Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lets Talk About LOVE-part 2

As promised here is part two of the mojo Monday challenge. Scroll down for part one. My daughter has a birthday this Friday, so as I was making this card a light went on in my little brain and thought. WOW- I already have her birthday card ready to go.

YIPPEEE, nothing like being a few days ahead.

I used a different stamp set on this card. I used our February Stamp of the Month "Piece of Cake" The other items are the same as I used in my first post. The cake image I white embossed. OK, OK I have a confession to make. I have not embossed for several months. I forgot how fun it can be.

Anyway, have fun creating and let me know if I can help you in anyway.

Card Sketch: mojo123
Embossing: White Daisy embossing powder

Lets Talk About LOVE

Well it's time to get back to reality. I started off the day with a little bit of creativity. OHHH goodness I just love brown and pink together. So putting this card together was so fun.

Mojo challenge this week has a square and round version. I started with the square, but I just can't stop there. Check back later for my round version of the sketch.

If you need a Valentines card, need to show a little love to a special friend or in need of a wedding card this card would work perfect.

Thanks so much for taking a peak. Below is a list of supplies that I used to create the card. Click on the links to be taken to my website.

Paper: X7120B Topstitch Level 2 pack
Stamps: D1402 Togetherness
Inks: Baby Pink, Chocolate
Accessories: Dimensional Element-Hearts, Pretty Pins, Sparkles, Basic buttons, Colonial White Grograin
Card Sketch: Mojo123

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day 6-New Zealand "Walter Peak Farm, Gondola, Luge"

On day 6 we started the day out with breakfast at the hotel. We then made our way to the lobby to meet our tour guide. Our tour group then walked downtown to the pier. Once at the pier we climbed aboard the TSS Earnslaw. This boat is believed to be the oldest working coal-fired steamship. Fred was mesmerized with the engine room. The ride was 30 minutes across the beautiful Lake Wakatipu. This farm was amazing. We watched the sheep dog in action, witnessed a sheep being sheared (like I had never see that before-haha) and took in the scenery as well as the other animals on the farm. We then got back on the TSS Earnslaw for another 30 minute ride back to town.
Once we got back in town we decided to get a birds eye view of the town and took the Skyline gondola up the mountain. This gondola is the steepest in the world. Once we got to the top we enjoyed the scenic views and hiked around.

Another fun acticity was the Luge rides at the top... Whoa! this was fun... it's a gravity based sled ride around the mountain. We did that several times.
For those adventurous souls they had a very fun bungy and sky swing on the top as well. Can you see that little green hut above the trees. (yes the top hut) They strap you in bungy cords and a sling and you take a running leap off that hut into mid air. YIKES. Friend Michelle and her daughter did this. Michelle you are my hero. She has some great photos to prove she did it. I am a big chicken and stuck to the Luge.
Once we got back to town we did some souvenir shopping and then headed back to the hotel. That evening was our closing reception. CTMH treated us to a fantastic dinner at the "Prime" restaurant. Dinner took three hours, but we did tons of socializing. We sat at a huge table with Cindy and Ron Denning, Chris and Scott Hill, Michelle Snyder and her daughter, Michelle Loader and her daughter, Shari and Stacey Foerming.

It was a great and fun day. For tomorrow afternoon we fly home.

Day 5-New Zealand "MILFORD SOUND"

So we arrived in Queenstown at the end of day 4. Queenstown is a goldmine town that was named after Queen Victoria. Queenstown is surrounded by rugged mountain peaks, and is built on the hillsides overlooking beautiful Lake Wakatipu. Queenstown is a beautiful site. I think I need a little vacation home here along the lake. Today is day 5 so we started bright and early for our adventure into Milford Sound.

Again today will be another day of "The Joy is in the Journey" We traveled by bus approx four hours to get to Milford. We made lots of stops along the way as we took in another picturesque day. Words and photo's alone can't describe the beauty.

Once we arrived in Milford we were escorted onto a boat. We enjoyed lunch on the boat as we set sail through the fjord.

Milford Sound is one of the most immediately breathtaking places in New Zealand. It was created during the great ice-age when glaciers cut vast vertical sided canyons, then gradually melted. The 22-km-long fjord is dominated by beautiful Mitre Peak and calmed by gorgeous waters that mirror the sheer peaks surrounding them. Milford Sound is AKA as the 8th wonder of the world. Precipitation at Milford Sound tops 21 feet a year, making it one of the wettest places on earth.

The rock walls were washed with hundreds of cascading waterfalls. As we approached Mitre Peak it was this huge mountain protruding out of the water with the mirror reflections of the peaks in the water.

I love waterfalls they are one of my favorite things in nature. I love the natural beauty and feeling of peace a waterfall brings. Gosh I took thousands of photos of all the waterfalls. It was so hard to narrow down just a few to post here.

The boat cruised right up next to one of the largest falls. The water was spilling over into the boat. It was very refresing and a bit cold. but well worth the experience.

