Saturday, Sophie and I went to Dunedin to visit Liz, our former flatmate, who was resettling at the University of Otago. When we arrived at her house, a guy was walking inside and looked at us awkwardly while we asked if Liz was home. He stood confused and then all of a sudden we heard "AHHHHHHHH" coming from down the hall as Liz jumped outside and into our arms. It was great to have at least three of the loony bin flatmates back together. She showed us into her room which is now fashioned with a double bed, a sink, and even a fireplace. We talked and had some good laughs before hitting the town and the mall to dress the place up a bit. Liz was in heaven when she saw there was a Starbucks in Dunedin and then we all had dinner together before going back to her room and getting ready to go out. Marybeth came over and we all hugged and took millions of pictures before heading to Peter and Hillary's flat located in the hills of Dunedin (only a ten minute walk but some steep hills along the way). At their flat, we all talked some more about the earthquake and all of the problems it has caused and then we put on music and joked around for a bit. That night, we went to The Bog and all had a pretty good time. Peter met his wannabe "girlfriend" and then Sophie and I helped him ditch her throughout the rest of the night. Marybeth, Liz, Sophie and I took a taxi back to their flats simply because we didn't know our way around at all. The taxi driver was pretty friendly so we had a good laugh along the way. When we arrived back at Liz's flat, the three of us got ready to bed and then all crammed onto Liz's mattress. It was great to have them again.
Sunday, Liz had to wake up extremely early and go on a rafting trip with her group so Sophie and I were on our own. We set out around noon and had lunch before heading to the Cadbury factory. We took a forty five minute tour through the chocolate factory and it was pretty interesting seeing where they keep everything and how they make their products. After this, we walked back to town and hung out in the Octagon before going to the mall. We were just shopping around and being goofy. We went into Lush and Diva. Eventually, we walked back to Liz's room and she was also on her way home. We were planning on going to the brewery for a tour but by this time it was almost 615 and unfortunately the last tour was at six. Instead, we went back to Peter's and Hillary's and all hung out. Back at Liz's, she figured out her class schedule for the day and we talked about how Sophie was going to Auckland and I was still undecided. We all knew what Monday was going to bring.
On Monday, we woke up when Liz returned from her 9 am class and just got ready and started packing our things. We went to the Link and, for once, it wasn't stone cold silent which was very refreshing. After the link, we retrieved our bus tickets and our baggage from Liz's room before heading to the bus stop. Liz, Sophie and I sat on the bench and I can't even imagine what other people must have thought when they looked at the three of us. It seemed like the saddest bench anyone has ever seen. My bus pulled up and we all hugged goodbye while trying to hold back tears. We have a plan that in three years, when Sophie turns 21, she is going to come to NYC for the first time and Liz is going to travel up to visit also. I will never back down on this plan. The bus ride was boring and long. We had about a six hour trip and we made one stop at a small, off the beaten path diner for a half hour. When looking for a place to sit inside, I saw a girl that looked about 26 sitting by herself and I asked if I could join. Her name was Caterina and she has been traveling New Zealand for the past year. Originally, she is from France and she was going to be leaving for home the next day. We talked about the earthquake and all of the drama it has caused but then we also talked about all of our previous travels. She was really nice and has led such an interesting life so far. Back on the bus, I listened to my Ipod until we stopped in a place called Hornby. This is only about a fifteen minute drive away from the university but it would've been about a forty five minute to an hour walk especially carrying all of my things. At the bus stop, there was a metro stop and about five people were waiting for the metro to take us into the town. We didn't know that the metros had completely stopped running after the earthquake. Caterina drove by telling me this out the window of the car she was in and then, after asking the driver, she told me to get in and that they would drop me off at the university. I asked if they were going that way because I didn't want to intrude and although they weren't, they were both persuasive enough that I felt comfortable to get in. The driver's name was Gail and she has a son that went to the University of Canterbury so she knew where it was. Along the way, she pointed out her son's house and said that since I am so far away from home, if I ever need a place to go, his house is open to me. I could tell these people were genuinely nice and just trying to do all they could after the earthquake to help out. As they dropped me off, we exchanged cell phone numbers and I thanked them for the ride. Finally, I was back at Ilam Apartments. I texted Dan and he came over while I emailed my mom, started to unpack, showered etc. After, we went to his friend's apartment for a while to hang out and then I met up with Allie and Lauren, the two girls I had met at the airport while en route to Christchurch. They were leaving for Auckland the next day and we were sad that it was our last night together. We talked while they packed and then eventually we all said goodnight and goodbye.