One Night in the Barracks

It did not take long traveling with our new road-trip companions for Rob and I to appreciate how good a call it was for us to squeeze into the backseat. Unlike us, these boys had a car, a plan, and after camping out at R&V, had friends all over New Zealand.

Driving towards Christchurch, they sent out a couple of texts to see if we could find some fun and a place to crash for the night. We quickly got a response from one of the army nut jobs our new boys had been hanging with and were excited by the proposition he presented.

Despite being nearly impossible to decipher, the text used some advanced version of Kiwi lingo to essentially say, “We can sneak you guys into the army base, get black out drunk, and then you can crash in the barracks.” You talked us into it!

The army boys told us to meet them in a parking lot “just outside of town.” Ignoring the fact that it sounded like they were planning on challenging us to a duel, we hit up the BK lot and waited. Out of no where, a black sports car came flying towards us only to slam on its breaks just in time to pull into the adjacent parking spot instead of ending all our lives.

“Jesus I thought you were going to kill us!”

“I know, I did too!”

This first exchange solidified the “fucking insane” label our new army friends had been given. This sentiment was only strengthened when they said as soon as Charlie had texted them they both immediately cancelled their plans and picked up “heaps” of “piss”.

“Ahhhhh sorry baby, we can’t hang out tonight, I’ve gotta get on the piss with these American boys!”

Because obviouslyyyyy whatever they got wasn’t going to be enough, we made a quick stop at the piss shop to pick up a little more. As chill of a place as New Zealand is, I think it is worth noting they are pretty strict about carding. They made all seven of us show our ID in order to buy two more cases which, although slightly annoying, was only a minor speed bump because we aren’t sophomores in high school.

As we arrived to the gates, we began discussing what the actual “plan” was for sneaking into the New Zealand military base. One of our new friends was an active member of the NZ military and currently lived in the barracks while the other one was a former member of the military that apparently had since left the army.

This made for one guy that was allowed in and six others in need of smuggling.

Parking our car behind some bushes just outside the fence, we tossed around a couple of plans to get us all safely inside. Although I have never tried to sneak into a United States military base before, I’ve got a gut feeling you would have to come up with a plan a little more elaborate than the one we went with.

What makes me say that you ask? Well I guess looking back; it could have been a couple of things…

It could have been deciding to squeeze four people in the backseat of an extremely small car while there were cases of beer and a couple of bottles of alcohol clearly in visible.

Or maybe it was, instead of taking two trips, the former army member deciding to jump the barbed wire fence and meet us at the barracks. (When asked later what would happen if he was caught he “reckoned” he’d get thrown in military jail for the night so when he did see a security guard he ran away… just in case).

But in all probability it was the story we were told while we were laughing that all we had to do to get in was hold up an ID the size of a driver’s license as we drove past an 80 year old guy at the gate.

“Oh yea, that guy doesn’t give a fuck, one time we got so pissed we lost our ID card so we just flashed a McDonald’s hash brown and still got in!”

Once we got over the fact that it was harder to get into the Country Club of Fairfield than a Kiwi military base we soon realized there were a number of other things that made their military a little bit different/chiller than ours.

Since New Zealand doesn’t have a whole lot of natural resources (outside their 20 million sheep, of course) and they are too small of a military to ever go to war with anyone, it makes being in the army much chiller. As far as we could tell, their army is essentially one big frat and their barracks are nothing more than a frat house that they get paid to live in, get jacked, and hang out with their boys (not a bad deal). With most of the soldiers still on holiday, we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves and didn’t waste much time before getting rowdy.

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Undefeated in Beer Ball? #BloodyLegends

Our night was filled with an aggressive mixture of Kiwi and American drinking games, a whole lot of shot-gunning, and a newly adopted motto of “no man spews alone”. This motto is the epitome of unnecessary binge drinking; however, it also has the undeniable ability to turn throwing up into a unique bonding experience- one that only becomes possible when a man forcefully makes himself throw up, not because he has to or wants to, but because his friend is doing it (Since our parents read this blog we figured we would leave the GoPro footage out).

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We in da Barracks!

We had a whole bunch of laughs throughout the night and, as a new comer in the group, I eventually settled for a chair in the common room as my bed for the evening. As I went to sleep, wool army blanket wrapped around my body and fresh vomit on my breath, I couldn’t help but laugh thinking, not quite your average Sunday night.

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They said we couldn’t do it, but we did it again!

Moral of the Story: If your going to order an Egg McMuffin, you might as well get the hash brown too… it may get you into a New Zeland military base some day! 

