Archive for February, 2016

In my opinion, you really shouldn’t visit New Zealand WITHOUT seeing the Milford Sound.  So the next stop in our family tiki tour was Te Anua, which is the closest stopping point for the Milford Sound.  This is my third time to the area and I never tire of seeing such beauty.  I must admit, I’ve see the Milford Sound in complete downpour, snow, and sunny before.  This time around, it was a mix of clear and sunny and cloudy with rain.  I’m just amazed how the mood of the Milford Sound changes based on the weather.

I’ll just let the photos do the talking and sadly, these photos really don’t do the magnitude of the scenery justice.


That morning, we woke to a beautiful rainbow that covered the length of Lake Te Anua.


The beautiful Milford Sound.


A family photo attempt before our boat ride.


Extreme sandwich eating.


Our family photo.


Jeff decided he wanted to get under the first waterfall the boat traveled under.


Scott, Jessica, Martin, and Eulalia.


For the second waterfall, Scott and Jessica decided to join Jeff.  They were soaked.


Meanwhile, I stayed inside with the kiddos and took photos.


The view of the Milford Sound from the ocean.


I just  love this photo.


On the drive back, we spent some time with this kea soaking up the views.

The following day the gang decided to take the Te Anau Glowworm Cave Tour.  It is not child/baby friendly, esp if your child is afraid of the dark.  So we decided to do it in two goes.  Doug, Jeff, and I decided to go first in the afternoon.  The tour consists of a boat ride across Lake Te Anua.  I must admit, I did a glowworm cave up in Waitomo on the North Island when my brother, Joseph, visited and honestly it turned me off from doing anything else regarding glowworms.  I however absolutely enjoyed and loved the Te Anau Glowworm Cave experience.  The staff were very informative and gave clear descriptions of the glowworms. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take photos inside the caves.


According to the tour guide, the Kepler Track is along that far ridge.


The view from the caves.


The entrance to the cave.


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Duck, Cover, Hold

On Valentine’s day at 1:13pm a 5.7 earthquake struck Christchurch. The earthquake was first labeled as a 5.9 but by nightfall it was reduced to a 5.7.  We were all hanging out in the living room when the ground started to shake.  It started off as your typical 3.0, but the shaking quickly grew stronger and more violent.  Jeff and I quickly grabbed the boys and hundled together.  I remember looking up and was amazed to see our car outside violently shaking.  The earthquake was so loud that I didn’t even realize that objects throughout the house were falling.  Thankfully nothing broke.

We are fine. E was freaked out and refused to go outside for the rest of the day because ‘there are earthquakes outside.’ If you are in an earthquake remember to duck, cover, and hold.

This earthquake came as a surprise to everyone in Christchurch. There hasn’t been a major earthquake like this in about 3.5 years. Numerous scientists have said the major earthquakes were over and gave images of the movement of the aftershocks (aka the crescent moon maps). They all said repeatedly that another big earthquake was highly unlikely to hit the city for another 75-100 years.  This earthquake brought up a lot of emotions for people especially  in parts of the eastern suburbs that experienced liquefaction and since many people still don’t know what is happening to their damaged house from the first earthquake five years ago.

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Sorry for the delay.  I’ve been spending most evenings outside trying to enjoy what summer we have left.  So, naturally, the blog has suffered a bit.

Back to January.

At the beginning of January, Jeff’s brother’s family arrived (Scott, Jessica, Eulalia, and Martin).  Months before they arrived though, we had a mini tiki tour planned and ready for them.  First stop was Queenstown.  Jeff and I decided to fly the family down there to reduce at least 7 hours of car time.


This is what jet lag with children looks like.

We explored Queenstown’s town center, took a boat ride on Lake Wakatipu on the TSS Earnslaw, and rode the gondola.  We also took a day trip to Glenorchy.


The cousins, well everyone really, enjoyed throwing rocks and feeding the ducks at the waterfront.


The gang with the TSS Earnslaw.  E looks excited.


The view of Queenstown from Lake Wakatipu.


My three men hanging out at the back of the boat.


The water was extremely low at Glenorchy.


Everyone spent more time throwing rocks.


As we were heading back to the car, C was giving Jeff a cute head hug.


E kept asking and asking to ride the gondola every day we were in Queenstown.  So finally on the last night, we took the boys for a ride on the gondola before bedtime.  E was pretty excited about it.


The view from the top of the gondola.  It’s definitely worth taking the ride!


Up top, there were some very random, but well done jelly bean art.  Here is the jelly bean art of Frodo and the One Ring.

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