Day 34. Nerding Out


Today is for two people! Andie Hines and Kayla Roskopf.

Andie wanted me to dedicate today to her nephew Ethan who conquered Osteosarcoma last year. He’s only 15! It amazes me that kids so young have to start off life with such a difficult hurdle. Ive known Andie for years now. I wish I could remember who introduced us, but she seems to know everyone there is to know in Fort Wayne, and her connections reach about anywhere in the country! She connected me with people to make my Senior Thesis project, foam cubes and I think a few other things. If you need something…anything. She is the person who knows that person. Seriously. She has such a big network, if she throws your name down, its a big deal and odds are you will get that job you’re looking for or that side job you need done. She didn’t just know people for connections…she knows so many people because she cares about everyone she meets. She wants to help you. It doesn’t matter who you are. In return people just really love her and hope they can help her back. Somehow she keeps in contact with her 1000 friends and is a SUPER busy person continuing to meet with people and also starting her own business somehow in replace of sleep I would guess! Haha. She’s pretty amazing. Also she is amazing for dedicating a day to her Nephew. A heart of gold I tell ya!

My other good friend Kayla wanted to dedicate a day to her Grandmother, Mildred L Roskopf who was born on May 19th, 1927 and passed on May 4th, 1998. She was 70 and died of breast Cancer. Kayla wanted my day not to be a tough hike, but to have a relaxing beach day. Kayla is a HUGE Lord of the Rings fan, even so much that she named her cat Frodo. 🙂 I HAD to swap her day to my hobbiton visit. Lol. She and I got a ring from the movie and she wanted me to touch a door in hobbiton with it. Lol. I touched many doors and got many pictures with it so when it arrives, she will not only have the ring and chain but proof of it being in Hobbiton with memories attached. I met Kayla at the DAVE School in Orlando, Florida. I went into visual effects while she went into gaming. We all had to take the first two blocks together though, Modeling and Animation. She was always one of the top students and I was always a bit jealous. We became friends towards the end of the year and after school ended, I came back from Christmas break at home and we ended up being roommates together. We became much better friends then. I still dont know if she knows how good she is at what she does.. She got a job working at New Balance shoes and her 3D Modeling has been in many magazines and she has climbed the ladder SO fast at her job. She’s a perfectionist and manages to make everything she does look perfect, even if it takes HOURS. I say its talent, she says its hard work. I say its both. She makes it all look effortless though..Anyway, I’m rambling. We’ve been good friends since school and she deserves this ring from middle earth! Thank you Kayyyyylaaaaaaaaa! (I started saying her name like Seeeeeeggggggaaaaa. The old gaming system when it turned on LOL) 😀


I woke up and thouuuught I would have a bit of time to blog because I went to bed at 10pm after all… Nahhh. I did wake up at 8am and some how managed to get to noon and not finish the blogging. Meh. It’s ok, I did when i got home yesterday. Lol I mean back to the backpackers.

I had a skip in my step as I went to shower and packed my day pack with a few snacks, a bottle of water, and my personal locator beacon.

I knew where the store was because I was there the night before, just around the corner! As I’m turning the corner there’s this big boat looking thing with a bunch of people in it, mostly kids who had literal plastic duck lips on their faces that sounded like kazoos.

I saw a huge line assuming it was for the LOTR Movie Set bus…nope for these duck tours. Lol. Oook then. Doesn’t suit my fancy, but I guess many others it does.

Soooo, this blog is going to have the most pictures in any blog so far..It will be the peak of pictures in my blogging on this trip. Heh…he…ho.. off to Hobbiton I gooo!

Probably a one of the nerdier highlights in my life..

Kayla asked me to take her ring and touch a hobbit door with it. Lol. I guess I just blew that request out of the water. I was taking pictures with it, like it was her. Haha!

On the bus ride the driver of course had random facts about what to look out for on the side of the road and asked who had seen the movies. I would expect everyone going to the movie set would have seen the movies. Surprisingly 40% of the people on the bus said they hadn’t!? Whyyyy would you be going on this tour then? Later I was told, many people’s parents or grandparents’ sons or daughters or grandchildren loved the movies so they went to take TONS of pictures to make them jealous when they got back. Uhhh alright then.

Ive also heard on numerous occasions that Kiwis HATE possums. “What’s a good possum?? A DEAD possum!” I guess they are everywhere eating flowers and running a-mock in NZ. They somehow came over from Australia.

Also, the kiwis have many sayings..Sometimes I write them down. Most times I forget them. Like, “Sweet is bro!” Basically, it means…that’s sweet. They sometimes flip flop the words around.

Random side note…The kiwis made a train track back into the middle of some wooded area to get lots out faster…Seems like a lot of work for a little efficiency. What happens when the trees are gone?

We are getting closeeee! It’s an hour bus ride to Matamata where Hobbiton is.

You can just tell by looking at the hills. (if you have seen LOTR or The Hobbit you would know)

So…kind of brutal honest moment where I’m not sure if I have shamed my nerdiness. I’m not sure I knew what Peter Jackson looked like..? So even if he had come out to his Tesla at WETA Studios.. I dont think I would have known it was him till he got in the car. Hehhhhhh…

I know now..

Also..I’m surprised at how many sheep there are on these green hills! All the white specs are sheep just roaming around. This is a very frequent site in NZ.

We finally arrive and our bus picks up our tour guide. Fiona. (Ive heard that name several times in NZ, though I never have heard it before except in Shrek. Of course she says we can call her princes Fiona..)

Ok…So. I’m going to show you a behind the scenes to my photos showing you that there are a TON of people going through this tour. There are groups in front of us and groups behind us. They tell you to stay with your group because you dont want to get left behind or lobbed in with another group. They say they run tours every 5 minutes in their peak tour times.. Take the picture..RUN! Next picture! Gogogogo!

