Last October (NZ style) Part One

27 Oct

I have some old news to share with you- a bit of a recollection, if you will. Exactly a year ago to this very week, I was arriving in New Zealand with my (now) husband and two of his friends. They had been planning this adventure as a celebration of returning back to the states from Iraq and the plans were set well before I even met Captain J for the first time. In fact, I didn’t want to intrude. They should have guy time, right? They could share old war stories, drink New Zealand beer, and revel in the fact that they had two weeks to do whatever they pleased in one of the most gorgeous countries that I’ve ever seen. For whatever reason, J didn’t want to leave me behind so he shelled out the money for a plane ticket for me, as well. I was excited!

We arrived in Auckland on October 26, 2009- which happened to be NZ’s Labor Day. I remember being amazed at the individuals I saw running the streets. Everyone seemed to be chiseled to perfection- so fit and healthy! We set out early in the morning from the airport and I guess this is when many people take the opportunity to exercise because literally every person we saw that morning was out jogging. The city wasn’t bustling yet at that hour and we would come to find that it was unlike any American city we had experienced. No one seemed to be in a big hurry and everyone was eager to talk to us and tell us of their favorite local spots when probed. After a quick glance at the culture via a local museum, we left to check into our hotel and catch some shut eye. The only problem was- I was too excited to sleep!  I crept out of the hotel room and (Mom & Dad: Skip this part) strolled around the streets of Auckland by myself. I went to a nearby restaurant and sat around and listened to some street music and enjoyed some coffee while I thought to myself, “I wonder if J will ask me to marry him while we’re here.”

On October 27th, we hopped in the rental car and whisked ourselves away to Thames, NZ. While in Thames we did a little hiking in the hills behind the town and enjoyed relaxing in a small town that was virtually deserted. Small businesses surrounded us, but it was difficult to find them actually open. That night we stayed in a little hotel that had about 4-5 rooms. The bathroom and shower areas were community with the bedrooms the only place of privacy. We chatted with the lady who owned it downstairs in her food and bar area. While, we enjoyed walking the streets of Thames, we eagerly looked forward to exploring more of the country the following day.

We joked that this was a bad band photo.


Over the next few days, we traveled the long, scenic route to Tauranga where we settled in at the lovely Hotel on Davenport. The drive was nothing short of amazing. The vegetation changed so quickly that it was difficult to push the button on my camera fast enough!

During this leg of the trip, we visited the breathtaking views of Mount Maunganui in a short, 20 minute hike. We were able to see excellent views of the harbour and sheep trails as I huffed and puffed, chasing after three army guys on a constant elevation. Later, we went to a winery, Mills Reef, and tasted some wonderfully old grape juice!

Our shadows after the hike. We were waiting on J to finish snapping photos as per usual. Copyright @Josh Reed

I was having a pretty good time, but in the back of my mind, I still felt as though I might be intruding. I no longer thought that J proposing was going to happen. In fact, I was beginning to wonder if he ever would. In my mind, I started calculating my move back to Tennessee. No, I wasn’t thinking of breaking up with him; I simply knew that I needed to get back in school and on with my life while he figured out what he wanted in his. While I hated the idea of being away from J if I didn’t have to be, I also knew I couldn’t just shack up with him forever. When I made the decision to move to Alaska, it was in preparation for our upcoming marriage that we talked about while he was deployed. It was a welcoming home visit of sorts and at that point, he had been home for about a month with no talk of getting married. Little did I know, he was trying to make me think that it was the furtherest thing from his mind…

I began to focus on having a good time on this trip, the trip of a lifetime.

To Be Continued…


One Response to “Last October (NZ style) Part One”


  1. Last October (NZ Style) Part 2 « Mrs. K and Captain J - November 2, 2010

    […] In case you missed my post from last week, you’re going to want to check that out before proceeding: Part One. […]

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