A summer day in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. Meanwhile, back in Pennsylvania, the temperature hovers between -14 (with wind chill) and maybe 14 (balmy, as Christopher would say)—not a great week for Alex to visit Christopher and Kate from weather perspective (he was hoping on taking some long runs) but perfect to chat by their fireplace, bake pies, and talk.
Doug is in New Zealand for a management retreat, two days of strategy, meeting new people, feeling his way with this newest job. Many years ago the four of us ventured to the South Island for almost a week then over to Sydney, Australia for four days. The mountains were stunning, the snow in June not quite expected, the stories of driving on the reverse side of the road and manuevering round-abouts legend, Alex’s slight concussion from falling off the arm of the sofa at a bed-n-breakfast residence (no, he should not have been sitting there) and leaving behind his newest electronic toy purchased to distract the boys on the very long plane trip traumatic, staying in Queenstown in a cold, dreary apartment only to discover on our drive out-of-town some lovely hotels frustrating, but—we have always wanted to return. We scambled up an ice glacier with crampons and hiking sticks, toured Milford Sound and viewed the underwater fishery, visited a sheep farm, marveled at the bungy jumpers, shivered in the chilled air. The place felt so familiar yet fanciful—even before the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies!
I can’t wait to go when Doug has a longer stay there in April: we’ll spend the week in Wellington then maybe check out some Maori sites, savor the coastal breeze, hike, of course, smile at the Kiwi accents and soak in this place as we become more familiar with the landscape, the cuisine, the trekking, the people. Very excited!