The Great American Road Trip of 2013… Begins!

Being a hitchhiking hobo was not bad, in fact, I think we liked it a little too much. No one judged us for eating half-eaten cans of tuna off their car floor, and we could swing wearing the same t-shirt for weeks.

Though it was a comfortable lifestyle (except for the death ride with Tim, that sick, sick human, oh my god was he a wierdo), it was time to join the American squad of Charlie, Marty and Ira—three spirited Americans who seemed as eager as us to do it all in NZ. We met up in a Macca’s for some free wifi, and they showed us a loose itinerary that looked phenomenal (glaciers, trust-falls, arm wrestling Billy goats, and bungee-jumping). Also, they just seemed like good dudes—some people have radars, some people have gay-dars, I have a good-dude-dar, and my ability to pick out ‘good dudes’ from a crowd is unparalleled.

Our conversation about road tripping went something like this:

“Yo man…”

“Hey man…”

“Dude, can we maybe like road trip with you bros?”

“Yea man, I feel like that’d be chill.”

“Dude. That’s what I was thinking!”

“Tight. Maybe we can hotbox the car with chillness?”

“O for sure man, hope you have some Counting Crows on the pod.”

Doug and I grabbed our backpacks and followed them to their car (a 1994 Toyota Corona), Pompey, named after a promiscuous lady in the NZ army—these boys had been camping at R&V with a bunch of army kids, who were described as real nut jobs, in the best way.

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Cream on da inside! Clean on da inside… naht really doe! hahaaaa

The five of us forced our backpacks in the trunk, and squeezed in. It was a real meat-wagon—the trunk road real low, to the point where it would bottom out more than Hook and Shmee (a little known affair).

It felt good getting on the road with some stable humans; stories were Ping-Pong’d and we felt like we could relax, where as, when you hitch, you feel like you have to be on top of your game, as Jack Kerouac beautifully details, “One of the biggest troubles hitchhiking is having to talk to innumerable people, make them feel that they didn’t make a mistake picking you up, even entertain them almost…”

The best part about riding with this new squad was they would stop anytime they’d see something cool, which is about every five minutes in NZ. We crossed over a bridge (which are all one-lane in NZ) and saw a glorious river, rocks ledges, and a sprinkling of humans.

“Let’s stop!” Ok!

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Shirts off. Friendship on!

Sure enough we hopped out, and the watering hole was perfect—crystal clear, refreshing waters, tall cliffs to hop off, and a father getting badgered by his two, 9-year old sons. The dad was on a rock, fully clothed, watching his sons jump from cliff to cliff, innocently enough. His chubby kids apparently wanted him to join them.

“Jump in ya fahckin’ poof!”

“Stop being a little beech ya poof!”

Turning to me, “Tell my Dad to stop being a little beech!”

No thank you! He seems like he’s got his hands full!

We frolicked in the water, enjoyed some more heckling, then headed back to Pompey… thinks are looking up!

(They also enjoy good music, bumped some Beirut, which I love on the road… makes me feel like a gypsy!)

Moral of the Story: Being a Hobo was the great, but this was the start of something good, perhaps even the best, nay, the chillest!

Kiwi Speak

Having had a couple conversations with Kiwis during our month in New Zealand, we’ve picked up on some words, vernacular have you, of these people that are unlike anything we’ve heard in our years as Americans. These words sound way cooler with a Kiwi accents, but their humor knows no border—here are some of our favorites (subject to change).

(Insert Adjective)-As: Sweet as, good as, fun as, tasty as, dodgy as… the list goes on. As I mentioned before, this term is used an overwhelming amount, and leaves you wanting more… one more word. Oi, I sussed out the dance floor and there you boys are, dancing like idiots, and was like, these bros are funny as!

Suss Out: Suss = Check, as in, check out. Might as well go suss it out, see if any trolls in the club would be interested in a quick pash.

Pash: A mouth kiss. In America we say hook up, which is in fact, quite vague, where as to pash is to only mouth kiss and perhaps heated snuggling. Charlie! I heard you had quite a pash last night…(OHHHHHH, all the boys go wild!) She was keen aye?

Keen: Down. Are you keen = are you down. This could stem from drinking beers, to intercourse with the opposite sex. Ah bro, we’re about to go get on the piss, you keen?

Piss: (Pronounced piece) Getting on the piss = getting loaded. Piss is the common term for beer/booze, which is certainly different. Let’s go to the piss shop, buy some piss, get on the piss, and suss it out from there… prolly end up at Macca’s aye!?

