North Island tour

I seriously cannot believe how long it has taken me to post pictures lately. I think I have just adopted a bit of the Kiwi way of life & things are a little more relaxed around here lately.  The Brays came to visit here late Feb-early March for 2 weeks. We decided to tour the North Island b/c we had already done the South Island with my parents. We took a week to hit some of the highlights of the North Island & then The Brays headed to the South Island for a week to tour the legendary scenery down there. First stop was Lake Taupo – SO beautiful (beginning to realize nothing in this country is ugly though)! The first day we took a guided sailboat tour around the lake to see the Maori carvings in the side of the rock near the lake. The boat happened to belong to Errol Flynn at one time which was really pretty cool & the kids LOVED the boat ride! We were also able to hike the famous Huka Falls while we were in Taupo & it was like no waterfall I have ever seen – massive, rapid, & very powerful (pic below). Next we went to the famous city of Rotorua. Here is a short list of what we did there – Polynesian Spa & pools, The Luge, Maori cultural center, lion feeding & cub petting, just to name a few. Then it was off to Mt. Manganui. If you have never heard of it then it is worth taking the time to google it. It is a peninsula located in the Bay of Plenty where one side is harbor & the other side is beach. You can walk all the way around the base of the Mount which takes about 1 hr. It was by far my favorite walk that we have done in NZ. It is a popular holiday beach town so we took a few days to just relax, enjoy the beach, & enjoy the Brays. When we arrived back in Auckland, it was time for the Brays to pack up & head to the South Island. When they returned we took one last day trip to our favorite place to take visitors – Waiheke Island. We did some more relaxing & wine tasting with some of my friends from college at Cable Bay before they hopped on the plane back to LAX. It was pretty sad for everyone when they left. We have loved all of our visitors but it always really really hard to see them go. After they left we all said we were ready to go back to America now… until we went to Fiji & then everything changed!!!!!!!

best in-laws ever.


my sweet little bugger

love that smile, Ellie Bug!

Chris’s “mini me”

Maori carvings

Huka Falls

this picture totally cracks me up for so many reasons:)

not sure which pic makes me laugh harder though….

busted trying to steal the blow up Jelly Belly!

yep, we were THIS close while they were feeding – so wild!

this small cub wouldn’t take his eyes off of Chase – a bit scary

lion cub petting

she’s my animal lover

Marmie, Bo, & the Three Musketeers!

they really don’t eat ice cream every day – only on holiday:)

our boys learning The Haka!

The Haka is a Maori war dance used to intimidate the enemy – would you be scared of these guys??

Mt. Maunganui (The Mount)!!!!

the famous Copenhagen Cones – a “must have” after The Mount hike!

just cuz i love her.

me & mr. funny guy @ Cable Bay – Waiheke Island!

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