Under the Sea!

Here’s a fun clip that Kevin got of a spotted moray and a scorpion fish! Moray’s open and close their mouths to breathe. A few folks thought that it was defensive posturing, but I can assure you- he was just hanging out. No plans to be attacked. The scorpion fish has amazing natural camouflage and is one of the world’s most venomous fish.

Don’t worry. Kevin took these with a goPro Hero 3+ extending stick with a red filter.

Kevin got this video of the green turtle at the end of our 1,000 Steps dive. What a great experience!

Bon bon bonaire

Much like Ireland’s Blarney stone, London’s Piccadilly Circus, and NYC’s Time  Square, Bonaire has it’s own “well you’re here- you better go see it”. It is called 1,000 Steps. 

Kevin modeling the entrance

It is named this not because there are 1,000 steps (I’ve heard 64 -79), but because it feels like 1,000 steps on the way back. 

Kevin for scale. I did not bring a banana

Entry way into the dive

The problem wasn’t even the steps. That stoney beach is actually a bunch of dead coral pieces that roll and disperse under your feet. This entry was tough, and while a pretty enough dive, not worth the effort. 

Also there are donkeys that just kinda roam the island

After 1,000 Steps we headed to Oil Slick which was a MUCH nicer dive. I’ll post pics of underwater stuff in a later spot.

Our stray cat that has been waiting for us every evening

Save your steps for a different dive. 

So I’ve left out a few things…

So many good intentions…so many. I meant to post about visiting my sister in Boston, and our hike up the stony paths of Mount Monadnock.

Or from when Kevin, Jenni and I slogged through the Race For the Cure. It was hot and I took no pictures. 

So here’s a picture of my dog and her patriotic feather

But here’s what I really wanted to share with you: Bonaire. 

This place has literally hundreds of dive sights, pristine as the entire area is a marine park. 

Breakfast Companion

And I’ve already made friends with a stay calico kitty. Who knows if she will come back tonight, but she left us a lizard tail at our door this morning. Thanks, Kitty. 

We’ve only done one dive so fast, but it was beautiful. Saw a sea snake! That was a first…more photos headed your way soon!

And welcome to Bonaire!

Because it always rains when we go anywhere. Why would this be any different?

Color In Motion 5k

Weeeee! What a fun, if dirty run. It set out from Northgate Mall in Durham .
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Color stations were set up about every 1k to pound you with the chalky mess as you run. Sadly the race was not timed- made very clear by the traffic stops. They did not close any roads, just marked out lanes with cones.
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Still, loads of fun, and perfect for our first race of the year. @colorinMotion5k

North Carolina Zoo!

If you are looking for the beginning of the New Zealand pics, click here

Continuing on with my Tourist in My Own State saga, yesterday, we visited the NC Zoo in Asheboro. The NC Zoo is the world’s largest Natural Habitat Zoo.

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The park is located on 2,200 acres with only 500 acres being developed into habitat, so far! And believe me, you feel every step as you wind your way through this massive set of exhibits.

The aviary has more than 3,000 tropical plants and dozens of exotic birds.

This place has something for everyone, and unsurprisingly, great for families. They are also putting in a rope course that should be finished soon- what a cool way to see the park!

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Sally and Kevin on top of the Mountain Lion Rock- it had to be done!

A tram helps connect the park, so you can ride your way to North America and walk back to Africa. Or whatever floats your boat.

My favorite was Africa. I couldn’t believe how close the elephants get, and you really underestimate the size of the rhinos. They are WAY bigger than a cow…

Special thanks to my friend Sally who drove all of us! Also thanks to Kevin, and his parents Graham & Peggy, for making a fun outing. It’s totally worth the hour and a half drive from Raleigh.

Click here to learn more about the NC Zoo

 

Tourist in my own State

The thing I love about traveling is how much it helps you appreciate what you have back home. Here in North Carolina, we are truly fortunate to have so many natural wonders right in our back yard. While we were in NZ, I realized that we don’t take advantage of how much our state has to offer. So I decided that it was high time to become a tourist in my own state.

If you are looking for the beginning of the New Zealand Trip, Start Here.

One of the things we really enjoyed was hiking to the top of random mountains to take in the view. I checked out a list of National Parks near us and decided on Hanging Rock.

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So we loaded up the car with our dog, Chai, our friend Sally, and K’s mom, Peggy. A mere 2 hours later we were just a short walk to Cascade Falls.

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Peggy and Sally taking in the view

Then we took our packed lunches up to the summit of Hanging Rock. Only trouble was, that we weren’t the only ones who thought this was a great day for a walk…

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I think I can see Peggy from here..

But it was totally worth the view for our lunch

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Chai doesn’t like when I get too close to the edge

This place would be amazing for bouldering and rock climbing. So just a reminder to have fun in your own state. Next week, the ZOO!!

The Itinerary: The Hindsight Report

Questions on our itinerary have been raised and I figured it might be nice to have a running log on what we liked, disliked, where we wished we had spent more time, and where we wished we had spent less. Also this will have mini reviews of our accommodations. This is a long, wordy one – so if you’re looking for photos, move on!

We also used a travel agent, Chrissy Sun, to come up with this itinerary, and she did almost all of our bookings (the heli hike on Aoraki-Mt.Cook being the only exception). I highly recommend using a travel agent. Everything is booked ahead, already paid for, so all you have to do is hand the proprietor your voucher.  www.firstlighttravel.com

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