Sunday, August 9, 2015

Family Visit: Thoughts On NZ

Today we drove from Lake Tekapo to Timaru, on the South Pacific Coast, the picture above taken near Burkes Pass.

We asked our family--we're missing them!--for their thoughts on visiting NZ. Here are their answers, illustrated with pictures from everyone.

Flying to the other side of the world...

Hangin' in the Luv Bus. Not ONE Rainbow--at least FOUR in a row :)

I absolutely loved the different landscapes. What a beautiful country.

Trying kiwi fruit juice in the morning and seeing a kiwi bird in the afternoon (at the bird park).

Meeting the whole family on the other side of world...

Auckland wharf's tiny shipping container library, librarian Brooke shusshing us

Eating really good food...

The most surprising for me has to be Marc popping the question (yes, I know that technically that isn't about New Zealand but that surprise was the surprise of a lifetime!!).

I was expecting the country to be beautiful but it's hard to fully comprehend the extent until you see it with your own eyes.

Drinking really good beer...

Milford Sound seemed as though we were on the edge of the earth, ready to drop off. As far from civilization as I have ever been.

New Zealand is expensive but the people are overwhelmingly friendly.

Watching the kids, now adults, still behave like kids.

Auckland was cool, mini-London almost, and seemingly a very livable urban area. But it only made me want to go to Wellington as well.

I think just all the mountains is what really amazed me... I've never been anywhere like that. Milford Sound looked like a whole other planet. I also really enjoyed the people there, everyone was so friendly and welcoming.

The people and landscape of New Zealand are both amazing. I enjoyed our Maori guide in the Waitomo Caves, who invited us to sing and who made our silent boat trip possible by asking a family with a crying child to leave.

Meeting the nicest people in the world...

 Congratulatory wine for Marc and Leah, gift from bus driver Selwyn

I was also amazed by the change in scenery, from the rolling farm country and maritime cities of the north to the mountainous regions of the south. A truly amazing country, both human geography and physical geography.

Getting engaged in Fernz Fernery was a pretty magical moment. The way the opportunity just kind of presented itself in such an amazing setting was perfect.

Going through pictures from months ago, it occurs to your chief NZ correspondent that family impressions echo what's engaged us about NZ--its openhearted, friendly people and dramatic land forms. Plus, love in Fernz Fernery. You gotta believe in that.

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