We just got back from an AMAZING trip to New Zealand visiting family and friends. After landing in Auckland, we hit the ground running on Sunday morning when we arrived, nice and jet-lagged. I wanted to take the time and outline our two-week trip itinerary cruising around the North Island.
The saying “it’s about the journey, not just the destination” is so true for New Zealand. In New Zealand, there is so much diversity in the landscapes, and it doesn’t take long to get from “somewhere” to the “middle of no-where”. If you know anything about New Zealand, you’ve probably heard of the major cities and attractions like Auckland and Queenstown, or Milford Sound. New Zealand is also known for adventure activities like bungy-jumping, “zorbing”, and amazing surfing on the picturesque beaches. But today we’re sharing seven of our favorite gems in New Zealand that are a just a bit off the beaten track.
It’s the beginning of the year, and it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming adventures and holidays to be had! A cruise is definitely one of our favorite ways to really relax and unwind. I have been on about 6 cruises and James 3 cruises. We’ve sailed to the East and West Caribbean, Bahamas, and from Vancouver to Alaska. I’m here to tell you why we love cruises with 8 reasons why you should consider planning a cruise for your next vacation.
I figured it was time to address some “basics” about New Zealand! James and I get a lot of questions about New Zealand. I’m from Michigan, which makes New Zealand quite literally on the other side of the world. So, listen up, I’m answering your questions about our south pacific home, and I’ll let the pictures do the rest.
Christmas is right around the corner! I really love Christmas… the decorations, the lights, the snow… not to mention the presents. The gifts are good too. I love giving as much if not more than I love receiving. And finding that perfect gift is everything! I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite fun and practical gifts this season for the adventure lover or DIY-er on your list! I’ve also included several of my favorite gifts that I just couldn’t leave out in the snow.
I wanted to take minute to share a bit of a different post… I’m really excited to share that this little blog was nominated for the Liebster Award!
The what? Yeah, that’s what I said. I had heard of this award a few times since I started this blogging adventure a few months ago, but didn’t really take the time to look into it… until we were nominated!
So what is it?
I just got back from a weekend in Grand Rapids with my sisters and my mom. It was so refreshing, we shopped for hours, made our fall wreaths, shared gourmet appetizers, and saw the play Wicked (hiiiiighly recommend), which was every bit as good as I’ve heard.
My sister Mandy, is studying at Grand Valley State University and was our unofficial tour guide for the weekend. She knew exactly where to take us, how long it was going to take to get there, and nailed our dinner and brunch reservations! I asked her about what’s what in Grand Rapids: what to do, what to see, and what’s worth the drive. Check out her recommendations for your next trip to Grand Rapids!
Rotorua is located on the North Island. James earliest lake memories are catching rainbow trout off the boat with his dad at Lake Rotoiti at their rented cabin. Now, James family has a cottage on the lake and when we lived in New Zealand we’d travel there basically every other weekend for lakeside adventures. James even proposed here, high on a cliff over looking Lake Rotoiti. When friends visited us in NZ, Rotorua always made the trip itinerary.
Rotorua is a geothermal area – you know when you’re close cause it might smell a bit of rotten eggs, but this is just the bubbling mud! It feels a bit like Jurassic Park.
“Up North” is a Michigan way of life. It doesn’t refer to a single city, county, or lake, but rather anywhere in the northern part of the state. For us, Gaylord Michigan is our Up North.
My family (Brooke’s family) has had a cottage in Gaylord for as long as I can remember. Before that, my mom and dad travelled to Gaylord as kids. It’s also where I met and five years later married James.
So, if you’re planning a trip to Northern Michigan, there is a good chance you’ll find yourself passing right by Gaylord. Here are 7 reasons you don’t want to miss Gaylord: