Jo & Danny's Christmas Update 2002
It has been a while since we last updated our web site....... so as 2002 comes to an end we thought we should put some highlights together. I am taking the initiative to learn how to do this web site thing so if it doesn't look so good, I hope to get better next time......lets hope the frequency of updates increases in 2003.
I hope you all have a great Christmas & New Year Jo 20/12/02
Summer Holiday 2001/02
We will go back nearly 12 months, we took the opportunity in 2001 to spend our first Christmas as home owners at our place. No family were able to join us. We spent the time resting, relaxing eating & drinking!!. The weather was great and our deck ideal for kicking back and enjoying reading the odd pastel paper back.
On Boxing Day we we headed off on another of New Zealand's Great Walks, this time closer to home, Lake Waikarimoana. The weather wasn't flash at times but was enjoyable but it definitely showed up our lack of fitness. Although not as good as some of the South Island tramps we have done was worth doing. The first day was long and hard - and steep in parts, and just seemed to go on and on and on. The remainder of the trip was relatively easy - though I never enjoy carrying a pack no mater how light it might be!! We avoided over-crowded huts by camping where possible, though got a bit wet!!
As for the rest of our holiday we spent time at home resting & relaxing, New Year in Taupo with Kirsten & John and were guests at Erica & Chris's wedding in Wellington - which was a great event.
Wine (and Food) Festivals 2002
Another Summer highlight included taking part in regional Wine (and Food) Festivals.
First up was Harvest Hawke's Bay which saw Jo& Dan along with their friends Kirsten, John & Trevor visit a number of local wineries. There are a number of circuits where buses transport you around the wineries......a very enjoyable day was had by all!! The photo on the left was taken early on, they went down hill from there!!
Next up was a visit to Blenheim to visit Stephen & Ceridwen who had just moved down. We spend a great weekend at their winery located home, not a bad view from the living room window!! Saturday was spent enjoying a drop or two of local Sauvignon Blanc and food from around the region.
2002 Saw both Danny and I head overseas for work. Danny's trips tended to be more exciting, firstly a visit to Monterey - in California for a conference in March then Sydney in October for another conference....the joys of being the controller of a flash software system at work. The timing of these was never right, as Danny arrived home from the States I headed to Melbourne for work and while Danny was in Sydney I found herself in Melbourne once again.
While I was in Melbourne (trips are always well planned to have a weekend at the end) it was a good chance to spend time with Sarah and shop - Sarah loves the opportunity to help spend Danny's money!! On my first trip we found ourselves in St Kilda eating Galato and Noodle Box - now a regular feature of my visits.
Once again in April Danny & Jo e-mailed off their applications for Ruapehu Seasons passes, unfortunately they were without ski buddies Janet & Bruce who were busy having a baby or Stephen & Ceridwen who have moved south.
It was a great season in terms of quantity of snow on Ruapehu but there was a lot of wind. It wasn't for the lack of trying but our skiing in the North Island was somewhat limited because of this. We spend numerous Sunday mornings eating fantastic French Toast and drinking coffee in front of the fire at Cafe Utopia in Ohakune!! On the occasions that we did ski I finally discovered the joys of skiing out west.
Once again we embarked on a south island ski trip - this time just the two of us and for two weeks. We drove down and decided to only ski weekdays, avoiding the weekend crowds. A great decision - on the first Sunday it snowed on the Canterbury fields and we enjoyed the 20cm of fresh snow on the Monday at Mt Hutt with no lift queues!!
We then headed to Dobson - a nice quiet field with very few people, not as much snow but good for a visit. We then moved on to Wanaka and our favourite Cardrona. The snow was good and my skiing improved a lot. I am no longer a coffee till 10am kind of skier - I now want to be first in the lift queue. The increased confidence I have has made it a lot more enjoyable. We spend a day at the Remarkables, not so enjoyable so abandoned skiing and went for the all time favourite visit to Winnie Bagoes in Queenstown for pizza.
For the weekend it was off to Dunedin to catch up with my family and our friends. We enjoyed the trip through Central Otago & the Maniototo with the snow covered hills in the background. Every time we visit the south island it is more beautiful than the last and I always ask the question - how did I miss this for so many years - I don't remember it being so beautiful when I grew up down there.
Another Sunday and another southerly front came through dumping more snow on the fields, unfortunately visibility was poor so missed a days skiing but drank lots of hot chocolates.
We did manage a few more days skiing and visits to the Cardrona Hotel for a pint or two of Speights. Overall it was a great holiday with a good balance of skiing, resting, relaxing and catching up with friends and family. Another trip is in the plan for 2003 though will only be for a week this time - we just don't get enough holidays!!
Although Ruapehu was open more in September & October the novelty to ski had worn after our holiday so we didn't take advantage of the spring skiing .... And as for Summer skiing we won't be there either as Whakapapa opens this December.
We have been pretty slack with tramping over the past 12 months - we have been doing a lot of walking to try and improve fitness and to help loosing some weight...so come labour weekend we thought we should start the way we mean to continue for summer and do some tramping. We took off into the Whirinaki Forest Park from the Rotorua side. The walk we planned was 3 days. As we expected a lot of other people thought this would be a good long weekend tramp, we so realised the first hut would be pretty full and when we got there is was raining so camping at that stage didn't appeal. In typical Jo & Danny fashion we decided to continue to the next hut to try and avoid the crowds. And we did, there was only one other couple there.....bliss.
Rather than a short trip to the next hut we decided to aviod the crowds and kept going back to the car. It was wet under foot with a lot of stream crossing but the trip restored our faith in the fact that there are some amazing walks in the North Island!! A trip I am recommending to everyone - to the first hut is very easy ( a easy overnight trip), the rest a little bit rougher/wetter on the feet but well worth it.
Our intention to do a lot more tramping has come to nothing, although we did try to go up to the hot pools, we made it to the road end pools and no further.
Summer Holidays 2002/03
Both Danny and I have finished work for the year and looking forward two weeks of long awaited holidays. It has been a pretty hectic year for us both and we are feeling very tired. We are heading down to Wellington to spend Christmas with Danny's mum then back home for some rest in the Hawkes Bay sun. I am looking forward to spending some time on the back deck with a pile of pastel paper backs (hopefully I have been good enough for Santa to visit this year).
We had planned on going tramping but the deck sounds better & better every day. The intention now is to fit in some day walks. We will spend New Year in Canadian Canoes going down the Wanganui River with Stephen & Ceridwen. Something a bit different and by all accounts a very beautiful part of the country.
Well they are the real highlights for the year - it is sad that our two tramps feature so highly.....a couple of years ago we were out every second weekend in summer. Things change when you are a home owner and job focus changes. 2003 will be another year of challenges, I am still working at Heinz and am looking forward to taking on a permanent position as one of our Product Development Team Managers. I will have some new team members and a slightly different focus which I am really looking forward to. Danny continues working at Pan Pac and taking on more projects of which as always will be successful!!
I hope as you read this you are having an enjoyable break over Christmas and the New Year, we won't promise to update our site more regularly this year, no doubt we will be back on Dec 20 2003 with another update!!
Jo & Danny
This page was last updated on 23/12/02