Monday, February 20, 2012

Day 12 and day 12 again: exit New Zealand

We were to fly out of Christchurch at 8:30 pm, so we had all day to kill in town without bikes. After putting on clean clothes (I had not washed my blue t-shirt and travel pants that you see in all the pictures for the entire trip!), we sorted and repacked our enormous piles of dirty smelly gear,

Then we ventured out for a very tasty cup of Joe and breakfast.
Which took us past the Art Center, which was closed due to the earthquakes. But at least we saw this sign pointing to great works of art.
Utah's own Spiral Jetty is on there! (note: the Spiral Jetty is a super cool landscape art installation in the Great Salt Lake).

Next, we tried to contact Justin and Debbie again but we were not able to make our Skype work, so we just did some low key tourist stuff and souvenir shopping. We strolled around the large and impressive botanical gardens where some of the trees are over 150 years old.

There was a band playing bad covers of pop songs
Near the rose garden.

Kiwis have a good sense of humor about the earthquakes. Here, they have set up a temporary art exhibit acknowledging the lack of working plumbing in parts of the city.

I loved the living bath mat.

I also thought these topiaries were cute.

Then we strolled back over to the pop up mall, where we had been two weeks ago. The shops are all made of shipping containers.
That is because so much of Christchurch is still so damaged,

And rebuilding is going very slowly. Locals told us it is impossible to get repairs done because insurance companies won't insure the rebuild until there has been 3 months without a 4+ magnitude earthquake. Did I mention that Christchurch has felt over 8000 aftershocks in the last year and a half? But today was not the day Lucy would get to feel her earthquake.

We Made our way to the airport and boarded the flight to Auckland at 8:30 pm on February 19. From Auckland, it was a 12 hour flight to Los Angles where we landed at 2:00 pm on February 19 to repeat Day 12 on American soil.

At LAX we had a 5 hour wait for our free flight on SWA. So what do you do with 5 hours to kill and when you haven't had a real hamburger for a long time? Go to In-n-Out Burger, of course!

Then we flew home to see our kitties and smash back into winter. What a Fantastic vacation!!!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what an awesome vacation! Thanks for taking us along.

    I couldn't help noticing that the Kiwis, like the Aussies, seem to take coffee extremely seriously. Which made for some great joe, but didn't you ever just stumble into a place real tired some morning and wish you could just say, "coffee, please..." without having to say "short/long/tall/black/white..."?