Sunday, January 12, 2014

Queenstown. And stuff.

Now Queenstown...that is someplace I could call home. I've never seen a city with such a remarkable backdrop. A lake that looks like glass and mountains that are so...I've typed nine different adjectives trying to describe it but I just can't do it justice. They're jagged and enormous and almost eerie. The morning was beautiful but rain was forcasted in the afternoon so we had to snap to it.  The gondola and luge ride were at the top of our list. I don't even have to tell you how awesome it was, the pictures do a fine job explaining.

but really, those mountains...

Okay, so like we all know about my extreme claustrophobia by now. I was totally fine in the gondola, but right before we got to the end it stopped and the tiny space and the constant swinging motion was not a good combination. And Kylie swears my body was plastered to the door as I had my entire head sticking out the 4 inch window, but I was just merely propping my face against the crack trying to get some fresh air. And Kylie swears everyone in line was staring at me and even though I disagree I still avoided eye contact with anyone as I shuffled my way out. Poor Kylie has come to expect that sort of behavior out of me by now. Next time she's riding with Dad.

I wish we could have spent more time exploring the city, but we wanted to get in the water before the rain clouds opened up. I can't tell you how homesick this made Jason for his boat. An empty lake with water as still as glass is a wakeboarder's holy grail.

sha la la la my oh my, look like the boy too shy, go on and kiss de girl...woah oh woah. If only that weren't his sister then this would be a dead ringer for that Little Mermaid scene. Except with a real canoe and not a blow up raft. And no Spongebob life jacket, but whatever, just humor me.

And once it started raining it didn't stop. This had us really nervous the next morning when we woke up because in order to get to our next destination we had to pass through Haast pass that is infamous for rock slides so they shut the entire road down when it rains too hard. And since that is the only way to get to the west coast from here then we would have to make the 5 hour drive back home and cross over from there. Needless to say, a lot of little prayers were being said that morning and as we forged on the rain cleared up.

We debated whether we should stop in Wanaka to visit this museum or just hurry on through before it started raining again. The skies looked clear enough so we decided to make the pit stop and I'm so glad we did.  It's the Puzzling World museum of optical illusions and it was so cool. This first room is built at an angle so it looks like you are crooked and everything else is straight, it is so bizarre, you feel almost motion sick in there and it's hard to walk straight.

They had this huge maze that Jayden was determined to conquer but we decided to not tempt fate any longer and leave before it started raining again. He is still a little bitter about that.

Leaving Lake Wanaka with blue skies and just enough grace to get us on the road to Haast pass before it started raining again. Tender mercy.

I was really excited to hike to these blue pools in Haast pass

So I was so bummed when we got there and all the rain had stirred them up into a big muddy river. It took the kids a while to forgive me for dragging them all that way in the rain to see a brown river.

But there was one upside to all the rain, it made for the most amazing waterfalls. There are a few that are there all the time, but there were so many others just pouring off the sides of these huge mountains wherever you looked. It made for the most spectacular drive.  We eventually made it through to our next campground where we hunkered down and played games in their lounge all evening long. Jason and Jayden deep in a checkers game, Kylie challenging me to Strategy, Maddox and Ryder dumping out every game they could find and the rain streaming down the windows. It was sort of unexpectedly perfect.


Kyoo said...

You hit Queenstown on a clear day! Lucky. All I could see from the gondola and luge were clouds. Looks gorgeous! And we toyed with the idea of going to the puzzle place museum thing but ditched it to get to Queenstown. Queenstown was a fail and all our activities were cancelled because of rain and I'm still bitter we missed that puzzle place. New Zealand and it's rain!

Janessa said...

I LOVE your claustrophobia stories. Thanks for humoring us all. The fact that Kylie seems to always be your partner when they hit is perfect! Just what every teenage girl needs:) The gondola and luge ride look like the funnest thing ever! I'm still trying to figure out if there's anything to keep you on the track. It looks so fast and steep that you'd think you'd get a kid just flying off the track and down the mountain. Glad you all survived! And got some fantastic pictures too. Love those mountains and that blue lake! Okay, I decided you guys have just been way too spoiled. Your kids are so unimpressed with a regular old river these days. Anything less the crystal clear, turquoise blue just won't do! Ha, ha! That museum looks SO cool! I'm sure Jayden would have mastered that maze if he'd had time! Glad you made it through the pass and got to spend a cozy evening cuddled up playing games. Perfect indeed!