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