After our adventure in Milford Sound we started back down the mountain. We ran into a New Zealand traffic jam. Yes you can't come to New Zealand without seeing sheep. There are 40 million sheep and 4 million people in the country. Well it was not a new site to me, but the others in our group thought it was very funny. AHHHHH.....today was another wonderful day in New Zealand.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day 4-New Zealand "MOUNT COOK"

Today is a travel day. We will be traveling from Christchurch to Queenstown N.Z. The complete trip did take almost 12 hours and we were all getting a little tired of the bus. However the trip was very picturesque. The countryside was so beautiful and stunning. Of course me being a girl that loves mountains and water I was in heaven. As I always say "The Joy is in the Journey"

So halfway between Christchurch and Queenstown is the amazing Lake Tekapo. We learned that "Tekapo" is a Maori word that means night sleeping place. The lake is unique and famous for it's color. The color of the lake is created by "rock flour" which results when the glaciers head water grinds the rocks into fine dust. The lake never freezes and is excellent for fishing. The church you see is called the "Church of the Good Shepherd" The church was build in 1935. The Church is interdenominational and services are held regularly throughout the year.

As we traveled down the road a few more miles we could see Mount Cook. It is called "Aoraki" in the Maori language. In New Zealand Mt. Cook is the tallest of all the mountains and is #36 in the world. It is over 3000 meters. It was named after James Cook the English explorer. Most days Mt. Cook is covered by clouds. So as we were getting closer you could see the full mountain but as we reached the restaurant that we ate lunch at within minutes the clouds rolled in and covered half the mountain. Therefore this is a post card that I bought so you can see how beautiful it is.

It was time for lunch so we stopped at the Hermitage Hotel where CTMH treated us to a wonderful lunch. We had time after lunch so we took more photos and walked around before getting back on the bus.

We are at the base of Mt. Cook and you can see that the mountain is almost covered with the cloud.

On the way down the hill we stopped at Lake Pukaki which has blue glacial water that is fed by Mt. Cook. Us girls had our photo taken by our spouses. This is just the girls on my bus. The other half stopped at Lake Pukaki on the way up the mountain. It was a funny site watching all our husbands take our photo. It looked like a Paparazzi convention.

Enjoying the views of Lake Pukaki with Mt. Cook behind us buried in the clouds. So much fun and stunning nature. We then arrived in Queenstown that evening. Check back for details about Queenstown.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Day 3-New Zealand-"Shocked to Death"

I KILLED MY FRIEND today. Ohhh gosh. So for those of you that have never traveled internationally let me get you up to speed. You need to have special adapters and a converter for each different country. So I have a little bag of adapters that I take when I travel internationally. I don't know what happened because it worked just fine the day before. However, today when I plugged my curling brush into the adapter and converter it sizzled, sparked, blew black smoke back out at me and knocked out all the power in our room . Maintenance had to come up and fix everything.

Have you ever seen that movie "Just Married" with Ashton Kutcher where he is in Europe on his honeymoon and plugs his American plug into a European outlet without an adapter and basically blows the hotel up. Well that is how I felt.

So as you guessed I had a burial service for my best friend and laid her to rest in the garbage can there in Christchurch. I guess you could say I left a piece of me in New Zealand. As a result I finished out the trip with my round brush and there blow dryer.
Well I am so glad the rest of the day went much better. We had a business meeting with the corporate staff. We played New Zealand wed- AKA Newlywed game. The office called 5 couples from our group up. OHHH my gosh I have never laughed so hard in my life. I think I was in tears.

Larry Gelwix traveled with us. So those of you that know I am passionate about the movie "Forever Strong" well that movie is about Larry as a rugby coach. If you have not seen it then order it on amazon and watch it with your family. It has a wonderful meaning. Anyway, Larry autographed each of us a copy of the movie and gave us. Now I have three copies in my home. It was just so nice of him to do that.

We completed the day by site seeing. The above structure of metal is a memorial structure in the city that the USA gave to Christchurch. It's some of the metal from 911. New Zealand sent several brave fire fighters to the USA to help with ground zero. It was a very humbling structure. We then did some shopping, and museums. In New Zealand the museums are free so that is very cool. As we were walking about I noticed tons of Thi food restaurants. So we decided to try Thi food. Of course Fred had eaten Thi food before but I had not. It was delicious. I now love Thi food.
We then finished off the evening with a musical play/comedy. "Anything Goes" it was pretty good. I was getting so tired by that point that I had a hard time staying awake, but it was tons of fun.

Day 2-New Zealand-"GONDOLA, JET BOAT"

We started out the day (Tues, Jan 12th) by climbing aboard the Christchurch gondola where it lifts you gently 1500' to the top of the Port Hills for 360 degree views across the cityscape of Christchurch. You could clearly see the Canterbury plains to the southern alps.

The wind was really blowing so our gondola was a rockin but it was worth the view at the top. After coming down from the gondola we decided to grab a bite to eat in town. Not to authentic but we decided to grab a sandwich at subway. It tasted great. Sometimes you just need some good old fashion American fast food.

