New Years Eve…on the road again

Posted: December 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

It’s a beautiful morning and we’re packing our things out of the very tight confines of the Aspen Court Motel in Kaikoura and moving on to Christchurch today, with a stop at Pegasus Bay winery.

I was very bummed to find out yesterday afternoon that the gorgeous weather we were having all day here in town did not translate to calm seas for the whale watch. We arrived to find that our 3PM boat not only had a severe sea-sickness warning, but no longer allowed Ava on board. Each boat captain calls in to the office and makes his report before every trip…and the captain is the one that decides who gets on the boat and who does not, so despite Ava being the right age for the trip, the captain said no kids under 5 this time. They also looked at the 3:30 trip for us, but space was tight and the heavy seas would not be calming down for a while.

So, with my propensity to hurl just looking at a painting of a boat in the water, combined with the Ava age factor, meant no whale-watching. We were all pretty bummed about it, especially me, since I had been talking it up with Ava, and I knew that had it been totally up to Kelly, she would’ve found a way to get on the next boat despite the condition of the seas and would’ve taken that chance.

So we did what Ava loves best…we went to the beach instead…and it was an intense afternoon in the sun. The water was a bit rough, with random stones along the bottom, so it wasn’t the kind of water Ava could swim in, but she had a lot of fun splashing around with the little waves crashing in. The sand here is black…it’s all volcanic…and many beaches have small stones, not sand. But we found a small kid-friendly spot with smooth sand that didn’t hurt Ava’s feet. While Ava splashed, Kelly took more crazy creative photos using all kinds of things she had acquired on our trip: a large piece of dried leather-like seaweed, a nautilus shell, and whatever other items she could find along the shore to make the rental car smell badly.

By the way…even on cloudy days, it’s extremely important to protect yourself from the sun here in NZ. My quick research shows that all the bad stuff that reduces the ozone layer tends gravitate toward the earth’s poles, and so it’s particularly thin here.

We checked out an incredible lavender farm yesterday morning, and got some amazing shots. We also returned to the farm later in the day, to get the perfect light for a few more. There were many farms along the way, so we got our mandatory amount of cow shots as well. It was a relaxing kind of day that ended with dinner at the White Morph restaurant, where we had a surprisngly good meal. I say surprisingly because it was another typical Kiwi menu, featuring fish, lamb, beef, chicken and little else. We wanted to go to the local Thai restaurant because we had heard that the food was amazing, but they were booked solid.

So we travel today and celebrate New Years in Christchurch. Supposedly, they have a family-friendly celebration in town that includes fireworks. One thing I do know: our hotel room will be BIGGER!

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