The day after school ended in 2000, we left on a plane for California. We stayed there for a couple days at my grandfather's house, but then, the flight we were waiting for. We went to the airport at some late hour, and woke up the next morning, cruising into New Zealand.
I won't go into the extreme details of the trip, mostly because I can't remember it all that well but also because I don't want to bore you silly. Basically, we spent three weeks total in NZ, first driving around in a rental car on the North Island, and then taking a ferry across to the South.
I couldn't believe how cold it was there, even though I knew that it was winter. We actually went skiing with some friends on the South Island. I knew that we weren't in the tropics yet, but still... it was summer for me.
I also noticed lots and lots and lots of... sheep! While we were there, I learned that the population of humans living there was actually one quarter of the population of sheep! Now, imagine something. You're coming into a big town, like Seattle or something, and instead of seeing people walking around, you see sheep! Makes you think of The Far Side cartoons, doesn't it?
One reason I liked New Zealand, is because they don't have anything poisonous. Where Australia, their neighbor to the west, has more snakes and spiders than you could shake a stick at, including the most deadly snake in the world (not the most poisonous, however), New Zealand doesn't have a single one! Except, of course, when someone brings one into the country. Can you imagine the headline? Pet snake invades New Zealand!
I also thought that NZ was extremely beautiful. It's a very lush country, or it seemed like it when we were there, and it's nice not having so many people jammed into huge cities.
Things I liked in NZ:
No poisonous animals
Kea birds (Mountain parrots, can you believe it?)
Not very many people
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