Monday, November 22, 2010

Long Layovers (New Zealand and Venice Beach)

My father's 60th birthday was just on November 15, so Isa and I flew back to the states to celebrate it with him (along with the entire family) in Disney World. We spent a week in Orlando. It was fast-paced, hectic at times, but totally worth it and super fun. But that's not what this post is about.

On the way to Orlando, we stopped in Auckland, New Zealand (for those of you that just got REALLY confused, Isa and I are currently living in Australia). It was way fun! We slept in the airport, which has an upstairs skydeck that is really quiet and peaceful and as far as we're concerned, made for sleepovers.

We started out on the floor by our bags there, and then took over the benches when they left for their flights. We had about 18 hours in New Zealand, and this was about 2am. So the next morning, we woke up and took a bus into town. We walked around Queen Street, which is their main street, but it wasn't all that interesting (although possibly because we were there on a Sunday, so maybe it's better on weekdays).

Isa had a great idea to take a ferry over to one of the neighboring suburbs - Devonport. It's such a cute little town with great views of the City.

We explored the fort on the hill and ran through the tunnels. It was a lot of fun and I'm really glad Isa saw the deal to get us out there. There are a bunch more pictures up on Facebook, so you should check those out too. After hiking around and lazing in the sun for a while, we headed back to the ferry and back into town.

And then we took the bus back to the airport and embarked on the rest of our 46-hour journey.

Less than one week later, and probably only a day or two after we fully got over our jet-lag, we headed back to Australia. This time, we had a 10 hour layover in Los Angeles. I got a message saying the newest Del Sol store had opened a few hours earlier in Venice Beach. So we found a bus and headed to the beach. Venice Beach is hippie-ghetto. It's a little crazy, to say the least. But the sand was nice and it was a beautiful day.

After a bit of wandering, we found our destination:

The store is in a great location. It's right on the beach, right in front of the skate park and where everybody hangs out. We hung out with them for a little bit, checked out the new fixtures and merchandise (we love new designs and stuff) and then headed to the beach/skate park to watch the sunset.

I love that picture, and then Isa pointed me over to a lifeguard station to get this picture:

After the sunset, we grabbed a bite to eat at a local cafe and then headed back to the airport. We had no time for another excursion in Auckland on the way back (they actually held the plane for us because our flight was a little late getting in - we were picked up by Air NZ staff and walked VIP style right to the gate and right onto the plane).

So hooray for long layovers!

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