Still in the Marlborough region of New Zealand, and miles away from where the quake happened. My understanding is that it wasn’t a big one. But these things are pretty common…after all, New Zealand is on the same “rumble zone” as Japan and even Hawaii. I read that they get very few quakes that do real damage, but records show they get thousands of small ones every year.
We will be going to Christchurch in about three days, for New Years. We’ll keep an eye on things and see how it all goes.
Meanwhile, our plans here were to go to the town of Nelson today, the vacation hotspot of the South Island, full of wineries, art galleries, amazing beaches and food. But we got hit by a huge storm last night and this morning, with winds gusting into the 50s, so we decided to stay local. Believe me, we’ve only gotten to the tip of the winery iceberg here in Blenheim. (Pronounced Blen ’em. Blenheim? I didn’t even know ’em!)
Since the plan is to go to Kaikoura tomorrow (that’s heading south) we’ve decided that we’re going to go to Nelson first, which is totally in the wrong direction. It will mean more driving than planned tomorrow, and we have moved our whale-watch in Kaikoura to the next day to accomodate.
Nelson is 90 minutes away…then we have to head back to Blenheim, and go past town another 2 hours to Kaikoura. So it will be a busy day tomorrow.
Last night was an amazing dinner at Herzog winery and restaurant…owned by people that transplanted from Switzerland after establshing a Michelin-star-rated restaurant there. (Don’t ask me why you’d move if you already had that….but we’re glad they did!)
We took a chance hoping that Ava would allow us the famous 7-course degustation menu. It was amazing and our daughter was amazing and hung in there with us for almost 4 hours! Kelly had the menu with the matching Herzog wine selections. I just took little sips from her glasses, and stayed the course with some vodka. (Sadly, all they had was Smirnoff.) We both agreed at the end that it was in our top 3 (if not the top) meal we’ve ever had. The food was superb…the wines matched perfectly. (I wish I could’ve enjoyed the wines with this meal, but after a day of tasting about 30 wines, I was done. Funny…Kelly was just getting started!)
So now our storm has started to clear…no rain, but the wind is still here. Tomorrow promises to be a much nicer day. So if we have to come in out of the weather by going to more wineries today, so be it.