Friday, March 30, 2012

NZ Trip- Day 15

Today was a little sad because we had to leave the Hawley family to continue back north on our trip. We love the Hawley family and it was so nice to visit them! Here are the highlights of the day:
* Eating a big kiwi breakfast with the Hawley family including steak, poached eggs, bacon, toast, nutella, mushrooms, tomatoes, and spaghetti. Yes, spaghetti!
* Adam broke the door handle off of our rental car. Yikes! All he did was open the door. Maybe we should have bought the extra car insurance...
* Watching Adam eat a fried Marro bar for old times sake. I have been craving Marro bars, they are so good!

* Stopping at a scenic overlook on our drive north and finding this

* Eating yummy Portuguese Peri Peri chicken for dinner. We need to find a recipe for that! We also need to find a recipe for butter chicken and naan bread.

NZ Trip- Day 14

On March 15th we drove to Wairoa, which is the farthest south Adam went on his mission. There is really nothing to do in Wairoa because it is so small, but we specifically went to visit people from Adam's mission. Here are the day's highlights:
* Visitng with the Hawley family and spending the night with them.
* Watching Adam give the Hawley's a Family Home Evening.
* Visiting with the Meha family.
Sorry, no pictures for the day, too much visiting!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Haka!!

So I tried to convince Katie that she needed to add this video of the Haka, a Maori war dance, onto the blog for when we were in Rotorua, but she must have forgotten to. So I will do it for her ;-) This Haka was done during our Tameki tour. Hope you all like it.

NZ Trip- Day 13

On day 13 we realized how quickly our trip was winding down! It was the 14th and we'd already be leaving on the 18th! We still had fun and made the most out of our time. We left Rotorua and headed south to Taupo. Here are the highlights for the day.
* Watching the release of the Waikato River dam and hiking to a couple of look outs to see the view.

* Hiking approximately 6 km to Huka Falls. My legs would have rather rode in the car! But the view was pretty and it was good exercise.

* Soaking in a natural hot pool right on the side of the trail on the way back from our hike. Ahhh. Nice.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

NZ Trip- Day 12

March 13 was a fun, full day of new things. Here are our highlights:
* Visiting the Rotorua redwood forest. The redwoods were huge, but nowhere near in comparison to the kauri trees we saw a few days ago. It was funny because we found out the trees had been imported from California! Haha, it was cool anyway. We took a little walk through the forest, which is right in the city (haha), and had fun taking more pictures of course.

* Going to Hell... I mean, Hell's Gate. Hell's Gate is a privately owned spa and geothermal park in Rotorua. We had a great guided tour of the thermal park, played with the thermal mud, took pictures, tried some wood carving, and enjoyed the spa.

* Enjoying a private mud bath and sulfur pool swim with Adam at Hell's Gate. It was so fun to put warm mud all over each other during the mud bath like we were little kids, but afterward we had to take a cold shower for our blood or something and it was so cold! They could hear me yelling inside! Oops! The sulfur pool was nice and warm, though it left us smelling... interesting. Even after 3-4 washes of our swimsuits, the sulphur smell is still there! I think they smell sort of like matches.
* Visiting the Tameki Maori Village and seeing the cultural show there. We saw a cultural welcome to the village, learned more about the ways of the Maori, watched singing and dancing, saw a haka, and ate a hangi (I even tried lamb and kumara). I wish we could have stayed there longer because it was so interesting.

Monday, March 26, 2012

NZ Trip- Day 11

What a fun day we had today! Here are the highlights:
* Spending the day caving in Waitomo and watching Adam go snap happy with the camera.
* Entering the Ruakuri Cave through a big spiral staircase and washing our hands before we entered to cleanse our souls. The cave was full of wonderful stalactite formations and glow worm clusters.

* Exploring the Aranui Cave. There were no glow worms in this one, but the stalactites and stalagmites were marvelous! The formation process is mind boggling, especially how long it takes! We saw a big cave cricket in this cave.

(Sorry that there aren't a lot of pictures of Adam! He loves to hoard his new camera!)
* Exploring the Waitomo Glow Worm Cave. It was a bummer because we weren't able to take pictures in here. This cave was awesome because we got to ride a boat through a dark tunnel in the cave and watch the glow worms twinkle on the ceiling. It looked like the stars at night. So cool! The glow worms weren't even as nasty as I thought they would be from watching planet earth.
* Following Google Maps directions to Rotorua in a very round about way.
* Eating dinner at a Thai restaurant and watching Adam's face as his flaming volcano chicken was brought out.

NZ Trip- Day 10

Day 10 was Sunday March 11th. The main highlight of the day was that it was relaxing! Here are some other highlights:
* Attending a local sacrament meeting
* Visiting the temple grounds and visitor center

* Watching videos in the visitor center like the "I'm a Mormon" campaign or the ones with the childrens thoughts on the gospel.
* Playing with our camera at the temple and taking a million and 1 pictures.

* Napping, snacking on hummus, reading, watching tv, and laying around in our hotel room.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

NZ Trip- Day 9

Highlights of March 10, 2012
* Visiting the Mangere Market, like a large Polynesian farmer's market, and looking for the perfect souvenir. We wandered around with the Fatai family and had a great time.
* Attending the 20th anniversary of Pasefika with the Fatai family where we watched different Polynesian dancers, looked at different vendors, and ate Polynesian food.

* Eating fantastic pineapple ice cream! It was passion fruit ice cream in a pineapple. Oh so good! Here's Adam with his ice cream and Brother Fatai.

* Sister Fatai and I were chased by one of her boys holding a bunch of those nasty bug carcasses that he put in his pockets. Yuck!

