I'm going to skip ahead for today so I can share some photos from my Christmas Eve in Queenstown. I spent it getting to know Nadia (Switz), Vivian (Holland), and Vanessa (Germany). For dinner, we picked Chico's, an old, low key, candlelit restaurant. Plus a guy outside had offered us a coupon for a free beer or wine with dinner! I chose the night as a good time to order a New Zealand Rack of Lamb (served on pumpkin mash w/veggies, potatoes, and a sauce with mint and redcurrant).
We skipped desert, and walked briefly around the downtown area however we all agreed it was quieter than expected. Judging from the supermarket earlier, most Kiwis were at home, and backpackers may have stocked up on beer for their dorm rooms.
We had purchased $5 NZD passes to get into the only bar open past 12am – Global Bar. I thought it'd be big, but it wasn't, though quite lively. The live music ended around 1am, and a DJ took over, blasting out a weird mix of music from “Footloose” to The Pogues' “Fairytale of NYC.”
Around 2:15am, I called it quits, though had to try my first Fergburger before going to sleep. They were blaring music and had a steady queue on their doorstep. I had heard very good things about this burger joint after having only been in Queenstown a few hours. It didn't disappoint, though it's surreal to be munching on a giant cheeseburger while under a full moon half a world away from home on Christmas morning.
It's now about 2:30pm on Christmas Day here, and neither I, nor any of the 4 people in my dorm were in a hurry to get out of bed today. Despite the hostel's big Orphans Christmas lunch set to start in 30 minutes, there's no place like home.