FiNZ 41 – Pats Nation

It’s rare we find other American’s in New Zealand let alone people from Massachusetts. So it was especially special to have some other local faces in town leading up to the Superbowl. Keith’s mom, Kathy, arrived with Don on Friday and we went right to work as tour guides. I don’t think they knew what they had gotten themselves into when we decided to drive them 2 hours outside of town and down a 40km long dirt road to get to Mt Sunday… (reminder – they had just gotten off the plane!). Unfortunately it was a little cloudy, but the views were still pretty “epic New Zealand.”

Mt Sunday is more like a little bump in the middle of a beautiful landscape–


On the path up to Mt Sunday

Despite it being off the beaten path it was a pretty popular filming location for Lord of the Rings – Edoras! Helms Deep was also filmed here as well. Some of the outer parts of structures were actually built on top of the hill (only for the movie) but most were CGI’d in. Check out the photo from the film below–

Flanders Hiking Photo of the Week –


Taking in the Views

At the summit trig, Don made sure we were all monumented there forever!


Spot Marked!


Jetlagged Troopers!

On the way back our visitors got a true New Zealand welcome. A farmer was out herding sheep so we got a good “only in NZ” experience of waiting for the sheep to cross the road…


Traffic Jam

Saturday the weather started getting better so we went on a wine tour throughout Canterbury. We were able to hit up some of our favorites — True & Daring, Lone Goat, and Straight Eight — all before dinner at one of our favorites — King of Snake!

Sunday was GORGEOUS. Therefore we picked that day to bring the crew to Akaroa. We did a lot of scenic driving to get the best photo opportunities.


Akaroa Bay Photo Opp


Summit Road Views

Then we continued to do a lot of relaxing, drinking, eating, and wandering along the shore.


Mother Son Bonding

Monday morning we said our temporary goodbyes to Kathy & Don until we see them again this upcoming weekend! We can’t wait to hear their stories of traveling around the island in a campervan over the next few days.

Pretty much the rest of Monday was devoted to the Superbowl. Being in the future we have to deal with work on Superbowl day. So luckily, as Americans we have a bit of lee-way with taking some personal time 🙂

Keith, a few coworkers, and myself headed over to The Carlton at lunch for their Superbowl party they’d been advertising all month. The actual party room was a little overcrowded so we just made our own private party elsewhere.The Carlton provided Budweiser “specials,” aka $30 for 4 bottles…along with corn dogs and hot dog sliders.

And what a game am I right?! That was easily my favorite Superbowl ever. It was a fun environment to be in and the game just kept everyone entertained (including the non-Patriots/Seahawks fans) the entire time.

PicMonkey Collage

Superbowl Monday!

What a week thus far! This weekend is a 3-day weekend so we’re excited to meet up with Kathy & Don once again and have some more fun exploring.



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