Gorgeous Golden Bay!

December 31, 2016

Today was an amazing day here again– my favorite scenery so far in a country of awesome scenery! We went to Wharariko beach (spectacular natural beach with seals lazing around), Cape Farewell (the northernmost point of South Island) and Tataki (an awesome hippy mountain town with great food and coffee).

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Gorgeous Abel Tasman Park!

December 30, 2016

We spent the day hiking at Abel Tasman Park, New Zealand. Gorgeous views, seals and their pups summing themselves on the beach, a nice nap for me too while the kids played. Life is good!

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Crossing to the South Island

December 30, 2016

I couldn’t post this yesterday as the internet here isn’t too great but South Island is proving to be even more beautiful that North Island. We crossed Cook Strait yesterday into the South Island of New Zealand and drove a couple of hours through gorgeous scenery to our rented country home in Rissman, complete with chickens and a pony. The kids are happy. I wasn’t sure how they would do on what is basically a month long road trip but 13 days into it, they are doing great!

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Eating Our Way Through Wellington

December 28, 2016

We had a great day in Wellington, New Zealand, considered by many to be one of the best places to live in the world. All I can say is that of the 60+ countries I have been to, New Zealand is, in my opinion, the most civilized. People are nice, everything is super clean (I didn’t see a single piece of trash or even a cigarette butt all day) and organized and works beautifully and efficiently yet it feels like people here have their priorities straight. They seem to prioritize leaisure and family and work to live (rather than live to work) while enjoying an extremely high standard of living. Many of the restaurants in Wellington are closed for several weeks for the holidays and all shops seemed to keep holiday hours, meaning they close at 6 pm. Time for family seems to trump making money. I respect that… a lot. And did I mention how good the food is here?

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We Survived Level 5 White Water Rafting!!!!

December 27, 2016

Holy S**t! WHAT A DAY! Jade (my 14 year old) and I went on an amazing level 5 whitewater rafting trip (level 5 is the highest commercially navigable level) on the Rangitikei River. It was over 3 hours on a gorgeous yet fast moving river with 10 level 4 and 5 rapids (and countless smaller rapids), including going over a 10 foot waterfall.

I have to confess… I was pretty scared going into it, especially because I agreed to let Jade do this. There were about sixteen 20- year olds who were drinking beer into all hours of the night and us. I wondered if I was little crazy as our guide issued orders like “OK, we are going to run about 100 meters of non-stop rapids now with a 3 meter waterfall at the end. If any of you fall out of the raft, swim towards the right side of the waterfall. You will get pretty banged up going down but you will make it. If you don’t make it over to the right and end up going over the left side of the falls, I can’t guarantee that you will make it. There is a huge boulder at the bottom.”…. OK…. 

We made it though…. we never fell out of the raft and it was all good fun. It was actually one of the most amazing experiences of my life!

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Rotorua’s wonders

December 26, 2016

New Zealand is just unabashedly beautiful! And the Kiwis so nice and unassuming. A young Kiwi couple seemed incredulous that we would fly half way around the world to see their country. I had to point out that it’s one of the most beautiful countries on our planet. These photos were taken in the geothermal area near Rotorua yesterday. Gorgeous hike!

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Geothermal Wonders and Maori culture

December 25, 2016

Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas to all! Hope you enjoyed celebrating with your loved ones! We had a great day checking out the geothermal wonders near Rotarua. The geysers, mud pools, neon colored lakes are simply amazing and learning about Maori culture and especially their war dance was a great!

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