From Plan A to Plan B to Plan C

4:00am I whispered, ” Honey are you up?” Then a bit louder, ” Hey, you can’t sleep either?” Then I shine my IPhone on him until he stirs. ” Why are you up so early?” I innocently ask. I’ve been up since 3:00am with full force jet lag and I’m bored.

Before I go on, let’s agree on a new rule. I am blogging under extreme conditions of exhaustion and one finger typing on my IPad since Hubby’s work computer that I usually use is locked up for three days. Plus I’m on the opposite side of the equator and that opens up a whole new can of worms as to why it’s hard to English good here. I’ll continue to post, but there will be no judging my horrible speeling or grahmmer at all. I’m bound to spell “you’re” incorrectly and will change tenses wrongly and often. I’ll likely repeat myself and will change tenses wrongly and often. But my editor is staying far far away in a stinky hut right now so your getting this uncensored and first draft and all. Agreede? Thank you!

Tess and Laura had a nice continental breakfast set up for us before it was time to go. I learned that Marmite is in New Zealand and Vegemite is in Australia. They’re both equally inedible but this local Pic’s Peanut Butter was the bomb! Super duper crunchy and easy to stir.

Although this is an Active Adventure trip, we are doing a lot of driving. We will average 3-4 hours of driving a day so we can see the best sights all over the island, mixing in hiking and stuff too. So on days where you don’t see a lot of steps taken, realize we were probably doing a long drive and will make them up tomorrow.

In case you need proof I’m here: sheep

Actually though, New Zealand sheep ain’t what they used to be. As synthetic material is starting to surpass wool, demand is dwindling. Cows are now the new sheep. New Zealand is exporting powdered milk product to China by the buttplug. Now I meant to say “boatload” but I want to check to see how forgiving and nonjudgmental you’re really being about my mistakes.

Many pastures have sheep, cows and horses living together in harmony. Black cows and white cows, big sheep and babies too. They all share. There is peace in the pasture. It brings a tear to my eye. Beautiful, just beautiful.

After a few hours of driving we stopped in Marlborough at the Forrest Vineyard for some local wine tasting. In the morning, before lunch, before another windy mountain drive.

Rosie did our pours and taught us all about the grapes. This is white wine country known especially for their Sauvignon blancs.Honestly I didn’t love any of them but I’m not a wine snob, connoisseur, I mean, like Rich.

” Oh blow, I brought out the wrong wine!” remarked Rosie. Sweet old Rosie! It’s not like she said “blow me” but it was still shocking to hear.

The kids were bored and it was now time for The Kayakers to part ways from The Hikers. Lots of hugs now because I’m not touching them with a 10 foot hiking pole when we meet back up with them in three unshowered days! I felt ok leaving my family, but strangely sad leaving Ernie.

After 40 slightly treacherous minutes driving through the narrow and windy mountain road , we were gearing up for Day 1 of kayaking through the Queen Charlotte Sound. We were told to ” have a squiz through the paperwork” before we could go.

I’ve been kayaking many times before. But not with a sea kayak like this. We had to wear this neoprene bib that locks you into your kayak. Getting the bib on is no picnic. It’s like wearing a Spanx suit that you put on over your head that goes from your waist to your armpits.

Borut came over to me and said, “Wow, I’m really smashed in here.”

I glared at him. “Borut, you don’t even have boobs, you have nothing to complain about!”

He glanced over at Marlene and received death ray eyes. He sheepishly turned and slinked away. Slunked away?

***And speaking of boobs, when having ample ones that are being smashed, where do you think they go pretell? Well they don’t go inward! So now one was mashed against my stomach heading south and the other was in my neck and throat. I don’t mean near them. It had infiltrated into my neck and throat and I could barely breath. I had a boob goiter. Needless to say, I pulled everything down and the girls were happy. And that’s all we ever need to discuss about my breasts ever.

We were told that if we flip the kayak, we will need to find the one strap that can pull this bib off. Don’t go for one of the many other dangling straps from your life jacket. Or one of the straps holding your water bottle. Have a clear head while you are airless and upside and choose the right strap. Marlene and I looked at each other and giggled nervously because it was abundantly clear without any words needed that neither of us would stay calm enough upside and and disoriented to pull the right cord. Not a freaking chance. If we flip, we die. So when James, our very experienced kayak guide asked who wants to double with him, I couldn’t get my “Meeee!!!!” Out any faster. Sorry Marlene, and good luck with Borut.

The reason I can kayak with my bad back is because kayaks have awesome back supports and adjustable foot rests to brace against for support. I’ve kayaked in Newport Beach for hours dozens of times- no problemo. BUT NOT SEA KAYAKS. No back support and nothing for your feet. You sit in there all willy-nilly loose, no way to push my back against anything, The minute my life was locked in, my back said, “Oh, hell no BITCH!”

Listen, I’m not here to complain about my back the whole trip. Since spinal fusion I’ve still been able to jump horses, go on roller coasters and ski. There’s so many things I am able to do post-surgeries, I stay thankful for what is. I learned that from my mom. No point in dwelling on what I can’t do when I’m still able to do so much. But sea kayaking isn’t one of them. After 2-3 painful hours of it today, I told James we need Plan C for me for tomorrow.

Let me assure you though that I absolutely loved everything about today’s kayak trip except the kayaking. The beauty here is unreal and I plan on enjoying it to the fullest tomorrow one way or another.

We finished our kayaking and walked up the road to the delightful B&B where we are staying for the next two nights. Did I feel slightly guilty soaking in this glorious hot tub before a gigantic home cooked meal was served AND CLEANED UP for us while my four boys are roughing it in the hut? Nope!

Our hostess, Linda, outdid herself with this feast for dinner

Butterscotch mousse with Hokey Pokey ice cream

New words for today;


Squiz- a run though? I’m totally guessing here

Garitch- where our bags were waiting for us. Similar to a garage

Steps today: 5683 plus 2-3 hours of sea kayaking in rough water


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