Marlborough Wine Region

My desire to travel to the famous wine making region of Marlborough sparked after my 1st glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. I had to go and taste for myself! We strategically picked our location based on walking distance to wineries and entertainment for our girls.  We have visited some excellent family friendly wineries during our time in New Zealand with playgrounds, games and even archery.  Of course all wineries have one thing our girls... Read more

Hoi An Ancient Town

The weather did not cooperate with us during the first few days of our Vietnam trip. Hoi An located about 30 minutes from our Furama Resort was the perfect rainy day excursion.  This unique Ancient Town has been recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and continues to preserve the resemblance of a southeast Asian trading port from the 15th-19th centuries. The shuttle dropped us outside Yali Couture where they custom make clothing.  This purple coat caught... Read more

Buried Village of Te Wairoa

The Buried Village of Te Wairoa is a historical site located near Lake Tarawera and a short drive from Rotorua, New Zealand.  The settlement built-in 1848 was later destroyed by the 1886 volcanic eruption of Mount Tarawera killing 120 people.  Multiple generations of the Smith Family have owned the land and conducted the excavating and artifact preservation.  The experience includes: an enclosed museum located off the front entrance, a walk through the 12 acre archaeological site, optional... Read more

Tour Sydney Opera House

Our trip to Sydney, exactly one year ago, was a dream come true.  We stayed with Four Seasons near the Sydney Opera House and I desperately wanted to go inside. Little did I know that we would not only be back to visit Sydney but relocating there one year later. It is funny looking back now knowing how much we packed into this two week trip thinking it might be our only visit to Australia. The Sydney Opera... Read more

Fire-Breathing Dragon Bridge

Who doesn’t have a fire-breathing Dragon Bridge on their bucket list? Well you should! This one was accidental to be honest.  My family and I were vacationing at the Furama Resort in Da Nang, Vietnam when a staff member informed us about an evening fire show featuring the city’s Dragon Bridge. I wanted to see the show but it only happens at 9 pm on Saturday and Sunday nights. It rained on Saturday night and the... Read more

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Completing the Tongariro Alpine Crossing was considered a top bucket list item for me. Many consider this to be New Zealand’s best day hike! The 19.4 kilometer walk took us roughly 6 1/2 hours to complete with lots of photography stops and a brief lunch break. My original plans were cancelled when New Zealand weather went nuts and decided to dump ridiculous amounts of rain on the entire North Island.   The back-up plan included Andrew and our... Read more

Redwoods Treewalk Rotorua

The Redwoods Treewalk in Rotorua, New Zealand is an incredible experience for anyone not bothered by heights.  The vision of then German tourist (now resident) and mechanical engineer, Alex Schmid, creates a birds eye view of these magnificent 100+ year old giants.  The 23 suspension bridges are situated 6-12 meters above ground forming a loop through the California Redwoods. Ella was a bit nervous on the 1st bridge.  We had completed a tree walk in Australia... Read more

Tropical Fruit World

My determination to visit Tropical Fruit World may seem silly to most but my love for fruit extends back to childhood. Give me a bowl of strawberries over a chocolate bar anytime!  When we were scouting out areas between Gold Coast and Byron Bay, Tropical Fruit World sounded like a perfect place to stop off for a couple hours.   They farm over 500 exotic fruits and the experience includes a tasting, farm tour, petting zoo, boat... Read more

Kiwi vs American Word Comparison

Aubrey landed in New Zealand as a six year old having completed only one year of school in the United States.  She began immediately picking up Kiwi words/slang and using the new terms in her day to day life.  Over the last year  I have seen a change in her accent as well.  Now my 8 1/2 year old uses the new terms so seamlessly that I have started using them myself when speaking with... Read more