Maccas: McDonald’s  house of beef. The golden arches responsible for obesity in America, and free wifi in New Zealand. I’d be a liar if I told you I haven’t brushed my teeth in a Macca’s bathroom during a long roadie…

Is This Us?: Are we going to, well you know… do it… lol. Instead of saying something crude, Kiwis say, “Is this us,” to inquire on the potential of their night. “Well, it’s been a decent night aye (opens bedroom door, casually looks into companion’s eyes)? Is this us?”

Soft Cock: An endearing term you’d call a friend who’s being a, how you say, “Little bitch.” Ya kiddin’ me mate? Stop being a soft cock, finish ya drink—you’re getting on the piss with the boys tonight.

Good Cunt: I know what you’re thinking, “Woah woah woah! Tossing a hard C? In this economy?” Despite growing up knowing the C-word is a big no no, the term ‘good cunt’ or even cunt, is what you call one of your best mates… It’s also one of those words you get away with, when you have an accent. Ah bro, I love getting on the piss with him, such a good cunt!

Good Bitch: See above—except a good bitch is someone who does something nice for you. No one in the US would appreciate being called a ‘good bitch’ after buying a round of sodas, or helping a friend move some furniture, but things are different here. Aye, you really are a good bitch. I would’ve been stranded if NEITHER of us could change a flat! 

It’s not all Fun and Games

As my blog/travel/life partner mentioned in the previous post, we made our way onto the ferry, no sweat! Unfortunately… things went downhill (relatively speaking of course) pretty quickly after that.

The ferry ride ended up being freezing cold and, with all our warm clothes checked below, we were left trying to squeeze in three hours of sleep sitting straight up with our arms inside our shirts. Needless to say, this left the boys a little bit groggy when we arrived to shore; enough so that we made a series of ill advised decisions allowing every car on the ferry to get well out of town before we could put ourselves in a proper position to catch a hitch to Nelson which, was still a couple hours away.

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It May have been Cold, but it Sure was Pretty!

We ended up sitting on the side of the road long enough to go from super cold in the morning to sweltering hot in the afternoon. Combined with extreme lack of sleep, these conditions set the stage for our first fight since the time our friend Nolan and I didn’t wait for Rob to go to Dairy Queen about six months ago (the great DQ fiasco of 2012). Anyone that has ever lived with me (Brick Hau5 especially) knows that, when I’m really tired, I stop being a real person and start “doing things that serve no purpose”.

In this particular instance, this meant sitting against a fence, half asleep, heckling Rob while he stood on the side of the road with his thumb up. Apparently he had enough of me hollering, “Come on! Take a little pride in your craft and put a some wiggle in it!!!!” because he eventually snapped. Spoiler Alert: when you’re traveling around the world with one other person, your fights don’t last that long. #stillbestfriends.

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We eventually caught a couple of uneventful hitches before getting dropped in a very small town about 150 km outside of Nelson. Although the town is apparently famous for their mussels, waiting for two more hours on the side of the road in the scorching hot sun did not leave either of us with the fondest memories.

With the initial buzz of hitching finally wearing thin and exhaustion/heat/hunger kicking in, we were beginning to lose hope when finally, a 17 year old kid named Tim pulled over and was on his way home to Nelson. He said he was getting a little lonely driving and was actually looking for some hitchers to keep him company. This sounded a little strange, but we were so pumped to not have to stand on the side of the road anymore we didn’t immediately see this as a red flag.

Driving away, the first thing young Tim said to us was, “my driving may scare you, but don’t worry, I’ve been driving these roads since I was 11”. Well guess what Tim?!? You were right! You spooked us! And just so you know, it wasn’t just going 140 kmh around windy turns or triple passing cars on a narrow two-lane road that did the trick!

In our collective opinion Tim was a pretty classic case of a 17-year-old kid trying to impress two 22 year old American guys. In addition to the driving, Tim did things like brag about getting arrested for marijuana possession two days prior as well as mention how many texts he had gotten from girls to hang out with him later that day. Also, driving through a Police Check Point, we soon realized although he had been “driving on these roads since he was 11,” he technically still couldn’t have passengers in the car so if Rob hadn’t had his license for over 5 years, Tim would have been in some more trouble with Johny Law.

Another aspect of the ride we really enjoyed was his constant battle with his ipod shuffle. About every 10 minutes a really gay song would come on (think Whitney Houston) and we would get to watch him freak out. Phrases like, “what is this???” and  “How the hell did this get on my ipod????” were constantly being thrown around as he scrambled to find a song we’d think was cooler.

