April 14, 2016

NZ - A Drinking We Will Go

In the morning, we woke up, had our breakfast, and visited with Eddie the Eel.

He and his three eel friends live in the river along the campground, and C-man was thrilled. Seeing a river eel was on his checklist of to-do's on this vacation, and having a friendly 'pet' one was the best. Having a million ducks show up to hang out didn't hurt either.

After saying goodbye, we moved along to wine country. For years, I've said I'd get myself to wine country in New Zealand until I couldn't drink any more. It was a beautiful warm, sunny day - such a contrast from the West coast. And the people were happy and friendly again. We started at Nautilus, my all-time favorite wine. And it was glorious.

I purchased a pinot gris, since we get the Sauvignon Blanc here. But we drank our way through the flight, enjoying ourselves immensely. C-man even got a bar of basil chocolate.

Then we moved across the street to visit Wairu River Winery. It was beautiful, but the wine wasn't for me.

And then on to see Whitehaven

And then we got hungry, so went back to Giesen, which had advertised famous small plates.

After we had a few tastes, we moved to the courtyard and ordered a cheese platter. It was beautiful. And the best part is C-man learned he really likes different varieties of brie. It was heaven.

After having our fill, we moved on to Cloudy Bay. It was the first tasting we had to pay for, but was still only NZ$10 per person - virtually nothing in comparison to the American wineries.

It was completely worth it, though, because the backyard was beautiful. And they let us get our taste and go out on the patio to sit or swing, and then return for the next varietal.

C-man was really getting into the experience, learning to sniff the different flavors. He was actually pretty good at it. At one point, he even asked me if this was heaven. I assured him it was.

Even the sheep agreed.

After Cloudy Bay, we moved on to lunch at Allen Scott Winery.

From there, I declared I'd had my fill of wine, and it was time to move on with happy hearts. This time, we moved South toward Kaiakoura. As we got into the area, I read about the seals at Ohau Falls. The mothers take their pups there to play while they go back out and fish. It only happens this time of year, so we thought we'd try our luck. And oh, were we lucky.

Completely pleased with ourselves, we made our way into a local campground. We chose a Top 10 Campground, a family-friendly one. While we'd passed others, they hadn't been in the right location. And oh, was C-man delighted when we registered and he realized what fun things were there just for him.

It was a great, great day.

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