I arrived in Auckland around 2am.
Caryn 'arrived' in NZ two days later when she had finished her gripping book. It was nice to have her back (sniff, weep). I read Room next, so she had to put up with an absent companion too - haha!
When we got to our YWCA hostel we sneaked into our rooms, our separate rooms, which happened to be two-shares with other people. Keep in mind it's 2am. My roommate rolled over and went back to sleep. Caryn's, who had been living there for 6 months, FLIPPED OUT! She screamed! Caryn screamed! The whole floor screamed! Okay, just the little roommate screamed.
Our first day was mostly spent pricing out rental cars. Then I learned to drive in downtown-Auckland-rushhour-standard-left-side-left-side-watch-out-turn-there-turn-around-LEFT-SIDE!! I was only on the wrong side twice, no bigs. Caryn is a super navigator and is comforting when I had a tiny cry. Now I am tot's fine with driving, it feels natural on the left.
Caryn stopped us half way through the drive to go for a swim, which calmed me right down. So she knows me pretty well.
We spent the night at a couchsurfer's. We had tea and discussed birds and the bridge class she leads. Her neighbour's cat comes in her house which she acts grumpy about, but really she feeds it and we saw expensive cat treats on the counter.
We cleared out of Auckland lickity-spilt and headed North to northland.