It's been TOO long!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Wow, I have really missed you! I can't believe how long it's been since I've blogged. I've been keeping up with your blogs and it is always a highlight in my day, so THANK YOU for your consistency..

I don't have much of an excuse for not blogging, but I got off track around Christmas. B and I took an amazing trip to New Zealand and Australia. I follow quite of few blogs that are located in these places and, boy, do you all live the good life! Your countries are BEAUTIFUL! My favorite thing about both countries is how kind the people are. I live in the South in the United States and you always hear about southern hospitality...well, you take southern hospitality to a whole new level! Everyone is cheerful, says "hello" on the streets, offers directions and ideas on what to do and see. It was the most warm and welcoming place I have ever visited.

We took A LOT of pictures on our trip, so I'm just going to share some highlights. I'll share New Zealand with you 1st and then Australia another day (I promise it won't be months!). We began our trip in Queenstown, NZ. What a gem of a town! It's a ski town in the winter and a place for all things outdoors in the summer. Beautiful weather, beautiful scenery and a beautiful/quaint town that sits on Lake Wakatipu. I must go back one day!

Flying into Queenstown was incredible. You fly right over the Milford Sound and it is an indescribable view. Then, once you get to the main square in Queenstown, you have more amazing views. The water, mountains, trees, many cute restaurants with huge decks...all breath-taking!

B booked a fly fishing trip with Chris Dore while in Queenstown. We drove about an hour out of Queenstown to a small, yet beautiful town called Glenorchy. Chris was incredible and shared so much information about New Zealand and the South Island. We drove past incredible scenery and watched as many people enjoyed the outside by splashing in the water or taking part in one of the many activities the South Island has to offer. Once we arrived at the river the first thing that struck me was the incredibly clear water. You could see all the way to the bottom. New Zealand has done an impeccable job of preserving their land, water, air, etc. Every breath you take you know it's fresh air and the water is 99% pure. The fishing trip was so much fun. It's difficult fishing because it's sight fishing. We would hunt the fish down first and then you have to be very sneaky and quiet and get in a spot where you can cast the fly near the fish without startling it. B got pretty good at this...I, on the other hand, was not so good. It was a fun learning experience and, again, I can't say enough about the beautiful surroundings.

We (When I say "we", I mean B) caught a brown trout! It was a nice size, but not their biggest by far. This fishing excursion was definitely a highlight of our trip!

We also got to enjoy the river on a jet boat! Jet boating is one of Queenstown's many outdoor activities. This part of the river is very shallow, but wide and the boat takes you on a fast, fun ride. It was a great way to see more of the beautiful surroundings and the river. It was overall great time! On this trip, we were in Glenorchy again and we stopped to see areas where many famous movies had been filmed including Lord of the Rings.

On one of our last days in Queenstown, we went on a wine tour. I had no idea how incredible New Zealand wines were...especially their Pinot Noir! They don't ship many bottles to the US, so the only way to get them is to order them directly from the winery. We had a delicious lunch at one of the beautiful vineyards and below was our view while we ate. Not too shabby :)...
We left Queenstown on Christmas Day, but we had a lovely Christmas Eve before we headed out. We ate a delicious dinner at Captain's and then went to a carol Christmas Eve service at the local Anglican church. It was beautiful. People from all over the world joined in to sing carols we all knew. It was a very special Christmas memory. The picture of the Christmas tree below was taken at the Rees Hotel where we stayed. I would highly recommend this hotel. The staff was great and views of Lake Wakatipu are breathtaking.
On Christmas Day, we met up with our good friends Nick and Hilary who just arrived in Queenstown, caught up on our adventures, ate a delicious Christmas pizza and then headed to Sydney, Australia!

It's good to be back in the blog world. I'll carry on with our Australian adventures next week. Have a great weekend!

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