We all split up in town and planned to meet back at the cars at 12:30. I went with Brian, Kelly and Cate to a Swedish bakery (the only one in New Zealand) and had a DELICIOUS cinnamon bun.
The lady inside was so cute and friendly. She was talking with us and telling us about their shop and just being really nice. Everything in the bakery shop looked so good that I bought a “chocolate mud muffin” to have later on.
Notice the cinnamon buns in the left case!!We walked around the town, poking around in some shops and stuff. Cate, Brian and I climbed up to this church at the top of the hill where we had a little view over the town.Then, I decided that the cinnamon bun was SO good and this might be the last time I could ever have one, so I went back to get another one! I was very glad I did. Cate and I got back to the cars before everyone else, and both cars had parking tickets. Not one of the eleven of us thought about having to pay for parking. (Sad, I know, Dad!) Anyway, where we had to pay the fine was actually right across the street so we just went over and paid it right away. We split up the cost between us and it only wound up being $6 a person – not too bad for a stupid mistake.
We filled up the cars with gas and then headed to return the rental cars. When we got there, the guy just came over and drove us to the airport in our respective rental cars, except he drove instead of us! Kind of a weird setup, but it worked – we just kept our luggage in the trunk.
The Nelson Airport was the most lackadaisical airport I have ever been to. None of us had to show any form of identification or go through any type of security or baggage check. Both Brian’s and my plane tickets were on my credit card, but he just gave his name and they gave him a ticket. Since the car was due back at 1, we were at the airport much earlier than we needed to be (our flight was not until 3:50). So we just hung around the airport and entertained ourselves. We got some food at the café and split into 3 tables: one table played the card game Phase 10, my table played the card game Skip-Bo, and one table just hung out and talked.
Then, we boarded the plane and made our way back to Auckland. The next time I get on a plane it will be to go home! It’s crazy to think how fast these 4 months have gone by.
It was a really tiny plane, so we weren't flying that high and had some good views from the air. This is near Nelson, right after take off:
We also flew by Mt Taranaki, which is on the west coast of the North Island. (They call it the Mt Fuji of New Zealand.) It looked really cool because the top of the mountain was above the cloud line.