04 March 2011

New Zealand Recap

We've been back from New Zealand for over a month, and I still haven't said much (ok, anything) about the trip. Part of the reason is pragmatic: I've been incredibly busy and mentally occupied with work, leaving little time or energy for reflecting on the trip. The other part of my procrastination comes from my respect for those dealing with the crisis in Christchurch; it just didn't seem right to talk about a wonderful holiday in New Zealand while so many are suffering. Alas, I have finally gotten past it all, and I'm about to tell you more than you care to know about our trip.

We had a great time in New Zealand. What's not to love about leaving winter and landing in summer, surrounded by friends and family with the best food and coffee on the planet and one wine country after another? Yeah, that's why it was really hard to come home at the end of our two weeks.

We spent a few days with George's mum and brother in and around Wanganui. I ate the best eggs benedict of my life. Who knew that egg yokes are bright yellow/orange?! We also got to visit Nana (George's 91 year old grandmother), shop at the Icebreaker outlet, and take in Mounts Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe with Pat and Heath.

From there, we flew to Auckland and spent a few days staying with our friends, Pierre, Anna, and young Alex. Alex is fearless and deliberate and a lot of fun. He is the kind of kid who can watch a video of himself crashing his bike over and over and laugh so hard that his whole little body shakes every time. We had several impressive meals with Pierre and Anna and Pierre's and Anna's parents. Although it seems to always rain when I'm in Auckland, it's always a wonderful and memorable time.

While in town, we celebrated the wedding of George's cousin, Emily, and her love, David. You may remember that they visited us in Seattle in August. It was really nice to catch up with family at the wedding and then a few days after the wedding when I met some more of George's cousins. I must say, I'm proud to call George's family mine.

From Auckland, we flew to Wellington and went straight to Greytown to stay with George's dad and stepmum in their new bach. While there, we took a long drive with a spectacular coastal view where we could see the South Island while standing on the rocky coast of the North Island. At the end of it, we did a bit of wine tasting in Martinborough wine country. Ah, paradise.

Once we got back to Wellington, we left the following morning for the South Island. We caught the ferry across the Cook Strait with our friends, Tim and Kirsten, who graciously acted as guides and chauffeurs for a few days along the northern part of the South Island, where we tasted wine in beautiful Marlborough, watched the sun set in Nelson, kayaked in Abel Tasman National Park, and enjoyed a glorious sunny afternoon on an empty beach. Oh, I could have stayed on that beach forever...or at least for a few days. The sand flies that feasted on me on the river bank...I could have done without those.

Back in Wellington, we had a very memorable (and long awaited) dinner at Logan Brown; did a bit of shopping for gifts; caught up with Peter (and met Jamie) and Chris and May (and met a dim sum-loving baby Catherine); and left the country on a perfectly windy Wellington day after spending the morning along Oriental Parade.

Ahh, it was hard to leave indeed.

1 comment:

Janie said...

Beautiful. When do we leave?