The Always Evolving and Partially Unwritten Five-Year Plan

Good as Gold in New Zealand

You know how when you were a kid and you would say that you “loved” something, then some jerkface in the corner would always have to yell out, “Then why don’t you marry it?”

Well, I love New Zealand so much, I would marry it.

That’s right, if honeykins wasn’t in the picture and it was legal to marry a country I would do it next Saturday. I would serve fish and chips, beer, and have an awesome live Kiwi band.  And everyone reading this would be invited. Wait, did it just get a little weird inviting you to my made up wedding with a country? Hmmm, I thought so.

But it’s pretty safe to say that visiting New Zealand for a week was one of our favorite vacations that we took over here. It was one of our favorites for oh-so-many reasons, but I’m going to give you just five, lest you get bored and decide to send a lame wedding gift.

1. Obscenely Beautiful. You know how everyone says New Zealand is post card beautiful? No, really, it is. We literally spent the entire week swearing “That is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen!” only to turn the next corner and boldly declare, “No wait, that is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen!” It was that graphically, jaw-droppingly stunning. I don’t want to oversell it or anything, but it was. See below for further evidence to back this statement up.

I mean, if you like that kinda post card perfectness, it’ll do.

Where we stopped during our bike ride. Amazing.

2. Brillant Accomodations. Although it was quite a shock to the checkbook (as was everything in NZ), our accomodations were quite nice, and not at all dodgy. Our first place was an old school style bed and breakfast in Greymouth. It was a beautiful old house built in the 1920’s and run by a lovely woman named Mary. She sat with us in the evening by the fire, answered all of our questions about New Zealand and rugby as we watched reruns of the last World Rugby Cup game. When we got to Queenstown we stayed in a brand spanking new Kawarau Hotel, which is owned by Hilton. I wanted to take our suite and transport it back to our house. From the amazing mattress to the adorable couch, I loved everything about the trendy, yet classic decor. If you see an exact replica at our house some day, please pretend to be impressed.

Our Bed and Breakfast in Greymouth.

Dan relaxing in our living room suite in Queenstown. Loved the decor!

3. Ba, Ba, White Sheep. Did you know New Zealand has more sheep than people? Well, they do (people are out numbered 9 to 1) and that sounds just fabulous to me. We would drive for hours and just see a car or two, but thousands of sheep. They were everywhere and if you stopped the car on the roadside, you could hear them baaaaing. (I don’t know why this facinated me so much, but it did. All you farm kids can laugh at me now.) There was even a time when we were driving and we saw some escape from the field. Of course, we got out of the car and attempted to coax them back into the gate. We were unsuccessful. Sheep whisperers we are not.

Our three little wayward friends!

4. Bridges. In addition to sheep, there were also a lot of bridges along our route. But the charming thing about the bridges is that almost all of them were only one lane. So that meant you had to be careful about if there was another car on it before you started down it. I loved that you had to communicate with other drivers in a friendly manner and I would almost fall out the window waving when we passed. I didn’t win any cool points there, but it was fun.

Not one of the pretty ones, but it did have a truck coming towards us.

Beautiful one way bridge we had to cross each day to get into Queenstown.

5. Slang. Words like, bugger, cuppa, fizzy, heaps and lolly are now all standard parts of my American vocabulary. I love, love, loved the New Zealand slang. It’s so fresh and cool and  I am now a total NZ word groupie.  I try to use the words I learned whenever appropriate, and sometimes inappropriately too. (Dude-the word fanny does not mean the same thing in New Zealand as it does in America!! Look it up!)

I tried to use a few of the slang words I learned in this blog. Did you pick up on it? Let me know if you spotted them. Do you have words that you love that you have picked up from traveling different places? Do you try to use them at home and then nobody knows what you are talking about? Raise your hand if you want to visit New Zealand now. That’s what I thought.

It was cold and windy up at the top of the mountains!

Don’t worry, there is no way that I could limit it to five reasons we loved NZ! I’ll give you five more next time and you will want to book your flight immediately! I-MME-D-IAT-LY. Cheers!

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