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New Zealand Trip Day 29 – Aussie Bonus Round

Twenty-eight days of getting up when we’ve felt like it. You know the vacation is over when you have to set an alarm at 4:20am in order to get the airport in time to go home. Thanks to the restrictions of traveling on frequent flyer miles we were stuck with an abysmal schedule for the […]

New Zealand Trip Day 28 – Auckland

While we were in New Zealand it seemed we were continually getting lucky with the weather, with places to stay and with virtually every other thing. How long could the luck hold out? It’d seemed like trouble was slowly, inevitably gaining on us.

We woke up on Waiheke and once we were ready we headed […]

New Zealand Trip Days 22 – 27: Part 1

We spent a week at Brenda’s sister Di and brother-in-law Donald’s place on Waiheke Island. After three weeks of constantly being on the go we were now going to “chill-out” for a week before returning to The States. Rather than chronicling each day by day, it’s probably be better to hit the highlights […]

Yanks vs. Kiwis – Q & A Session


Many people have been asking questions about the differences between the U.S.A. and New Zealand so I thought I’d open the blog up to a little question and answer session to which I’ll try to have photographic evidence for most answers.

Q: Jon, with globalization, are there any differences between the U.S.A. and N.Z.?


New Zealand Trip Day 21 – Pataua South to Waiheke Island

100328 Pataua South to Waiheke Island

Time to leave the bach (pronounced “batch”), but not before some final photos, like this one of the back of the bach

and this one on the inside

and this one of the front

Which leads me to a quick discussion on the topic of “what’s […]

New Zealand Trip Day 20 – The Wedding

100327 The Wedding

We’ve travelled to New Zealand to attend Brenda’s cousin Geoff’s wedding to Lisa.

Note: There were hundreds of photos taken today, even thousands counting those taken by everybody. I selected the ones that best tell the story of the wedding rather than just the best photos.

The wedding was scheduled for 2pm […]

New Zealand Trip Day 19 – Ruakaka to Pataua South

100326 Ruakaka to Pataua South

Now we have seriously entered the portion of our trip where we will spend most of the time catching up with friends and relatives.

On the way out of Ruakaka we stopped by the Breambay Butchery for supplies to take us up to the bach – award winning sausages and […]

New Zealand Trip Day 18 – Remuera to Ruakaka

100325 Remuera to Ruakaka

We had a tasty breakfast and said goodbye to Marie (and Ruby):

We made a quick trip to Brenda’s Uncle Bryan and Aunt Jane’s to pick up our linen for the bach (pronounced “batch”…more on that later) at the beach. Cousin Andre was there, with wife Lou and two kids […]

New Zealand Trip Day 17 – Mt. Maunganui to Remuera

100324 Mt Maunganui to Remuera

We said farewell to Cathy and Ross:

We passed through Katikati (Maori for “we we like like double double talk talk”) – the city of murals. I didn’t find the murals all that stunning, but I liked some of the statues:

and this one of Marilyn:

Brenda’s […]

New Zealand Trip Day 16 – Tirau to Mt. Maunganui

100323 Tirau to Mt Maunganui

We left Tirau ultimately headed for Brenda’s university friends Cathy and Ross, but before leaving the motel we walked along the city of café’s and found one open for breakfast that was very reasonably priced, 50% less than South Island prices for the same grub. Brenda had a treat, Spaghetti […]