Wednesday, March 6, 2013

My Crazy Move: New Zealand

So yeah, I live in Texas now...

The last 3 months have pretty much been the craziest experience of my life to date.  Since December 19, I haven't spent more than 5 nights in the same bed, which also means that I've been living out of a suitcase since that point!

Luckily, the main reason for that was because of the wonderful travel I have had the opportunity to enjoy recently.  I want to tell you all about my amazing trips soon but that will be for a different post!  Unfortunately, in between all that wonderful travel was copious amounts of packing, farewells, US immigration shenanigans, miscellaneous unexpected "moving surprises", unpacking, etc.  Needless to say, I am staying grounded for a little while and will spend the next few weeks exercising, reading some good books, and cooking in my own home!

All right, so let's start at the beginning - Part 1 of My Crazy Move: New Zealand

New Zealand is such a special and unique country.  There is an unbelievably spectacular climate and landscape - and after spending most of the year in Asia, it was great to get away to this country.  Some of you might remember that Justin and I vacationed in NZ 3 years ago and LOVED IT.  We knew that we would go back, and thought that our last Christmas in Asia would be the right time.  This time around we decided to stick to the North Island and visited the regions of Auckland, Waitomo, Taupo, Hawkes Bay, Rotorua, and the Coromandels.

Quick - name that beach!

By far, the highlight of the trip was the food.  At Cable Bay winery I enjoyed the best meal of my life, a tasting menu of all their highlights including lamb, scallops, salmon and two desserts.  Other culinary highlights included Mission Estates Winery, Craggy Range, and the simplicity of buying fresh berries on the side of the road.

We spent nearly two weeks in NZ and were lucky enough to enjoy several different activities.  Completing the Tongariro Crossing was definitely a highlight for me, even though I thought I was going to be thrown into the crater of a volcano due to the high winds.  Honestly, I have never seen a landscape similar to this place, it was almost like walking on another planet.  We completed this 18k hike on New Year's eve and needless to say, we were in bed before the clock struck twelve.

I am so glad that Justin and I took the opportunity to go to NZ together right before the move.  Unfortunately, we haven't had much quality time together since this trip, and it was good for him to take some time off work to do something enjoyable before he moved to the US, where things have been so stressful.  It was definitely a memorable holiday for the both of us.

Next post - Part 2: Packing up and Saying Goodbye

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