Joined June 2017 Message
  • Day35

    The Trip.

    September 9, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 11 °C

    Overall, this trip was really fun. We had some good times and some bad... mostly good though! Being in one motel room for 3-4 weeks would drive anyone insane. If I were to do it again, I would take a car/truck/definitelyatruck and use hotels instead. I have the experience now though so... that's something. I've done some long travels now that I think about it. A 14 and a 15 hour trip, and long stretches of catching up. I haven't slept much either. 1 or 2 days of minimal sleep. I feel semi energetic. Ever been tired but awake? When you do something and think 'how did I have the energy for that?' That's me... it's a riot, I know. It was fun in America and all, free refills, lenient parents due to low prices, wake up whenever we want... but... being back in NZ just feels right. It's nice to be at home. A place where we know we don't have to uproot soon, have our own beds, don't have to watch for a drip every time we want to go inside. It's not Canada cold here, nor is it USA hot. Best part about home? Perfect temperature. I don't want to unpack. Pushing these buttons to write feels like a partial chore.Read more

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  • Day34

    New Orleans, Houston, Auckland and Home.

    September 8, 2017 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 17 °C

    In New Orleans we took a bus, followed by a train into town, then took a ferry down the Mississippi and had a look in town, the cathedral was closed so we went back tomorrow for it. It was so quiet and cool in there, did you know that the 200 year old church has lightbulb chandeliers? Then we went down Bourbon Street, it was hot and smelled like smoke... cigarette smoke... We stopped at Hard Rock Cafe, for the first time in ages, for dinner, I had to share ribs with dad. At first, I was disappointed I had to have ribs seeing as there was macaroni and cheese on the menu... I found a new love for ribs though! When we finally made i out of the alleyways, I was NOT upset. We took a train, then a bus, and got back to the RV. Day 2 wasn't that bad, we didn't do too much though, we stocked up on supplies for the last time, saw the cathedral, had Popeyes (I didn't like it, KFC is better), and went on the oldest functioning street car ride around the garden district. Come day 3, we got up early for the alligator swamp tours. It was great! We saw two alligators right off the bat, wild boars and raccoons, beautiful scenery and a small fishing village. We saw the alligators being fed marshmallows, why? Because alligators will eat things that are small, white and float on the water... like turtle eggs and marshmallows. It was fun, and only Jared got eaten! (He didn't... duh)

    We headed into Houston for the second time, driving past all the flooding damage from hurricane Harvey. We dropped the RV back off at Tom and Jean's place, rested for a while, appreciated the size of an actual house in comparison to the RV... good times. When we needed to go, we went in Tom's truck to the airport. Once we got all our bags out, we said goodbye to Tom and checked in. After waiting for boarding, we -well- boarded and saw that the plane was the same as the one we arrived on. I managed to sleep twice for 30-60 minutes, watch The Incredibles, Diary of a Wimpy Kid The Long Haul and the Lego Batman Movie. The best parts of the plane rides are takeoff and landing, takeoff blasts you against your seat whilst landing gives you a bumpy ride (which I like for some reason...). We transferred from one plane to the next at Auckland, glad to be in NZ all the way no matter how hard the rain, and flew home. When we landed in Tauranga, we saw Aunty Kay waiting for us at the end of the departure gateway. She helped us take our 10 bags home as we retold our adventures.
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  • Day27

    In and out of Nashville

    September 1, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    How do I start these things?

    The first thing we did before heading into Nashville was the Corvette museum. I picked out my favorite car, the stingray. It has a cool symbol and design, I'm not sure how to describe it... the best thing there had to be the sinkhole. There is this dome building that had a sinkhole appear beneath it, it was huge! They fixed it of course but they did leave outlines of the cave and hole. 8 cars got crushed, including the 1,000,000th Corvette! I picked up a new shirt and a box of car cookies (they tasted awful).

    After that we went to this train museum. It wasn't much TBH. The only real thing there was a big train out the back with running tours. In the tour we got shown the engine first, just an engine with huge engines that took up the space of the engine. The next car was the mail car, we got shown how they would've hooked in the mail from the smaller towns, all while moving at 85 mph. Next, seating with fold down beds, cool. Followed by dining and kitchen. 9 meals a day, 3 Breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners (it could only occupy 48 at a time). First class was next with bunk beds, we learned about the cars' history, the owner didn't want to sell them, so he leased them. There were workers onboard... I can't remember all their names... there was George, George... umm... George, etc.... they were all called George. For simplicity? Then we got to the president of the railroad's car. It was flash in comparison to all the other cars! Not so flash nowadays though.

