October 2014 to June 2015 —
In an effort to get out of the dog box with my mother who — like her son — is not on Facebook, we are bringing the blog back to life. Here’s a quick update from the last, umm, 10 months…
October to December 2014 (Lang’s Beach, Taupo Bay and Wainui Beach, New Zealand; Sydney, Australia) —
In October, we moved from the South Island to the North Island and bounced around the Northland area before heading to the East Cape and our favorite spot in NZ — Wainui beach. The weather was great, the water was warm — or at least not freezing — and we got to catch up with old friends. V did a weekend away in Sydney, and my mom came over for a few weeks. There were dolphins, terriers and koalas. A good time was had by all.
Gisborne – Wainui Beach
December 2014 – February 2015 (Hokkaido and Hakuba, Japan) —
In early December, we headed to Japan. The snow was amazing; the people we met were even better. We’re hooked and will return for three months in 2015/16. We started off in Tokyo were V was able to catch up with her childhood friend Lori, which led to lots of alcohol and an amazing yakuniku dinner in Roppongi.
Our next stop was Hokkaido where we were introduced to Hokkaido’s amazingly light snow and correspondingly way-too-flat terrain. The mountains need to be bigger or there needs to be less snow. But the food was amazing, the vibe great (we left before the Aussies hordes really descended), and it was good to be back on snow.
We did some light touring, but it was way too early in the season for proper coverage on anything really fun. For that, we headed south.
We arrived in Hakuba hoping to find some good snow, steeper terrain, and some touring partners. Hakuba far exceeded our expectations in every respect — we ended up extending our initial two-week stay to two months. We also booked in for three months this coming season….
However good the snow — and lord was it plentiful — the people were even better. The 10 O’Clock Ski Club will be reunited in a few months!
March to May 2015 (The Americas) —
Running out of days on our Japan visa, we returned to the States specifically to see our favorite fowls in the Tetons of Wyoming.
The Peacocks made us feel at home as they always do, and we got to catch up with a lot of old friends in the mountains even though the snow was paltry.
In March, V flew to Texas to surprise Beau for his birthday and see her mom and stepdad.
After playing in the Tetons for a month, we went on a road trip through Utah to San Diego, where we packed up nearly all our gear in storage and shipped it to NZ.
We decided to switch to beach mode, and headed to Costa Rica for a month. It was good to catch up with all our friends down there. But a really big bummer that our departing gift was our house getting burglarized on our last night there. All our electronics, including our back up hard drives, were stolen. Thankfully, we were out at dinner when the burglars broke in and, although it was a hassle to replace everything (and we lost a ton of photos), it was a good reminder that everything material can be replaced.
May to July 2015 (Hong Kong, China; Bali and other islands, Indonesia; Bangkok, Thailand) —
After a brief stopover in the States on our way back from Costa Rica, we were off to Indonesia via Hong Kong where we spent a weekend. We arrived in Bali, and headed to the NE Coast for a freediving class. V excelled and made it to 10 meters on a single breath. I didn’t drown.
One of our friends from Hakuba joined us, and we snuck in some mountain biking in between surf sessions and yoga.
After a couple of weeks on Bali, we suffered Aussie fatigue and headed to one of the less-traveled outer islands. It was idyllic. Like Hakuba, we lucked into a group of great people that made the trip. And like Hakuba, we’ll be back in 2016!
Heading home to NZ, we almost got stuck in Indo due to the volcano erupting.
Luckily, we got out before our visas expired and we ended up with One Night In Bangkok on the way to NZ — it made a hard man humble.
We got to NZ to find the ski season in full swing. The Dicksons welcomed us home and we started unpacking our gear . . . .