It’s been a “full-on” year (A phrase I adopted that Kiwis use all the time. I think it’s pretty self explanatory). I know I’m a bit late for recapping last year’s events. You see, I started to write this around New Years and before I could finish, our baby arrived, safe and sound and slightly early. So glad she waited until after the Christmas rush for calendars!
For us, 2015 was about building up our library of photos which meant that we had to do a lot of traveling to get to those off-the-beaten-track places. We used various modes of transport: we drove, flew, sailed, walked, 4-wheeled, and tramped (or hiked). We purposefully planned a couple trips to the South Island so I could see some new places and David revisit places he had seen ages ago and/or new places for him too.
- Last Christmas and New Year's we visited David's family and spent several days on the family farm near Kataia in the Far North. We helped his dad with some chores around the farm like shifting cattle from one paddock to another, checking on water pumps, and while he shared sheep David and I were the “rouseabouts” (The ones in the woolshed who sort the wool once the sheep has been shorn. You separate the dirty wool from the good quality, clean wool).
- In February we hosted my parents for a three week visit to New Zealand, trying to show off as much of the country as possible while still giving them a good feel of our life in Wellington. David and my dad went to a World Cup Cricket match between New Zealand and England. We visited the family farm, Rotorua, Waipoua Forest, Wellington as well as the Wairarapa. Of course, all opportunities were taken to snap some more photos.
- Over Easter weekend in early April we ventured up to Whanganui, South Taranaki and Tongariro National Park, all places both David and I hadn’t been to before. We did a full day hike up to the Upper Tama Lake where the weather changed on us very quickly, without any warning. We walked back in the fog and rain for some time. We also discovered Waverley Beach and the magnificent cliffs and rock faces right on the shore.
- A few weeks later over ANZAC weekend at the end of April we took the ferry across to the South Island and then drove west to Motueka and Takaka. The Tasman area is known for sunny weather but we struck grey skies and rain much of the weekend. Nonetheless, we found the Te Waikoropupū Springs and the Riwaka Resurgence among other places.
- In May, we got the happy news that I was pregnant and expecting a baby in mid-January! At first I had morning sickness that seems to last the whole day but luckily that subsided. This has understandably slowed me down a bit from my usual pace of life but was happy to have been able to keep working.
- July, we flew down to the South Island and toured (drove) around Central Otago from Dunedin to Alexandra to Queenstown and back and including the Otago Peninsula. We enjoyed the different sort of scenery and David, in particular, was really taken with the snow-capped mountains and hills (the shot below made it into our canvas print collection). The dry ground and dry climate were quite a shock to us both from the wet, misty Wellington winter we are used to.
- I made an unplanned trip home to the US in August when my grandma was unwell. It was great to be able to see the rest of the family including the littlies and enjoy a few weeks of a North American summer.
- When I got home, I hit the ground running in terms of selecting photos, writing the accompanying commentary, planning and designing our five various 2016 calendars. There is a lot that goes into it!
- Then came the short and the intense calendar selling season from the end of October to the middle of December. In our case, David and I were working other jobs which meant 75 to 80 hour weeks for both of us.
- Christmas came and we had a little break before our baby girl arrived in early January.
Now we are in the midst of planning our schedule for 2016 with the addition of being parents and taking the baby with us on our great adventures. Stay tuned!