Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Driving from Christchurch to Queenstown

As I write this entry we are about to spend our first night in Queenstown. We drove 7.5 hours or so from Christchurch today and saw some really amazing scenery on the way. There were rolling plains, snow-capped mountains, and breath-taking lakes on the way, all of which I photographed of course. I've uploaded the photos in yet another photo album:


Tomorrow we're not really sure what we'll be doing, but there could be Lord of the Rings sites being visited. We shall see. Until then, stay classy.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Gondolas at Christchurch

Hello all, today will be a much shorter post than usual because I have literally two minutes of internet time left at the motel we're staying at. Today we went on the gondolas in Christchurch which took us to the top of a mountain, where we looked out over the city and the area surrounding it. I've posted a Facebook album that hopefully will upload before my internet time is up. I'll elaborate next time I have internet.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Journey to Christchurch

So yesterday we set out from Wellington to our next destination, Christchurch, which is on the south island. The original plan was to take the ferry between the islands from Wellington to Picton, then drive 5 hours or so from Picton to Christchurch. However, when Danny and Julie missed the ferry, the plan changed - they would take a flight to Christchurch and Chrisanne and I would take a train from Picton to Christchurch.

The train ride to Christchurch was about 5 and a half hours and the scenic views it treated us to were amazing. There was a car at the end of the train that basically had no windows, so you could go out there and take photos from the moving train. The views were incredible and though we got some fantastic photos, they really can't convey the awesomeness of the landscapes we saw. Here's the link to the Facebook album:


When we arrived in Christchurch, we went directly to the rugby game between New Zealand's team, the All Blacks, and Italy. The game was really awesome to watch, it's fast paced and full of action. Its one of the most intense sports I've seen because it is full on contact but the players don't wear any padding or helmets or any protective gear at all. I've included a few photos of the game in the album with the photos from the trip from Wellingotn to Christchurch. In the end, the All Blacks beat Italy by a good margin and the fans went home happy.

Today we plan on exploring Christchurch before going to a traditional Maori event tonight. I'll be sure to update about that as soon as I can (I'm not sure when I'll have internet again). Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Wellington Botanical Garden & Zealandia

Today Chrisanne and I made a trip back to Wellington's Botanical Garden to take photos during the day. I made a separate Facebook album from my Wellington album that's specifically for the garden and a place we went today: Zealandria, the Karori Sanctuary Experience. At the tail end of the album there's also a few photos of Wellington at night taken across Oriental Bay. We didn't have a tripod, so I put my camera on a bench and attempted a long exposure which ended up coming out pretty good. Anyways, here's the link to the Wellington Botanical Garden / Zealandria album:


Jane and friends - I took plenty of photos of just plants in the Botanical Garden for you to check out, do your best to identify them! People who aren't as interested in the zillions of different plants and flowers in the garden, still take a look at the album because I still took a bunch of scenic shots, especially in the Zealandia sanctuary.

After exploring Zealandria we drove around looking for buildings that Lord of the Rings people worked in and made props and stuff in. We drove by one, Wetaworks, which was cool. Then we drove around that coastline of Oriental Bay.

Tomorrow we depart for Christchurch. We're going to an All Blacks rugby game, which is going to be awesome! The All Blacks is New Zealand's team and they are apparently playing Italia tomorrow. I'll be sure to take plenty of photos! I'm not sure how long we'll stay in Christchurch.

We'll be staying at hotels from here-on-out, so I'll do my best to pay the few bucks for internet so I can keep updating the blog as we go. Thanks again for reading!

PS: I added a few more photos to the Wellington album so check it out. Here's the link again:


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Photo update

Hello everybody. I've decided to include a link to my Facebook photo album rather than try to post photos in these blog posts. I've tried wrestling with this blog again and again to post photos and it never works, so here's the link to my Wellington album:


I'll be adding photos as I continue to take them, so keep an eye on that. Jane, I know that you said you'd like to see some photos from the Botanical Garden. We did venture there last night (the people we're staying with live at the bottom of the cable car line that goes up to it), but it was too dark to take photos of flowers and plants. It was tough to take photos in the dark, so we plan on making a day trip to the garden again to get some better photos in the daylight.

