disclaimer: no rabbits were harmed during this photo shoot. ---
on one of the final days of our vacation, we visited the glow worm and ruakuri caves in waitomo, a few hours outside of auckland. en route, we happened to notice a quirky little red building called the shearing shed, advertising angora rabbit products and a free demonstration. i love demonstrations. i took a quick look in our lonely planet book, and saw that the place had a rabbit shearing demo everyday at 12.45pm. at 11.55am we found ourselves done with the first cave, with plenty of time before we were scheduled for the next one. so, we had a quick lunch next door at the huhu cafe and headed on over to the shearing shed, right on time.
we began our second week in new zealand in rotorua, famous for their geothermal activity. during our last day there, we enjoyed the hell's gate geothermal park. little did we expect, the park ended with an optional craft activity!
we were given the opportunity to try a little wood carving, an important craft to the maori people. unfortunately, we didn't have so much time to learn about the tradition and history of maori wood-carving, but it was fun to try the craft.
we had a choice of the following designs. i chose a kiwi for the husband, and he chose a ponga for me. we were handed a little piece of wood with the image drawn on, plus a rubber mallet and chisel. the chisel had a v-shaped groove in it (images below). the maori wood-carving instructor gave us a brief demo and we were ready to test out our wood-carving skills.
i climbed a glacier and i am proud to report that i did not fall off.
a few days into our trip here (new zealand), we took a half day climb on franz josef glacier, the second largest glacier in the country (about 11 km long). we booked our guided hike via www.franzjosefglacier.com, which may very well be the only company that organizes these trips into the glacier. as i understand it (and i may be wrong), individuals are not allowed to hike the glacier without an experienced guide.
i'm currently on a grand vacation in new zealand with the husband. we've been here just over a week, and it is amazing. our little point and shoot just can't quite capture all the beauty.
if you haven't visited this fabulous country before, i strongly suggest you do so. what are you waiting for? i don't want to hear any excuses about money- just sell a kidney. after all, isn't that why we were born with two?
the first time i went to europe was the summer after i graduated from college -arguably one of the greatest experiences of my life. i was there for nearly 3 months. afterwards, i decided it was time to try my hand at scrapbooking, as i had taken (in combination with the husband, then known as the boyfriend) something like 2000 photos. a few hundred dollars and 10 months later, i completed an astonishingly heavy album and never made another one again. i'm not saying that i didn't enjoy it. there were just so many other craft distractions, like rubber stamping cards (i was really into that for a while) and my student wallet just couldn't handle it.
since then, my photos have largely been left neglected. i managed to make one more album after our second wedding (yes, we had two weddings. i'm a very lucky girl.) via mypublisher.com that turned out quite well. but maybe because i was anal, (i designed it page by page in trial versions of corel draw + photoshop, and when i ran out of trial versions, powerpoint) it took me many months and i never had the energy to make one again, even though i was recommending the company to friends left and right.
fast forward a few years later, mypublisher.com has faithfully and frequently sent me coupons through email (thank goodness they didn't give up on me), and last month i received a well-timed 50% off coupon. i say well-timed because we have been traveling quite frequently in the past few years, and i've recently been feeling a little sad that our photos have just been filed away, deep in our hard drives. i've imagined how nice it would be to share memories with other people without having the entire world crowd around a tiny monitor. not to mention that sometimes it's just nice to look at an old fashioned photo album... that actually looks like a professionally bound coffee table book.