Friday, January 6, 2012

5.0 New Zealand Adventure

The South Island of New Zealand is billed as the adventure capital of the world and it has definitely met expectations in that category. We began with a trip to the picturesque Milford Sound which included a long drive on winding two lane roads. We returned to Queenstown where we had an exhilarating ride on a boat that included numerous 360 degree turns, Frisbee Golf and an introduction to Lawn Bowling - Joanne is showing off the look.

We then headed off to ChristChurch where we saw the incredible efforts to rebuild this quake ravaged town. As we left we decided to include a 3 hour visit to the Adrenaline Forest which was capped by a 5.0 Quake that was epicentered very close to us. while the kids where 30 meters above the ground on the level 6 course. That was enough adrenaline for us, so today we are off to taste some of the best Suav Blanc in the world.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

We had an unbelievable time celebrating the arrival of the new year at the Opera Kitchen at the Sydney Opera House. I couldn't imagine a better view and I have never seen a fireworks display that even came close to what we saw. I loved the cover of the Sunday Telegraph because it is similar to Jim Harbaugh's "Who has it better than us" quote. I only have a few photos from small camera, but I shot some great video and Tom Berquist had a prime spot for still shots. Everyone have a great new year as you join us in 2012!

Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 Greetings from Coogee Beach and Sydney

We visited the opera house and have secured out tickets to join an estimated 1.8 million other people to ring in the new year on Sydney Harbor. We are staying in Coogee beach and enjoyed a beautiful stroll down to Bondi Beach. We would highly recommend this 1 hour walk to anyone visiting. The sun here is very strong and Hunter and Nathaniel have picked up appropriate head wear. Signing off till next year.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Zealand - North Island

We arrived in Auckland and proceded by ferry to Waiheke Island where we had a fabulous diner at the Mudbrick Vineyard. The next day was the highlight for the boys as they did the 192m SkyJump. The next day we hiked to the top of Mt. Victoria for stunning views and then it was back to the airport for our trip to Sydney. We will be spending another day in Auckland prior to our flight home and have already booked a tour sto see the glow worm caves!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

We're going to Disneyland

Our flight to New Zealand leaves out of LAX on the 24th, so we decided to pop in early to see my sister, catch a USC backetball game against #12 Kansas at the Galen Center, and take the boys to Disneyland and California Adventure park. The price of a one-day park hopper ticker for Disneyland was surprisingly expensive. I had estimated it at $75 when I bid and won a basket containing 3 of these tickets that the Make-A-Wish foundation was auctioning off at the Reno Bighorns game we attended, and was amazed when I learned the 4th ticket is going to cost me $105! Last night we had dinner at our favorite sushi restaurant in LA, Sushi Gen. Sarah and I "discovered" this place when we were looking at colleges. The food is still amazing, but it is also seemingly a bit more expensive than I remember.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Patong detour

When it seemed that the situation in Bangkok wasn't improving, we decided to save it for another trip. Instead we headed of to Patong beach, which is 45 minutes south of Bang Tao, but worlds apart from the quiet, laid back beach experience of Bang Tao. We have had to be alert here. We witnessed the damaged Jet Ski scam we read about being executed. Last night Joanne violated the have small change rule and ended up paying about $20 to use the bathroom when she didn't get the right change back.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Relaxing in Phukek

We arrived at our hotel near Bang Tao beach. We are staying at the Outrigger resort, part of the Laguna development. It is very beautiful, but there are not that many people here. This is a large development with many properties for sale - the real estate boom even reached here.