Not Home for the Holidays

This year my husband and I turned from tradition and did not stay home for the holidays. Instead, we went to New Zealand where we met up with Twin 1 and his most excellent girlfriend, who are following the Te Araroa trail from the northern tip of the North Island to the southern tip of the South Island. I’m insanely impressed by their sense of adventure that requires 4 months of backpacking along 3,000 km of trails.

We spent three days with the kids, during which time we fed them and put them up in hotels where they could shower and do laundry. We filled their backpacks with food and sent them on their way.

My husband and I then embarked on a 12-day trip of both islands. I took what for me was a lot of photos, but they don’t do justice to the spectacular scenery.

Top to bottom: Recreational Reserve on Kaikoura Peninsula (South Island), waterfall in the Milford Sound (South Island), Hobbiton (North Island), and grazing sheep near Queenstown (South Island).

 

New Zealand is a tourist destination for people from around the world. Happily for me, they speak English. However, not all visitors speak the same language so officials have come up with clever signs that can be universally understood. We ran into the sign shown here at the entrance to a suspension bridge. Fortunately, there were only four of us on the bridge so we didn’t risk tumbling into the rushing water below.

 

As you may know, New Zealand is know for its exquisite wool and wool products. Like any self-respecting visitor (and a knitter to boot), I was thrilled to find the The Merino Story and wool shop, disguised as giant sheep in Tirau (North Island). Yes, I made purchases.

Although I took my knitting (I never travel without it) and we spent many hours in the car, boats, or buses, I didn’t knit a single stitch! However, I did return home with a lot of inspiration.