Notes from Home: On the Kindness of Strangers

June 11, 2018New Zealand, Notes from Home

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~Maya Angelou We had just checked our suitcases for the flight home from Auckland and were heading upstairs to Security when we noticed the sign. Next to a bin for … Read More

Waiheke Island: Auckland’s Little Slice of Paradise

June 4, 2018New Zealand

Although it’s only a 35-minute ferry ride from Auckland Harbour, Waiheke Island feels like half a world away. Green rolling hills, crystalline turquoise waters, scenic sandy beaches and picturesque vineyards create a dreamy setting all wrapped up in just 36 square miles. It’s one of those places where time evaporates, leaving you with that wonderful … Read More

A Day in Auckland: Walking Through New Zealand’s City of Sails

May 28, 2018New Zealand

“Last, loneliest, loveliest, exquisite, apart – On us, on us the unswerving season smiles.” ~Rudyard Kipling, The Song of the Cities: Auckland Masts of sailing boats and ships lined Auckland Harbour in elegant rows against a powder blue sky. Billowy clouds reflected in the water, the sun already strong and warm in the early morning … Read More

New Zealand’s Marlborough Region: Two Wineries & A Surprising Garden

May 14, 2018New Zealand

Idyllic-looking sheep farms, verdant valleys and distant cloud-covered hills passed by my window as we traveled from the harbor town of Picton to New Zealand’s Marlborough wine region. Known especially for its Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough is the country’s largest wine-growing region, responsible for 75 to 80 percent of all production. The town of Blenheim, about … Read More

A Day in Wellington: Windy, Wet & Wonderful!

May 7, 2018New Zealand

“I love this city, the hills, the harbour, the wind that blasts through it. I love the life and pulse and activity, and the warm decrepitude.” ~Patricia Grace, Cousins Wellington was back in business the day after Cyclone Fehi had swept through the city. Lingering puddles in the streets and a dampness in the air … Read More

Cruising New Zealand: On Missing Ports & Silver Linings

April 30, 2018New Zealand

“Two bubbles found they had rainbows on their curves. They flickered out saying, ‘It was worth being a bubble, just to have held that rainbow thirty seconds.‘“ ~Carl Sandburg, Bubbles The cyclone had a name. We didn’t know it at the time. All we knew was that the seas were too rough for our ship … Read More

A Day in Christchurch: Garden City of Hope & Resilience

April 23, 2018New Zealand

“Life changes fast. Life changes in the instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.” ~Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking There’s no getting around it. Christchurch, New Zealand, is an emotional city to visit. The damage from two major earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 is as fresh and … Read More

Ulva Island: Exploring New Zealand’s Remote Bird Sanctuary

April 16, 2018New Zealand

“It’s very rare to see a kiwi in the wild,” our guide Matt was saying as he talked about New Zealand’s flightless national bird. “Most people are lucky if they see even one in their lifetime.” Matt was leading our group on a walk through the temperate rain forest of Ulva Island, a predator-free sanctuary … Read More

Cruising Milford Sound: New Zealand’s Magical Land of Fiords

April 9, 2018New Zealand

Gossamer layers of clouds hung low in the sky as the last bits of a pink and yellow sunrise faded in the distance. Spectacular sculpted cliffs and slivered dribbles of waterfalls lined the entryway to this magical earthly place that Rudyard Kipling famously once called the eighth wonder of the world. We had arrived at … Read More