Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Long overdue update


So it's been quite a while since I've updated this!! Hopefully most of you are somewhat in the loop of what's new in my life, but here goes anyway. I'm still working in Wellington and enjoying things here. Definitely gotten to know it pretty well and done almost every touristy thing there is in this region! The summer here isn't really very "summery." At least not compared to Colorado. It rains a ton, especially in Wellington, but it is at least warmer than winter was.

Eric came out from December 25th to January 10th, which was great. We made a pretty long list of things to do and see (and eat) while he was here and we made it thru most of it!! Besides just walking around Cuba Street, going to the Pompeii exhibit at the museum and walking thru the Botanic Gardens (where the roses where actually in bloom this time), we ventured out of the city a few times. One very rainy, gross day we braved the rocky waters and took the ferry over to Days Bay, just across the harbor. There's a cute town over there and some beaches. I could see it being super popular on a warm day, but it was nice to just get out of the city too. (The picture is us at Days Bay.) We also took the train up to Martinborough in the Wairarapa wine region and did some wine touring. We rented bikes and just rode from vineyard to vineyard sampling wine! That was rather fun and I definitely wouldn't mind doing that again sometime. :-) Our big trip was going up to Tongariro National Park in the middle of the North Island where we did the Tongariro Crossing and climbed Mount Doom! It was about a 22km. hike, 2km. of which was straight up the non-poled mountain. We stayed in the nearby town of Turangi for a couple nights. After the crossing we rode bikes to the hot springs, which was really nice. (And much deserved.) So overall we had a great time. Oh and we saw a penguin in the Wellington harbor one night!!!! I kind of thought people were joking when they talked about there being penguins in NZ and I at least thought they would be further south, but nope! There he was paddling along... :-) (see picture)

After Eric left I worked for about a week and then flew down to Queenstown to meet up with my friend Blake and do the Routeburn Trek. It was a three-day hike and we stopped and camped two nights along the way. It was really gorgeous and goes thru a lot of where Lord of the Rings was filmed so it was kind of like walking thru the movie for three days. :-) I think I've pretty sufficiently covered Lord of the Rings territory now what with the climbing of Mount Doom and doing the Routeburn. Oh and finding out that some of the trilogy was even filmed on nearby Mount Victoria in Wellington. Anyway, the Routeburn was gorgeous and it was nice to get down to the South Island, albeit for a short time. Oh, and I bungy jumped again! Blake works for the bungy jump down there so I didn't have to pay much to do it so I figured why not jump off a ledge?! It was way less scary than the first time, for sure. Queenstown has a very different feel in the summer than it did when I was there in winter. All the ski shops turn into bike and treking shops and there's no snow on the mountains... But it's still pretty cool. Just not quite the Breckenridge or Vail that it felt like before.

So that's pretty much what I've been up to! I'm just back in Welly and working now again. I was working a ton over the holidays, but I think that's calming down a bit now so I may look for another job to keep myself occupied during the week and try to save some more money. I want to get down to Queenstown to live eventually, but I'm not sure how soon. Or maybe I'll just go for a month or so before I come home. I really like Wellington. But also my friend Hannah just booked her ticket to come visit at the beginning of June so I'll probably try to be in Queenstown by then so we can ski. :-)

It's hard to believe I've almost been here six months! Everyone keeps asking me when I'm coming home... The answer is it depends. My flight right now is booked for June 29th because that was the latest I could book it last July. My visa expires August 3rd so it just depends on when it gets down to that time whether it's worth it for me to spend the money to change my flight for the extra month. I may deal with it sooner rather that later tho. So we'll see!! I'm also considering going to Australia and doing a similar work-holiday over there, but I'm not sure. I'll definitely at least go over there for a couple weeks since it's so close. There's a lot more traveling I want to do for sure!! I just need more money. Haha.

So that's me as of late! Miss you all!!

Love, Laura