    Then we went into Nashville. Ever heard of rain? No? Nashville is your answer. We caught the remains of Harvey and so some of our plans got... left out in the rain. We were going to see a baseball game... turns out baseball tickets don't allow us to watch swimming. 'And it's out of the park! Home Swim!' We went to a big mall with an aquarium eatery next to a macaroni and cheese place, we ate at 'Johnny Rockets' (burgers) though... We got a car and had a look in town, that's when the downpour REALLY started. It was raining, not hard though, when we decided to look in this store called 'Cotton Eye Joe', dad couldn't find a park so he dropped us off and we looked inside. Not that good of a store. When we left, IT WAS POURING. We couldn't find dad for several minutes. When we finally did find him, we booked it to the car. About 10-15 seconds in the rain... soaked. When we got back to the RV, we heard tornado warnings from the next town over. Well that was horrifying. In the two nights we spent in Nashville, we mostly rested. Nice rest though.

    Been on the road for ages. Tomorrow brings 5 more hours of travel to Birmingham.
    Till then!
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  • Day24


    August 29, 2017 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 22 °C

    After pulling up into the Tanger Outdoor Mall (I'm going to refer to it as T.O.M) we checked if it was ok to sleep there for the night, it was... just about... In the morning we decided to check out the mall a bit. I stayed in the camper turning the beds back into couches until dad came and collected me. It was a cool mall, all outdoors except the actual shops themselves, they were indoors, it had charging stations, store wide wifi and benches. The stores I went to were, Auntie Anne's (pretzels), Lindt Chocolate, As Seen On TV, Sketchers, Toys'R'Us Express, Book Warehouse (I got a new book) and many more... I'm not too sure about what else to write about T.O.M. This is one of my shortest blogs purely because it's just a mall. Well, we've hit the road again and are headed to Louisville. See you after 30 Lindt Truffles! (So good!)Read more

  • Day23

    Darien Lake

    August 28, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 22 °C

    After crossing over into New York (the state) we went to this amusement park called Darien Lake. When we heard where we were going (it was a surprise), we were buzzing with thoughts, 'why is the big surprise a lake?' was the big one. As you've already read, it wasn't a lake... it was an amusement park with a lake INSIDE it. We spent a day and a bit there and enjoyed nearly every second of it (except about a minute). The first ride we went on was a chair-o-plane followed by a spinner called the scrambler. We did a ferrous wheel and a log-flume-sort-of-ride which just took us up and down with a big splash! When you exited the ride, you crossed a bridge and could get splashed by the next riders. After that, we went back to the RV, being our wet selves, and got into our togs for the water park. It took us a while to find it (the park was that big)... and to wait in lines... so the only rides we did were as follows: the tornado (a vertical-funnel sort of ride), mister twister (an enclosed tube ride with mini-tornadoes) and the lazy river.

    We went back into the roller coaster park late at night in anticipation of the ignite the night event they had on. We only got to go on one roller coaster before returning to the grassy area for the show. Predator. The Predator. I get scared thinking about it. Not ONLY did we do it at night, but it was near closing so I feel like they sped it up a bit. It was cool and all... but the back of the seat kept hitting my back, it hurt too. Outside, once we finished, we noticed a sign... 'do not ride if you have any back injuries' along with many others, ride once per year is it? We hurried back to the grass for, the best, lazer show I have ever seen! Lazers shone through the air, onto the screen and into our hearts. They had fireworks, fire, fire running across water, songs and lots and lots of applause. I hope there's a video on YouTube about it because I want to live that night all OVER again (except the Predator part). The best parts were this Pokémon part with the first theme song and lazer Pokémon and this one song (I forgot) had smoke coming up and a holographic dancer on display.

    This morning we got up, packed up, and did a quick amusement park run. We went on the scrambler and chair-o-plane again, mum, Ryan and Jared went on the drop tower called blast off. We did a ring toss in pursuit of a giant soft owl. Failed. We did a chair-o-plane like thing where you go up and down as well as round and round, after gift-shopping of course. Then... we went on the Viper, a really cool roller coaster which has definitely vanquished my fear of going upside down in a roller coaster. It was a nice smooth steel coaster. It had 3 loops, a corkscrew and an underground part which WOULD'VE been nice, if everyone didn't scream in the tunnel (I guarantee it wasn't because they were scared...).

