So, we've been out of the States for over a week now, and this is first we've been in an internet cafe. (And just so you know, it totally sucks. The keyboard is sticky and Doug's computer won't even load pages. Of course the guy has stepped away from the counter, so he's just staring at a screen that won't load, wasting his time. I can't even check my hotmail.)
We tried to find online contact yesterday, but no luck. I was able to connect a couple of times with my phone, but Skype wouldn't work so no Christmas calls home (sorry parents!).
The trip thus far is going great. We crossed to South Island last night, arriving a little after midnight. "Camping" was sleeping in the van in a carpark. At least it was cheap. After this quick blog post (and hopefully email checking) we'll be heading south towards Christchurch. No real plan in mind, just taking our time and enjoying each other. We've taken over 600 pictures so far, so we won't be posting any til we get home. It would be too much to search through them to post a key few, so you'll just have to wait.
Auckland was great, so was Rotorua and Napier. I've tried a couple of fantastic New Zealand wines so far. One from Marlborough region when we went to a fancy dinner in Auckland (I had the roast lamb. I only want to eat that forever), and then another from Hawkes Bay - picked it up when we were there.
Our last night on the North Island (and Christmas Day here) was spent with other travelers, sharing stories over dinner. The food here is a little expensive compared to the mainland, but so far the beef and dairy is MUCH better. There is something to say for grass-fed free-range cattle.
Only got 10 minutes left on my time (sticky keyboard + crap internet connection = 20 minutes to write this short post), so I'll catch you later. Next time we'll look for a real internet cafe, instead of using the computers in the lobby of a hostel.