Welcome to Katie's Travel Blog. This is really Jenny-doesn't-get-to-travel blog where I (mom) keep track of Katie's adventures so I can have some vicarious enjoyment! Here's a look at what one globally-aware kid from little Santa Cruz, California gets to do these days if her mom's willing to keep working!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Day 6: Avoiding Things on Wheels and Off to the South Island, Picton and the Home Stay

Turns out my daughter truly knows me. I got this first text from her yesterday at lunchtime my time. Congrats to all you parents who can do this middle-of-the-night phone calls. I got my first one last night and it kicked my butt!

Katie called around 1:10 via Viber (the iPhone app that will supposedly save us big bucks because it uses the Internet instead of telephony - we'll see - the call was clunky; like talking on those first Cisco IP phones!). We talked for about 10 minutes and then she sent some photos.

Here's what I learned:

  1. Even though I am an extrovert, I am not the best conversationalist in the middle of the night, especially after already being asleep.
  2. I've been worrying about the wrong things. With the plane crash at SFO, I've been all "flight safety conscious". Clearly that's not the issue because apparently Katie was nearly hit by a bus, a car, a bike and a skateboard. Yeah, time to readjust my focus.
  3. There is something on earth that has bigger feet than Katie: goblins! (see photo below)
  4. Speaking of feet, it appears Katie's souvenir from New Zealand will be socks. Apparently she paid an arm and a leg for a pair of "cute socks with Kiwi's on them!" and then found cheap ones like five for $8.
  5. The Farmstay was a little awkward when the hosts learned the three kids they had staying with them really didn't know each other and therefore the whole darn crowd was a bunch of strangers! 
  6. A hotel lobby full of People to People Ambassadors all calling home at the same time sounds like a telemarketing sweat shop!
They had to get up early this morning (5:30) to get moving and make their way via ferry to the South Island. They have their home stays tonight and tomorrow night. On they itinerary, they mention their location is Mount Hutt College, which looks fantastic on its website. I wonder if they will really get to see the campus? 

Here are a few of the photos Katie sent along. There are also a few shots from her leader. I think you can click on any of them to see them larger.

          On an alligator at Weta.                                     Gandalf the Grey romance.                            Her feet are small! First time! 

                                            From Shelia McKell:  the Maori Meeting House.                              A goblin garden.

From the People to People Itinerary:

  • This morning, board the Inter-islander Ferry for your journey across Cook Strait and through the beautiful Queen Charlotte Sounds to Picton, located in the South Island.
  • This afternoon meet with your home stay families and experience everyday life with a New Zealand family. 

This is the Interislander Ferry heading up the Strait.

Up by Ship Cove is where they come south from Wellington. 
The harbor at Picton. It looks stunning. 

Downtown Picton. How sweet! But they drive funny! 

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