Sunday, 10 January 2016

Sunday December 20, 2015

Reed and I had a calm morning and then headed to church.  The YSA Ward meets from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.  Then we had a Come and See Christmas Fireside with a lot of good music and talks with the whole mission.  We then hung out with Elder and Sister Mickelsen until it was time to head to the airport since they live just a few minutes away.  We are picking up Trevor and Nichole.  We are anxious to see them.

We were so excited to finally have Trevor and Nichole here.  They have spent a week in Sydney and arrived at 9:00 p.m. in Auckland.  It was so nice to give them hugs and see their faces.

We took them to our flat and let them unpack and we visited and headed to bed.
We flew to Queenstown on Monday morning the 21st of 2015.  Our flight ended up being delayed one and a half hours but we were okay because we didn't have any tours planned for today. We checked into our hotel then headed to downtown by walking by Lake Wakatipu.  The wind was blowing quite a bit and the lake had pretty good white caps on it.
There were a lot of pine trees around the lake and it was a beautiful walk.
Trevor and Nichole with the lake behind them.
You can see the waves and white caps behind Reed and Nada.  The boats were bouncing around pretty hard.

We took the Gondola up the mountain and then took the ski lift to ride the luge.  Nada had never ridden any luge before and was a little nervous.  After one time down she couldn't wait to do it again.  We took three trips down.  It was very busy and a lot of fun.
Nada at the finish line.  I went a little slower than the rest of them but still loved every minute.
Lake Wakatipu and Queenstown  from the top of the Gondola ride.

We watched a couple of different people bungy jump.  It is a long way down.  We headed back down the mountain and walked around downtown Queenstown.  Found an Indian restaurant for dinner then walked back to our hotel.  It was about a 15 minute walk back to our hotel.
On Tuesday December 22, 2015 we caught a Jucy Cruise bus and headed to Milford Sound.  We stopped after about two hours at Te Anau for a morning tea and bathroom break.  We went into this jewelry store.  The big stone is a Green Stone unfinished and unpolished.  Showing what the rocks they get the jewelry from looks like in the rough.

Nichole, Trevor and Nada at Mirror Lake our next stop.  It was a little windy so the reflection was not real clear.
There were Lupines flowering all along the river.  They were very colourful.
 It had rained hard last night so there were waterfalls all along the mountains on the drive to Milford Sound. 
You can see the waterfall coming down from this glacier.  The blue of the glacier ice was very distinct.
Nada and Reed at our next stop The Chasm. This river falls down into a big chasm which was hard to get a clear picture of it.  It was very neat to look at and the sound was powerful.
We arrived at Milford Sound at 1:15 p.m. and boarded the cruise.  It was cool but not cold and the water was fairly smooth.  Trevor and Nichole with Mitre Peak in the background.
This waterfall in Milford Sound is always here. It is the first falls that you see and falls over 500 feet. 
We sat on the top deck the whole time.  We had Pita Pit for lunch and it was very windy heading out to the Tasman Sea.
Milford Sound.  It was created by glaciers.

This is the second waterfall that runs year round.  It falls 492 feet.  When you are right next to it, it is awesome to think of how far it falls.
Heading out of the Sound into the Tasman Sea.  The weather was calm enough that this time we went all the way out of the Sound so we could look back from the Tasman Sea to the opening of the Sound.  You could see why Captain Cook did not see it.
Nada and Trevor with a waterfall coming down one of the mountains but not a falls that runs year round.
The seals were out sunning themselves.  We saw a couple of dolphins but did not get a good picture of any of them.
 So beautiful.
There were a couple of other boats out in the Sound with us.  The trip on the Sound too two hours.
There was this Red Tussock Grass in a certain area on the drive home.  We have not seen this, especially to this degree, anywhere else in New Zealand. 
This is the view of Lake Wakatipu from our hotel room in Queenstown.  We stayed at the Copthorne Lakeview Hotel.  The hotel was nice but the view fantastic.

On Wednesday, December 23, 2015, we packed up and left our bags at the front desk and headed back to downtown Queenstown.  Our flight didn't leave until 4:00 p.m. so we wanted to see more.  This is the wharf in Queenstown.
We decided to take a boat cruise on Lake Wakatipu.  The water was very calm and the weather was very warm.  It was a beautiful day.  We learned about the Remarkables which are the big mountains in the background. They have a ski resort in these mountains.
Reed and Nada on the boat with the dam and the Remarkables behind them.  They built a dam but the river rose higher so they had to build this bridge.  This is the most northern end of the lake. This is one of the three largest lakes in New Zealand.  The deepest part is 365 meters.
When we left the boat we walked back to the hotel through the Queensland Gardens.  This was a fun little bridge with a wonderful lily pond.
They had a great rose garden as well.

We had such a great time in Queenstown.  We loved being together and seeing some of the beautiful country and sites of the South Island.  We arrived back in Auckland at 6:30 p.m. to clouds and much cooler weather.

We are so grateful to have Trevor and Nichole here with us.  It is almost hard to believe that it is true.  We are grateful that it is really slow at the Area Office and most all the employees take these two weeks off at Christmas time so we can spend time exploring and not feel guilty.

Looking forward to Christmas Day.

Will continue our journeys in the next blog.  Until next time, Love Elder and Sister Spencer (aka Reed and Nada)


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