a blog about seeing the world

Two familiar faces

Right as the best American holiday, Thanksgiving, was about to pass by unnoticed here in New Zealand, some long-awaited visitors from home arrived. Nate’s parents, Jan and Dan, traveled with us for 12 days, bringing near constant sunshine along with them.

We decided it would be a mistake to try to recreate the classic holiday meal, especially over a campstove. So, we all gathered around the picnic table for a southern hemisphere Thanksgiving of greenshell mussels, local sweet potatoes and asparagus. Delicious!

From left to right: Steph, Jan, Dan, Alex, Nate.

Along with the perfect weather, they came bearing treats from home. After all these months of camping we could finally construct proper s’mores with some graham crackers!

And our favorite beer, Heady Topper, was the perfect addition to a sunny afternoon on the West Coast.

Along with repeating some favorites, we also used the trip to explore some new places.

Hmmm… caulk the wagon and float across?

After some debate we rolled across and continued up the valley to a place that could be mistaken for paradise. It was just like “The Oregon Trail,” without the dysentery.

The beautiful West Matukituki Valley quickly became one of our newest favorite places in New Zealand.

They also treated us to perhaps the best Christmas present ever: two cruises on the sounds of Fiordland…


Returning to Mount Cook, we walked up the Hooker Valley through an amazing high country glacial valley painted in dusty reds, sage green, and pale yellows.

Dan craftily packed two gloves and a baseball up to Hooker Lake. No doubt the most epic game of catch ever played.

All in all, it was 12 days filled with good company, some incredible experiences, and plenty of pies.

What else is family for?


8 responses

  1. Anonymous

    Were those meat pies . . . with flaky homemade pastry? :o…. (me drooling) A. Di

    December 23, 2011 at 1:08 pm

  2. Anonymous

    Hey guys,

    That picture of Nate and Dan playing catch is probably the greatest picture I have ever seen in my life. Thanks for letting us follow along on this awesome adventure!

    –Matt Manz

    December 23, 2011 at 7:25 pm

  3. Jesse Littlefield

    I can’t get enough of the beautiful scenery! I love the video! I bet those cruises were spectacular! The trailer for the Hobbit is out now and it always makes me think of you guys and the beautiful place you’re in!

    December 24, 2011 at 1:24 am

  4. Erme

    Awesome, and great photo’s/vid.

    December 27, 2011 at 11:38 pm

  5. Pingback: How to be homeless «

  6. Al and Velma

    Absolutely amazing. Wish we had been there.

    March 17, 2012 at 11:43 pm

  7. Pingback: So Long, South Island «

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