Keira was born on March 6th, 2010. When I look back on that particular day, I remember all the details. But at the same time it all happened so fast like a dream.
It was Saturday afternoon and time for a cupcake run. So David drove me to Cupcake Royale and when I walked up to the cashier she said “wow, u look like you’re about to pop!” well, at this point it was the day before the due date, so we were pretty close.
I got greedy and bought two cupcakes – trying to pretend like I got one for David, but I actually wanted the second for myself. So I hop back into the car, excited to head back home to enjoy my cupcakes. David said he wanted to drop some mail that he forgot at home, so my cupcakes would have to wait… I waited 2 days later to eat them! Continue reading
Now with New Zealand firmly in the rearview mirror, I get a chance to reflect on ourtimes there. Our time was roughly broken into 4 phases:
4. South Island Campervanning
This morning we were all feeling pretty optimistic about getting back to civilization. And Happy birthday Keira!!! But we’ll be celebrating tomorrow because it’ll be March 6th back home – we’re traveling all day, plus David didn’t want to rob her of a day.
I dumped the toilet waste again for the 2nd time in a week and didn’t feel so bad about it, as I was envisioning the 5 star Westin hotel Sydney that was just on the horizon.
We got an early start cause the campsite starts turning off the hot water for the showers at 945am to kick everyone out by 10am checkout. Which is hilarious because it’s not like they have to clean lots of beds or bathrooms. I dunno, maybe they had to mow the lawn? Anyhow, we had some time to kill so off to the botanical gardens we went!
It’s the home stretch!. By now, on the 7th day of this ordeal…I mean, trip, I’ve finally got the heat to work without having to wake up twice a night. In camper park world, there’s stations with and without electricity and it’s a $10 delta. In an effort to save a whopping NZ$10, I decided we didn’t need power for the last week. Well, finally on day 7 we splurged, and I have to say a night of consistent heat was worth every penny. I discovered this was the missing link to our getting consistent heat. So for those of u thinking of campervaning, to ensure heat – adjust heat dials, check fuel supply, and be PLUGGED IN to a campground because apparently heat requires electricity and we were draining our battery. Water pump + 13volts of power = radiant heat Duhhh… And I haven’t had a full night’s sleep for last 5 nights until discovering this. Continue reading
Things are really starting to look up these days. Keira is pretty much sleeping through the night in the camper, and we’ve got a full day of wine tasting and relaxing to do. This morning’s first stop was an internet cafe. The internet cafe was closed (who closes an internet cafe on Sunday?!) So we drove up and down the town streets looking for a cafe that might have free wifi.
We woke up not realizing it, but apparently we survived one of the biggest storms in 10 years in the campervan. During the night, the motorhome was getting pushed from side to side and you could hear the wind and rain coming at us seconds before it actually hit. I was thinking backup plans for if the motorhome actually got knocked over and how I would have to save Keira 😛 But Keira slept through the whole storm – motorhome getting knocked around, pelting rain, howling wind storm, freezing campervan with heat not working properly. Guess she’s been pretty tired 😛
The storm passed in the morning and we saw downed trees and lots of debris on the road. There was a huge tree that snapped and fell just a few feet from someone’s tent. Glad they were ok. Continue reading
Keira slept thru night but it was so freaking cold. Felt like we were sleeping in a refrigerator. I made a point to call the car rental company to find out what we’re doing wrong with the heat. Turns out the water pump needs to be on…small detail that we paid a heavy price for the last couple of nights. Makes sense – RADIANT HEAT runs on water. Duhhhh
Using the phone in new zealand is expensive, so I’m hoping my $5 call paid off. I guess I’ll know at 4am tomorrow morning. Continue reading
Acceptance. This morning seemed like a new beginning because everyone had accepted the fact that there was no turning back and we had to not only make the most of it, but that we should cherish the opportunity. And if anything, laugh instead of cry. (believe me, there were a few nights where I wanted to cry)
From Wanaka we drove many hours to get to Fox Glacier. Apparently its one of the fastest moving glaciers in the world at an average of 1 meter/week. This was definitely one of the highlights of the trip! Continue reading
David called it white knuckle driving. If he was nervous, it must’ve been bad. Luckily I sat in the back with Keira and didn’t really pay much attention – avoiding the backseat driving I tend to do…
Yay! We made it to Milford Sound in one piece. We met the founder of JUCY (a car/campervan rental/boat tour company) during the EO conference and he was really generous in comping our boat tour. A really amazing boat tour of Milford Sound indeed! Continue reading
Jucy Cruise Milford Sound
When I was at EO Queenstown University conference, one of the best speakers I heard was Tim Alpe of Jucy Rentals. He reminded me of a young Richard Branson with his fun, brash, memorable marketing. If you’ve ever been to New Zealand, you’ll see tons of Jucy campervans trolling the highway. He’s now also expanded into the US as well, starting with LA. I hope he totally crushes it there too.
Jucy’s trademark is Lucy, who Tim based on the WWII bombers who painted girls onto their planes. Then he complements that with bright green and purple to really make his rentals stand out.
So Tim mentioned that he started an offshoot, called Jucy Cruizes, which provides cheaper Milford Sound cruises. This got my attention since we were going there after the conference. So I thanked him for speaking to us and told him how excited I was to try out his brand at Milford Sound. He was overly generous and provided us free tickets to try it out.
We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise. We got free tea and coffee plus a muffin to boot! The staff was really friendly and the boat is smaller than the other ones so you can really really get up close and personal with the waterfalls, rocks, and seals. We got a ton of rain when we went so you can see some of the waterfalls that the region is famous for.
Thank you Tim and Jucy for making our Milford Sound experience so memorable!
Alice and Keira Milford Sound