West Coast New Zealand

The next stop on our New Zealand journey takes us up the west coast. After leaving Fox & Franz Josef Glacier we headed north to Hokitika and checked into a beachfront hotel. We treated ourselves to room service and had an early night!

The next morning we woke up and spent a few hours walking around Hokitika which is known for it’s beautiful jade. I made my one purchase of the trip – a beautiful stone painted with a circular pattern….a great memory of our trip!

We then drove on to Lake Kaniere where there was a four hour hike along the lakeshore. After an hour we decided that, while beautiful, the scenery really wasn’t changing so Jeff took a swim and then we turned around and headed onwards

Lake Kaniere New Zealand

The visitor’s center in Hokitika gave us a map that noted that Dorothy falls was especially beautiful. You know by now that Jeff can’t pass up a waterfall so on we drove. Jeff was even brave enough to take a dip…..he concluded that it was the coldest swim of the trip 🙂

Dorothy Falls New Zealand

Close by was another site – Hokitika gorge. The water was the most amazing color blue due to the glacier dust (a common sight on our trip but it never got old). And yes we had to cross a swingbridge to get here – BOO!

Hokitika Gorge New Zealand

Turns out it was milking time! We encountered a lot of cows being driven towards the barn but this was the only time they crossed a road

Milking in New Zealand

The coast was beautiful! It reminded us both a lot of Route 1 in California

We reached Punakaki (the Pancake Rocks) in the late afternoon and unfortunately our timing was not correct for the tides where water spews out of the top. Nevertheless they are really beautiful and so unusual – definitely worth a stop! We considered coming back after heading north to find our hotel but we’d had enough driving.

Punakaiki Rocks New Zealand

Punakaiki Rocks New Zealand

We spent that night in Westport and had a really memorable dinner at The Townhouse where we enjoyed a delicious bottle of Sauvignon Blanc (that was also a common occurence!!)

The next morning we quickly visited the Cape Foulwind Seal Colony at Tauranga Bay and Jeff did some body surfing in the ocean. We headed inland and lunched at the Riverview Cafe in Murchison (seen below) – yummy food and lovely views!

Riverview Cafe Murchison

From there we drove onto Mt. Robert (you’ll have to wait until next week for those images) but in the meantime saw some beautiful sites along the way.

More sheep 🙂

This is a public service announcement about the road signs in NZ. There are a TON of one way bridges and it took us a few days to understand what the signs meant.

If you come upon the sign on the left it means that you should stop and yield to any oncoming traffic as they have the right of way

If you come upon the sign on the right it means that you have the right of way and should assume that any oncoming cars will yield to you

Have a great weekend – stay tuned….next Friday I’ll have pictures of our spectacular Mt. Roberts hike – our favorite of the trip!

The President’s Photographer

I can’t remember where I first read about this documentary but to me it sounded like a perfect fit! I ended up watching it on the flight to New Zealand (huzzah for in-flight entertainment!) and I loved it. The story focuses primarily on Pete Souza, who is President Obama’s official photographer, but also includes interviews with previous White House photographers. Interestingly, Pete was also a photographer in the Reagan White House. Pete discusses the myriad of challenges that he faces on a daily basis from scheduling and pace to being in the right place at the right time – it’s fascinating. As a wedding photographer there are often moments of stress and frenzy but I can’t imagine documenting the leader of the free world day in/day out – quite a feat! Worth a watch!

Queensberry Matted Wedding Album

As a birthday gift for Lauren her Mother and Father generously (and secretly!!) arranged for me to order this Queensberry album and have it delivered – what a present! She was thrilled to receive it and it was a hit!

It’s a 9×9 Queensberry Matted Album with a Black Leather cover. The cover is Blind Embossed with their names.

Their names and the date also appear on the translucent title page – I love this look!

Inside the album are classic black mats with white borders – such a timeless look!




Loved this spread of details – Lauren & Colin did such a beautiful job decorating Eolia 

Loved how Colin & Lauren chose to feature single images full page


Lauren’s Grandmother sang to them and was a HIT!!

They have a canvas of this in their house – such a romantic image!

Congratulations Lauren & Colin!

Go Karting

In late fall Jonas, Aidan, and Wendy came down to CT overnight for a visit. Jeff took the afternoon off from work and we went go karting – the boy’s favorite activity 🙂

That night we cooked Peanut Pad Thai and hung out. I’m determined to make chefs out of Jonas & Aidan – I love that Jeff knows how to cook and loves doing it….a definite bonus!

Jeff in his element 🙂

Glad to see the boys taking their hands off the wheel to give me a thumbs up…..NOT!!!

Happy times!

Winter Trip to Vermont

A few weeks ago I was up in Vermont with Jeff. It was a quick busy weekend trip but as always we took time to walk the dogs down to their favorite spot – the lake.

The photo below makes me go ahhhhh 🙂

Lake champlain

View from Cow Barn hill down to the lake

View through yellow field to Adirondacks across Lake Champlain

Strider caught in the act (eating grass no doubt!)

The little dog ponders whether to venture into the cold water