Monday, December 31, 2012


In Otorohanga, we did one of the things I've always wanted to do: See a live kiwi bird!

We went to the Otorohanga Kiwi House.  Yes, kiwis are still in the wild, but they're very rare and nocturnal, so we decided to go with captivity instead of wild kiwis.

The kiwi house was filled with plants and other birds, so we enjoyed ourselves. Here is a wheki, New Zealand's notable HUGE tree ferns.

They were really tall.

Malay Dove.

Me, very excited at seeing kiwis soon.

More Whekis.

Additional jungleness.

Again, I was very happy. :)

KIWI!!!! We've had to rely upon googleimages to find this photo since photography wasn't allowed. Still, she looked exactly like this one.

This little Papango wanted to come home with us, badly. VERY friendly little thing.

This kingfisher, however, could have cared less.

I was in heaven.

A Pukeko bird!!!

They are so weird but beautiful. Huge red combs and blueish feathers. We saw these guys in the wild too. And yes, I squealed each time.

More jungle and beautiful plants.

A wild Tui bird!

More huge Wheki fronds. This one was easily 6' long.

A HUGE KEA BIRD (moutain parrot).

A kakariki parakeet. Cute little things were total chatterboxes.

"Please can we take a Kakariki home???" Bob: "No. Bailey would think it was a squeaky toy."

"Sigh, ok..."

Afterward, we did the obligatory posing by the giant kiwi statue.

Luckily, Bob kept this picture G-rated so it can go on the blog. :)


Our trip to New Zealand was a trial in patience. We left Oregon and headed to San Francisco, only to find that the Oregon leg was delayed twice in the days leading up to the trip, which put us into San Francisco late. Luckily, the SF trip had also been delayed, but we were able to snag an earlier flight on stand-by! Not having checked luggage proved to be a great thing.

That meant we arrived in Los Angeles six hours before we needed to be back at the airport. We spent that time visiting my uncle-- it had been a couple of years since I last saw him, and Bob hadn't seen him since our wedding!

Back at LAX and through security, we found out our flight to Fiji had been delayed. Oh well, we're on our way to a holiday, right? It is what it is. So, finally taking off at 11:30pm, we were able to actually catch some sleep on the plane.

Once in Fiji, it was a 3-hour layover (but oh, the tropical heat!), and then a 3-hour flight to Auckland.

We arrived in Auckland in the early afternoon. We figured out how to get to the rental car company, and then had to figure out driving on the left-hand side of the road. Since I was the only person who had done it before, I drew the short stick. No accidents, thank goodness. Once we got the garmin working and recognizing that we were no longer in Oregon, we were good to go! We found the hotel, settled in for a few, and then hopped down to Newmarket for some wanderings and then a snack.
 Ah, wine and fresh bruschetta. Not too bad.

We had dinner that night at a lovely French restaurant. The food was astounding!

Back at the hotel, we were a bit weirded out by our funky shower. Is this an attempt to not get water misting out of the top of the shower? Regardless, it was very odd to not be able to hear ANYTHING outside the shower capsule when you were inside, especially when the water was on. If you were standing outside, you couldn't hear the person inside.  WEIRD.

From Auckland the next day, we headed to Otorohanga. More on that to come....

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

New Zealand!

I really don't have much of an excuse on why I haven't posted in two months. However, I suppose part of an excuse is that we just got back from New Zealand! Photos to come in the next few days, PROMISE.

To keep you on your toes, here's a story. I went ZORBING. It's this inflatable ball. You jump into the middle, where there's an air pocket and some water. And then you're zippered in and sent down a hill. Pretty fabulous.

It was RIDICULOUSLY fun. Well, it was until the final ride where I inhaled a noseful of water and felt like I was going to upchuck for the next several hours. So if you Zorb, DON'T do that.