There is our fearless leader Fiona in the purple shirt with the shades on facing me in the back. Lots of people huh.. I make it a point to be last in the group. 🙂

Why? Mhmm, you guessed it. I could get photos with pretty much no one in them. :-B

I look funny squatting:

Sometimes I ask a few people in the back for a photo. Downside about being behind, I dont get to hear all the neat facts about the 39 hobbit holes. There is only 1 we can go in, but it’s empty. It’s up to the movie studio to create the ambience / lighting / environment in them. They were just empty rooms. We didnt have to go in all 39 to see that they all looked the same.

Flipping through my photos…i have a ton…lol..

Random fact about Peter Jackson. He’s also a perfectionist. Like..a huge one. He is all about the details. There were peach and apple trees growing around the hobbit holes and because the book had ONE line that said “the hobbits ate under a plum trees”, he had every tree de-fruited and workers had to attach fake plums with wires in all the trees. Fiona acted like she was the one that had to do the work.. I’m sure that was a pain and she said that it was only for one scene and the trees were in the background of the shot so you couldn’t tell if they were plums or not! Lol. Peter directed the movies, but J.R.R Tolkien wrote the books. The Hobbiton set was used for LOTR, torn down, then rebuilt a permanent version for The Hobbit. You can read the back of the pamphlet in one of the first few pictures I took.

You can see the Green Dragon Inn in the background of this shot:

Heres the ring!

Now its gone!

What kind of wizardry!?

Shhhhh slight of hand at work here…revealing the magicians secrets..


This is Frodos house, and at some point in the movie a scroll was nailed to his door “no admittance accept on party business”

They also had the smaller set of doors in the beginning of the tour that I forgot to mention. When the actors needed to look huge, they used the smaller set and smaller swap in actors. But full size and celebs got to use the ‘real’ size hobbit holes.

This tree…even though its a crappy picture on top of Frodos house, they had cut down from the town of Matamata and had planted sat the top of the hill.

They had to import leaves and sew them on, one by one. What a pain. You can again read about it from above photos. You also might be able to spot the tree in some of the other pictures above Frodos hobbit hole.

Tiny hole:

Touched another door!

Touch. Door. Touch. Door.

Big oleee tree

A cute shot:

There’s the double arch and Green Dragon Inn:

I thought it was pretty cool that there were various kinds of butterflies flying around too. They did a good job of keeping the chirping insects and butterflies around. Kind of puts the curry on the cake if you ask me.

This next picture is Sam’s home. He was Frodos best friend in the movie:

At the end of the tour, Fiona claimed that we would get beer that was ONLY made in Hobbiton and no where else in the world.

The beer came with the tour.

I heard someone else get one for them and a family member. They had 3 kinds. Cider, an IPA, and a Lager. Shhhhh I got a cider and an IPA. Lol. No one said anything about only one. I take this picture of a friend I’ve been chatting with.. Ester is her name. Probably spelled wrong.

I show her…Oh you look so classy.. So I have her take my photo..

Oh I look so…impatient.. Then…a bright idea!

I’m about to cast the ring into the fire of Mount Doom to destroy it once and for all! Muahahahahah hahaha haha.haha.ha..ha.

Of course we are taken thought the gift shop at the very end before getting back on the bus.

I liked this floor mat..

Sounds familiar.. (the vertical one)

Aaaand head back to the bus. Ester and I chat a bit. She is from the Netherlands and is on a year long sabbatical break from work. She kind of worked in a lab for some big pharmaceutical company. Her job is to gather statical information to help technology figure out spikes and out of the normal body issues so they can be treated much faster. It sounded complicated and that’s that I made of it. Anyway, she was on her 6th week and didnt have to take the full year off, but who knows if she would go back or move to Boston and work in a smaller company. I realized she stayed at the same hostel I did and we both had to leave the nest day. Every Thursday in Rotorua they have some kind of street food / art festival thing. We went and got some food, then sat and talked a bit. Smart cool lady. Headed back to the backpackers where she got her stuff and went to the kitchen to make food for the following day and I went back to my room and finished the blog on my top bunk.


I like a lot of these motivational quotes from this Instagram page I follow:

That quote means to me..that if you have faith in something other than people or materialistic things…you wont be let down. It can be taken multiple ways..because we don’t have wings but its my opinion.

It’s kind of odd that I’m not a planner.. Yet I planned this trip for a year, and had TONS to prepare for / websites to get made / business cards to make and all the technology had to be tested and I had to learn how to use all of it. That’s an incredible amount of planning. BUT. I planned on coming out here…and not planning. Lol. This quote hits what I’m trying to say home..

“When you get out of the driver’s seat, you find that life can drive itself, that actually life has always been driving itself. Life begins to flow, and you never know where it will take you.” -ADYASHANTI

There is something freeing about taking your hands off the wheel and after so many times realizing..that things WILL work out. Even the bad things when you look back have a purpose in your life. (Not all bad things can be made sense of though). It’s scary at first.. many people need to feel like they have control. Control of your own life is just an illusion. You make choices, but life takes you where it wants to and usually its better than what you had originally planned.

Spend some time with yourself and really dig deep. Figure out why you do the things you do, accept who you really are.

My last full day in NZ is tomorrows blog. I head to the airport and my flight leaves at 7pm. I have a lot to wrap up tomorrow..Time has flown by.

So. Good morning, good afternoon, and goodnight.


One Comment on “Day 34. Nerding Out

  1. Kevin, this was an amazing post, I loved it, it brought tears to my eyes. You are such an inspiration. I’m so proud of you!! <3 <3

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