Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Big plans for 2010!

In years where we don't have big travel plans we get to do a lot of little things. Last year we took several long weekends of mountain biking. Even thought we didn't have a single long or tremendous vacation, we had a lot of really cool moments.

I mentioned in the "Christmas Letter" that we're going to New Zealand this year. Yay!! But the trouble with the big travel year is that it eats up absolutely every moment of vacation time, and in this case every dollar we can get our hands on. Which leaves me feeling a little deprived for the rest of the year, and might explain why I'm so very obsessed with something that's still ... what ... eight months away?!

But since I'm obsessing I thought I'd throw out some of the want-to-do's and must-do's that I've come across.

In and around Rotorua:
  • The SSWC of course!

  • And for almost a week prior to the SSWC, the Rotorua Bike Festival

  • Mountain bike in the Whakarewarewa Forest! Since the SSWC is here, that's kind of a done deal. But I think it goes without saying; after all the effort getting the bikes there, we'll be going for several more rides in the local Redwoods forest.

  • I want to Zorb! There's absolutely no skill involved. It's over in a matter of minutes, like a carnival ride. It's completely ridiculous...but thinking about rolling down a hill in a giant beach ball makes me giggle like a little girl. And since Zorbing was invented in New Zealand, it seems the best place to give it a go.

  • See the glowworms in the Waitomo Caves! There are a LOT of guided tours to do this. How to choose? But it looks like there are at least two companies (Rap, Raft 'n' Rock and the Black Water Rafting Company) that offer the full deal: "descending like a spider" to the bottom of a canyon, followed by blackwater rafting (cave tubing), and then climbing back out.

Possibilities if we make a side-trip to Auckland:
  • Here's an activity that's appealing in part because of the "zero skill requirement". Have I mentioned I'm afraid of heights? And claustrophobic? So in the event I'm so terrified I'm incapable of exhibiting any kind of skill, "Sky Jumping" is...well as safe as it ever was!

  • And here's one that's high on Gregg's list ... Rap Jumping! I have yet to find a link to a company that offers this particular brand of fun, so if you have a contact for me (with an email address or website), let me know. I've found a less impressive rap jump in Queenstown that may have to do if we can't find a higher-rise opportunity. (BTW, six stories is plenty for me).

  • And if we do get to Auckland, I'd enjoy a kayak trip and maybe a Maori dinner hosted by TIME

And finally, on the South Island:
  • Fox Glacier! A hike on the glacier, a night in an alpine hut, and a hike and helicopter ride back. This adventure would cost us quite a few pennies, but I so badly want to do it!

  • Hike or Sea Kayak in Fiordland! After all the adventuring we'll be doing in the previous two weeks, my arms may be too noodly to paddle a kayak, but it would be so beautiful!

  • Top the south island off with visits to Queenstown and maybe Dunedin (we've heard good things about Dunedin) for food, drink, shopping, sightseeing...slowing down the pace before flying home.

Whew! Am I over-planning? Seriously, it's crossed my mind to move to NZ for a year or two! There's just so much to see and do. But if you have an idea of something that isn't already on the list that I just shouldn't miss, let me know! I can't do it all, but I'll sure try.

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