Many people have expressed an interest in learning more about my recent travels this month to New Zealand. Since it was such a unique experience, I’m happy to share with you the deep gratitude that I have both for the beauty of that country and for the opportunity to share this adventure with my husband, daughter and my son who is in the middle of a gap year and headed to college in the fall. Here are the trip highs and one low.
Moments that stood out for me…
My son skydiving for the first time, and from 20,000 feet! Mind you this is a young man who is afraid of spiders yet he did this with calm assurance. Blew me away.
Seeing a momma and baby dolphin swimming side by side near our boat on my birthday. The plan was to swim with the dolphins but if there’s a nursing mom in the pod, they restrict people from swimming with them so we don’t interfere with their feeding schedule. I totally understood and was just grateful to experience their beauty and lively spirits from the boat.
Snorkeling was colorful and quite active as the guide cut up sea urchin for us to feed the fish.
On the south island we had the opportunity to kayak to some secluded beaches in Abel Tasman National Park and I marveled at the architectural beauty of the sea carved caves, the unique sounds of the birds-unlike anything I’ve heard before, the ornate shells and even the startling beauty of a single red mushroom on our hike.
There was the stunning beauty of Milford Sound as our boat was surrounded on either side by high cliffs and waterfalls. I even had a “Titanic moment” with my husband on the ship as well as a dancer moment with legs going north and south.
A high was whizzing down the world’s steepest tree to tree
The pain and sorrow in this region
Enjoyed a hike with stunning views of Franz Joseph Glacier, colored blue because of the lack of air bubbles in the compressed snowpack. A low was seeing how much the glacier receded in the last decade due to global warming.
A soak in the local hot springs and a visit to see live Kiwi in a protected environment completed the day’s adventures. I love soft squishy stuffed wild animals and rationalized that I couldn’t buy a kiwi until I saw one live.
The Haka! You may have heard of that? It’s the native Maori male dance that is designed to intimidate opponents. We visited a live Maori village and as a dancer, I really appreciated the power of their forceful arm gestures, low to the ground stomping, wild bug-eyed, tongue thrusting facial expressions and thunderous chants. This unique dance underscores the power of movement, the power of dance. In fact, the All Blacks, the national NZ rugby team does the dance before every game. It’s also been performed across NZ in the wake of the Christchurch shootings as a symbol of unification in their time of grief.
Follow this link to learn what the Haka means and to see a video of how the Haka is performed.
Sheep, llama, and more sheep. I’ve never seen as many sheep farms as I have here. We visited the Agrodome in Rotorua, a farm that offered interactive experiences with the llama, sheep, sheep shearing demos and an informational tour. I loved getting right in there with these animals as did my kids.
Have you dug your own hot tub in the sand? That’s exactly what we did on our last day in NZ at Hot Water Beach on the North Island. At low tide you grab a shovel (rent from local merchants) dig a big hole and soak in natural geothermal hot springs with the ocean as your landscape. It’s quite a fun festive atmosphere as more and more people gather to dig their holes around you.
I appreciated the thought behind this New Zealand crossing sign, displaying concern and responsibility for those who need just a little more time to cross the street.
This booth, seen in Kaiteriteri, on the south island of NZ. It seems you can have your asparagus with or without horse poo.
I’m happy to say that I began several days with some Pilates in my PJ’s using my core ball and resistance band and even did my “Counter series” from my first DVD on a terrace overlooking the sea. This helped
It’s with gratitude that I’ve returned home safe, healthy and excited to continue sharing my BoneSmart Pilates method with you.
I hope you all make it a priority to take care of yourselves at home and also when traveling. Consistently doing just a few