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Showing posts from April, 2017

Epic Selfies from an Epic Trip

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When Phil and I got back from New Zealand, the girls headed to the North Island to continue their trip.  My first day back at work was a struggle but every once in awhile I'd get a selfie from them that made me laugh and feel like I was still on the trip with them.  It was such a great trip - it's so rare that a group of five people - two having never met before - can get along for two weeks on a road trip in a foreign country.  
This post is mainly for the five of us - so we can think back on those moments surrounding the selfies and remember what an epic trip it was.

Rediscovering Christchurch

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Phil and I went to Christchurch in January 2011, a few weeks after the first big earthquake that affected the town and a couple weeks before the second quake.  We had a picture in our minds of what the city looked like from that time, but we hardly recognised it when we went back there on this trip.  I chose a hotel right near Cathedral Square because that's where we stayed before and it was a great location, close to lots of restaurants, buildings, and interesting things to see.  As we drove into the heart of the city, it became clear that things weren't the same.  Entire blocks of buildings were missing - those lovely restaurants and the big library were gone.  The building right next to the hotel we had stayed in was gone.  The cathedral was half gone.  It was really hard to get oriented because none of the landmarks we remembered were there.  Some were new buildings, some were parking lots, and a few were still piles of rubble.  It was really eye opening. During the day, we…

Arthur's Pass

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There's no quick and easy way to get from the West coast to the East coast of New Zealand, but there are several long, scenic routes.  We took Arthur's Pass, which took us North from the glaciers and then cut across the centre.  This was the day we really appreciated the giant 12-passenger van we had rented - Anita, Missy, and Amanda each got a row to themselves to nap along the way.  Meanwhile driver Phil kept us moving and I "helped".  
We stopped for lunch in a cute little town called Hokitika.  It's claim to fame is a driftwood festival that takes place every January.  The goal is to create art from anything found on the beach.  There were still quite a few random and interesting sculptures still on display.  The other claim is the pizza, so despite our having pizza for dinner the previous night, and for some of us breakfast that day, we decided we couldn't hit the road without giving it a go.  Back on the road, we headed East and wound our way through hour…