
Saturday 7:00 am
We woke up to James in our room telling us he was gonna take whoever wanted to go to the market. It was odd since he wasn't supposed to pick us up until 8:00, but James' Adventures aren't something to be missed so Brittany and I loaded in the van to check out the market scene. I got some nice Maori fry bread (yeah it was a scone and not as good as grandma's), but James was pleased that I was into "cultural experiences" which apparently eating Maori fry bread is, so all was well. Around 8:00 the other girls joined us at the market and we spent about another hour wandering around with them.
Ok, prepare yourselves because this is the best part of the adventure (I know, you thought the hot pot hotties would be the tops, but you would be wrong.) I have one word for you: ZORBING. Man's greatest invention! Here's what happens. You take a huge plastic blow up ball. Then you fill it with water. Pop some people in there, push them down a steep hill, and what have you got? THE BEST THING IN THE WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD!
|Andrea and I were maybe kind of excited. The other girls took some convincing, but they were definitely glad they did it.|
|The group waiting for our turn to Zorb|
|The first Zorb hill we did was straight down. Here are the Zorbs at the top of the hill.|
|See the zig zaggy path? So awesome.|
That's great, you're thinking, but what is it actually like inside the zorb? Great question. I would describe it as a human laundry machine in the most fun way possible. It feels a little like this:
That section at the end where you just hear water and see something black? That's Andrea sitting on my head. Hi-larious. I love zorbing.
After you reach the bottom, the people working there are quick to unzip your zorb (say that ten times fast) so they can get a picture of your reaction. One of the employees there was this single dude from Maryland that kept telling us how hard it was for him to find people to hang out with. He was disappointed we would only be in Rotorua for the day. Tough break, kid, life is hard. Yeah so anyways, there was plenty of awkwardness when he unzipped the zorb and popped his head in as we were trying to readjust our swimsuits. "Don't worry," he told me, "your make up looks fine." Oh phew...
|two thumbs way up for zorbing|
|photobombed by Andrea's lover from Maryland. Also check out my sweet ninja kick. Skillz.|
|They also have hot tubs that you can chill in between runs. So considerate, right? Blessed Zorb people|
We realized we had the rest of the day ahead of us and so James suggested we drive to Matamata to see Hobbiton (which is where Bilbo Baggins lives. The Shire, if you will). Brooke and Janessa, aka, LOTR fans extraordinaire, were stoked beyond all reason. The rest of us were less so, but we were down to make them happy. We found out the Hobbiton tour would give us a discount, but only if we all went. So I bit the bullet and paid my dues to let my dear roommate's dreams come true haha. No, really when it came down to it I figured Hobbiton is likely the only thing I would ever even mildly recognize from the movies so it might be kinda cool to see. I have never felt like more of a loser than I did while buying my ticket and I have done some pretty loser-ish things. Good news though, it turned out pretty awesome. They told us some little known facts about the location and the making of the movie and everything. I had a gingerbeer at the Green Dragon. Visited Samwise and Bilbo's hobbit holes. Yeah, I'm basically gonna be like crack for all the LOTR loser boys back in Provo. Win!
|Yes, in the background is "the tree". Ya know, the one Frodo and Gandalf smoke on. Oh you don't? Yeah me neither, but I think that's what our tour guide said. Hold up, my roommate Brooke is currently trying to fact check me on this.|
* Fact check by Brooke: It is Bilbo and Gandalf smoking underneath the tree, which is on top of Bag End.
Whatevs, I was close.
|Magic! also... Zorbing: Great on the soul; bad on the hair.|
|This is the hobbit hole of my choice. I would paint the door pink and live happily with my precious kitty forever.|
*Funny side story: we had to take a bus ride to get to Hobbiton. The bus driver was supposed to serve as our tour guide and tell us about the farmland where they built Hobbiton and how they came to choose it for the movie. Well, our bus was super full and mostly full of foreigners whose English was not great. Anyways, we are on this dingy little bus with a horrible old intercom system and everyone was talking to their neighbors making it very hard to hear the bus drivers little fun facts.So what did he do? It went something like this: "I have really interesting things to tell you if you would all quit talking to your neighbors." "Apparently some of you have decided to provide your own commentary, so I am just going to stop talking now." "People will you please stop talking!" "You all could have learned a lot of cool stuff from me but you wouldn't be quiet long enough to listen." I have never been more heavily berated in my life. Aw, scratch that I forgot about math with Helen. Man I bet they would get along great!*
The day ended with stopping for ice cream on the way back home to Auckland. This place sells 7 scoop ice cream cones. I regrettably only got two.
Dag that was a long post.
But I think you will agree.
Best. Weekend. Ever.