When I returned home from the Women's conference in Hong Kong, my journey included a 9 hour layover in Aukland, New Zealand.
First of all, I can't say enough about how great my flight was on Air New Zealand. If you ever get the chance to fly that airline you won't regret it!
My flight took me over New Zealand at 8:30 in the morning. I can honestly say I have never seen such a beautiful, green, lush looking sight in my life. I was astonished at how green this island nation looked from the air.
I was determined that I would not waste the entire time just sitting in the airport, so I proceeded to go through immigration and out into the land of the Maurois. I went to the desk to rent a place to stash my luggage and realized I didn't have my passport with me. Yes.... I panicked! I didn't know if I had left it somewhere, or if it was stolen. I went to a security officer, he directed me to the information desk, they didn't know what happened to it, I next went to the shop where I had purchased a juice... nothing. How in the world was I going to get home if I didn't have my passport? After about 20 minutes I went back to the information desk to see if they had heard anything, Lo and behold, the customs officials had just contacted them and I had left my passport at the customs desk.
Whew! Now that I had my passport I was ready to go for a little walk about to see what I could of this lovely country.
About a mile past the airport I found this office building with a grass roof. I also found a fantastic Caribbean restaurant with a delicious jerked chicken. It made a for a delicious lunch.
Since many modern airports are located on the outskirts of the big cities, I was not surprised to find this pretty little farm as I ventured further from the airport.
In reality is was about 3 or 4 blocks from some hotels and a strip center.
The New Zealand Flag and the Silver Fern Flag. The Silver Fern flag is on its way to becoming the new National Flag of New Zealand. (At least many New Zealanders hope it will). It is more representative of the pride and the people of New Zealand.
I think these trees are either Norfolk Pines or Cook Island Pines. They are members of the Araucaria family... whatever they are, they are gorgeous.
After being out and about for several hours, doing a little shopping, etc. I made my way back to the terminal where I found this warrior waiting for me.
The sign at his feet says: "On loan from Middle Earth. Do not touch!" Haha! I'm not even a Lord of the Rings fan.... but I loved it!
I did bring one souvenir back with me from New Zealand - A beautiful New Zealand All Blacks T-Shirt adorned with one silver fern leaf! I mean, you can't go to the land of the Kiwis, Maoris and the best Rugby in the world and not get something to show for it!