Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wellington/New Plymouth

     On November 7, 2013, I turned 24 years old in Wellington, New Zealand.  Last time I spent a birthday in another country was when I was living in Thailand as a child, so it was a pretty exciting experience.  I really didn't have much planned on this day, but we had a really nice time.  Robyn and I joked that it was a very "adult" birthday seeing as I had brunch and went to a museum.  I was really happy to have such a great friend with me on my birthday!  Thanks Robyn!

     The highlight of my birthday was definitely getting my tattoo.  I have always wanted to get one in another country.  I think tattoos can be really beautiful in moderation and with a story behind them.  I love my tattoos, but they are all in places where you wouldn't even know I had them unless I purposely showed them.  I really like the secretiveness of my tattoos as I continue to feel conservative at the same time.

 In honor of the year that changed my life and my love of travel.

 Wonderful museum!

     The following day, I took a bus up to New Plymouth where a friend of my father's lives.  Paul and my father met when they were both living in Thailand and bonded over coins and banknotes from around the world.  It was a really nice time being shown around by someone that is just a wealth of knowledge about the history in the area.  Thanks so much Paul!

Paul and I.

Puke Ariki, another great museum!

"All the world is birthday cake, so take a piece, but not too much".   -George Harrison

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Marlborough Region

     Next up on mine and Robyn's agenda was to head to the Marlborough wine region.  Robyn is a big fan of their Sauvignon Blanc and really wanted to do a wine tour.  We left Franz Josef by bus to Greymouth.  From there we took the TranzAlpine Rail to Christchurch spent one evening there and headed to Picton via the Coastal Pacific Rail on November 4th.

Stops along the bus ride:

 Stopped at the National Kiwi Centre and was able to see the nocturnal kiwi.


Coastal Pacific:

Picton is a small town with a port to get from the South Island to the North Island.

     On November 5, 2013, Robyn and I were picked up in the morning for our wine tour.  I like wine, but I cannot drink too much.  Luckily we were taught how to taste the wine and was encouraged to spit it out in order to be able to try more.  My favorite is dessert wine and I definitely did not spit any of that out.  Our lunch was so amazing!  Delicious meats and cheeses from the region.  Really fun day! Definitely recommend a wine tour in the Marlborough region even if you're not much of a wine drinker like me.

     On November 6, we took a ferry through the Cook Straight from the North Island to the South Island.  It was a pretty rough ride.  Fortunately for me, I fell asleep for most of it or I would have definitely done some puking!  Beautiful sites along the way when I was awake.  Onward to Wellington!

"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these". -George Washington Carver