Return to Kiwiland, Part I: Why New Zealand?

No, that’s not the title of my next book. But this post does have something to do with my next book. And New Zealand. And returning.

See, in a few weeks, Wing’s World will morph back to its occasional Travel Blog form. But only after I’ve returned from New Zealand; I won’t be blogging from Godzone.* So I thought I’d better use a few posts to explain the journey. There are TWO REASONS we’re going back.

*Godzone = God’s Own Country (Kiwis are rarely boastful, but this boast makes sense once you’ve been there)

Twenty years ago, the Mate had a sabbatical and we four Wings spent nine months in New Zealand. Specifically, in the college town of Dunedin—way down at the south end of the South Island. Sons One and Two were six and four. The idea was to go somewhere

a) safe

b) gorgeous

c) with a law school to host the Mate

d) English-speaking (although, in retrospect, that southern Kiwi accent was a pretty good linguistic challenge)

Plus– New Zealand?! Who DOESN’T want to go? And this was even BEFORE the Lord of the Rings movies.

The law school at University of Otago could not have been more accommodating. Here’s the mansion they found for us to house-sit during our stay:

[Disclaimer: these are uploaded from 20 year-old digitized slides. Sorry about the quality.]

Large house, wee son. (Boy, was that house COLD! No central heating.)

Large house, wee son. (Boy, was that house COLD! No central heating.)

The scenery could not have been more stunning. If you’ve seen the LOTR movies, you know. But just in case…

Near Arthur's Pass

Near Arthur’s Pass

The wild west coast, near Greymouth

The wild west coast, near Greymouth

One of the western glaciers--Fox or Franz-Joseph, don't remember

One of the western glaciers–Fox or Franz-Joseph, don’t remember

Near Haas (giant trout in there!)

Near Haas (giant trout in there!)

Along the Routeburn Track

Along the Routeburn Track

Milford Sound

Milford Sound

OK, OK, we get it, Gretchen–New Zealand’s gorgeous. What’s your point? 

Well–remember when I said we’re going back to New Zealand for two reasons?  That last photo is Clue #1. I’ll hint annoyingly about Clue #2 in my next post.

Till then–enjoy the changing of the year, and I’ll see you in 2017!

Trip Envy: When This Little Spousie Stays Home

My Mate is leaving me, and I’m beside myself…

…with envy. Because he’s not LEAVING leaving; he’s going on a buddy camping trip with an old friend and his son. Guys only. Well, I’m sure I could get myself invited if I made big enough puppy eyes (or threatened to withhold pie). But they’re going for a week. And it’s high season here on Crawling With Tourists Lopez Island. I have to stay and bake.


Don’t get me wrong. I’m so happy for the guy. He doesn’t get out as often as I do, being retired, nor is he half as social as I am. I get together with my high school Besties every summer. He and his pal have done this only once before. It’s great to watch them piling up the backpacks, stove fuel and water filters. Great to hear all that discussion about what’s going into the gorp, and how many nights in a row they should eat noodles. Just…great.

I’ll be fine once they’re gone. But seeing that map of British Columbia, hearing them bandy phrases like “towering peaks,” “turquoise lakes” and “giant cedars” is making me a little crazy.


I love where I live. THAT LOOKS SO BEAUTIFUL!!!  I love my daily life. TAKE ME WITH YOU!!!! I love my job. PLEASE... Would you like another slice of pie before you head off on your adventure?


If you have a partner in your life, do you ever take separate pleasure trips? If so, how do you deal with Trip Envy? Just, you know…wondering.