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<a title="KI1U0748" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/97495212@N00/2076255139/"><img src="http://static.flickr.com/2172/2076255139_c42a98cdd9_m.jpg" class="img-right" /></a>We spent the last few days in Cook Beach, on the Coromandel Peninsula. We <a href="http://bachcare.co.nz/">rented a beach house</a>, known in these parts as a bach, off the internet. The drive from Auckland to Cook Beach would take a little over 2 hours, according to Google Maps. What Google Maps didn't account for was the mountainous region we'd be traversing over. It took us around 4 hours to get to the bach. A good portion of the trip was windy and winding, great for drivers seeking a World Rally Championship experience but sucky for a pregnant woman and 2 year old daughter. Oh, and for the husband who made their comfort his sole priority.
The bach was beautiful. The whole gang had a whale of a time, culminating into an <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/97495212@N00/2076177069/">all-out New Zealander-styled BBQ</a>. But somehow the holiday home experience felt so hollow to me. Many bachs along the same stretch were unoccupied. It seemed that all of Cook Beach – its dairy, hamburger joint and drinks store – existed only to serve holiday makers. It wasn't a town that subsisted on its own. It seemed to lack a soul.
I'm not sure why, but I felt like I needed to connect with a real, living community. I was looking for <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stars_Hollow">Stars Hollow</a>. The lack of internet access, street lights and human noise was a little unsettling. It made me glad to have a family to huddle up with.

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