Traveling New Zealand: TranzAlpine Train Journey

Christchurch is one of two locations where you can catch the TranzAlpine train for the entire journey, with Greymouth on the other end of the line. Much like the Northern Explorer, the train makes trips between these two stops on opposing days. We booked this part of the trip long before any motels or car … Continue reading Traveling New Zealand: TranzAlpine Train Journey

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Traveling New Zealand: Quake City

The next day we made the journey from north to south—a 40 minute plane ride separated us from the southern island. Wellington’s airport was so small that security didn’t open until an hour before our flight took off. I made the mistake of waiting to get breakfast until we arrived, but after losing a battle … Continue reading Traveling New Zealand: Quake City

Traveling New Zealand: Windy Wellington

We planned for 2 nights in Wellington at the advice of a few people who had traveled there previously. It’s a foodie city that’s fun to meander through and not to be rushed. Also, I needed a night off re-packing our 3 suitcases. Mount Victoria (Mt. “Vik” per locals) is a 360-degree overlook atop a … Continue reading Traveling New Zealand: Windy Wellington

Traveling New Zealand: Northern Explorer Train to Wellington

It wasn’t the plan all along to take the train to Wellington. We had been messing around with travel routes and possible stopovers for a few weeks. The original idea was to drive the whole distance, but we heard that it could take upwards of 10 hours (more if you are still a timid left-side … Continue reading Traveling New Zealand: Northern Explorer Train to Wellington

Traveling New Zealand: Glowworms and Country Driving

It was absolutely pouring rain when we woke up, but I’ve come to learn that New Zealand’s weather can be rather bipolar. The day begins stormy and ominous and by lunchtime the sky is a piercing shade of blue. The air gets dryer the further south we go, so that freezing wind/blazing sun temperature shift … Continue reading Traveling New Zealand: Glowworms and Country Driving

Traveling New Zealand: Rotorua Geysers & Left Side Driving

I’ve been anxious for weeks about driving in New Zealand. Neither Katie or I have ever done “left side driving”. I played a vision in my head on loop of careening into a medium or whacking a bicyclist. It is this paranoid daydream that drove my decision to purchase the super-ultra-mega-hit-anything-pay-nothing car insurance that agencies … Continue reading Traveling New Zealand: Rotorua Geysers & Left Side Driving

Traveling New Zealand: Waiheke Island & The Coromandel Peninsula

Auckland is a good central city to start a trip, but my favorite part of it all was the areas surrounding it. When you travel enough, you start to become less enthused by big cities other than your own. There are enough inherent similarities in so many cities that you lose the intrigue of the … Continue reading Traveling New Zealand: Waiheke Island & The Coromandel Peninsula

Traveling New Zealand: 24 Hours to Auckland

This trip has been a long time coming. Like crazy girls, we decided to cram finishing graduate school, finding a new apartment, and planning a 2.5 week trip on the other side of the world into the span of a few short months. Most of our trips begin with incomplete itineraries that we fill as … Continue reading Traveling New Zealand: 24 Hours to Auckland

Finishing 50 States—Ending with Kansas City

We woke up in the “Little Apple” after my first night in my 50th state. The toasty Kansas air greeted us as we trekked to the truck for our final day of travel. Today’s route didn’t pass through Route 66 or into ghost towns or mountains—it was a relatively benign journey to Kansas City. Before … Continue reading Finishing 50 States—Ending with Kansas City

Finishing 50 States—From Manhattan, NY to Manhattan, KS

We woke up in Carthage, MO effortlessly, undeterred the night before by the torrential rain and intense winds that soaked our truck and whipped the trees against our window. We bid a friendly goodbye to our motel attendant and went to wander around the square in the center of town. Tiny, quiet shops lined the … Continue reading Finishing 50 States—From Manhattan, NY to Manhattan, KS