This is my live-blog of the car ride up from my house (or former house) in Wellington, to my Aunty’s house in Whangaparaoa.
8:09am: AND WE’RE OFF! Nine minutes late, of course, but it wouldn’t be my family if we weren’t.
8:14am: The car has been stuffed full. I’m surprised I fit everything in. Yeah… it takes a lot of space to pack all my worldly possessions.
8:15am: “Alright I’m bored now. Who wants to go home?” – Mum. “You’re not that fussed on going to Auckland, are you?” – Dad. As you can tell they really want me to go.
8:19am: Mum and Dad arguing about the morals of taking back-roads to jump queues. If you know my parents I’m sure you’ll know which side they’re on.
8:20am: Apparently while I’ve been on holiday, Mum, Dad and Ella have been playing ‘Spot the Year 12’ instead of ‘Yellow Car.’ I’ll let you know how I progress as my first game continues.
- addition at 6:23pm: ‘Spot the Year 12’ is possible because my old school got a new uniform a few years ago so year 12s are the only ones left in the old uniform -
8:21am: “We need to get a thing to do a thing.” – Dad is very eloquent.
8:27am: I am proclaimed the CHAMPION of ‘Spot the Year 12’ with a 1-0-0 game.
8:28am: On the motorway. Hairspray has started. “GOOD MORNING BALTIMORE! EVERY DAY’S LIKE AN OPEN DOOR…” The wifis available in this area include two police wifis.
8:31am: We’ll all struggling with the high notes this early in the morning.
8:57am: There’s no longer a Tui billboard at Paekakariki. This is a real downer on the trip. It used to be a highlight.
9:17am: As Mum pointed out, I’m missing the Kapiti Women’s Triathlon. Such a shame! I’m sure I would have won it. High notes are still proving a struggle for the three of us. I’m actually seeking out the low parts in group numbers.
9:35am: Stopped off in Otaki for hot chocolate/coffee. Also found bags of licorice off-cuts for $4. Bargain!
- addition at 3:44pm: I forgot to type my rating for my hot chocolate while I was drinking it. I did rate it while drinking though and it was a solid 8.5/10. It was super chocolatey and yum, the marshmallows melted to make it even yummier, but it was a tad watery at times. -
9:42am: Good safe driving campaign sign: “Better late than never.” We actually have really good safe driving/drink driving campaigns in New Zealand.
10:21am: I’m losing ‘Yellow Letterbox’ and it’s really taking a toll on me emotionally, physically and spiritually. It’s 5-4 but I was winning 3-1 at one point. This is really upsetting. On a more uplifting note, we’ve started the Les Mis soundtrack.
10:22am: According to Mum we’ve got 552km to go. That’s quite a long time.
10:26am: “Just for stealing a mouthful of bread.” Both Dad and I disagree with this statement. “Bit more than a mouthful.” “Bloody big mouth to fit a loaf.” “He also broke a window.”
10:27am: We’re in Bulls. This is the best place on the whole journey.
- addition 6:27pm: I forgot to type the classic Bulls joke: “Did you know that New Zealand is the only place in the world that you can get milk from Bulls?” There. Classic joke. So good. -
11:28am: Bulls actually wasn’t as exciting as anticipated. Update on ‘Yellow Letterbox’ the score is 10-7. If you don’t know the rules of ‘Yellow Letterbox’ it’s quite simple: if you see a yellow letterbox you say “yellow letterbox” and get a point. The person with the most points at the end of the car journey wins. Dad’s winning. It’s not fun. Just stopped in Taihape. They have the nice toilets. Except I think there was someone being sick in the toilet two doors down from me. That wasn’t so nice. Probably not so great for her either.
11:36am: “Show that campervan driver some respect! Yeah right.” This is why I love Tui Billboards.
11:37am: All three of us singing ALL the parts in ‘One More Day.’ It’s the only way to sing it.
11:38am: 10-8 in ‘Yellow Letterbox.’ Dad just said “There’s a sign outside of Waiouru that says ‘no more yellow letterboxes for 60km.” I said “Really?” I’m an idiot.
11:39am: We also have the army behind and in front of us. We all feel very safe. Although as Dad said, it is our whole army (except for the one truck went past us the other way).
11:44am: We over took the army. I hope that doesn’t say anything about our defence services.
1:14pm: Stopped for a surprisingly good lunch just out of Turangi. Felt much healthier after the McDonalds we got for breakfast. I had a mini pizza and salad. Super interesting, I know.
1:15pm: There was a girl around my age with her parents at the place we went for lunch. We thought she’d probably be going up to Uni too (or down to Vic if she was coming from the other way). She’s one of those people that I just swear I know from somewhere. I think she goes to Marsden. Anyway, she had exactly the same colour converse as me.
1:27pm: It’s time for a rousing Glee sing-a-long. Warblers album, of course.
1:33pm: Mum’s friend has arrived at the Halls of Residence with her infamous son (who I know a scary amount about seeing as I’ve never met the guy). I am eagerly awaiting her text! Ah! Mum’s phone just dinged!
1:35pm: Mum tried to dictate my grammar and punctuation while I replied to the text for her. Outstanding scholarship in English, Mum…I like to think my grammar and punctuation is good enough for text messages.
