Best day ever

22 Jan

It’s the middle of another Midwestern winter and my thoughts drift to past vacations in warmer locations, and to my favorite day. Yes. My favorite day. Ever. I spent my 36th birthday in Queenstown, New Zealand. We were staying in a range of accommodations on that trip, and woke up in a very shabby, communal bathroom, backpacker lodge. Not a room that encourages lingers. So we quickly got up and got moving, heading to our adventure of the day. Hang gliding.

Launch site

It was amazing. I’d never done anything like it, and loved it. We then got into our rental car and drove around the area, stopped at a few vineyards, watched people bungee jump (we’d exhausted our adventure budget – that kind of fun doesn’t come cheap!), lunch at a brewpub, then onto Wankaka, a smaller town that friends told us was not to be missed. They were right. It’s on a lake and is stunning. I’d decided that we were not spending my birthday in a backpacker lodge, and booked us into what is still one of my favorite places on earth. River Run.

We checked into our room, opened the door to the patio and met our neighbors.

Just outside our door

We went for a walk around the grounds, following a creek through the woods. Came back to the room, cleaned up, and went to the communal happy hour. There were about 8 other guests, from around the world, including a local couple celebrating their engagement. His family owned a vineyard, so we stopped there the next day, and discovered a favorite wine that we can find here occasionally.

A gourmet dinner was served around a communal table. The company was interesting. The setting was amazing. The wine was fantastic. My husband gave me a pair of earrings from a very cool jewelry store we’d found in Wellington a few days earlier.

The rest of the trip was incredible, but that day stands out as THE BEST EVER (said in booming announcer voice). A picture from the next day is too beautiful not to share tho – so I’ll end with it.

The start of our hike, the day after the best day ever

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