Friday, December 6, 2013

The Non-Trip to the South Island of New Zealand!

 The big summer holiday is coming right up and reservations for New Zealand vacation spots are disappearing quickly.

The holiday is the week between Christmas and New Years.

Schools will be out by then, and if last year’s pattern continues, the season will be heating up. Last year’s Christmas day was so unbearably hot that people are still talking about it.

What will it be like in your world? Will you be heading to the beaches? Mountains? Probably not!

But you may be heading south. To warmer weather.

Here in New Zealand, everyone is heading to the South Island to cooler weather!

We ourselves are heading to the South Island. Our son Peter and his family fly out of Honolulu on Christmas day and arrive in Auckland, way up north, late on the 26th (thanks to the International Date Line!).

Because ferry reservations were so hard to come by, we will not see them till we meet at about the time the ferry departs late on the 28th. Meanwhile they will drive to Wellington and the ferry terminal from Auckland, a good long drive by New Zealand standards, or about as far as from San Francisco to LA.

And we will drive from Feilding the two hours to Wellington, and have a much anticipated mini-reunion in a place to be determined.

Everyone here on the North Island tells us the South Island is completely different and we will like it very much. I don’t know if they are picturing us going to Christchurch or another city, but since we will be with the Peter Lewises, we will certainly not do anything in any city except drive through.

The Peter Lewises consist of Peter, Amanda, and their three children: Eleanor 7, Alexandra 6, and Miles 3.

These are veteran outdoorsmen, all 5 of them. Peter and Amanda are birders and bird-photographers. Miles is impassioned about orcas. All of them are excited to see live penguins. The children have been birding in Costa Rica and all over Washington State and in numerous other places. Ella started at age 1 in Alaska.

We are going to learn a lot. And we will be in the south, where the temps might be cooler than in stifling Feilding (where when the mercury hits 25C, everyone wilts. That’s about 77F).

And we will get some photos. We won’t even have to take them ourselves!

We’ll be gone for a week, December 28th through January 4th. The mission president had no qualms about giving us a week off during this time when no one will be around, and has generously allowed us to use our mission car, too.

We’re not counting the days yet. We love what we do. But it will be great to see a few of our numerous grandchildren (3 of 32) and spend a unique Christmastide in the southland. Photos to follow!

Update: We can’t get accommodations on the South Island during Christmas week! And we don’t have camping gear as the young Lewises do. So we’ll be staying here on the North Island. Stay tuned….

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