* Searching and searching for the perfect souvenir and finally finding it! We bought a coconut Christmas ornament with a nativity in it from a Tongan vendor. It was love at first sight. We also bought a little island girl dress, in case we have a little girl some day.
* Relaxing in the hot tub at our hotel in Hamilton and having a private bathroom in our hotel room.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

NZ Trip- Day 8

Before we give the highlights of March 9 in Auckland, let's begin with some translations of New Zealand words:
Fizzy- Pop
Slips- Rock Slides
Ice Block- Popsicle
Nappies- Diapers
Serviettes- Napkins
Lead- Leash
Lollies- Candy
Rubbish- Trash or Garbage
No worries- Your Welcome
Kia Ora- Hello
Takeaways- Takeout food
Tyres- Tires
Petrol- Gas
Trolley- Shopping cart
Holiday- Vacation

Now here are our day 8 highlights:
* Going to the black sand beach in Piha and finding it wasn't so black, or warm enough to play at.

* Being the only white people in the Mangere shopping center and having little children stare at us.
* Having Adam buy me a beautiful bone and paua shell necklace.
* Visiting the Vong family, whom Adam helped to get baptized. I loved hearing about their lives and their conversions.
* Visiting with Dunn family who also helped the missionaries out tons while Adam was there. I loved hearing from everyone what a great missionary Adam was.
* Visiting with the Schwalger family.
* Going to dinner with the Fatai family at the Lone Star restaurant, eating yummy food, and having great conversation.

NZ Trip- Day 7

March 8th was a rainy day, but we couldn't just stay indoors because we may never get to New Zealand again. Here are our highlights from day 7:
* Visiting the Auckland Botanic Garden and being able to finally find our way out. We got lost inside!

* Watching my husband sniff all of the roses in the gardens and listening to him decide which ones he wants in our garden someday. This was our favorite in smell and looks. (Adam's nose was yellow from getting too close to so many flowers!)

* Eating lunch at the famous Burger Fuel.
* Window shopping at a mall.
* Touring One Tree Hill and driving through all of the sheep to get to the top.

* Seeing Mt. Eden, an exploded volcano crater, and finding at least half a dozen more volcano cones surrounding us.

* Eatting my first Indian food ever. Butter chicken and naan.
* Visiting the Fatai family from one of Adam's Auckland wards. They used to feed the missionaries and help them out a lot. They're an awesome family. We LOVE the Fatais!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

NZ Trip- Day 6

Day 6, March 7, was a rainy day all about fulfilling Adam's dream of deep sea fishing. Even though I don't enjoy fishing and the water was really choppy, the highlight of the day was watching Adam check deep sea fishing off of his bucket list.

Look at that line, he's got something!

Here's proof of the size of Adam's prized Snapper. Now, don't go believing any of his fish stories! Adam caught 6 fish total. They were Trevally and Snapper. He caught two fish that were big enough to keep, one of each kind. We got to keep them and took them to a local fish and chip shop to have them cooked up for lunch. Yum! Yum! They were the best fish and chips from the whole vacation! My mouth is watering just thinking bout it right now!

NZ Trip- Day 5

March 6th was the 5th day of our trip. Here are the highlights from day 5:
* Tramping (hiking) through the Wairere Boulders. We probably tramped about 4 miles. This was an awesome valley full of beautiful views and huge boulders. The pictures don't really do justice to how big everything was. You really need to go see it in person! I convinced myself that the big boulders were asteroids that fell to the earth and killed the dinosaurs. With his science background, Adam disagreed! Haha, I guess the surroundings kind of made me feel like I was in Jurassic Park! Seriously, they did!

* Having a man pinpoint where we were from just by hearing our voices. We must have some sort of accents! And here I was having a hard time understanding everyone else!
* Being in awe in the Waipou Kauri Forest. These ancient kauri trees were ginormous! Again, the pictures don't quite do these trees justice! In this forest we saw the 1st, 2nd, and 7th largest kauri trees in the world. The largest tree, named Tane Matu, is thought to have started growing when Christ was on the earth! Another cool fact about this tree is that there are over 30 different species of plants living in it.

This tree below does not even rank among the large kauri trees!

Exploring New Zealand sure helped us appreciate how amazing God's creations are!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

NZ Trip- Day 4

Wow! Our trip went by so fast, see we are already at day 4 which was the 5th of March.
Here are some highlights of day 4:

* I finally learned how to flush a New Zealand toilet. They don't have flush handles! There are two buttons on top of the toilet tank. One button is pushed when you pee and it is like a half flush. The second button is for #2, the poo. It flushes all of the way. New Zealand is big into conserving their water.

* Visiting the Ancient Kauri Kingdom in Awanui. The kingdom is a showroom for art work made out of ancient kauri trees. We are talking about huge trees that are 45,000 to 100,000 years old here! The coolest thing at the show room was the staircase made inside of one of the tree trunks. The $55,000 wooden couch was also cool.

* Touring Gum Digger Park. My mom was sort of disgusted when we told her we were going there because she thought it was dealing with chewing gum! The park is actually an excavation site where gum from ancient kauri trees was dug up and used to make varnish, laminate, and what not. Gum digging was sort of a big thing like digging for gold. These are gum digging boots.

* Hearing the roar of these nasty bugs everywhere we went. Their empty shells are everywhere too. Yuck!

* Traveling to the tippy top of New Zealand, seeing the beauty of Cape Reinga, and exploring the beach of the local bay.

* Visiting some of the church members Adam grew close to in Kaitia and hearing about how good of a missionary he was.