The little things and the little nothings that keep Suz sane and happy.


Sometimes it’s the littlest things that make me happy.
Like finding one of my favorite NZ wines at Total Wine this week.

I had a flashback to our trip to New Zealand and how much Kelly and I loved visiting this (unknown to us at the time) winery. ‘Twas a great day and a great trip.

A majority of the big trips that I’ve had, I say, “I don’t need to go again, let’s see something new”, but I don’t feel that way about New Zealand.
NoSireeBobCatTail.

***

Sometimes it’s the fact that I can put my head in the sand, and not know what is happening outside my little world that brings me happiness.

I know that a lot of people like to watch the news, read the papers, be in the “know” about what is happening all around the world.
Me? I honestly do better just tending to my home, garden, my people, my community, keep the dirty clothes hamper empty, etc….
I get overwhelmed with the worries of the world, the sadness, the despair of it all.
And guess what, sometimes it’s pretty damn depressing. So, if something really important happens and I need to know, the Coach will inform me. He’s very much ‘up to date’ with the world outside our area code.

Also, doing laundry pays around here.
I found $150 in the dryer this week.

Don’t tell Uncle Sam.

We’ve been so very busy lately. Lots of house projects finishing up before Turkey day and the Coach is inundated with work-work. But that is something we never complain about; work-work brings in the laundry cash.

Have a great weekend!
XOXO

Queenstown to Mt. Cook, NZ ~~They said getting there would be the most fun.

Our first adventure after enjoying a few days in Queenstown was a drive to Mount Cook to see the famous Tasman glacier.

We’d noticed the day prior that it was getting REALLY windy as we were exploring the area. Someone in a shop mentioned something about a cold front coming through the next day, hence the wind.
We didn’t think much about it. We woke up in the morning and started getting ready when I opened the curtains and noticed some snow flurries.
What? 
It’s spring in NZ.
I put on the tv and the local news said that a lot of roads would be closing as well as the airport.
I was thinking: These people are really exaggerating….it’s just a few flurries.
Again, I’m a Florida native, so I know winter weather.

By the time we were dressed and we ate our breakfast, it was FULL-ON WINTER.

I don’t have any photos of the full-ON winter because I was FULL-on driving on the left side of the road in the right side of the car while it’s FULL-ON snowing.
It was at least 3 /12 hours before we arrived in clearer weather.
I was stressed to say the least; both hands on the wheel the entire time. My body so tense it would take at least 3 glasses of wine and a full body massage to get back to my normal.

We were about an hour short of our destination when we the weather cleared up and we found a spot to stop, stretch our legs and thank the good Lord that we made it through the snow storm.

We couldn’t believe our eyes when we came around a corner and saw this huge BLUE lake; we had to stop and take it in.

After about 10 minutes we were back in the car towards our destination: Mount Cook.
We didn’t know what to expect at a hotel that was located in a national park, but we loved our quaint little bungalow.

It was really overcast and dreary again by the time we arrived at our room, then the sun went down. The next morning we opened the curtains and were able to see the view from our window.

It was a beautiful, clear and crisp morning and we were ready for our glacier tour.
We were driven to a national park, and had about a mile walk till we reached the boating area.

We were so happy for clear skies!

They loaded us onto small boats/rafts that held about 15 people and we zipped around the lake and learned all about glaciers and icebergs. 

Iceberg

How did I make it on this planet for 51 years and not realize that a glacier and an iceberg are two different things? Apparently, my Florida public school education didn’t focus on such things.

mountains behind us
Iceberg
GLACIER!!
Behind us here is the Tasman Glacier. The huge lake we were boating on was once part of the glacier, but like everything else, it’s melting. In about 40 years, the (very large) glacier will most likely be gone. 

We got up close and personal with an iceberg. Inside it are rocks, dirt, debris….whatever the glacier picked up from the earth as it formed. When the iceberg breaks off of the glacier, it floats around, melts and drops all the debris into the lake. Our tour guides said that every day (sometimes by the hour) the view of the icebergs changes as they melt and others come off the glacier.

It was a really cool (brrrr) learning experience and also a bit sad. This is proof that our ecology is changing at a really rapid pace and it appears that we’re not going to be able to halt it the way we (humans) live. 
I skipped a great day on our wine tour on the Southern part of the South Island before we moved onto Mt. Cook, but I’m going to combine it with our wine tour of the Marlborough region. 
So.much.good.wine. 
XOXO

The one where I can’t stop gushing about New Zealand and SHEEP {pt 3}

For the last few weeks, I keep coming to my blog page and I attempt to write/document about our super duper fabulous once in a lifetime trip, but then my brain goes
BOOP. 
BOP.
BURP.
The burp was from a ginger ale. 
There is so much to write and share it becomes overwhelming. 
***
We started our trip on the South Island so we could drive north while seeing all the good stuff prior to meeting up with Lindsay in Wellington. 
Our tour people set up some good stuff for us. One was this boat cruise to a working sheep farm with a beautiful dinner. Sadly, this was on our first night….although we really weren’t jet-lagged, we did want to go to bed at 9pm {NZ time} 
But, when you get on a boat, you can’t just willy-nilly walk back to your hotel when you want to go to bed. 
You’d have to swim, but the water was really cold. 
beeUtiful views for days. 

