November 25

The Brown family left today, which means I’m the only from the group in the North Island of New Zealand.  Most everyone else made it back to the homes in the States!  They’ve been posting lots of updates to facebook and pictures from our trips.  The connection is still really strong and I feel like they are still here – although we’re separated by a hemisphere, 10 time zones, 2 continents, and oceans.  I’m being safe, savy, and learning a lot about independent traveling.

As for me, I explored by foot yesterday the Auckland area.  In the morning, I went to Parnell to La Cigale French Market which is only open on Sunday mornings.  It had some outdoor food stalls offering lots of samples of hummus and dips.  Indoors there was a permanent french shop selling kitchen supplies, home accessories, cheeses, breads, and coffee.  I sat down for a while to read some local magazines and have a long black.  Sometimes those coffees feel so strong and get my heart going so I had the energy to walk around Parnell.  The area had lots of art galleries and shops that I poked through.

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Back in the CBD, there was a Santa Parade.  It was pretty funny to watch some of the different floats and think about how kind of creepy parades really are.  I won’t say much more about that but I did watch the hour long parade.

After I head up north down K road and further down before catching a bus back into the CBD to hang out at my hostel.  I cooked dinner there and hung out before heading to bed.  The hostel living is different – it’s kind of fun having the experience: everything is really shared (the rooms, the common areas, the kitchen, the tv) but you meet a lot of people from all over the world.  My room is also weird, theyre are no outdoor windows so I wake up feeling like it’s the middle of the night – but it’s not and it’s time to go explore today.

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