Waggs Walkabout

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

New Zealand

Since lots of people have asked to see pictures from New Zealand, I’m going to do a series of posts that log our trip in photos. Some will be great pictures, some will be blurry and some will be just plain weird. Since that sort of sums up my life, you'll just have to wade on through.

We visited the north island of New Zealand flying in and out of Auckland. We arrived in Auckland at 11 pm and spent the night at a hotel near the airport, then headed off the next day to explore an island that is approximately the same size as the US state of Pennsylvania. There are only 3.3 million people on the island and over 1 million of them live in the city of Auckland.

We headed south east out of the city to our first destination of Rotorua. The focal point of the region are the thermal springs and our plans was to get to the hotel in time to visit some of the springs and maybe even soak in there waters. That plan went awry when Dave and Paula failed a parenting pop quiz on the topic of…….car sickness. (You can be thankful that I didn't photograph this episode)

In our defence, the little guy traversed a few thousand miles last year in the back seat of our car on the trip to Darwin without so much as a burp, so the concept of car sickness wasn’t even a blip on the radar.  In retrospect, the drive to Darwin involves a 1000 mile chunk of highway that has nary a hill or curve, certainly no 17% grades and switchbacks.

The Russian was not happy about getting out of bed that morning and even less impressed about eating breakfast at the hotel before we hit the road.  We finally cajoled him into eating a couple of greasy sausages and a glass of milk. We then proceeded to drive for several hours through winding mountain roads without stopping. We did eventually stop at a road-side fruit stand in a pretty little town. Dennis had been sleeping and didn’t want to get out of the car and we didn’t make him.  I suggested to Dave that we stop there and take a stroll through the picturesque little town.  His preferred to press on since we were only an hour from our destination of the day and I didn’t feel like arguing (I know - that doesn’t happen often). We set off again. About a 30 minute later, Dennis said he was hungry, so I gave him a granola and encouraged him to drink some water. A few minutes later, I looked back and he was white as a sheet and sweating. I told Dave that we needed to find a place to stop and within seconds I got the granola bar and sausages back……

Dave got the car stopped and we all piled out but not before the seat belt, the booster seat and our child were coated in our stupidity. It took about a half hour to get everything as clean as 3 water bottles, some paper towels and a package of wet wipes can make it. (Oh how I wish I had purchased the scented variety). We drove rest of the way to our hotel with the windows down.

We checked into the hotel. I started a load of laundry; we tossed the kid in the pool and ordered drinks from the bar to be delivered pool side.

Later we ventured out and checked out the government gardens.  It was a perfect end of day activity with lovely gardens and lots of open space for short people to run amok.

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