LuAnne's Excellent Adventures


LuAnne's Excellent Adventures!


My name's LuAnne. I don't know where I'm going or what I am going to do but I'm sure it will be a fantastic journey! I invite you to vicariously experience my travels with me by checking back periodically to view new journal postings. Or, you can subscribe to my travel blog which will automatically notify you whenever I post a new journal entry!

Are you ready? OK, let's go see what adventures are out there waiting for us!

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Nelson Region March 28th 2014

In Franz Josef, my new friend Luz and I, loaded up on the bus to Nelson. We continued to chat and watched the scenery go by, occasionally nodding off due to the lack of sleep (lots of snoring going on in our 5-share room last night). So, unfortunately I missed a lot of the spectacular scenery. We stopped for lunch at a creepy possum lunch place where I met a friendly goat and Luz met a man from Barcelona who only spoke spanish. So, I left them to their spanish chatting - he was getting off in Hokitika to catch a train that would take him over the Southern Alps back to Christchurch. We boarded and continued our journey to Nelson with short stops at Hokitika and Greymouth, both appearing to be worthwhile villages to explore. ... read more
My Goat Friend
Pancake Rocks
Old Codger's MTB Park in Nelson

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef February 25th 2014

I woke up in Queenstown around 8am exhausted but without a car and my schedule now is controlled by the bus, which I must catch at 9:15. I found a great seat on the back of the bus and sat back to let someone do the driving while I drink in the scenery. This is supposed to be one of the most scenic drives in NZ and maybe even the world! It doesn't disappoint. We passed by the river where the first bungee jump took place, through beautiful vineyards in the Otago region, Wanaka, a sweet town that is supposed to be a quieter version of Queenstown, through the Haast pass with its many waterfalls and start up along the west coast. All the while the driver provided excellent commentary, most of which I have promptly ... read more
Vineyard in Otago Region
Thunder Creek Falls on Haast Pass
Franz Josef Glacier

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown February 24th 2014

So, this day I drove to Queenstown. A place I hadn't intended to go to as I heard it was crowded with tourists. But I had to return the car there so I really had no choice. Little did I know that my car adventure was going to start 20 kilometers from the airport where I was supposed to drop off the car. I just past Arrowtown when I noticed the little blinking light telling me I needed gas! Yikes! How long had it been blinking??? Could I really go 20 kilometers?? Arrowtown was just 7 kilometers away, perhaps I should detour to there and get a few liters? I really didn't want to run out of gas so I did a u-turn and headed for Arrowtown. Where, of course, there was no gas! Shucks! A ... read more
Wine Tasting Queenstown Style
Queenstown Gardens

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Omarama February 23rd 2014

After a great night's sleep I wake up excited to head out to Omarama. I was inspired by a video of NZ that Heidi had sent me a few months ago that had a glider soaring around the peaks of NZ. Some Google research indicated Omarama had world class gliding and with the help of i-Site Christchurch booked I booked a one hour mountain adventure! I arrived early to Glide Omarama and chatted with one of the instructors. It wasn't long before my pilot/instructor, Martin, landed and I 'suited up' for my ride. We were required to wear a parachute and as he helped me into mine, explaining how to deploy it I joked that I might even get a parachute jump at no extra charge! Since this was technically a lesson, he explained the instruments, ... read more
Getting Some Lift
We have company!

I left Christchurch on the 3rd anniversary of the earthquake. After much trepidation about driving on the other side of the road, I picked up my car at the Christchurch airport and drove off to Mt Cook. For some reason I was more nervous about driving on the other side of the road than I was for my first plane solo. I figured it would just be part of the adventure. Turns out, it was somewhat anti-climatic and really didn't take me too long to adjust to driving on the other side of the road! I had been wanting to visit Mt Cook ever since the day my friend Laura drove me to the airport to leave for this trip. I had been too busy and still hadn't gotten around to buying a guide book. Laura ... read more
Lake Pukaki
Hooker Valley Trail - 1st Swinging Bridge
Hooker Valley Trail - 2nd Swinging Bridge

