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Monday, March 21, 2011

Getting there: Air New Zealand

Imagine looking forward to a long-haul flight... imagine even looking forward to the plane food!  That's what it's like on Air New Zealand.  Last week, our FROSCH group flew to New Zealand to experience the country first-hand.  We were lucky to sit in business class, which features seats that convert to flat beds-- it's really the best way to go!

We were greeted by the charming crew with a glass of champagne and barely even noticed when we took off.  Even the safety video was a delight.  It stars Rico, a funny, furry critter whose bizarre commentary actually makes you pay attention.  After dinner, I wasn't even able to stay awake long enough to watch one of their dozens of movies and TV episodes-- I changed into my pajamas and fell fast asleep for seven solid hours, waking only when the flight crew came around with a tray of hot towels and coffee. 

(Please excuse me for a moment while I gush about the bacon roll I had for breakfast.  It was amazing, ranking among the top ten meals of my life according to a highly scientific ranking system that accounts for innovative flavor combinations, butter levels, bacon quantities, and the surprise factor, among other determinants.  I will stop here because I'm afraid I spent the entire first half of the week talking about the bacon roll and the second half looking forward to the one I would have on my return trip.  It was so good.)

From Auckland, we connected on to Queenstown and had magnificent views of the Southern Alps from the window.  We flew on the newest addition to the Air New Zealand fleet-- rugby-themed in celebration of the famed All Blacks

The flight into Queenstown is breathtaking and the best way I can think to describe it is that it felt like those flying dreams everyone has now and then.  You swoop between mountains, catching a glimpse of Lake Wakatipu's blue, then land gently between sheep paddocks.  It's the perfect complement to a visit to Queenstown, a thrill-seeker's paradise.

New Zealand's South Island is not to be missed.  While our hearts go out to the victims of Christchurch's recent tragedy, other areas are entirely unaffected.  Having seen both islands, I was amazed at how different and increasingly stunning each region was from the other.  The South Island-- from Fiordland to Milford Sound to Abel Tasman-- has so much natural beauty.  We'll have more on all that later this week! 

Coming up next:  exploring Abel Tasman National Park, fishing in the Taharua River and jetboating on the Shotover, learning about sheep shearing at Wharekauhau, wine tasting in Hawke's Bay, and so much more.  It was an awesome trip and we have tons to share!  Stay tuned all week for the FROSCH Insider scoop on all things New Zealand. 

1 comment:

  1. You forgot to mention the windows in the bathroom! That was nice touch; especially in the morning when freshening up after the long nap.


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