Place 81 – Day 11: Orlando,FL – 6.5 Hour Tattoos

Up Early

We were up at a good time to get down to Orlando.

We didn’t eat any breakfast, but we stopped at IHOP on the way, and just as it started to rain, too!

Tattoos

We went from IHOP to a tattoo place. Kim, Abbie & Tom were getting tattoos today.

The tattoos went very well, and the tattoo artist was very knowledgeable, friendly and talented!

Kim and Abbie got a matching tattoo, of interlocking rings.

Kim also got a colourful elephant which has a few significant meanings to her and Abbie also got a flower.

Tom got a chinese inspired tattoo on his back which looks pretty cool.

All-in-all, we were in the tattoo parlour for 6.5 hours! We went to get a coffee briefly, mostly just to kill time, but by the time we left it was 18:00.

Vegan Dinner & A Drag Show?

We planned to go to a drag show today, but first the plan was food!

Abbie is vegetarian, so we wanted to find some food she could eat and the tattoo artist is a vegan, so she recommended some vegan places.

We went to a place right next to where the drag was located.

We aren’t going to rate this place as, being vegan, we aren’t used to the alternatives used so we don’t think it would be fair.

That being said, Curtis got something that was a vegan chicken burger with a side of mac and ‘cheese’, Kim had a ‘pulled pork’ sandwich, Maggie had another sandwich of sorts and Tom had a ‘not-dog’ chilli dog.

Neither of us were overly thrilled with the food, but that wasn’t to say, necessarily, because it was vegan, but it just wasn’t that great. Abbie and Tom both very much enjoyed their food, though and everyone said the ‘not-dogs’ were delicious.

We left here and went round the corner as it was meant to be opening time for the drag show, but it seemed very much empty…and closed!

We went to a bar just down the road, which was owned by the same people, and we found out that it was not on tonight. This was a great shame as Kim was very much looking forward to it, but we did get a refund, after the booking company were very unpleasant on the phone.

Card Games It Is Then

We drove back home and decided that we may as well play card games.

We played about 3 games in total but were all the tired and realised we had to pack, too.

Packing

We got to packing, getting most of it done in the evening.

We have everything ready and now it’s just time to sleep.

Kim’s family are heading back to England tomorrow and we are taking a long bus journey.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

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Place 78 – Day 1: Hurricane,UT 🇺🇸 – Driving Through 3 States

Interview

Curtis had a phone interview this morning at 09:30, so he had to be up for that.

Curtis had his phone interview which he felt went very well. He was excited about the potential of getting that role actually!

Breakfast

Curtis walked to McDonald’s after he finished his call and got showered.

Kim packed whilst Curtis went to get the breakfast.

We ate breakfast quickly and then headed downstairs to check out and catch a Lyft to the airport.

Collecting Our Car

Whilst we had to go to the airport, it wasn’t to fly, it was to collect our car.

We collected our car, which is a Kia Soul, and hit the roads.

We hit the road and drove out of Vegas.

It was mostly just straight driving to get to our destination. There was a lot of cool rocks and mountains along the way, too.

e drove through Nevada then through Arizona until we arrived in Utah!

Hurricane, Utah

We got to Hurricane and stopped off at Chick-Fil-A for some lunch. We each got a deluxe chicken sandwich and some waffle fries each.

We drove 10 minutes further down the road and arrived at the home were are staying at. The home is beautiful and we are sharing with 2 people that live in the house and one other room of guests.

We got acquainted and Curtis watched hockey whilst Kim relaxed.

Healthy(ish) Dinner

We wanted something a bit healthier for dinner, so we drove to the supermarket and picked up some caesar salad and some breakfast items.

We got back and ate our salad before going home and chilling out, whilst planning our couple of days here.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 49 – Day 384: Auckland – The Car Is Sold!

We had a but of a lay in this morning, which was much needed! We had an appointment at 12:30 which we had to get to, so once we got up and got some stuff sorted Kim spoke to her family, we had to head out.

Once we got there, we had to wait a bit and then we were seen by someone.

We were getting the car valued and seeing if the company wanted to buy it, as a last resort. They didn’t give us the best offer, so we held off umin case we got a better offer privately.