He was a huge Sammy Adams fan though, so we had to give him serious props for bumping Boston’s Boy on the other side of the world.

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Boston Stand Up!!!!!

As we approached the city of Nelson he said he didn’t have anything to do the rest of the day (not quite sure what happened to those four girls texting him earlier) and offered to give us a tour around the city. As strange as he was, we were still hitchers grateful for the ride and, knowing literally knowing about Nelson, agreed to let him show us around a little bit.

Some highlights of his tour included: the school he got kicked out of for selling drugs, the house where his primary drug dealer lived, a church parking lot he used to do drugs in, the house where one of his friends punched him in the face four times and he was too high to fight back, the shooting range he used to go to before he got kicked out of school for selling drugs, and finally, a random gravel parking lot that seemed to have no real significance aside from the fact that he could do donuts and burnouts there for about five minutes!

As Rob’s mom would say, “you have to laugh or you’d cry.”

In the end, we had to regretfully decline his invitation to “get a tinny (NZ slang for weed) and go chill.” As tempting of an offer as it was, something about our lack of sleep combined with literally everything about him, made us opt for checking into a backpackers, finding the closet beach, catching a fat cat nap, and watching this glorious sunset instead.

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Ahhhh but of course! Nelson’s historic “Statue of Summerlin”

Nelson actually ended up being a super tight city and we got drunk with our American friends and made the commitment to ditch our plan to try and find an apple-picking job and just hop in with them instead.

Moral of the Story: Never a judge a book by its cover, but, if you read the first 500 pages and it seems really sketchy, don’t go buy a tinny and go chill with it.

Wellywood!

With the most pleasant hitch of our life in our back pocket, we were promptly picked up by our Wellington hostess, June, who is… the best! Pure sunshine. One of the finest things about having a lady for a host is that women appreciate a good view. Doug and I chase good views with the same unapologetic giddiness with which a sheepdog chases sheep (fresh off the farm, prepare yo’ self for some sheep analogies), especially sunsets, which are my meth.

June took us all around the city, from one ridiculous view to the next; Wellington reminded me of a bigger, cleaner San Francisco, which is, to quote Andy Sandberg imitating Nicholas Cage, “High Praise.”

It was getting late so June recommended Chinese food, beers, and some reality TV… all things we don’t hate. We’ve really enjoyed all the advertising in this country, especially this gem… “You know I can’t grab your ghostchips!”

Now that is QUALITY; much better then, “If you drunk drive, you’ll get pulled over, have to roll down your window, and your car full over beer will start pouring onto the cop!”

Day two began with more views and the Te Papa museum, which gave us a solid grasp NZ culture, and was good, clean, free, fun as we ran around the place sharing freshly learned facts—we all agreed that parents in Colorado and/or Washington must be way more excited when their kids recommend going to some museums… so many interactive activities!

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Doug going HARD on some selfies

The next stop was the Weta studios, the people responsible for the graphics in all the Lord of the Rings movies… but more importantly, they have statues of characters we could take a bunch of selfies with. Wellington is now home to Peter Jackson and James Cameron; the hawt rumor is that “Wellywood” will one day rival Hollywood… we shall see!

Knowing that we enjoy a good afternoon cordial, June took us for some fish n’ chips right on the beach and then to a few more bars in the inner harbor. One of the beautiful consistencies of New Zealand is how clean their water is; even in their capital’s inner harbor, the water is a beautiful blue (NOT littered with Baltimore eels aka homeless men’s condoms), clean enough to dive into, and they even have a platform to jump off, so that is what Doug did!

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He dried off and we headed to a super trendy spot to, wouldn’t you know it, take in more views, discuss our goals for the year ahead and have a few more beers. As we discussed,  I spotted a group of kids that looked American. I looked closer and noticed we had met these pats before… destiny was waving back at me as I yelled, “Ayoo Charlie!” from the second-floor balcony.

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“And ma whole crew is loungin'”

Sure enough, it was Charlie, Marty, and Ira, three American men we had met during the world record skinny dip… which doesn’t sound gay at all! (we tell people we met setting a world record together, it has a nicer ring to it)! We had discussed combining forces and heading south, as they had bought a car and offered spots to us.

We hadn’t heard from them because we had wifi, they had phones, but fate had brought us together and we agreed to meet up the next day in Nelson. “Things are looking up!”

