Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Going Home

I don't have any new photos to share, I'm not caught up on my New Zealand Posts, nor have I written a a complete paragraph about these last three weeks in Arizona (which includes my son's wedding, for Pete's Sakes!), but tonight, I feel like writing. I definitely detect something in me letting down as I think about the fact that this trip is over.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

On To the South Island: Wellington to Mt. Sunday-December 13-14, 2014

Several times over the first week of the New Zealand trip, people mentioned how beautiful the South Island was compared to the North Island. "Just wait," they would say, "till you get to the South Island." I was skeptical, because I'd found the North Island wholly enchanting. I suppose some of that was because everything was so gloriously new, and I love newness. I suppose it could be because it was winter at home and not winter here. I got a sunburn in my first few hours off the plane! I visited Hobbiton and saw live volcanoes and some of the newest land and rocks on the planet. What could be better?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Wellington! December 9-13, 2014

And now we come to it. Four days of total immersion into the LOTR and Hobbit films. After a long Tuesday of travel that included stopping at Gollum's pool, we arrived in Wellington and checked into the Amora Hotel, near the waterfront. I'm putting all of this part of the trip in one post, so go get a cup of cocoa and put your feet up while you soak it all in. . 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

From Hobbiton to Mt. Doom

In New Zealand time, it's still December 8. In one day, we followed Frodo from his home in Bag End all the way to the entrance to Mordor and Mt. Doom.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

New Zealand 2014: Hobbiton

On Monday December 8, we started the journey of Sam and Frodo from LOTR and traveled from Hobbiton to the toxic slopes of Mt. Doom. Here's my report of the former. 

For the Lord of the Rings films, Hobbiton was built as an extensive set on a picturesque sheep station in Matamata. It was however, just a set made for looking good in the films. Afterward, it was dismantled for the most part. However, then came the fans.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The North Island: Sunday December 7


Goodness, what a whirlwind. One thing about being on an organized tour is that your time is often not really your own. We did have some free time in Wellington, and that's when I wrote my last post, and tonight we have the evening, but have to get ready for a very early day of travel and activities tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

A First Attempt to Blog about New Zealand

Here in the travel world of New Zealand, internet access is doled out 30 minutes at a time. I've been posting photos via my NZ burner sim card, and it has been so much fun to share these adventures with my friends. I love you all! I am journalling and taking notes and writing off line, so it may be that I'll have to catch up retroactively at some point.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Book Review: Orphan Train

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
Young Adult (FYI if you're going to share this with a young person--there is some strong language from Molly. It fits her character, but you may want to discuss it with your friend/student/child in accordance with your values about profanity.)
Story-within-a-story, historical fiction, contemporary
I listened to the Audible audiobook narrated by Jessica Almasy and Suzanne Toren
You might like this book if you are interested in the Orphan Trains that ran from large East Coast cities to the Midwest from the 1850s to the 1920s. You may also be interested if you enjoy stories of overcoming, redemption, the importance of family or are sympathetic to the realities faced by foster children and orphans.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Social Media Split

There's a song the children sing at church: 


I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

I know who I am.  

I know God's plan. 

I'll follow him in Faith. 

I believe in the Savior Jesus Christ. 

I'll honor his name. 

I'll do what is right; I'll follow His Light.  

His truth I will proclaim! 


I love that it is a series of simple declarations; nothing complicated. It perfectly encapsulates how I feel about my faith. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

On and Off the Road Again

I had a great week at my sister's house. I meant to post as soon as I got home so I wouldn't get behind YET again, but you know how that goes sometimes. I'm making a stab now at least. I am slow doing a lot of things because I can't do it the way I think I should, but as I get older and ostensibly wiser, I realize that the forward progress is usually the best option of all.