We watched a sheep get all its hairs cut.
It was awkward. for me and the sheep.

New Zealand is known for it’s Merino wool which comes from Merino sheep.
You knew that.
Merino wool is unlike most wool. It’s soft and fine. It doesn’t make your skin feel like it’s going to itch until you insist on one of those white straight jackets.

So, this night was our first encounter with NZ sheep.
During our next 13 days, we encountered eleventy billion sheep.
Around every corner on our drive were fields and fields of sheep.

“Does this wool make my butt look big?” 
Kelly and Suz with some sleepy sheep. 
Something else that was interesting. They sell items everywhere made from Merino wool; sweaters, socks, hats, scarves….all very soft and lovely.
We also noticed lots of these items that were a mixture of Merino wool and possum. 
I’m.not.kidding. 
Possums in NZ are not native and they’ve become very invasive pests. Mostly because they kill all the flightless birds in NZ. Yeah, the poor Kiwi bird is a dying breed and possums are one of the reasons. 
So the NZ’ers have found that while trying to reduce their numbers, they can use their coat for clothing items.
Pretty darn smart if you ask me. 
Now, I’m off to find another gingerale and gather my thoughts. 
XOXO

The one where we fell in love with New Zealand {pt 2}

When Kelly and I started talking about a trip to NZ, we really didn’t know where to start. For a minute, we thought we’d fly into Austrailia and spend a few days there….but upon further research, we found out that wasn’t such a great idea. 
You really need a few weeks in EITHER country and not a few weeks in BOTH countries.
Did I mention that Linds (my youngest) was already going to be in Wellington, NZ? Well, that was the main reason for our trip and Linds already had her flight home booked, so we planned OUR trip to end where she was and to fly home together. 
We went back and forth about where to fly into NZ, what parts to focus on, etc….
After much reading, we figured the south island really had more of what we enjoyed. 
Nature and wine. 
We found a great travel site that would put together a ‘self-drive’ tour customized to our dates, budget, and interests. I didn’t want to just go it alone….nor could you pay me to be a part of a group tour. 
I can’t recommend them enough. They booked our rental car, all the hotels and some of our excursions too. Everything went smoothly; no hiccups. (aside from a weather issue-hello surprise snowstorm and one hotel that we didn’t love, but because of the weather issue, we were only there for 10 hours)
We had 13 days to visit and see as much as we could and end with 3 of those days with Lindsay in Wellington. So we flew into Queenstown and spent the beginning of our trip there. 
Queenstown is a super cute small town…it has a really nice vibe to it. Lot’s of outdoor restaurants, water activities, skiing in the winter and very safe for two women to be out and about. 
We walked everywhere for the most part.
Did you know that they drive on the left side of the road?
On the right side of the car? 
And they have different driving rules. Our tour package included a little book…thank goodness I read this. (after the first time I drove!) It was very helpful. 
They have mostly roundabouts there, not like our four-way intersections with traffic signals. 
They have a lot of one lane bridges. 
Both of those have specific rules and I’m proud to say I knew them by reading that little book. 
So, yes, I’m a professional NZ driver. 

Racking up those frequent flyer miles. {NZ}

I know I fell off the blog again, but with good reason.

Kelly and I had a fabulous two weeks in New Zealand.
We loved every minute; the people, the wine, the scenery, the sheep, the snow. (I wasn’t expecting that!)
We were home for exactly 5 days when we again departed for 7 days in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Boots, jackets and snow…..right into flip-flops, bathing suits and major heat.

Anyhoo….I’m not complaining.

At least once a day we looked at each other and exclaimed: “We’re IN New Zealand!”
Something else we said at least once daily: “I wasn’t expecting that”.

Let’s start with the flying part. I’m not a happy flyer. I generally like to avoid it, but taking a boat to NZ seemed a tad daunting.

We had a short flight out of Fort Lauderdale into Houston…from there we flew Air New Zealand for almost 16 hours into Aukland, NZ. Then another short flight (2 hrs) from Aukland to Queenstown where we would start our trip.

The longest flight actually was better than we expected. (I wasn’t expecting that!) We splurged and booked business class on the way over and it was really comfortable. The flight was mostly at night…so they fed us a really nice dinner and after a glass of wine, they turned your seat into a comfy bed. I think I might have slept 7 hours total during the long haul, plus watched a few movies to kill the time. We were able to get up and move about as much as we wanted, so you never felt like a prisoner.

 Flying into Queenstown we had a birds-eye view of the Southern Alps—again, something I’d read about, but didn’t know what to expect. Just gorgeous!

We learned that most of NZ is uninhabited; part of it’s beauty.

I’m going to do a few posts about our trip there so I can go back and visit myself when I miss it in a minute or two.

I DO hope all my blog friends are well. I’m gonna catch up soon….but first I must unpack and pay bills.

XOXO