We also agreed that since it was Friday and we had to catch a 2:30 a.m. ferry the next morning, we should go oh so opposite of soft that evening, and so we did.

“I would never come here if it weren’t for you guys,” June told us, which made me confident it would be a perfectly grimy scene. The beers were cheap (the real reason we requested it) and the DJ could have been the worst… playing songs you’d expect to hear a hygienist singing along to in a dentist’s office.

Despite the poop leaking from the speakers, I waddled over to a couple of German girls and began speaking with them (so scary!). After finding out their names and nationality, it became clear that one was sexy, and one could inspire Orc designs at the Weta studios. Knowing how much Doug love’s the Lord of the Rings trilogy, I opted for the sexier of the two, and my ol’ pal was left to deal with her friend, who’d go on to say,

“Ya, us German girls love to pahty!”

“What kind of musik do yew like? I love ze Beastie Boiz! Do you think DJ will play Beastie Boiz!?”

“Do you like German girls bettah than ze Kiwi girls?”

Putting Doug out of his misery, I exchanged numbers with my German lass, and we headed to the ferry, where we were warned earlier, “If you show up drunk we will not let you on the boat,” ok! Spoiler alert: we got away with it!

South Island here, we, come!

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Moral of the Story: If you told me a month ago we would meet some dudes while skinny dipping, have a good chat, exchange some info, then end up road tripping with them for weeks, I’d tell you… “Hey, they must have some nice hogs!”

Thumbs Up: Part II

Pleased with the progress we made and the characters we met on day one of our hitchhiking adventure, Rob and I were both eager to throw our thumbs back in the air and continue our journey “SOUTH”. We stopped at Maccas (McDonalds) for some free WiFi the night before and, to our delight, received a message from another Contiki legend named June. She lived just outside of Wellington (the capital of this glorious country) and said we were welcome to come kick it with her. You rock June!

After finally getting a symcard for Rob’s unlocked iPhone (welcome to the Smart-phone world you big dummy), we were back on the side of the road and spent about half an hour before we were picked up by two more pleasant humans who were in Napier doing a little long boarding on the boardwalk. Our new friends appeared to be in their late 20’s, early 30’s and, judging by their appearance, seemed to be of the native kiwi variety.

They were only going one town over, but as I am sure Vin Diesel would tell us in the dramatized Hollywood version of our adventure, if you ask any hitcher, any real hitcher, it doesn’t matter if you hitch an inch or a mile, hitching is hitching. After dropping her friend off, our girl Mon had to make one more pit stop to get changed at her house so we happily tagged along to check out her digs.

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We were both pleasantly surprised by both the inflatable pool in the front yard and the stripper poll in the middle of the living room. Both purchases and the fact that she mentioned she had seen the sunrise 11 out of the last 14 days indicated she also was a “free spirit”.

She went on to tell us they were having a party that weekend for one of her flat-mates and sold it as quite the event. She said they would be sipping on Jungle Juice all day which apparently is a real thing that is brewed naturally and sold illegally, as it is apparently far stronger than the Hawaiian Punch based drink we became accustomed to in #college. Although we were tempted to pull a wildcard and join in on the festivities, we decided to continue trekking and had her drop us off on the side of a main highway.

Before leaving Gisborne, our gracious hosts, Hayden and Kelly, had asked if we were nervous at all about hitchhiking. Jokingly, we responded “Nah, the way we see it going is two hot girls are just going to pick us up in big van with a mattress in the back and we’ll just take turns ‘thanking’ them in the back until we get to Wellington.”

As my ol’ pal Mitch would get high and tweet, “it costs nothing to dream.”

The entertainment of our hitches up to this point had pushed this fantasy out of mind until we were standing on the side of the road and two cute girls drove by with smiles on their faces and room in the backseat. Unfortunately, they continued driving straight past us until… in an unprecedented move (based on the day and a half of hitching we had under our belts) they pulled a double U-turn and before we could really put together what happened, they rolled down their window and asked where we were going.

Although there are times this trip we’ve felt like we’re in a movie, this particular film would be more likely to be seen on ABC Family than Pornhub.com.

In the non “reality porn” version, the car was a four door sedan instead of a van and both girls were a little young and in committed relationships. However, they were also super cool, introduced us to real fruit ice cream (which is a real treat), and were also going to Wellington after spending the week at R&V. After four hours in the car together we became Facebook and Instagram friends so if you guys are reading this now, thanks again for the ride and sorry of the hitch hiking sexual fantasy thing is awkward!