We were ready for our tour. So we met our tour bus at the hotel. We traveled deep into the foothills of the Southern Alps and experienced the spectacular scenery of the Waimakariri River canyon.

The jet boats go up to 55 MPH and 360 degree circles. This was the highlight of the entire trip. Our group filled 4 boats where we were screaming, laughing and having the time of our lives. Here is the before shot. Notice we are nice and dry.

Ohh yea the 360 degree spins are a true adrenalin rush.

Michelle Loader and I are soaking wet as you can see. We were in the back seat and yes you could say it was the "Splash Zone"
Here is the after shot. Wet but worth every minute and of course the wind quickly dried us.

Well Fred had to find out from our driver all about the boat engine. He also found out that our driver is a champion jet boat racer. WOW- no wonder it was a thrill ride.

So we made our way back into town. We decided we better get some dinner. As we were waking around the city checking out the restaurants we ran into Karren and Marty Morris, then Noreen Petty, and Briannea and there spouses. As we were all checking out the menu outside this cute restaurant we noticed it was not too busy so we were a little scared to dine there. HOWEVER, there was this table for eight that was very cool. It had a fire in the middle of the table. Since we were all a little cold we thought that table would be really fun and we could warm our hands as we ate. Actually we could have roasted marshmallows if we would have had them. So Karen marched right in and told the waiter that we wanted that table. They hurried and cleaned it for us. Way to show your leadership Karen. OMG dinner was so fun. We all laughed so hard. I don't have a photo of the table but maybe Noreen does so I will post it once I get it. I was actually to cold to pull my camera out.

New Zealand Highlights-"WILLOWBANK"

That evening CTMH whisked us all away for a very fun evening at "Willowbank" Willowbank is a wildlife reserve. A visit to New Zealand is not complete without seeing a Kiwi bird. It's a big part of the culture and life in New Zealand. So there at the reserve we learned all about the Kiwi bird and habitat as well as other wildlife in the area.

We were then entertained and was able to experience the Ko Tane Maori Culture. We discovered Tane Mahuta, the Maori God of the forrest and the people who live in harmony with nature. We experienced how the South Island Maori live. We were guided onto our Pa (village) with a powerful challenge and we were entertained with traditional dancing and learned the haka(war dance) and poi dance (swinging ball) as well as the waiata aroha(love songs).

They chose David Lynton to be the "Chief" of our group for the ceremony. So for the rest of our trip we called David "CHIEF"

Fred and the guys were challenged to learn the haka. It was hilarius. We were then escorted into where we were served a lovely buffet dinner. We sat across from Kay Pekin and her husband. We had a fantastic time socializing with them as we enjoyed our dinner.

Well that was everything for Monday. Were were exhausted at that point so we went back to the hotel to get a good nights sleep.

New Zealand Highlights-PUNTING

After our stroll through the gardens we were a little hungry so we found a cute little cafe on the river for lunch. When we walked in the cafe we ran into Linda Sturdivant and husband from our group. So we enjoyed a delightful lunch together. After lunch we decided to "Punt" down the Avon river. It was tons of fun and so relaxing. Nothing like having someone do the work while you sit back and enjoy the view. Refined, relaxing, romantic. The waters of the Avon River ripple by as you sit back on deep cushioned seats in a classic punt while your punter poles you quietly past trailing willows, woodland, leafy banks and the sights of the garden city of Christchurch.

New Zealand Highlights-"Arrival"

Our trip to New Zealand was so amazing. I am just going to give you a few highlights of the trip. If I tell you everything I will be here blogging for days, because we did and saw so much. I will post this in several different posts in order to keep it organized.

The biggest hurdle to the trip was getting there. Our journey began on Saturday January 9th. Alyssa took us to the airport. We flew from SLC to San Francisco. Once we were in Frisco we had a 6 hour layover

After hours of waiting we started to see a few of the other people we were traveling with start to arrive. We were then able to board "Air New Zealand" for a 15 hour flight to Auckland, New Zealand. Well for me the flight was not to bad. You see I have been blessed with a wonderful talent of sleeping anywhere and everywhere. So I slept for most of the trip.

So once we arrived in Auckland we had another 2 hour layover before boarding another aircraft for Christchurch, New Zealand were we would be start our amazing adventure. Getting through customs was not too bad and then we were met by our tour company which took care of us the entire trip. OHHH did I mention that we crossed the international date line so we are already to Monday.

Kia Ora- which means welcome in New Zealand . We were booked in the "Millennium" hotel which was in the middle of the city. Here is the view from our room. We were a little tired once we check in, but decided to just keep going so we could quickly get our bodies on New Zealand time. So we started the day off by walking around the city.

The city is so clean and beautiful. We walked through a museam and then strolled through the "Christchurch Botanical Gardens". The roses and hydanges were so huge. Wish my backyard looked this good.


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