Sunday, November 30, 2008

All good things must come to an end...

The last 2 days of our journey involved fewer thrills and more driving… but we still squeezed in enough fun!

Before leaving Wellington, we visited the parliament buildings (as Wellington is the capital of NZ- not Auckland, but Wellington).

We assume that the buildings follow this pattern: right to left = oldest to newest. The building on the far left is called the ‘Beehive’. Can you tell why?! (PLEASE tell me you can tell why!)

I thought this guy was the first Prime Minister of NZ.

Then I saw that this guy was Prime Minister BEFORE him, so we assumed that HE was the first Prime Minister.

We need to brush up on our history apparently. I just looked it up, and they were the 14th and 15th Prime Ministers. OOPS, we were a little off. We weren’t there on a tour day, okay? We had to do a lot of our own speculating (which we apparently weren’t too successful with).

This picture we took specifically with our green-thumbed Mommas in mind.

When we were finished snapping pictures of everything possible at the parliament buildings, we drove, drove, drove, (napped), and then drove some more until we arrived at Ohakune Top 10. This was one of our less exciting evenings as it was dedicated mainly to Lowell’s school work, but we did go out for STEAK. I couldn’t figure out what I was hungry for, then I smelled someone’s delicious barbequing and decided, “STEAK. MUST HAVE STEAK!” So, we went to a steakhouse in honour of the final night of our wicked awesome holiday. We weren’t TOO extravagant, however, as we shared ONE plate, and also received a discount because we’re Top 10 members. We really made a little moola go a long way (are you proud Dads?)

On our way out of town the next morning, we had to get pictures of the giant carrot. THESE PICTURES ARE FOR YOU AUNTIE COLLEEN!

Let’s zoom out and see just how big this carrot is.

That’s a big carrot. I think Lowell agrees.

We asked a local about the significance of the carrot, and this was her response: “Ohakune is known for its produce. Specifically, it's potatoes, but who would put up a giant spud?”

Let me interject here. VAUXHALL, ALBERTA. That’s who.

(Meet Sammy & Samantha Spud- Vauxhall's mascots)

Then she continued, “Actually, I think someone had a giant carrot they wanted to get rid of, and the town was looking for something big to put in that spot, so they took it.”

Hmmmm… interesting…

I then looked it up, and apparently Ohakune is traditionally known as the “Carrot Capital" of New Zealand. That makes a LITTLE more sense.

As we continued our drive, we stopped a few times to take pictures of Mt Ruapehu and Mt Ngauruhoe (aka Mt Doom).

Mt Ruapehu is NZ’s largest ski area. You can ski on both sides of the STILL ACTIVE volcano (apparently it erupted last year!). Ohakune is on the south side of the mountain, and is a popular ski town in the winter.

Mt Ngauruhoe (aka Mt Doom) was the volcano in Lord of the Rings, and it’s the youngest volcano in the area. CELEBRITY MOUNTAIN! CELEBRITY MOUNTAIN!

From there we drove the rest of the way to home sweet home. It was an absolutely fabulous holiday and totally worth it even though we're still catching up on work/school. I think Lowell should drop his Masters program and become a pro holiday planner. The guy is a natural!

So, to sum up, we drove a total of 1800kms in 31 hours, and we did it over 7 days. AWESOME!


Shelley said...

AWESOME! AWESOME! AWESOME! And glad you're home safe :) word verification word is "remembly". i'm going to use it in a sentence.
I'm glad you had a remembly holiday :)

marcandorkylie said...

Wow... can we go on this holiday with you? Oh wait... maybe we will. Julie, I think you could make those cream puffs in NZ, they don't actually include egg nog not taste exactly like it. Click on the link on our blog and fine the recipe.

Talk to you soon!

Carlynne said...

That is a big carrot. I expected to see a really big rabbit in the next picture!!