posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy
I seldom take vacations in the summer. I started this 'tradition' back in the good old days of the dreaded day job when everyone else wanted to take vacation time and being on the lower end of the pecking order, I got last pick. But then I discovered the beauty of traveling in the off season or what travel agents used to call 'shoulder season.' In the fall or late spring, the weather is still pretty good and there are no crowds even at the most popular tourist destinations.
So the DH and I have made most of our travel plans during months other than June, July, and August... until this year. I leave it to the DH to make most of our travel arrangements. After all, he is paying out for most of the travel expenses, but even more important, he has an uncanny knack for finding a GOOD DEAL!
This time he really out did himself. On a sunny May morning, I came home from having lunch with my BFF to be greeted with, "We're going to New Zealand!"
Turns out that Air New Zealand offered a two day special on air fares that came out roughly 2 for the price of 1 and my DH jumped on it. Of course that meant we had to leave in two weeks and we could only stay twelve days (the last day of the cheap return flight) but I didn't care! We were off to the #1 place on my "Bucket List!"
On June 2nd, off we flew on our first summer vacation in a very long time. But it was just turning to winter in New Zealand so once we arrived, our summer vacation actually became a winter one, complete with rain, snow, and lots of chilly weather! Not that we minded, since we were used to off season travel and we were in New Zealand after all!
Since our time was limited, we decided to stay on the north island (which means we'll have to go back someday soon to see the south island). We rented a car and with the DH driving the entire time, we drove from one end of the north island (The Bay of Islands) to the other (The Bay of Plenty and Wellington).
Here's a shot looking down from Kilborn to downtown Wellington and the harbor. Above is a piccie of Aunty at beautiful Haku Falls near Lake Taupo.
And here's a shot of the coastline along the gorgeous Bay of Plenty. Yes, the water really is that color. Remember, this is the South Pacific (west side of NZ). It wasn't always cold and rainy!
The trip was GREAT, just too short. New Zealand was every bit as wonderful as I expected it to be with magnificent scenery and friendly people everywhere we went. The only downsides were the 12 1/2 hour plane flight from LA to Auckland, and the narrow windy roads (we Californians are spoiled with our freeway systems). I would go back in a heartbeat, but I think the DH is now searching for a GOOD DEAL to Egypt!
As you will recall, Sven, the cabana boys, gladiators, and hockey hunks all took a summer vacation this year to Orlando with most of the Banditas. The exceptions were Paolo, Lars, Marcus, and Zach who were left behind with Posh, Jo-Mama, and Aunty to hold down the Lair. Being the generous sort, Aunty has granted our "Left Behind" boys a few days for their own off season vacation.
Please tell us where Paolo, Lars, Marcus, and Zach should go on their vacation and why! The boys will be forever grateful and Aunty will even give an autographed copy of one of her books (winner's choice) to one randomly selected commenter!