    Thank you Mark for suggesting to come here. ON TO COLUMBUS!
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  • Day21


    August 26, 2017 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 18 °C

    I'm going to write about these four days I've had in Canada in one blog post... let's do this!

    When we crossed the border we had to show our passports, declare all of our items etc. etc. When we finally got off the customs bridge we booked it to the home/business/resort? of my 3rd cousins. It was so cool! There was this huge lake with a rocky surrounding, a beach, a pier with a diving board and a zip line across the lake, a rope swing into the lake, multiple pool toys and two big inflatables which you could climb onto floating in the water. It was a beautiful spot. The first day we spent resting. The second, we spent playing with our cousins Kyler and Tristan while the adults organized an extended family get together. I stayed in the RV for most of the night, you know, being the social butterfly I am. Day 3 we spent going around the neighborhood visiting every Tom, Bill and Harry in town. We got to see little piglets and a baby calf being born. That cow screeched! On day #4 we hit the road. Bye 3rd cousins! Nice meeting you!

    After a couple hours on the road, we ended up in Niagara where we looked at these waterfalls, you might not have heard of them, they're pretty unknown, not like it is one of the seven wonders of the world or anything... They were so beautiful up the top but then we wanted to have a look down the bottom. We decided to go on a boat which took us right down to the bottom of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls, we got SOAKED! Even with the souvenir ponchos they gave us. There were so many things we didn't do though, zip line to the falls, aero cart over the falls, walking alongside the class 6 rapids... we got thirsty after the boat ride and went to the Hershey store and the Coca-Cola (coke) store to get a coke and a milkshake. Then we went back to the RV, past the Hard Rock Cafe, past the Rainforest Cafe, past the Guinness World Record Museum, on the bus and back.
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  • Day15

    Tractor Pull

    August 20, 2017 in the United States ⋅ 🌫 24 °C

    Okay so... I've been sorta slack with my blogs but then again, not too much has happened. These last few days were dads interest, not mine.

    The thing that we did before Tractor Pull was the Indianapolis Kids Natural Science Museum. It was so cool! The first spot we went to was the Dinosphere. It had a huge room with a changing sky above model replica dinosaurs, a dig pit and a look at Dino eggs. We then went to the train and space part. There was a big train with a sound and light show as well as multiple toy trains chugging around. In the space part we got to see how astronauts worked and ate. There was a big water clock in the lobby and this display called fireworks of glass. I really liked fireworks of glass because you sat down and slowly rotated whilst looking at a colourful explosion of glass overhead. After we finished up in there we picked up the camper van (YES) and headed off.

    After that we hit the road to tractor pull. It was just like ours except much better. The tractors are well looked after, some of them had up to 5 engines! They spat out a lot of smoke and noise. It was a hectic place outside, with people drinking and whatnot, we were glad to be inside most of the time. I didn't like it all that much because of noise and the fact that I quite like my eardrums... so while dad 'enjoyed' the show, Ryan, Jared and I stayed in the RV and watched
    movies like Bolt and Monsters Inc.

    Now we are headed to Cedar Point. Our first PROPER American amusement park! We are all so excited! It sounds amazing.
    See you soon!
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  • Day10

    St Louis

    August 15, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    Bye St. L. It was fun being there but times have come, getting back on the road again.

    When we arrived in St. Louis we went to a restaurant called Steak and Shake for dinner. It's just like a typical American diner, you get sit down, order, and wait for your food, at your seat. I ordered a Banana/Chocolate milkshake and a steak burger with egg and bacon, I specifically told them no tomato, hard fried egg. Take note of that. By the time the order came around I got given my... Runny egg, tomato-still-on burger... not to mention I didn't get my milkshake either... by the end of it all they HAD fixed my order which was nice of them. When we looked at the bill however. It appeared that my meal wasn't charged for whatsoever! All in all, I would recommend... (not to trust them with egg... (good restaurant though))

