I am back in New Zealand after a brief “vacation” back in the DC office. I was able to enjoy seeing my colleagues, family and friends and soak up three precious weeks of summer–I will forever remember 2012 as the coldest year of my life!
I was told that the second time around (coming back to New Zealand) isn’t as pleasant as the initial visit. I didn’t really believe that until I said goodbye to all my friends, family, & husband for the second time and sat down on the 1st of 3 long plane flights. It makes sense that there was this lurking, gloomy feeling while going back to a place 10,000 miles away that is no longer new & exciting. Luckily, once I picked up my left-sided rental car, settled into the hotel, showered, and drove back to the office, I realized how nice it was to be back with my New Zealand colleagues and finish up the work that I started here. It also isn’t too bad starting off my countdown to a Hawaii vacation after my New Zealand escapades are over (86 days & counting).
After a week in the office filled with scheduling new project site visits, finishing up some reports, starting some reports, and a bit of field work I was able to start crossing off my New Zealand bucket list. I have three (short) months left, which realistically doesn’t give me a lot of weekends to see all there is to see in Australasia. Somehow I managed to schedule a trip to Queenstown, book a flight to Sydney, start looking into plans for our corporate relay race in the north island, & start thinking about the Milford Trek within my first week back on NZ soil. That still leaves space for scheduling a trip to Pancake Rocks, wine trail in Blenheim, a trip back to Auckland & more. We’ll see how this all works out while still managing to work overtime every week!
Lets get to the past weekend. My original plan was to crash & catch up on sleep. Instead I ended up helping organize another Friday dinner & a movie night (Chariots of Fire – we’re keeping everything Olympic themed lately), and decided to hop in the car with three other coworkers Saturday morning and drive to Queenstown for the night. Queenstown is a 5-6 hour from Christchurch. Therefore, it is not the quickest trip in the world; however, we made it work and even managed a pit stop at Lake Tekapo along the way.
Queenstown is the adventure capital of the world. Here you can bungee jump, skydive, jet down the river, or throw yourself off a cliff while paragliding. Whatever your adventuresome self desires. It is also the largest tourist town–primarily during the winter months (June-August) for skiers & snowboarders. Once again, I’ll let the photos speak for themselves…
Made for a very quick, yet perfect weekend back in the Southern Hemisphere. Now time for some sleep to get ready for the work week ahead. Cheers!