Fun in the NZ Sun – 2017

September to December 2017 (South Island, New Zealand) —

We arrived back in NZ at the tail end of the ski season, and V was able to get in one massive ski tour before the snow disappeared.  That 15-hour mission actually included a few minutes of skiing.  It was great to be back in beautiful New Zealand, but we were reminded that the NZ spring ski touring is never easy access.  But always fun.

The long walk home


It was a wetter spring than normal — lots of rain and not much surf.  But with a water temperature of 9*C (upper 40’s F), I didn’t miss it *that* much.

We kept active with biking, hiking, surf, and I started doing Muay Thai lessons for shits and giggles.

Godley Head track
V getting the bikes in shape

We also introduced Jems to Muay Thai and let her beat up on the pads for a bit.

V went back to the States to visit her mom and stepdad, and I had to keep myself alive for *ten whole days.*  I asked everyone we know in Sumner to help.  It takes a village……

V explored the Rogue Valley of Oregon with her parents and got some pretty shots of Fall colors:


While V was gone, I surfed and camped and headed down to Waimate to see Cam.  Cam took me jet boating (my first time), and I got in some mountain biking.  Soon V was home, proving that even I could keep myself alive for ten days without her.

My birthday arrived, and we headed to the Banks Peninsula for more camping and surf.


Thanksgiving arrived and we found out that our closest friends in NZ had never celebrated an American Thanksgiving so V was stoked to cook a feast for the group.  We tracked down a turkey from one of the only farms in NZ that raises them (they went out and caught it just for us) and we were set.

Trudi getting into the spirit!

Our townhouse by the beach in Sumner was perfect for a few months but then our lease ran out right before Christmas and the Dickson’s let us move in for our last week.   We even got a day on the jet boat amongst the holiday madness (V’s first time . . . and she got to drive!).

V driving. Note Mark’s hand ready to steer at any moment…

Quick dip in the freezing river before burgers on the beach

Christmas in NZ was quite a change.  Hot and lots of booze.  We started the day with Mark cooking an amazing breakfast feast on the beach.  Plenty of bubbles accompanied the bacon & egg croissants.  After an ocean swim, we headed home for naps before Trudi & Mark prepared a massive English-style Christmas spread.

post-beach snooze


On Boxing Day, I got in my last surf of the season while V used Mark’s workshop to give our bindings an overhaul to prepare for the Japan ski season.

And then she got in some fun time with the girls at the pool and slip ‘n’ slide.

V beating Jems across the finish line. Not that V’s competitive or anything.

All too soon our time in NZ was over, and we sadly said goodbye to the Dicksons who even came to the airport to see us off.

Next stop, Japan.