So my bag was lost. For the few of you who have had the “opportunity” to witness me when I am, let’s just say “uncomfortable”, you know I can be quite a scene. Whether in times of panic, desperation, or just plain old annoyed I always provide solid entertainment for Justin. Needless to say as I exited customs, an hour after Justin decided to abandon me, bag-less, better yet without clean clothes, solo, I was obviously in rare form. Not the best mood to be in when I was about to meet Justin’s friend from Nantucket, Cait, and her Kiwi boyfriend Brock, whom we would be hanging out with for the next week. Justin had told me a bunch of great stories about Brock, so I was pretty excited to finally meet him. Sure enough Justin’s description of him was spot on, he played rugby, loved the water (especially spear fishing), talked really fast, and always had witty comments, this guy was Mr. New Zealand. I knew Brock was classic from the minute we exited the terminal and he suggested we go to Wendy’s for a “pre dinner snack.” I had a small fry, Brock on the other hand, a large #2, and first dibs on what ever was not eaten. My mood went from the worst to the best, I love Wendy’s and I had a feeling I was soon going to love New Zealand.
After our delicious Wendy’s we arrived at Brock’s house where we met his sister, Ashley and her boyfriend Corey. This guy was huge, had a half sleeve tattoo of his Maori heritage, and scared the crap out of Justin and me. Much to our surprise, he was a really mellow guy who loved Playstation 3 and motorcycles. So we all played Rock Band and the Beijing 2008 Olympic game and had plenty of laughs together. I had never played the Beijing 2008 Olympic game, and when Corey told me to put a sock on my hand to achieve better times…I was confused but I did it and it worked. As Corey said. “It improves your sprinting speed mate." Corey claimed I was a natural, but Brock would have nothing of it.
The fun and games continued the next day when Justin discovered a mini chopper motorcycle in the garage that belonged to Corey. Brock thought this thing was a death trap and refused to ride. Granted it probably was. It had a flat rear tire and spike in the center of the handlebars. Still, Corey insisted that we try it out, and since Justin and I have such an extensive background with motorbikes, we gave it a shot. It was pretty funny watching Justin and I on this mini bike, but watching Corey was just hilarious, he looked like he could have bent the handlebars with the slightest moment, we obviously got plenty of pictures.
After a couple of days down in Raglan we met back up with Brock and Cait to venture up to Brock’s parent's house in the Bay of Islands. We were originally going to drive up with them, but in the 2 days we were gone, Brock had come across an opportunity he could not pass up. He explained to us that he had found the boat on trademe.com (New Zealand eBay, which he loved) and it was such a good deal that he couldn't pass it up. "The boat is in great condition mate and you can't sink it! Perfect for diving, dad said I can't pass up the deal." So plans changed and the new idea was that Brock was going to pickup the boat while we took a bus up to the Bay of Islands, then when he got up there the next day, he would pick us up and bring us to his house.
Justin and I spent the night in Paihia and the next morning we went for wonderful sail around the bay.
We decided to meet Brock and Cait at the visitor’s center in Paihia to then go to Brock's place in Kerikeri. Normally this would not have been an issue considering it is a small town and there are not normally many people of the street. However, right around when we were supposed to be picked up the streets started to get very crowded. We had no idea what was going on but then out of nowhere a little kid yelled, "Look it’s Santa Claus" and sure enough there he was hovering overhead, but not in a sled, rather hanging out of a helicopter. It was the town of Paihia's Christmas parade and Justin and I had prime seats to see Santa land in his helicopter, and start the show. It was a very "green" parade and we got a couple of laughs, but it was not as funny when we finally met up with Cait and found out she had been stuck in traffic for the last hour waiting to get into town.
When we finally arrived to Brocks house we found him doing underwater laps in the pool to train for spear fishing. Slightly intense but this was nothing compared to the next day when we met his best mate Kirby, water man and spear fishing extraordinaire. Kirby had a cameo wet suit that was sweet, and more spear guns then we had ever seen. The best part was he had youtube videos of him using all his gear to catch some pretty big fish, but at the end, when they came up from under water he would cover the screen so neither us nor Brock could see the secret location. It was insane he could hold his breath for 2 minutes while in pursuit of 3-foot kingfish, very impressive.
After a week of adventures with Brock in the North Island it was unfortunately time to leave. We had an amazing time with Cait, Brock and all of their family and friends. It was sad to have to say goodbye but we knew the next stop was the adventure capital of the world, Queenstown in the South Island. We were excited for Queenstown; we had 5 days of adrenaline pumping activity ahead of us.