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Like the sweet hearts they were, the girls let us borrow their cell phones to hit up our girl June and then dropped us off at the train just as she was pulling in #purfect #timing.

Moral of the Story: I wish there weren’t as many sickos in the world because hitching is chill.

Thumbs Up: Part I

2013 began well, almost too well, and with the New Year came new adventure. Doug and I didn’t know where we wanted to go, but we figured going south would be a fine idea… we really have no plans. We had been spit-balling the best way to travel through the homeland with our Kiwi brethren, and the overwhelming majority told us hitchhiking was the obvious choice.

“Ye, just put your thumb up and you’ll be sweet as,” sounded like the beginning quote to the horror movie, Rob and Doug Get Brutally Murdered During a Hitch Hike Gone Wrong, but we decided to trust the Kiwi people. At the end of the day, we’re two able-bodied dudes (ex-Division I or is it III? Lax player, and an ex-D-III club hockey player), but more importantly, you don’t get many opportunities to hitchhike in your life.

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Would you pick up these two svelte brahs?

Saying goodbye to our phenomenal hosts and the glorious views was tough, but they dropped us off on a main road and wished us luck. We put our backpack down, held up a sign that simply read, “SOUTH” and threw our thumbs in the air (it felt very cool!). Not one minute had passed before a lady pulled over in her ol’ hoopty and hollered, “I’m going to Wairoa, hop in! Oh, and can one of you drive? I don’t have a license.” Ok!

Though the red flags were certainly there, so was the adrenaline of our first hitch, so we hopped in. I felt confident I could stay on the left side of the road and hoped our pick-up hadn’t lost her liscense because she murdered a hitchhiker… fingers crossed! Our hostess was in her 20’s, had island skin and a bunch of questions. She did not stop talking the entire 2-hour drive; she was in fact a very nice lady, and kept referring to herself as a free spirit. “I have 50 missed calls. I don’t want to talk to anyone, I’m a free spirit!” Ok!

She proceeded to talk to us about an abusive ex-boyfriend, the fact she is a professional rapper, and how she had snacked on three E-pills the night/morning before. It was now obvious she was still enjoying the effects of the drug and I was glad I was the one driving.

“I’m not afraid of death. I wouldn’t care if one of you guys killed me right now…”

WOAH WOAH WOAH! How did THAT come up in conversation? And she said it with a smile. I kept driving, trying to ignore the statement; we began to realize her definition of ‘free spirit’ is identical to our definition of ‘crazy lady.’

Though driving on the left side of the road while listening to some radical banter served as challenges, I was doing a solid job behind the wheel, and the views were beautiful. I had my right arm out the window and it was getting COOKED by the sun (the NZ o-zone layer is thin, deli-cut ham, thin).

I looked down to see if I could move it into some shade when I heard our lady friend, Kyrsa, yell real loud… I looked up to see us headed straight off a cliff turn… Oh nooooo! (are Rob and Doug’s ghosts writing this blog?!?!?!?!)

Suspense….

More suspense…

I yanked the wheel right, as Doug and Kyrsa screamed, managing to avoid a quick end to 2013. After a deep breath, I asked Kyrsa, “Why did you scream? I thought you weren’t afraid of death…. Ha!” we had a laugh and continued on.

She dumped us off at a gas station on a main road, we thanked her profusely, and the thumbs were back up (we would later find out the town she dropped us in, is known for it’s gangs… thanks again Kyrsa!).

Dude-that-lady-was-out-of-her-damn-mind’s were exchanged while we waited, and after thirty minutes, a kid picked us up, “I’ll bring you to Napier,” ok!

This time around, we landed on a stable human. Sandy, a curly headed 18-year old dude, was a spirited fellow who had also enjoyed the glory of R&V. The conversation had less to do about murder and more to do with music and babes (my favvvvvvv!).

Sandy, that fahckin legend, managed to hook up with three different girls, all three nights! We asked him the obvious question, “What do girls smell like?” and then a less obvious question, “How’d you do it?”

“Ah, the Kiwi girls love a bit of charm, and you have to put in some work.” Dually noted!

The hours went by quick, and it was a shame we couldn’t spend more time with the kid, wise beyond his years, but the night was coming and we had made it half way down the coast.

We landed at a lovely hostel where we were greeted by an omen, the sign below.

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Though the day was strange, it was interesting, and we were excited to throw the thumbs up the next morning.

Moral of the Story: Hitchhiking is like life, which is like a box of chocolates, which are always mysterious!

NZ NYE: Part II

“New Year’s Eve is NEVER disappointing!” –Skip Bayless

Skip Bayless, the perennial #1 seed in everyone’s preseason top-25 hit list poll, once again, makes a good point (for any girls reading, this is a joke for the boys, he’s a big idiot).

Luckily, our gracious Kiwi hosts gave us a glorious day and a night to boot. On our Contiki trip Hayden told us about the festivities “Yea, it’s basically a music festival, people camp out, it’s right near the beach, and it’s always a pretty good time.”

Once again, our good pal had harshly undersold the Kiwi lifestyle. R&V was nothing short of magic, and for three nights we enjoyed the euphoric atmosphere… for Free.99

Tui-time would come to an end (WOOH beers), we’d hop in Tommy’s van, or the town bus, where we’d sing along with all the other excited souls. At one point, a group of Maori boys found out we loved the Hakka, and began performing it for us… beautifully executed. We then started hollering “Heyyyyy, heyyy baby. WHO, HA,” which would get the bus literally rocking, to and fro’.  (Just like ze oktabahhhfesht ya!)

All three nights we’d arrive all fired up, walk through beautiful vineyards, babes LeFt and RigHt, then into the festival, where the stages were wedged between rolling hills and the trees were straight out of that scene in Lord of the Rings that lasted way too long… we didn’t hold that against them. It was like nothing I had ever laid mine seafaring eyes upon!

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Thousands went from stage to stage, dancing, rejoicing, mouth-kissing and enjoying the mix of Mother Nature and Father Wobbles. The theme song of the weekend was Icona Pop’s I Love It, which they performed and performed well. DJ’s including good ol’ Knife Party kept us dancing like yacked-up robots and a man by the name of P-Money (the only person to ever achieve success after using the nickname algorithm, (syllable of your first name) + Money), played non-stop hip hop classics (DMX).

When midnight came round on NYE, the fireworks exploded above us—it was pure joy. Though the two of us didn’t find midnight kisses (on purpose according to TMZ) we hugged our Kiwi brothers and sisters and both agreed, “2013 is not going to suck.”

I could go on for days, but the video below does a proper job capturing the spirit of the festival (they also have clips of the rock slide and waterfall).

“It’s 5 o’clock in the morning,” came quick, after dancing super hard, getting on stage, (“Please don’t do that again”-a security guard) and we headed back to Hayden and Kelly’s on a bus full of sleepy heads. Once we got back, we decided to make good on our promise to see the sunrise (a promise sealed with blood).

As it began creeping up, we headed to the beach, and wouldn’t you know it, we found a group of ten kids sitting around a bonfire, one of them playing some jams on his guitar… once again, almost too good to be true. Side note: If I could compare my New Zealand experience to any book, it would have to be Matt Christopher’s, The Boy Who Only Hit Homers.

They were local kiwis, and good souls (have yet to meet a ‘deeeeekhead’ kiwi yet). Naturally, I could let the guitar player get ALL the ‘attentions,’ but I didn’t want that, so I played them an American classic, and wedding favorite, “Bitches Aint Shit,” which they enjoyed.

The first sunrise of 2013 poked it’s head out, and it couldn’t have been more perfect.  Doug and I took a photo hand in hand, to serve as a reminder to TMZ that we’re just friends, and once again we reaffirmed the solid belief that, “2013 will NOT suck.”

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“Doug, when did your hands get so soft?”

Moral of the Story: If Skip Bayless was referring to New Year’s Eve in New Zealand, then I would have to agree. It is never disappointing.

NZ NYE: Part I

I don’t think I am dropping a bomb on the blogging world when I say, in general, New Years Eve is consistently the most over hyped day of the year. It’s cold, it’s crowded, and people spend way more money than they normally would to have way less fun.

The fact that this post is being broken up into two parts should be an indicator that this is not the story of our new year’s eve. We had ourselves a full day of activities taking advantage of the fact that, on this side of the world, New Year’s Eve hits right in the peak of summer.

The first activity on the agenda was rock sliding. About 45 minutes away from ol’ Hayden and Kelly’s house is this massive natural waterslide (think waterslide only instead of being man made, it’s natural). People from all around the area gathered with inflatable tubes, boogie boards, air mattresses, and whatever else they could dig up to give them a little bit of cushion against the rock slab they were sliding on.

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There were a couple of sickos that tried going down on their own two feet, but on the scale from 1-Extreme that hit the too extreme mark for us (classic American soft cocks).

Instead, our group took the four guys, one slightly ripped air mattress approach and couldn’t have had much more fun doing it. After countless runs down the slide, a bunch of scraped knees, and a whole lot of giddy laughter (there’s been a lot of that this trip) we decided to lay low for a little bit.

Strapped with a Chilly Bin (chill Kiwi slang for a cooler) of Coronas and a couple bags of chips we just posted up and enjoyed the unreal scene around us. Thirsty for culture and knowledge, we asked to learn ancient Kiwi secrets from our gracious hosts.  Most of these “secrets” ended up being different variations of opening beer bottles with nearby objects that, we soon learned, was an essential skill to be accepted as an honorary Kiwi.

Close by the waterslide was another natural beauty, this time in the form of a 40 ft waterfall. According to Hayden, people climb to the top of the waterfall and jump off, but when we got up there, no jumping locals were in sight. There was one guy at the bottom that appeared to know what he was talking about, but with the height and noise of the waterfall, we had to trust his hand gestures and our guts (#trustyourgut) that we were not about to jump to our deaths. Luckily, for our lives and this blog’s sake, we both survived the jump and became chiller bros for it.

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On our way back from the waterfall our hosts pulled a real fast one on us and made a stop off at a local vineyard for some wine tasting and the most delicious and classy snacking of our young lives. For two kids that have literally been asking random strangers if they are going to eat their crust for the last four months, six different kinds of wine and every cheese combination you can imagine was a pretty unreal change of pace.

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In between reds and whites, we joined a group of 10 year old children for our first game of backyard cricket (crushed them, obviouslyyyyy). Still a little hazy on alllllll the rules, but with no ESPN and a whole lot more cricket coverage on TV, I think we are both starting to understand what was once just a straight nonsense game.

After we had enough saying things like “Ahhhh 2008, great year, great year” and “Would you look at those legs run!!!” we headed off the vineyard. Making a quick stop at the ATM and Liquor store, we got the only supplies needed moving forward and geared up for what would prove to be a most glorious Part 2 of Rob and Doug’s Excellent New Year’s Eve.

Moral of the Story: Don’t stress out trying to make elaborate New Years Eve plans at the city’s hottest club (Boooooof), just come to New Zealand you dummies!

Gissy Gold!

Every day in Gissy-Land would begin with a morning surf with Hayden and Tommy (writing that sentence almost felt… too chill). I use the term surf quite loosely, because Doug and I would get absolutely dominated by waves as we tried to paddle out with the big boys, occasionally standing up on some baby waves—regardless, it was glorious. The water was obnoxiously clear, the views were insane, and the two of us get giddy in any type of water. At one point we checked out early and Hayden noticed us having fun in a different sort of way…

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Unfortunately no photos were taken while we road beefy tubes… BUMMER!

“I look back during the surf and see you two playing shot-put with sand, looking like you’re having the time of your life! Sweet as!”

We are a BIT different than the other boys at school!

‘Sweet as’ is a Kiwi term you hear all the time, and when you first hear it, you ask, “Sweet as? Sweet as… Sweet as what? Please, finish your sentence.” Kiwi’s do in fact know how to form a proper sentence, it’s just their way of saying, “Right on!” and is pronounced, “Swit is.”

In other NZ news, there is a conflict playing out in NZ politics that is eerily similar to the clash between sky’s and urchins in the critically acclaimed film, Johnny Tsunami… it is probably more comparable to the conflict between the European immigrants and the Native Americans in our U.S. of A., depending on who you ask.

The Maori peoples (pronounced Mary) were some of the first inhabitants to the island, and have been pushed around by settlers for a good while. Much like the sky’s/skiers claiming the ski-mountain as their own, the Maori peoples are now claiming the water, air, and land. As in, they own it, it is theirs, which doesn’t seem to be all that reasonable. If you end up on the wrong beach, you might get a good ol’ beating to the point where you are no longer living. Obviously, there is much more to the story, but that’s the tale told to us, so we’re going to believe it!

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TUI’s and views for days!

After the morning surf, we’d eat some eats, play some drinking games with Tui’s, head out for another afternoon surf, then drink some more Tui’s… it should be no surprise that New Zealand is located close to Antarctica (the chillest place on earth) because they have a good thing going. We’d watch the sun dip a bit, then make our way to Rhythm and Vines… for dance and more fun!

Moral of the Story: Any country who’s biggest political conflict can be loosely compared to Johnny Tsunami, is pretty, damn, chill… swweet as!