I’ve been staying with a friend of mine in Auckland. It’s made me incredibly lazy because it’s quite a hike into the city. Plus, I have a great book I’ve been reading, so I just sit and enjoy this fabulous view of St. Helier’s Bay all day instead of sightseeing. I think a nice break was needed anyway before I start on the next big travel portion of this journey. I’ll try to get some posts up about Tasmania soon. I’ve got a ton of pictures to go through from that leg of the trip, but will hopefully get through them in the next couple of days before I leave Auckland.




Day 48 – New Shoes!, originally uploaded by bexadler.

Sooo…I went to Target today to buy a belt because my pants keep falling down (probs from stretching, not from me losing weight). As soon as I walked in the store though I forgot what it was I went in for and instead ended up with these adorable flats! God only knows where I’ll find room to stuff them into my pack…

Day 22 – Floriade, originally uploaded by bexadler.

One of the things I was most shocked by when first arriving in New Zealand (and later Australia) was that it really is spring. I mean, I knew it was spring, but it was so strange to see trees in bloom for the second time this year, rather than seeing the leaves turning to reds and oranges as they would be at this time back home. I have been quite enjoying my second spring though, especially given my love for everything that flowers. I have been trying, however, to resist the temptation to take ten zillion photos of every flower I see. That was until I heard there was a “celebration of spring” going on in the center of Canberra. I mean, how could I resist the promise of more than a million flowers all artistically planted and  just waiting for my lens to capture them in full color?

Floriade began in 1988 as part of Australia’s 200th anniversary celebration and was such a huge success that they’ve continued it as an annual spring festival. I had no idea it existed until I arrived here, but I’m so glad I happened upon it. The festival lasts until mid-October and is definitely worth stopping to see, especially because it’s FREE.

You can check out my other pictures on my flickr if you’re interested. Luckily for you, my camera ran out of batteries so there are only about a dozen tulip photos. I’m sure there could have been hundreds. 😉

Day 19 – Kangas, originally uploaded by bexadler.

I don’t know when I became such a fan of zoos. For the most part I have always despised zoos, but in the last two months I have visited three (in Hawaii, Utah, and now Australia). Each of these zoos were great experiences, with each one improving on the things that I had loved about the last. Thus far, the Taronga Zoo in Sydney has been my favorite.

First, you take a ferry out from Sydney to get there and get a beautiful view of the Sydney Harbor once you reach the highest point in the zoo.

Second, the Taronga Zoo had really interesting exhibits that used ravines to divide the people from the animals rather than using cages and nets (although there were still some animals in nets or with the plexiglass walls, like the big cats and many of the birds). The lack of barriers made it easier to get good photos of the animals. In addition, there were two awesome “animal encounter” exhibits that allowed visitors to walk among the animals. The above picture was taken in one such exhibit.

Lastly, and definitely the most particular to myself, there were three baby elephants at this zoo. As many of you know, I have a weird love for these giant creatures and the babies just melt my heart. The elephant exhibit was definitely worth seeing. There were two large pool areas where the elephants could play and enjoy splashing about. We were lucky enough to see the three calves pushing each other into the water and wrestling in the pool for a good five or ten minutes. It made me wish I had a better camera so I could have zoomed in on them. There were also a couple of baby cockatoos and supposedly there was a baby rhino (the first to be born using IVF), but we couldn’t find the exhibit. Other highlights for me included a platypus, seals, a Kodiak bear, Tasmanian devils, and koalas.

The price of $45 to get into the zoo was a bit hefty for my taste, but I thought it was well worth the expense.

Day 8 – Matiatia Bay, originally uploaded by bexadler.

Today Melissa and I took a ferry over to Waiheke Island and did a hike along the coast before doing some winetasting – yum!

Sorry for the shortage of posts. I’ve been a cheapo and am just stealing wifi wherever I can. Hopefully soon I’ll invest in some real wifi time and give you a decent update.

Day 5 – The Lost Day, originally uploaded by bexadler.

One of my most favorite things about flying to New Zealand is crossing the International Date Line. I have to admit that I’ve been quite excited about flying into the future, even if it is only one day into the future. Anyway, somewhere on my way to New Zealand I lost Sunday, this was the picture I took to commemorate that day for Project 365. I took it just before I lost Sunday. Haha.

Sunflowers Catching Rays, originally uploaded by bexadler.

Last week while running errands for work I passed field after field of sunflowers. In the past I haven’t noticed actual field of sunflowers here in Sacramento, just random wild ones on the side of the road or among other crops. But this year they’ve seemed really prominent. I enjoy passing them because they remind me of my first ever trip to France when we drove through the Loire Valley, where the roadsides were line with field after field of beautiful sunflowers. Every time I pass one of these fields I’m taken back to that time and am reminded of the trip that started my neverending wanderlust.

Anyhow, after passing so many of these fields last week, I contacted my good friend (and “personal photographer”) Leslie to see if she’d be interested in getting some shots out in one of the sunflower fields. Of course she was interested (I bribed her with dinner at Sophia’s), and the pictures turned out awesome. In fact, this turned out to be one of our easiest photo shoots yet. Usually we’re parked along some busy highway or hopping fences and hoping not to get caught, but this time the gate at the beginning of the dirt road leading to the fields had been left open. Nobody bothered us or seemed to care that we were there. Here’s one of the pictures Leslie got of me.

Check out how tall those sunflowers are! They’re taller than me and the flowers are bigger than my head! Crazy, right?

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