1:37pm: Mum and Dad both getting very frustrated at the driver in front of us who’s going 80km/h in a 100km/h zone. They seem to be looking for something in the backseat while they’re driving (well, the passenger is).
1:39pm: Idiot in red car has turned off to Taupo. All is good in the car again. Back to Glee.
1:51pm: The things on the side of the road that make a noise when you cross them are really an ingenious invention. I feel as a society we don’t value them enough.
2:12pm: Tried to have a nap. Failed. But Hot Chelle Rae is the album of choice now and it’s the type of CD that you have to sing along to. There is no option.
2:27pm: Managed to creep up to 10-10 on ‘Yellow Letterbox’ in the last few minutes. Dad has put the iPad away. I’m suddenly not feeling so tired anymore. This is war.
2:29pm: Dad is recognizing Hot Chelle Rae songs. This is weird. While typing this Dad and I both called out ‘Yellow Letterbox.’ Judge Mum ruled it a draw. Still 10-10. This shit be intense.
2:30pm: Decided the name for this blog post. Just realized this is pretty much just chronicling mine and Dad’s intense game of ‘Yellow Letterbox’ rather than the actual car journey. Lucky you!
2:31pm: Dad just called out ‘Yellow Letterbox’ and IT WAS OVER HALF BLUE!!!! THE TRICK LETTERBOX! He loses a point. I’m now winning 10-9. SUCCESS!!!! THE FEELING OF VICTORY IS THE BEST FEELING IN THE WORLD AND NO ONE CAN TELL ME OTHERWISE!!!!!!
2:33pm: 11-9 to me! Dad’s getting frustrated. He’s threatening to paint our letterbox yellow. It’s glorious to witness! I love it!
2:37pm: The pit stop for this leg of the race is….the Mobil Tokoroa. We’ve all played musical chairs. I’m now in the back, Dad’s back to driving and Mum is in the passenger seat.
2:38pm: In other news…it’s fucking hot.
2:44pm: I’m having waaaaay too much fun on photo booth for a person taking photos by themself in a car.
2:47pm: Yup. Way too much fun.
2:51pm: Okay…over 40 photos are probably enough for one sitting.
3:42pm: Went to the Cambridge Superloo. I wouldn’t call it super but at least it was clean. Mum doesn’t reckon it was worth 50cents. I think I’d rather pay 50c and know it’s clean than not pay and go somewhere dirty.
3:58pm: It’s 13-12 to me in ‘Yellow Letterbox.’ Dad caught up to me before and it was 12-11 to him for a minute. It was a stressful time.
4:08pm: Finally cracked open the licorice from Otaki. It’s a beautiful thing.
4:45pm: We’re still probably two hours from our destination and I’m bored shitless. It’s always the end of car rides that I hate. Nothing else to add. Just needed something to do.
4:55pm: I’ve resorted to organizing my folders on my laptop. This is what happens when stuck in the car. I apologise for the last few updates not being as happy as the first ones.
4:58pm: Found a document from last year of me and Lauren freaking out about a debate. She likened talking to me to being at a family friend’s house and your parents saying you’re going to leave and then you’re still there two hours later. She’s such a poet!
5:20pm: Mum: “Notice we’ve hit your traffic. Notice I say your traffic because it’s your city.”
5:21pm: We stopped extremely suddenly and my phone went flying from the seat. I was more worried about it than I would care to admit. My baby is okay though.
5:22pm: We’ve been driving for over nine hours. I’m so over this. But we’ve only just hit Auckland traffic. Oh joy! Remind me why I’m moving to this city again…
5:38pm: Finished organising my folders. We’re not even in the city centre. We can however see the Sky Tower. Apparently, according to Mum, it’s “my” Sky Tower because I live in Auckland.
5:39pm: She’s gone back on her word. Now said I’m homeless because I don’t live in Wellington and I don’t live in Auckland. I’m also unemployed because I’m not in secondary school, I’m not at University yet, and I do not have a job. So unemployed and homeless. My life is sounding great so far.
5:43pm: We’re trying to play “spot the Halls of Residence” but none of us have been successful. You’re supposed to be able to see it by the motorway but no such luck so far. Doesn’t really matter – I’ll be there on Sunday and will be seeing it almost everyday for the rest of the year.
6:20pm: Made it to Whangaparaoa. Unfortunately, still about 20 minutes from my Aunty’s place. ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
6:21pm: Next time I’m taking the plane up.
6:22pm: Although Mum, Dad and I are just having a conversation about how long this trip is. It’s usually about nine hours but it’s been over 10 today. We reckon it’s all the road works that have been happening (because we didn’t stop more times than usual). There have been a lot of road works.
6:29pm: I’m losing 15-13 at ‘Yellow Letterbox.’ I’m upset. Mum tried to say: “it’s only a letterbox, Elizabeth.” Both Dad and I laughed. It’s so much more than a letterbox.
6:39pm: My prospects at ‘Yellow Letterbox’ are not looking good. I’m still two down and we’re literally a minute from my Aunty’s. I is sad. Dad started rushing so that we would be exactly 10.5 hours. We’re finally here.
6:40pm: I don’t like losing ‘Yellow Letterbox.’ This is what I’ve discovered from this trip.