New Zealand 2013

  
In March of 2013 GB and I took a trip to New Zealand to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. Like many of our trips, this one was tacked onto the tail end of one of GB’s work trips. He attended a conference in Auckland the week before. So I left SB at home with grandma, and jumped on an airplane for one long, long, long flight to to this beautiful island country. It is kind of rare for me to get to travel on an airplane all by myself, and even though the flight was long, it  was a real treat to get some relaxing time all alone. (If you’re a parent reading this, I’m sure you understand this luxury) This was a great start to a great week. GB picked me up at the airport when I arrived and we were off for a week of fun all across New Zealand’s North Island. The only down side of the trip was that it rained almost everyday, and we never got to see that amazing blue water New Zealand is famous for. 

 Auckland

  
 
Everyone knows New Zealand is full of adventure, and GB was determined to get his share of adventure on this trip. (What don’t they do in this country?)  The night before I arrived GB decided to try the Sky Jump from Auckland’s Sky Tower.  Those of you that know GB, know that this was the event that opened the doors to his sky diving period. above are the views from the bottom and top of the Sky Tower. 

 Waiheke Island 
   

One of my favorite adventures from the trip was the afternoon we took a 35 minute boat ride from Auckland out to Waiheke Island for lunch. We dined at the beautiful Mudbrick vineyard, that was recommended to us by one of the locals. A relaxing and romantic place with amazing food and views. They served the meal on a wooden serving board, and to this day I regret not buying one as a souvinear to take home. Highly recommend making time for a stop here if visiting Auckland. After lunch we walked down to the other side of the island to explore the beach. At the time we did not realize this was going to be the last sunny day of our trip. 

 
Road Trip

  

 Call us brave! After a relaxing few days in Auckland we decided to rent a car and drive to Wellington. Of course this ment driving on the other side of the road!!! Don’t worry, we survived.

 
 
  Rotorua, Whakarewarewa, & Te Puia

 

You can’t see it in the photo, but that is actually boiling mud. And it’s kind of relaxing to just stand and watch it bubble. The geothermal park and Pohutu Geyser ended up being one of the most interesting stops on our drive across the island. After viewing the geyser, We stayed for the Maori cultural  show and dinner  at  the Te Puia Park. 

  


Wellington & The Lord of the Rings

It is no secret that New Zealand takes a lot of pride in the movie Load of the Rings. As soon as one enters the airport here, it becomes very obvious. Merchandise everywhere. GB was seriously excited about this part of the trip. In Wellington we had booked a Lord of the Rings tour,and spent the day visiting movie set locations from the film. We arrived at the tour to find a mix of extreme Lord of the Rings fans, and people like me who were along for the ride. The tour guide also had a handful of props for everyone to use as we recreated seens from the movie for our own photos. My first thoughts were about how “cheese” it was all going to be. But it actually ended up being a lot of fun. Plus the landscape is amazingly beautiful. 

  

The most amazing thing I learned on the tour was that all those trees that fell over in “The Fellowship of the Ring” were actually only one tree! Guess that is the magic of movie making. 
   

 

It was a beautiful week long trip that both GB and I much enjoyed. We have been blessed with the opportunity to travel over the past ten years, and it has turned into a hobby we very much enjoy doing together. I think we are both looking forward to many more trips together. 
 

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