    The first thing we did in St. Louis (yesterday) was the kids science museum. There was so much there! You'd need 5 hours to see everything.
    There was a bridge that went over a highway, we got to use a speedometer to check the speed of the cars beneath us as well as using binoculars to zoom in on far away cars. We were also given information about the air quality, weather and temperature. Glass underneath us in 'holes' got us freaked out by seeing cars zooming by underneath our feet.
    In the main building there were two things that really caught my eye. One was this huge ball track called the Energizer. It had loops and spins and lifts and many other things you couldn't even begin to process. The other was the math corner. There was a game called mind-ball where the calmer you were, the more you pushed the ball. There was this kid (similar to me :-P) who was managing the puzzles. We got told about the traditional ring puzzle, Hanoi, you know? With the three spokes and pyramid of rings? We got told that the minimum amount of moves for a five ring puzzle was 31, using this knowledge and a little bit of thinking, I worked out that the formula is m=2^r -1 assuming m=moves and r=rings. There are still a lot of things I COULD'VE covered but I'm sure the boys have done that. Now. Onto the next attraction!

    Next, we went to the Budweiser Factory. It was... interesting? Looking at all the stuff we couldn't have and how it was made... heck! If you want standards the first thing they showed us were horses. That really set a low bar (Ha! Unintentional joke! Bar... ha!). The best part of it (other than Pac-Man in the lobby) was the beer aging silo. It was SOOOOO cold there! Moving along!

    We went up the famous arch. Who knew it had an observation deck!? We went up in these small and cramped, semi-futuristic carts, there WERE stairs... but I didn't fancy climbing up ~200 meters... it was a beautiful view! We saw the sun setting, a red ball of light. Then we left... it was cool at the time but... how do you describe going up in an arch?

    Today, just before we left, we went to the zoo that was voted the best free attraction in America. It had a train that went around the park, animals (WOAH) and multiple gift shops. The CLEARLY best exhibit there was... penguins (and puffins). They were in their own little cold zone. We saw them swimming around and even going underneath us! The puffins just sat around looking dumb. There was something at the gift shop I REALLY wanted which was a plush igloo with a plush penguin attached who could go outside the igloo! It was soooo cute! For a rough estimate $25 NZD it wasn't quite worth it... I tried to convince mum... "What if... I buy half of it, and you buy the other half? Sound good?" "No" ... it was sad... oh well!

    Headed to Indianapolis! See you soon!
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  • Day8


    August 13, 2017 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 21 °C

    Okay so, for the last couple days we have been waiting for the RV. It hasn't come yet.
    What we've done is taken the truck of the people who are loaning us the RV and drove for about 8 hours trying to make up for lost time.
    It's been a cool drive, there are big concrete roads, long and straight, multiple lanes (I once saw 6 per side of the road), big American flags everywhere!
    As I'm writing this I am in a hotel in Arkansas. We got here at midnight.
    Being told that the turbo boost on the RV is broken? Are we racing all of a sudden or what?

    Yesterday they booked a hotel for us and we stayed there (flash one too).
    There was a tram that we took into town. We went to a store called Barnes & Nobel. I got four books, all decent size. It's gonna take me a while to chew through that. Now I have SEVEN books. I'm honestly not sure if I can finish them all in time.

    Other than that, not much has happened recently. We met the RV people (Tom & Jean) and their dogs, Ellie, Bomber, Nico and the little one who's name we all forgot...
    See you soon!
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  • Day4

    Science in Houston

    August 9, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    I'm going to get straight into the meat of this and leave the other, less-important stuff behind... (But first! We rode the metro!)

    We went to the Science Museum and had a look around.
    One of the most... fascinating? Things there were... a swinging ball... no joke.
    People would actually stand around a pendulum and watch it knock down wood.
    The best part was the basement... the CHEMISTRY FLOOR!
    We watched someone (Tom) tell us how to find out if there is Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide concentrate by relighting a glowing splint and pouring onto a candle respectively.
    There was a wall of elements, (they were in white boxes EXCEPT Iodine for... some reason)
    I did a test for what science career I should get and I got an astrochemist which google doesn't even want to suggest on autocorrect.
    We saw soap and water mixing, used a green-(blue-)screen until... Ryan wanted to see the dinosaurs. ._.
    I'm sure the boys explained the rest of the museum...

    We went to the aquarium and got to see fish!!!
    There were a few non-fish though... like a white tiger, frogs, monkeys? I think that one might have been at the museum but I'm not too sure.
    We met our pilot/cousin, Brendan at the restaurant and had... fish... *gasp* *major shocker*
    It was HUGE, DETAILED AND AMAZING! But aside from being flashy... well... you've seen one aquarium, you've seen them all.

    I need to transfer photos from my phone over to this...
    See you all soon!
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