Page 16 of tonywilsonslo Travel Blog Posts

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Westport November 22nd 2007

Last night we had a lovely dinner in Franz Josef and then drove to Hokitika and stayed at a wonderful farmstay called Kaniere Farmstay. It was a nice place with two rooms and a kitchen. They had some cows from scotland called Belted Galloway Cattle. They were very furry with messy hair. We drove around Hokitika a bit in the morning and checked out the tea room with the "largest teapot collection in New Zealand" They served some very nice pancakes there. We also visited the Jade Factory and the local library was having a quilt display so we stopped in a took a look. Next we drove to Greymouth and spent some time at the local McDonalds using the internet access there. Greymounth is where the TranzAlpine Railway terminates on the West coast and they ... read more
Seal Colony

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef November 20th 2007

Today was glacier day!!! We woke up, and got out of the hotel in Queenstown at 7:09. Only one short stop and we arrived in Franz Joseph at 11:45 (387 km). Anne and Chris were very grumpy, but got over it after a meal and after we got hiking. Then.. UP UP UP. The guides carved out steps as we walked behind them (both up and down). At one point there was a big BOOM... sounded like an oncoming earthquake, but it was just part of the Glacier falling away somewhere :) :) There were lots of people there from all around the world. We spoke to someone at length from Ireland, and a couple from the Bay area, CA. we have lots of pictures... We'll see how many get up tonight.... as in... how fast ... read more
Ice Cave Chris
Ice Crack

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown November 19th 2007

Followup from yesterday. HELL was great! Good pizzas with names like Lust, Pestilence, Greed, Mordor, Gluttony. They have really cool pizza boxes that you can punch part out of and fold it into a coffin (to take home your "remains".) This morning, we woke up early and drove out to go horseback Riding in Glenorchy (near Queenstown).,+NZ&ie=UTF8&ll=-44.771355,168.409081&spn=0.173538,0.31929&t=h&z=12&iwloc=addr&om=1 If you have seen Lord of the Rings, the mountains in the background are seen in the following scenes: - Isengard (black tower where Sauraman lives) - Lothlorien - Misty Mountains (opening sequence and others) - snow scene (where Boromir tries to take ring) - Lighting of the signalling beacons (sweeping through all the surrounding ... read more
3 horsemen
Chris on Horse
All in a line

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown November 18th 2007

Today we flew down to Queenstown. We woke up and had a beautiful sunrise. Anne and Tony spent an hour reading on a swing listening to the sounds of Auckland Harbor and the birds. ahhh.... Flight was uneventful. What WAS eventful was learning how to drive on the left side of the road. Tony has been doing all of the driving so far, and has only veered to the right of the road once (or twice). We explored downtown Queenstown (think Sonora or North Lake Tahoe). Very much a tourist and ski town with lots of summer activities and the people selling them. We headed over to Hayes lake (just outside of town) and took a 10k hike. Very refreshing. It was beautiful scenery!!! We are going to HELL pizza tonight, and then wine tasting (Tony ... read more
Queenstown Arrive
Hamster Auckland
Hayes Lake

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland November 17th 2007

Got out of the Airport at 6AM or so (local time). Shared a Van ride with a US Olympic hopeful Windsurfer. She was very nice, and gave us some good pointers for New Zealand travel (like you don't have to tip!!). Her gear was also VERY heavy... a full board and sail, plus wetsuits, and spare parts. We helped! Got to the Number One House B&B in Auckland. it is just under the bridge (literally) across the harbor from Downtown. A spectacular view in the morning.. it should be very nice at night too. Walked 3 minutes to the Ferry and after a 10 minute ferry ride, was in downtown Auckland. Walked around Auckland for a bit, looking for breakfast. Then we were looking for phone options. Passed by a large gathering of people protesting something. ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland November 17th 2007

Dropped off Michelle. That went remarkably well. Got to Pixar to find that we had to go clean up some dog mess at the Rogges. Went to a really great Mediterranean place in Ignacio for lunch. Got to the airport WAY before the counters opened for checkin so that Mom Rogge could get home before rush hour traffic. We played some cards, and Anne answered calls from Work (busy busy). Uneventful flight. Lots of movies, reading and sleep. The sun NEVER came up our entire flight!!! (pictures coming as soon as we get a place that will recognize our USB) ... read more

North America » United States » California » San Francisco November 15th 2007

Today we drove up the beautiful cough california Salinas Valley to Tony's Mom's house in Pleasanton. Had a wonderful evening with Grandparents. Michelle seems to be taking the idea of being with Grandma for a while pretty well. The morning was spent frantically packing and cleaning the house for Jen (Cousin acting as housesitter). Chris and Tony tried to squeeze in an hour or 2 of WOW, but there was a big patch Tuesday and it took upwards of an hour to download and install on Anne's machine. Tony Leveled (18) while waiting!!! No more WOW till December (begin withdrawls). Michelle was being her usual charming self at dinner. She made us all double over with laughter at least 3 times during dinner. Tony Warned grandparents that they need to be stoic while driving, because Michelle ... read more
Fearsome Trio Leaving SFO
View from our Room

North America » United States » California » San Luis Obispo November 14th 2007

Getting Ready This evening and yesterday and Sunday have been all about getting ready to go. Well, OK.. there was a little time for WOW in there, but who's counting anyway. Anne and I both worked today, and Anne works Wednesday too, half day. It was wierd closing down all of my projects and not having an avalanche of other work bearing down on me. Chris came in tonight, and Michelle was so very excited. Chris got asked to do several non-Uncle things (bathroom at Chile's, bath, etc)... but we let him off the hook, of course. ... read more

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