Wow, it feels like its been ages since I’ve done this last, and certainly much has happened. My tone may have changed a bit because I started reading The Lord of the Rings a few days ago and its just in me now.
Alan and I saw Mom of safely at the airport this afternoon and she is likely sitting at Auckland airpost trying to pass the time as I write out this post. I’m a bit sad that this whole trip has now come to an end, but I have little time to think about that as Alan and I leave on a 5:50 AM flight tomorrow morning for Melbourne.
I’ll start way back at Christmas. We celebrated with Mom and Dad at our house Christmas Eve and grilled out on our new grill (best gift ever!, next to my quilt that is. Alan was like a kid in a candy store over “his” new grill). Dad set up the camera to take pics ever minute while he adn Al put the grill together, and here is the video he made afterwards. The quality here isn’t the best, but you get the idea.
Video: The Assemblage
On Christmas morning we went to Alan’s grandparents, John and Judy Ambrose, then we went to Doreen’s for Christmas dinner. It was a full day, and at the end of it we had to gear up for our big trip around the South Island for which we were leaving the next day.
Christmas in New Zealand, 2006
Next are the albums from our tramp around this southern island of New Zealand. I’ll be on a plane for Australia in about twelve hours from now, so I’ll let the pictures do MOST of the talking. Mom and Dad can fill in the rest.
Christchurch to Lake Tekapo to Mt Cook
We were very lucky in Mt Cook to actually SEE Mt Cook as it is often covered in cloud. Not pictured in this album is our dinner at the Hermitage for my birthday. It was excellent and Mom surprised me with a birthday cake. Although they promised her that “they don’t sing birthday songs at the Hermitage”, they did. It was OK, my face was already red from the wine!
After Mt Cook, we drove to Queenstown where we stayed for four days. Queenstown was really fun and like every other place we’ve been we could have stayed longer. It didn’t hurt that we must have had the best view of the lake and the marina in the city. There are a few hikes in the area that take you through some absolutely amazing terrain, so Al and I plan to tackle those one day.
We watched a spectacular fireworks display from the comfort of our hotel balconies on New Year’s (Dad has some pics on the video camera, we may sort something out with those later). On New Year’s day we drove to the glaciers on the West Coast. On the 2nd we did a helihike and it was a highlight for all of us. It really was worth overy penny, and when else do you get to drink pure glacial water, straight from the source.
West Coast, Glaciers, Arthur’s Pass
We were more exhausted than words can say after all this, but we didn’t stop there. We did a day trip to Akaroa, which is on the Banks Penninsula, and it was well worth it. That was one of the last things we did before Dad left, and I’d say it was a good ending to our travels.
Lastly, here are a few pictures from this last week with Mom. It was a relaxing week, we didn’t have the energy left to do much. Plus, its just as nice to just sit around as a family at home as it is to travel around.
Orana Park and Some Odds and Ends
Well that does it for now. In two to three weeks I’ll tell all about our trip to Melbourne. The best to everyone til then and many thanks for keeping up with us and for keeping us in your thoughts!
Christen and Al
Tags: Akaroa, Franz Josef, Mt Cook, New Zealand, Queenstown, Travel