- A guide’s story about the worst clients…ever: http://bit.ly/gBZ6or (Makes me not feel so bad about the one time I arrived on the dock while my fishing license remained in the cabin.)
- Fun write up over at Eat More Brook Trout about a great day not fishing: http://bit.ly/hOnpod
- Continuing with brook trout… Over at Small Stream Reflections a nice pictorial of the seasons of brook trout: http://bit.ly/g0Npv4
- By the seventh day, you shall have beer… It probably can’t make the best double IPA or Doppelbock, but the high-tech and all that stainless steel and chrome certainly up the “I want it” quotient. (And everything sounds so much cooler with a New Zealand accent.): http://bit.ly/gmRhQh
I’ll post details that I’ve written later when I can get Internet access on my laptop. I just wanted to let you all know that we’re having a fantastic time here and have absolutely fallen in love with the area and the people. We toured a Maori village yesterday and then saw the boys perform with a local high school choirs.
Today we’re out doing touristy things again.
Details that I had written, now posting (on June 22 at 8:45 PM):
We went back to yesterday’s lunch restaurant for breakfast. The place is called Relish, and it’s fantastic. Good food, good wine, and good service. If you’re ever in Rotorua, look it up and go there.
After breakfast, we walked to a yarn shop in town so I could get some knitting needles to replace some that broke and then walked back to the hotel to get the car so we could drive to Whakarewarewa, the Thermal Village. This is a Maori village where about 30 families live, and they have guided tours and performances and shops and nature walks all around there. We spent about two hours taking the guided tour and then browsing in shops and taking the nature walk. It’s pretty awesome to think that the people in that village can still live the way their ancestors did, living off the land and using the natural resources. They still cook their meals in steam pits in the ground (Maori crockpot, I called it) and take baths in the super-soft mineral water in the center of the village.
We had quite a bit of downtime at the hotel before heading out for dinner and the boys’ performance at St. Luke’s. We stopped at a little corner “hamburger shack” for dinner–which was really delicious and cheap–and met a young man from Germany who is backpacking–by himself–through New Zealand. He started in Brisbane (I think), Australia, and has been to Sydney then through South Island and now working his way up the North Island. Really nice, super polite, very interesting to talk to.
The performance at St. Luke’s was the best ever. Our boys performed several numbers first, and then the girls choir from Western Heights High School girls choir did three numbers. Our boys performed again, including several solos (Joseph and Forrest). Next, the Western Heights girls and boys did another three. Those kids are so great, and their town should be proud of them. The evening’s performance ended with the GGBC “California Medley,” which got lots of laughs and applause.
Mom and I walked back to the hotel in something like 5- or 6-degree weather. Boy, are we walking a lot!
Let me just say this right off the bat: The people here are just so nice and helpful.
We drove straight to Rotorua without stopping. I was just a bit focused on the driving to try to figure out how to get to the Waitomo Caves. Maybe we’ll hit that the next trip to New Zealand.
Mom’s taking a rest right now, and then we’ll take a walk into the town. We ate a huge lunch just when we got here, so neither of us is hungry.
Which brings me to nice, helpful people: The waitress/manager at the restaurant where we had lunch (can’t remember the name right now, but I will definitely post it when I find it because the food and wine choices are stellar) immediately got that we’re American and told us she and her family are going to the US for their vacation at the end of August. So we had a nice exchange. She told us which Maori experiences to choose from, and we told her definitely Disneyland and California Adventure over Knott’s. They’re also going to San Diego, Las Vegas, and New York. That’s covering a lot in one trip, if you ask me.
Anyway, back to Rotorua. We haven’t yet had a chance to look around, but we have a fantastic view of the lake from our room, and the sulfur smell is not bad at all. The Sudima Hotel is where we’re staying–beautifully refurbished recently, from what we understand, and very nice and quiet.
Written on and regarding Saturday, June 16, 2007; posted June 18, 2007 @ 5:06 PM
We completely slept in this morning. We were in bed by 8:00 last night and asleep by about 8:30. Both of us woke up at about 4:00 in the morning. I stayed awake for quite a long time before falling back to sleep…until 11:30! I haven’t slept that late in, like, ever!
Anyway, our reservations at Orbit were for 1:00, so we got moving and were there about 20 minutes early. We got to wander around the observation deck (and I took some pictures) before heading up to the restaurant. While there, we ran into Lamar and Billy, dad and brother of one of Adam’s B1-mates, so after we were all done eating, we went back down to the observation deck for another wander around. There we saw a wonderful exhibit of photos of Mohammed Ali dating back to 1963, I think was the oldest one. Great collection of pictures.
We all decided to walk over to St. Benedict’s, where the boys were rehearsing. We didn’t stay there long, just while they warmed up, and then the men sang one song. It’s a beautiful church, one mile exactly from our hotel, built in the mid 1800s. The cathedral congregation is having Mass there while the cathedral is being renovated.
Lamar and Billy walked back toward our respective hotels and split off to find out what time the movie started. Mom and I walked back to the hotel for a pit stop and then walked 15 minutes down Queen Street to the harbor and the ferry building. We’d just missed the ferry to Devonport, but there was another one in 30 minutes, so we got coffee from the vendor and a muffin and sat and read New Zealand women’s magazines.
Once over in Devonport, we wandered up what appeared to be the main street, but all the shops were closed already. It was 5:30 by then and dark as it’s winter here. We looked in the windows all up the street and then found a restaurant that looked nice. We stopped in for some refreshment. I got a bowl of tomato lentil soup with wholemeal grain toast–delicious and perfect for a winter day. Paired with a nice glass of New Zealand Chardonnay, it was a nice light dinner.
After we finished, we walked back to the ferry and got there just in time to catch the boat back to Auckland. Then we walked the 15 minutes back to the hotel and called it a day.