1. The trip to Auckland was incredibly long. I left Gwangju at about 12:40pm on Thursday August 1, and my plane left from Incheon Airport at 8:30pm. Ten hours later I arrived in Sydney, dealt with an insanely long line at immigration/customs, and then went into the city for, oh, an hour. Then I got bored/cold/lost and went back to the airport. I caught my flight to Auckland at 3:50pm, sat next to a chickenhawk and his young Asian boy (Megan! Zandra!), got to Auckland, waited forever at immigration and customs again, took a bus to the city, and was settled in at about 11pm on August 2.
2. Auckland was a big, big city. Day 1: a total wash, because I was so jet-lagged and tired. Day 2: I spent the day at Auckland Museum, which was not the best museum I've ever been to, and reading the Domain, which was a giant park. Day 3: I took a tour to Rotorua. First we saw the Waitomo Caves and the glow worms, then we went to the Agrodome - a farm experience which was surprisingly interesting, then we went to Te Puia, a Maori cultural center, where we saw a Haka and the largest geysers in the southern hemisphere. Then home.
3. I took a plane to Wellington. I was a bit concerned about going there because just a couple weeks before they'd had a 6.5 earthquake, and my hotel was, well, built in the 1800s. But man - I LOVE that city. The vibe I got from the city was fantastic. It's like... Portland, Oregon + Morgantown, West Virginia. Beautiful - mountains next to the sea. I spent 3 days visiting Te Papa, the national museum, and one of the best museums I've ever been to. I also wandered around a lot. I went to the Botanic Gardens, took a cable car, discovered Wishbone (best restaurant ever), and I met a great guy named (wait for it) Adam who I'd probably be dating right now if we were living in the same country. (We are still in contact now, as it happens.) Sadly enough Wellington got a 6.6 earthquake yesterday. I narrowly missed it...
4. I took another plane to Sydney. My hotel was centrally located so I was close to everything. I have to admit, I didn't do much in Sydney... I walked around quite a bit. Day 1: I went to the Opera House, walked around the botanic gardens, and read in a park. I also saw a gay couple holding hands and was instantly made depressed. Sigh. I did some walking around my neighborhood that night as well. Day 2: I saw Sydney Tower, then tried to follow a walking tour from my guide book... and I went from sight #1 to sight #8, accidentally skipping numbers 2-7. Oops. Then I tried to do the tour backwards and got lost in Glebe. I don't know how that happened... that night I met up with my old co-worker Ria and we ate Malaysian food and went to Darling Harbour and to a few markets. Day 3: I went to The Rocks and read in a park for a while. I did some souvenir shopping. That's... about it.
5. I took a plane back to Korea. I got lucky and nobody sat next to me, but it was an old-style entertainment system so I was a bit bored. I caught a bus to Gwangju and got home at 12:15am Thursday morning.
6. Thursday afternoon I joined Megan and Carrie to visit Kristy in the hospital in Hwasun. She had ACL surgery. Carrie had her own medical issue so I tried to facilitate matters... tried being the operative word.
7. Friday I printed out my workbook for summer camp (long story - basically, the printing company threw out my original draft on accident), visited Kristy again, and went to get my hair cut... only to discover that my hair stylist moved to Suncheon, 1.5 hours away. Great. So I got an... okay cut and made my way home.
8. Saturday I met up with Shannon and she introduced me to a famous bingsu vender in Gwangju. Then we wandered and window-shopped before parting ways.
That's all... for now.