I woke up this morning to an exciting day ahead of me.
1) MOLLY ARRIVES TO AUCKLAND!
2) We go to Hobbiton!!
Honestly, two amazing things in one day – not sure how to contain the excitement.
Molly was my desk neighbor when I was working in Dallas, and we’ve been planning for her to come out and visit me for months. And after all of that planning and waiting, it was finally time to pick her up from the airport.
Tama made today super easy by letting me borrow his car while he was gone. He put me on his insurance as a guest driver and everything. I mean, next level. So I drove to the airport and eagerly awaited for Molly to arrive. When she walked through the arrivals door, I’m pretty sure I did a little squeal/dance combo, but you’d have to ask the strangers around me to verify. Hugging a friend from back home is such a wonderful feeling.
Molly and I were a whirlwind of catch ups and conversation, but luckily we had plenty of time to do so – Hobbiton was 2 1/2 hours south of Auckland. So we talked and talked and talked all the way down. We stopped off for food and pre-booked our Hobbiton tour (word to the wise: pre-book a day or two before, and you’ll get better time slot options. Our tour was close to the end of the day).
When we arrived to the Hobbiton check-in area, we got super excited. It’s all adorable and Shire-themed. There’s a gift shop, coffee shop, and cafe to keep you busy until your tour departs. There’s also plenty of parking, bathrooms, and a photo-op spot. It’s basically a tourist’s dream.
When our tour began, we hopped on a coach and rode to the Shire.
Y’all. It was the coolest thing ever.
I mean, you have to understand that I’m a huge Lord of the Rings fan. I can basically quote all of The Fellowship of the Ring. The tour guide asked a question about a storyline, and I was the only person in a group of 50 that knew the answer. So. There ya go.
After Peter Jackson was done filming LOTR, they actually tore down Hobbiton. They rebuilt it back in 2009 for the filming of The Hobbit and decided to keep the film set intact.
Walking around the Shire was probably one of the most surreal moments on this trip (Top 10 for sure). I’m so familiar with seeing it in the movies, that it’s incredibly exciting to see it in person. I actually saw Bag End; Gandalf stood right there.
I nerded out so hard.
We ended the tour in the Green Dragon where we got complimentary beer, cider, or ginger beer. Molly and I just sat with big smiles on our faces. Don’t mind me – just feelin’ like a Hobbit over here.
When the tour was over, we drove back to Auckland and settled in for the night. So far, this trip with Molly is off to a great start.