We plan on going out tonight to drive around and explore, so after we get back from that I'll post again about our day.

Exploring Wellington

Hello everyone! First of all, thank you everybody who reads and/or comments about my posts, its nice to feel that connection with all of you back home.

Today I spent the day exploring Wellington with Chrisanne, with Danny as our tour guide. Danny took us down to Cuba St, where we got to see all the shops and stores, including Real Groovy. Real Groovy is basically the New Zealand equivalent of Newbury Comics, but what was awesome is that Chrisanne and I found seasons 11, 12, and 13 of ER! They only have up to season 10 out in the U.S! However, apparently the discs here are formatted different so to watch them on U.S. computers and DVD players you have to kind of hack or mod the player. But its possible, and definitely not illegal, so we're going to try it out.

While walking down Cuba St, Danny made it a point to show us the Bucket Fountain. Here's a few photos of it:

And yes, apparently Elijah Wood elieved himself in it and almost got arrested.

For lunch we stopped at Munchen Burger, where I got a hot dog and the man asked if I wanted "tomato sauce" on it. Knowing that Kiwis call ketchup tomato sauce, I said I did.

After the sun went down, Danny took us out to explore the botanical garden. We took the cable car up to the top of the mountain they live on and when we got to the garden at the top, there was an amazing view of Wellington there. I'll try to post photos in the morning, since they were refusing to upload tonight. If this thing continues to give me troubles with uploading photos, I might have to put links in these posts to a different place you can look at the photos.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ahoy, mateys!

Hey everybody, it's Chrisanne this time. Billy and I have arrived in Wellington and are having a great time hanging out with Julie and Danny and exploring the city a little. Today we even saw the fountain that Elijah Wood peed in while filming Lord of the Rings! Now that's a real tourist attraction.

Anyway, I have my own blog that I usually use for school and journalism-related stuff, but I'm going to be updating about the trip a little now. I can't guarantee that my posts will be as thorough or frequent as Billy's probably will, but I'm going to at least give it a shot. So feel free to follow it here.

Thank you!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Most Expensive Meal I've Ever Bought for Myself was at an Airport

Long title, I know, but I felt it was necessary. Because just a little while ago I went to a deli sandwich shop kinda place in the terminal and paid $27.00 for a meal for myself. It started with the $3.70 dollar Vitamin Water and just went downhill from there. I grabbed a roast beef sandwich and was happy with that when I spotted the scrumptious-looking baked ziti pasta. So I told the girl at the register I just wanted a bit of the pasta. Well, she proceeded to take out a big container and just pile pound after pound of pasta into it. Add Chrisanne's goldfish I volunteered to pay for and my sandwich, and you've got a $27.00 airport meal. Yum.

Anyways, my apologies for such a large update on something as simple as my meal at the airport. I guess that's what happens when I update before I've even reached New Zealand. We're now in San Francisco, waiting for our 9pm flight to Auckland. During out 9 hour layover here in San Fran, Chrisanne and I did a bit of exploring. We took the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) a few stops into the city and walked down Haight St. We chose Haight St. because its not only in an Anberlin song, it is in a Third Eye Blind song (and we know that they are referencing that specific street because they are from SF), whom we love and adore.

Here's a couple photos from our time in SF:Chrisanne posing with the Haight St. sign

Our plane that brought us to Auckland in New Zealand

More, far more exciting updates to come shortly! Thanks for tuning in!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Welcome and Soon to Disembark

Hello everyone! I've set up this blog in the hopes that I can continue to keep it updated with photos and videos of Chrisanne and my trip to New Zealand! I decided to use this blog website rather than a Facebook group (at Chrisanne's suggestion) because it will be much easier to add video and photos and post updates to a blog rather than on a Facebook group.

We leave on Sunday morning around 8:40am, we can't wait! Stay tuned!