Sunday, February 12, 2017

New Zealand North Island Adventures

I love Hobbiton.  It's what I imagine my heaven to be like.  Cottages built into the earth covered in grasses, shrubs, and flowers .  Also being such a small person myself it felt even more perfect.  I also love hearing the behind the scenes details of making movies so this was probably my favorite part of New Zealand.  I was so sad when it ended and would go back in a heartbeat.  I would even consider being a groundskeeper just so I could be there all the time. 
 Bilbos Home!  Isn't it dreamy?  The brick detail around the doors and windows and the stained glass windows with pewter outlines! So much love!
 My little Hobbits.


 Mikey loved that everything was his size, except when the tour was moving on he would get quite angry until the next hobbit home.








Lake Rotorua from our rental home.  


Oh those New Zealand Pastures going on for days and days dotted with Sheep. 



Wairere Falls was a beautiful hike that according to Jason was short.  Well he was correct, but he left out STEEP INCLINE.  So my mom and I were speed walking to try and see it and get back to the car with the grumpy chidlers when we both hit a point where we thought we were going to die.  Our poor little hobbit legs were burning, we were cursing Jason for not being more specific, but determined to make it!

SO WORTH IT! 

I got to practice some fun camera techniques on the way down and really love how these shots turned out.  Pretty sure they should be framed in a bathroom somewhere. 😊
Mikey being Mikey in the bush.
From the parking lot of our hike thinking it doesn't look so far away.  😅

Michael working on his photography skills.  Loving the framing with his fingers.  


Our last day we hung our in Tauranga and explored some of their beautiful beaches.  
 I have never seen so many beautiful shells in my life! Sadly most were broken but we found a few perfect beautiful ones!

New Zealand you were incredible!  One of the most beautiful places I have ever been in my life.  So grateful I had the opportunity to experience this with my family and parents.  Such an incredible adventure. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Flying to Milford Sound

We really wanted to go to Milford Sound while in South Island.  Like desperately.  The problem was the drive was 4 hours one way through beautiful but winding mountain terrain.  So potentially 8 hours with Mikey strapped in his car seat most likely screaming.  Our other option was to take a tiny prop plane that cut the time down to 40 min above the beautiful mountains.  Downside I swore I would never in a million years get in a prop plane and risk my life dying in a plane crash on the side of a mountain.  So we weighed our options and since the planes usually get cancelled because of wind we signed up thinking well it will most likely get cancelled and it's just not meant to be.  The day came and after two weeks of cancelled flights the weather was perfect.  I have never been so nervous in my life.  The upside is our family was together and we would all at least die together.  
Grandma was also nervous, but more nervous about being stuck with Mikey in a van for 8 hours (Mikey if your reading this you should know we love you very much).  Liam was not nervous just trying to copy our scared faces.  
Dad trying to make me feel better.. It worked for a minute until the plane bounced...then it was all "were gonna die! were gonna die!!!"

 "Here we goooo!" Dad quoting Peter Pan


Incredible Views and we Survived.. at least the first part.  Now we get to board a tour boat and basically cruise around looking at the most gorgeous waterfalls streaming down from lush, steep green peaks jetting out of the dark waters. We were also so lucky to get some blue sky since it rains 99% of the time in Milford Sound.






Can you spy the cutest little Penguins I ever did see?  They are the 2nd smallest Penguins in the world and swam with our ship for a bit.  They looked like tiny torpedoes popping in and out of the water. 
Round 2 Flight back home!
We passed a few of the most gorgeous reflective Black Lakes! Like a dream.


Coming back into Queenstown!
Back on Land and so much happier that everything went to perfectly.  It was terrifying but I dare say totally worth it.  Would I do it again?  Yes! with the aid of some Xanax!  Thank you Milford Air for the flight of a lifetime!


Queenstown, New Zealand Adventures

3 of our incredible adventures while we were in Queenstown!  

The Nevis Swing was a last minute decision.  We had it originally scheduled early on in the trip but because of sever wind it got cancelled.  The last day we were there I ran into a booking shop and asked if there were any spots available which was unlikely.  They just so happened to have 2 so Jas and I jumped on the bus and away we went to the worlds tallest swing.  This took place after our tiny airplane adventure (which I will blog about next) which was one of my biggest fears so for this I am surprisingly calm.  Check out the footage and keep your eyes on Jason.  wink wink.







Queenstown Luge
This was the most fun, family friendly activity.  The kids and grandparents loved it!  I am glad we paid for the maximum amount of rides because they couldn't get enough, and combined with some of the most gorgeous views on earth it was spectacular.  
video


Shotover Jet, Shotover River
Liam's absolute favorite activity.  I wish we could have done it again.  It was such a rush coming within 1 meter of sheer cliffs, and doing 36o degree spins.  Keep your eye in the bottom left corner of the video when the camera is facing forward you can see Liam's cute hand making the spin signal.  He was 100% smiles and giggles the entire time!