Saturday, January 23, 2010
The van is ready to hit the road! We spent the last 2 days designing and building a bed frame with built in storage in the back of the van, and by golly, we've done it!
Now it's time to head back out on the road again. From Palmerston North, we'll head north towards New Plymouth, over to Lake Taupo and then to the east coast before we make our way down to the South Island! I love road trips! Bust out the rod and reels, it's fishin'time!
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Well, we arrived in Wellington on the North Island of New Zealand on Monday evening after a long and tiring day of travel. Chock full o luggage and nearly 4 kilos over the limit, we managed to get everything (except for some fishing line that Mick had to unwind off his reel) into NZ.
We were greeted at the airport by Mick's dad and his wife Evie. It took about 2 hours to get back to their place in Palmerston North and the drive was fantastic. Driving at twilight along hilly pastures covered in lush tones of green speckled with woolly puffs of white, I thought to myself that so far, New Zealand was exactly how I'd pictured it. I rejoiced in the fact that I was really here! I've dreamed of traveling here for years!
When we got home that night, my belly was feeling a bit uneasy. It may have been a bit of air sickness or perhaps the spicy Italian subway sub I had for "dinner", but the second I sat on the couch, I jumped up and ran to the bathroom to spew my supper. YUK! Kind of an embarrassing start to our stay with Mick's family... no matter.
The next morning we got up and had a quintessential Kiwi day. We went river trout fishing! And, surprise surprise, Mick caught one. Of course he did. He always does, doesn't he? It's a good thing we got a fishing license too, because the game warden checked it! It was such a beautiful day. The weather is perfect here right now, just around 75 to 80 degrees. It reminds me a lot of the weather in Tahoe in the summer and spring. The fishing spots were so pristine and extremely peaceful. There are so many beautiful sounds in the NZ bush. Unfortunately, our camera battery wasn't charged so we didn't get any photos, but don't worry. There will be plenty of that to come!
Since we've been here, Phil and Evie have been really doting on us. They've insisted on taking us to look at vans (2 hours away in Wellington) to help us on our way. We almost got talked into buying an overpriced van that we didn't really even want yesterday, but through a long serious of perfectly coordinated events, it didn't work out. And now we know why.
Tonight we found a perfect van for what we need. She's a 1992 Toyota Estima (or Previa in the US) and she's a proper grocery getter. Totally decked out for family traveling. She comes fully equipped with sunroof, moon roof (for supreme night sky viewing), dvd player (yep, one of those cool little screens that drops down from the ceiling!) curtains and oh yeah, 4WD! Perfect for the snow. Too cool. We really were lucky to have stumbled on it and it seems that all of our stars have aligned. She's a Yoder (Toyota) so she shouldn't be too much of a trouble maker. We're hoping to pick her up in the morning provided the safety check all goes according to plan. If we get it tomorrow, then the master plans will begin for the bed and storage space. It's time again, to PIMP our ride! It's all just so exciting!
Today was Phil's birthday so we made him and Evie dinner and brownie sundaes and waited on them a bit! Keep your fingers crossed that all goes well with the van tomorrow! We're not sure if we'll head to the South island next or if we'll continue exploring the North, but we'll keep you posted.
Keep your fingers crossed that all goes according to plan tomorrow! We may have a new family member tomorrow! Now we just need a name... Maybe we'll do a name contest and you all can help us come up with a good one!
Ciao for now!