We then drove from here to Silvia Park where we wanted to ask a question about our mobile phones to the phone company and then we drove back to the apartment.

Once we got back, we took the laundry we had up to the laundromat. This laundromat works with a key system, so we had to purchase a key and top it up and then use the laundromat. We washed and dried our clothes, walked to the cinema to book tickets for tomorrow and then came back to the apartment.

We then got a great offer for the car from someone coming all the way from Hamilton! We arranged to meet them and then went for a farewell dinner with Josh & Danielle in New Lynn.

We met them and ordered some drinks and food and then the lady arrived to get the car!

She gave us the money and was very excited about the car, so that was that! We finally sold the car and that is now done.

We sat and ate with Josh and Danielle and then they drove us back.

We got back and had an hour long chat with our host who is really lovely! We then finished some packing and went to bed.

We are watching a film tomorrow to kill time as our flight isn’t until 20:05.

Last night in New Zealand!

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 49 – Day 382: Auckland – Fred!

We planned to leave for 09:00 this morning to head back to Auckland, but none of us woke up on time, so that didn’t happen!

Danielle’s mum made us some pancakes for breakfast and then we all packed up and headed out back to Auckland.

There was a lot of traffic on the way back, so it took us about 5 hours all in all! We did make a quick bakery stop on the way back, but that didn’t delay us too much.

Once we got to Auckland we met our host for our remaining few days in New Zealand. Our host is lovely and has a bulldog who is very excitable. His name is Fred.

We got settled, had a chat with our host and then when she went out we got showered and relaxed.

Kim went out in the evening to see Tabitha for the last time before we leave. They went to a night market and wandered around there for a bit, eating some food, and then Kim came back and we chilled out watching some TV. Curtis got some much needed admin done whilst Kim was out, so that was a win!

We have all the admin to get done tomorrow, so it means waking up early for nothing fun.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 62 – Day 3: Bland Bay – Secret Cave!

We left the hotel nice and early, around 07:30 and then drove to McDonald’s to get a spot of breakfast.

After breakfast, we drove a car park over to the supermarket where we got some meat for the BBQ.

We left the supermarket and made the drive down to Bland Bay. A lot of the roads were gravel, but it was good fun! It was a straight road for 100km, so it was at least easy.

We got out to Bland Bay and just chilled out for a few hours in the blazing sun. It was delightful!

We were then told about a cave that we had to see in person as it was beautiful! With that, we all hopped on the boat and headed out there. The waves were causing our boat to bounce all over the place which waa great fun!

We arrived at the small, secluded beach and it was stunning!

We then had a look at the stream leading to the cave, which was also filled with rocks and seaweed, and it was quite choppy, with big waves rushing in.

That being said, we eventually started making our way out into the water, consistently getting stabbed by the sharp rocks. Josh then said he saw a stingray, which froze us both and we decided we weren’t moving!

We waited a while and saw nothing, so all got moving again. We swam the last part into the cave and it was well worth it! Unfortunately, we didn’t get any good photos of it, but there was a deep pool of water with light perfectly shining onto it from above. Beautiful!

We got in the water and chilled a little, before we got back out and had to make the treacherous swim back.

The swim was actually ok, but we did get stabbed by multiple rocks again.

We got back on the boat and headed back to the house.

We then got the BBQ going and Josh cooked up a storm! Once we ate our food, we had some games of Cards Against Humanity and Josh sent out the Contiki to catch some fish.

As they were bringing it back in, there must’ve been a shark on it, or two, as the power pulled the whole whinch down the bank and the contiki went underwater! There was a made dash to pull it in and it eventually relaxed, but most of the hooks were gone from the line! Another eventful weekend here so far!

We packedup the outside after this and then went inside for some sleep, after we got some great night photos!

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 69 – Day 3: Kaitaia – Te Paki Sand Dunes, The Top of NZ & Spirits Bay

Post breakfast, we were in the car and driving further up north! By 09:00, we were on our way and it was already getting warm!

We drove 1.5 hours up north to get to Te Paki stream. Here, in the middle of nowhere, there are giant sand dunes! Kim had read online that you can rent a ‘sandboard’ and go sandboarding on the dunes.

