Morning Walk on Lake Wanaka

Waking up at 6am on vacation means that I am back on Virginia time, and that is a good thing in terms of making the most of the day.  I slipped out of the house at 7:15 and took the 15 minute stroll to Lake Wanaka.

It was such a peaceful morning with just a few runners, walkers, and photographers out and about.

And a few ducks …

It was a slightly overcast morning, but slowly the sun began to peak through the clouds.

I could see the town off in the distance, and knowing that we’d be visiting later in the day, I turned around for home.

After putting my feet in the water, of course.  Look at that clear water!

Three Days in Dunedin

Please take a moment to read Alys’ take on our journey thus far ❤

Gardening Nirvana

I’m having the time of my life!

In some ways this journey began two years ago.  During a Skype session, the Blogging Babes, as we’ve come to call ourselves, dreamed out loud of a trip to see Pauline in New Zealand. In 2015 Pauline joined us on our side of the world for an incredible trip to Virginia and Washington, D.C. Our time together deepened the friendships and expanded our hearts.

Now here we are three years later, meeting up with Pauline and her two lovely daughters in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Mike drove me to the San Francisco airport where I connected with Laurie. Though I dreaded the 13 hour flight across the Pacific, I was in for some lovely surprises.

SFO at Joe & the Juice Putting our heads together at Joe & the Juice, SFO (This one’s for you, Joe)

We got our sillies on five minutes into our journey, before boarding the…

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The Drive to Wanaka

After organizing 7 people and packing up 2 cars, we were off to Wanaka (sounds like Monica or Hanukkah).  As is typical for New Zealand roads, the route was curvy and the scenery beautiful.

A brief stop along the way allowed Siddy to get a(nother) treat.

By 2pm, we were ready for a late lunch, and Monteith’s Brewery Bar in Alexandra was the perfect stop.  We enjoyed puppy friendly al fresco dining accompanied by Murphy’s Irish Stout (for me) and followed by a yummy flat white.

Soon enough, we were back on the road but another brief stop, this time at the Clyde Dam, offered some nice photo ops. The Clyde Dam, New Zealand’s third largest hydroelectric dam, is built on the Clutha River near the town of Clyde

With 45 minutes to go, we let Siddy enjoy the breeze.

And THEN we arrived at our temporary home.

What an incredible gift this week in Wanaka will be!

University of Otago

After a wonderful day Experiencing Dunedin and Otago Harbour, we slowed our pace with a lovely walk around the University of Otago.

With the first students being accepted in July 1871, it is the oldest university in New Zealand, and the third oldest in Oceania.

With over 20,000 students, the University offers Bachelor, Master, and Doctoral degrees in Health Sciences, other Sciences, Business, and Humanities.

I’m not sure which was more impressive: the architecture or the trees!  The stone, while of a darker color, reminded me of Hokie Stone.

The walk was peaceful, offered wonderful scenery, and was the perfect way to end our day.

5 Person Trike Ride Around Otago Harbour

Pauline arranged for the most fun outing: a 5 person trike ride around Dunedin and Otago Harbour!  This bike chick loved it, as did everyone else.  What a blast!

We met our guide Andrew, owner of Experience Dunedin at The Octagon in the Central Business District of Dunedin, and soon we were off.

Andrew obligingly hit the gas and we found ourselves hooting out loud with excitment!

The roads were curvy and changed elevation frequently, and I was reminded of riding back home in southwest Virginia.  Well, except for the “wrong side” of the road thing.


The views of the harbour were incredible and these photos do not do them justice.

Alys took some great photos with her selfie stick, so please visit her blog to see more!

Thank you, Pauline, for arranging for this fun, fun outing, and to Alys for treating us!

St Clair Beach, Dunedin, New Zealand

At the end of a low key day spent recovering from travel, we took the short drive to see the ocean from St Clair Beach.

Those who know me may remember that when I see any body of water, I soon have my feet in it.  The water was chilly but I was thrilled to be feeling the water of the Pacific.

The images speak for themselves, don’t you think?

As the sun began to set, we found a coffee shop and warmed up over coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.

It was a lovely way to end our first day in Dunedin.

Dunedin: Rest, Recovery, and Pauline’s World

When we finally went to bed, I can honestly say that I don’t remember my head hitting the pillow.   Eight solid hours of sleep later, I was wide awake and feeling pretty good.  Even still, it takes more than 8 hours to recover from that long day of travel, and I was glad that we had a low key day spent exploring Pauline’s world, including her family.

We awoke to see Danella’s patio garden.  Even though the day was overcast, the flowers beckoned and my camera was soon put into action.  I’ve never taken my laptop on a trip before but I knew that I would want to share photos from the camera, not just the phone.

Danella provided coffee and toast (perfect with fresh tomotoes!) and soon Pauline and Siddy joined us.  That Siddy! He is adored by everyone that he meets.  What a sweet puppy!

After a quick nap, we took the short ride to Pauline’s home.  After a lifetime of seeing the driver in the front left seat, it was odd to see just the opposite.  Siddy, on Alys’s lap, enjoyed the fresh air!

Fans of Pauline already know what a talented artist she is.  It was wonderful to see her space and all her creations, and of course, the illusive Orlando!


We enjoyed an assortment of snacks accompanied by New Zealand wine, and after being joined by Joanna and Steven, a delicious dinner.

Dessert was the traditional Pavlova, prepared by Pauline and served by Joanna.  Evidently, New Zealanders and Australians disagree over who created this yummy dessert.

Before heading back to Danella’s for the night, we took a drive to see the ocean.  See the next post!