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch February 21st 2014

It was a dark and foggy night flying out of Wellington late on the 20th. So much fog that we almost didn't make it into Christchurch! But my pilot friends would have appreciated the approach and landing the Air NZ pilots made in what looked to me like zero-zero conditions! Reminded me of Sacramento's thick tule fog that rolls in during the winter nights. I only had the one day in Christchurch, much was spent in the every helpful i Site (NZ Information Center) booking the rest of my trip. My procrastination really cost me this trip. My ultimate goal is Mt. Cook and I had booked accommodation in the YHA Backpackers Accommodation for the next night but not the actual travel to get there from Christchurch. When I went to book a bus, the only ... read more
Cargo Container Mall
Punting on the Avon
185 Empty Chairs

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wellington February 20th 2014

I know it has been awhile since the last post. I've run into technical problems with iOS 7 'losing' some of my photos. The recovery process is painful. Then, I've had internet access issues. Anyway, I wanted to get something out there for you to see, so here is the Wellington blog! 19th was a long travel day in a bus from Waitoma to Wellington. Not much to report except there are ALOT of sheep and cows in New Zealand. Made it to Wellington at 10pm. It was a 1/2 mile hike to the hotel. Apparently this is the busy season (it is their summer) and because of my lack of planning, there wasn't much available. Fortunately I did get a private room in a crap hostel (do not recommend Lodge in the City), run down ... read more
Botanical Gardens
304-314 Tenakon Road
Katherine Mansfield House

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waitomo Caves February 18th 2014

Maori language lesson for the day Wai = water Tomo = hole Waitomo = water passing through a hole On Monday (17th), Heidi and I traveled to Waitomo to explore the glow worm caves. On the way down we stopped in a small village called Pirongia for a pub lunch where we are dubbed 'Cathy and Kim' by the Maori bartender and chatted up by a friendly local. We headed out and found our hotel for a good night's sleep. We needed it because on Tuesday (18th) we survived the most commercially challenging cave adventure I could find - the Black Abyss tour offered by the Black Water Rafting Company. Basically, the tour takes you through an underwater river system using a combination of abseiling (rappelling) down a 150' hole followed by a flying fox (zip ... read more
Waitomo Walkway
Waitomo Village
Craigs List Killer Article

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland February 8th 2014

Kai Ora, vicarious travel partners! My wandering feet are taking me this time to New Zealand for my dear friend Heidi's wedding and to do some adventuring! I left a cold, rainy San Francisco on Feb 8th, crossing the international date line and equator arriving in sunny Aukland on Feb 10th, a day and two seasons ahead! New Zealand Air prepared me for the journey with a fun, Lord of the Rings inspired safety briefing (google it - it is clever and at times a little suggestive), unlimited movies and wine! After a quick 12 hour flight, Janice, the fiancé of my friend Heidi, met me at the airport and drove me to their beautiful Autara Gardens estate located in the New Zealand bush, which is like a temperate rain forest with cicadas that sound like ... read more
Carved Pou at Karekare
Heidi at the Barbie
Farm to Fork

North America » United States » Alaska » Anchorage September 7th 2013

Well, it is my last day in Alaska. Rain is predicted. Again. But, my niece has made reservations at Anchorage's most popular brunch spot, Snow City Cafe. I love brunch! And it doesn't disappoint. It is very busy and we have to wait even with reservations! After fueling up we trot over to the farmer's market which I'm very impressed with. Lots of enormous vegetables (apparently they grow large due to the long days of daylight) and lots of local arts and crafts. Then we head over to Resolution Park with its tribute to explorer Captain Cook. We head back to the house for a few hours where Will frets over his NC State Wolfpack football players where his constant diligence ensures their victory. That evening, I have found an interesting tour and weaseled Ginny into ... read more
LuAnne and the Ghost Hunter
Era Alaska Airlines

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