Once we arrived, we got ourselves a couple of sandboards and headed up the dunes. We were advised to go right to the highest dune to get a great view and then slide back down, which is what we did. What we didn’t realise was how incredible steep all of the dunes are and the effort it takes to get to the top, including getting sand blown in your face all the time!

Kim struggling with the dune!

We did get some amazing views at the top of the highest dune, which we soaked in whilst we relaxed after the tiresome climb!

The first sandboard down looked very high but wasn’t very fast at all.

We then went down the next hill, which was smaller but had way more speed and was great fun!

Luckily, as we were leaving, the sun got much warmer, so it was the perfect timing!

We had a drink and then drove from here to Cape Reinga, which is the top most point of New Zealand. Once we got here, we parked and walked down to the lighthouse, seeing the amazing views on the way. Apparently, two different oceans combine at this point also, which is what we assume the waves in the middle of the sea are!

We walked back to the car after seeing the lighthouse and drove to a beach over a gravel road, which took a while! The beach was called spirits bay and it was beautiful! We sat and ate our homemade ham, beef, cheese & salad sandwiches and then got back to the car to drive back to the apartment.

We chilled out for a while whilst we recovered from our tiredness and then we got back in the car and drove to the town to find food. We got a kebab each, which was an odd thing to choose but was delicious!

We watched a cabin restoration TV show and some other TV and then got packed up to leave tomorrow morning.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 49 – Day 380: Auckland – Fresh New Locks, Damn Cars & Arcade Games

We were up at 07:45 so Kim could go out for breakfast with Kelsey & Liz as a ‘goodbye’ meetup. They chatted for a while and then Kim walked back to the hostel, stopping to get Curtis some breakfast on the way.

We watched some TV whilst Curtis ate his croissant and drank his coffee.

Post breakfast, Curtis went for a shower and got ready to go out.

Kim had an appointment to go to in Birkenhead, so we drove out to there, which surprisingly to us only took us 15 minutes!

We took a bag of clothes that we no longer want as well as some other stuff and the first port of call was to drop that at a charity shop. The first place we went to wasn’t taking donations but the second was, so we left it there and that is one less thing to do.

We then walked towards where Kim needed to go and Curtis spotted a barber that seemed nice so he went in there to get a haircut. After a short wait, Curtis was seen as got a fresh new look, exactly how he likes it.

Kim was not finished with her appointment, so Curtis wandered around Birkenhead to kill some time.

Once Kim was done, we went to the car and noticed that the engine warning light was on, which was typical when we’re just about to sell it! After checking the oil, it seems we were a little low, so we drove to a shop and bought some more to put in. We put enough in but it was still showing the light. The resident mechanic at the parts shop said we can get the ECU checked to see what the error codes are, but they can’t do it at their store at the moment, so we’d need to drive to the other end of town to get it done. We called ahead and it was Ok to go, so we drove across town for 25/30 minutes to get this done.

The staff had trouble finding our car model on the system for some reason, but eventually found it and scanned the ECU. The first attempt crashed the tablet and the 2nd attempt said there were 3 errors but showed no codes or descriptions! The recommendation was to take it to a mechanic, so we will need to, but none are open until Monday!

After this news, we met up with Josh and Danielle very local to where we were to get some food and watch a movie.

The restaurant Josh wanted to go to, as his birthday celebration, was no longer there, so we had to choose something else.

We found a pretty new chicken & ribs place. We both shared 1/4 chicken with hot sauce and 1/2 pound of ribs with some kumara fries whilst Josh had ribs and tatertots and Danielle ate a cheeseburger and curly fries. It was all pretty good food, but didn’t blow us away. Probably a 6.5/10.

We finished up and went to the cinema, about an hour early! We spent some time in the arcade just playing some games. Kim and Danielle played against each other in the basketball and then Josh wiped the floor with Curtis at it.

After basketball, we played against each other in a hard fought battle of bubble hockey! It went to overtime with Curtis winning with a lucky goal.

Josh and Danielle then raced each other on the racing game and the winner gets a free game, which was awesome! Josh then played about 6 free races and people kept coming and going and he kept winning! This kept us entertained until the film.

We watched the film ‘instant family’ which was meant to a comedy but was pretty sad/heartwarming. A very good film, actually!

We left the cinema quite late, came back to the hostel and now here we are. Looking forward to sleeping!

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale