michael's blog

Wed, 2006-07-12 21:27

Day out in Auckland

Submitted by michael on Wed, 2006-07-12 21:27.

Today we explored in downtown Auckland. We walked around a market and I got to have really good sushi for the first time in a LONG TIME.

It was really big and I really liked it. My Dad got his hair cut and he looks great!

Our hotel room looks out over the harbour and this morning I saw tugboats and ships going in and out. It's fun to watch. They work all night too, there are lights flashing all the time down there.

Tue, 2006-07-11 21:21

Driving to Auckland and Seeing Baby Calves

Submitted by michael on Tue, 2006-07-11 21:21.

Today we got up early again and drove for hours and hours and hours and finally got to Brian and Jean's farm. It was great to see him, Jean was away so we didn't get to say hello to her.

Their cows have been having their babies since we were there and my Mom and I climbed into the pen where the babies were. They were soft and really big for babies!

We got to pet them and really look at them. They had big eyes and long eyelashes. They also weighed a lot, so if they stepped on your foot, it hurt!

We said goodbye and drove the rest of the way to Auckland where we are staying in a big hotel. My Dad turned in the car and now we will explore Auckland until we go home on Friday!

Mon, 2006-07-10 21:19

Bay of Plenty

Submitted by michael on Mon, 2006-07-10 21:19.

We just spent two days at a place on The Bay of Plenty. It was sort of sunny for a change which was nice. We had GREAT fish and chips since it's right on the ocean.

My Mom and I bought some plastic tomatoes that we had been looking for and at the same time my Dad and Hannah found some! So I made a pyramid of tomatoes.

We are driving to Auckland tomorrow for three days before we fly home!

Oh, on our way to The Bay of Plenty we went to see a geyser in an active geothermal area. It was AWESOME!

Also, we stopped and went "Zorbing". Zorbing is where you get in clothes that can get wet, take a car to the top of a big hill, they stuff you inside a HUGE ball, pour in some warm water, and give the ball a push and you ROLL all the way down the hill! Hannah and I were in the same Zorb ball and it was a blast!!!

I can't wait to do it again!

Sat, 2006-07-08 21:17

Lake Taupo and Our "Holiday Home"

Submitted by michael on Sat, 2006-07-08 21:17.

We have had a great time in Lake Taupo. We are staying in a "holiday home". It's like a house all by itself.

We explored the town and my Mom took me to see "Superman Returns" while Dad and Hannah did something on their own.

We saw fireworks over the Lake because they were celebrating the winter holiday school break.

I really liked the holiday home. It wasn't as good as really being at home, but that's pretty soon!

Fri, 2006-07-07 21:13

A "Slip" As Big As A Semi-Truck

Submitted by michael on Fri, 2006-07-07 21:13.

This morning we got up early because we were told that the roads might be dangerous.

Well, we headed to the highway and only got about 1 kilometer and the road was closed. There had been a "slip" (what they call a slide in New Zealand) and they needed a HUGE bulldozer to break up the rock in order to clear the road.

So, we had to take a detour. The drive that should have taken 10 minutes took one and one half hours. We finally made it to the highway and drove to Taupo where we found a place to stay for two nights.

It was a long day in the car.

Thu, 2006-07-06 21:10

Goodbye Wellington, Hello Taihape!

Submitted by michael on Thu, 2006-07-06 21:10.

We have been staying on a farm near Taihape in the country. The name of the house we are staying in is called Hodd Cottage. It has a ping pong table !!!!

It also has a garage for our car. It's really cold here so we have to have lots of firewood and a fire in the fireplace all the time.

There are electric blankets on our beds and we're still cold!

Virginia, the owner of the farm, made us a delicious dinner with chicken lasagne and a great cake. I had seconds on everything!

We got to see their dogs herding hundreds of sheep to move them from one paddock to another. It rained and rained and rained all night long.

Mon, 2006-07-03 21:07

Wellington, The Lord of the Rings and the Te Papa Museum

Submitted by michael on Mon, 2006-07-03 21:07.

This morning we got up, had breakfast and headed out to the Te Papa Museum. Once we got there, we went to go see a special exhibit that has all of the costumes and props and part of the sets from The Lord of the Rings movies.

It was amazing to see all of the stuff that they made. After that we enjoyed a nice relaxing evening at The Bolton Hotel.

Sun, 2006-07-02 21:05

Lugeing and Leaving

Submitted by michael on Sun, 2006-07-02 21:05.

Today we got up early, we got packed and we checked out of the hotel. Then we went to go lugeing again this time with my Mom too!

After we went lugeing, we got all of our bags and we headed to the airport. We got our plane which left a little late to Christchurch and then on to Wellington.

We got into Wellington at 8:00pm. It was a long day.

Thu, 2006-06-29 21:02

Snowboarding on Coronet Peak

Submitted by michael on Thu, 2006-06-29 21:02.

This morning I got up at 7:30 and I got dressed for my snowboarding adventure. My Dad and I picked out an apple and a banana and we got on the bus to Coronet Peak.

When we got there we picked up my rental snowboard and I went to meet up with my class on the "Magic Carpet." The Magic Carpet is where you stand in a line forever and ever waiting for your turn and then you get up on it, and you go for about a minute and then you get off with your snowboard on and then you snowboard down the hill.

I had a great time and after that I got to snowboard on my own until my next class started. I had a great day and can't wait to snowboard again in Oregon next Christmas.

Thu, 2006-06-29 01:18

About one year ago...

Submitted by michael on Thu, 2006-06-29 01:18.

About one year ago I was watching "Stranded With Cash Peters", a travel show on Travel Channel TV with my Dad. Cash Peters was in New Zealand and at a place in Queenstown, New Zealand where he went on a luge track. I have been thinking of that ever since...and guess what? Today I got to go on it! It was great!

I got to drive my own luge over and over again down a track with curves and tunnels and steep parts and not so steep parts, it was great!!! My favorite part was driving the luge all by myself. I can't wait to do it again!

Wed, 2006-06-28 01:01

Traveling to Queenstown

Submitted by michael on Wed, 2006-06-28 01:01.

This morning we got up really early, said goodbye to Hugh, and drove to the airport in Auckland. Our flight was delayed so we sat around for a while and then we boarded and flew to Queenstown on the South Island of New Zealand.

It’s really cold!!!

There’s snow everywhere!!!

We checked into the Heritage Queenstown. Hannah and I went swimming in a very heated outdoor swimming pool. That was great!

Mon, 2006-06-26 00:58

Life on the Farm

Submitted by michael on Mon, 2006-06-26 00:58.

After a really long drive we got to Tangowahine Farm. Hugh and Pauline met us and set us up in our own little cottage with a fireplace. It is great! We went on the tractor with Hugh every day to feed the cows. That was really, really fun! The cows really like the hay we bring them. You have to be careful not to touch the electric fence though. It’s really muddy because of all of the rain so I walk around in the mud with boots on. The dogs are Fred and Ruth and they are great! They come to you when you say “here to me” and they go to their houses when you say “in your box”. I wonder if I can get Henry and Millie to do that when we get home.

Hugh showed me how to fish for eels and we caught one! It was really long and slippery and black. We helped with fire wood and that was fun too. I even got to milk a cow for the first time in my life. I love Tangowahine Farm. I miss Hugh and Pauline and the dogs.

Sat, 2006-06-17 00:57

Traveling to New Zealand

Submitted by michael on Sat, 2006-06-17 00:57.

Today we flew to New Zealand, got our rental car, and drove in a rainstorm to our friends Jean and Brian Legg’s farm. It was so rainy that we couldn’t even see out of the front of the car. It was fun to stay with them. We got to meet their dogs Luke and Bella, and I had fun at their house. Sam their daughter got out her electric car set and I had fun racing the cars while it rained and rained.

Fri, 2006-06-16 00:55

Fun in Sydney

Submitted by michael on Fri, 2006-06-16 00:55.

While we were in Sydney I went with my Mom to a quilt show. She was proud of me because I didn’t complain. It was really crowded. We rode the Sydney Monorail to the quilt show, that was fun!

The next day we went to see the National Maritime Museum right on Sydney Harbour. It was really cool because it was all about ships and all kinds of boats. I got to see Viking ships and learn about the history of shipping in Australia.

Also my Dad and I went to see the new movie "Cars". That is my second movie since December! We really liked it!

Sun, 2006-06-11 16:16

A Day of Good Relaxing

Submitted by michael on Sun, 2006-06-11 16:16.

Today I got up and my Dad and I drove north to the small town of Peak Hill where there is a gold mine. The cool thing is that the mines are open holes in the ground, you could see all the way in. You could see all the rocks that are purple, green, orange, everything! Then my Dad was so hungry and starving that we went back to The Dish and had lunch at the Dish Café. We watched The Dish move some more and then we went back to town.

Before we went back to the Westcott's Bed and Breakfast we took the car to the car wash and we got a pressure sprayer and we washed the car. Boy did it take a long time! It was really muddy.

We had Thai food for dinner and it was GREAT! As always. Tomorrow we are going to the farm that the Westcott’s lived on. They have a HUGE machine that plows, plants, fertilizes and covers the seed all in one pass. I am going to get to ride on it with Mal.

Sat, 2006-06-10 00:56

My Day at The Dish

Submitted by michael on Sat, 2006-06-10 00:56.

Today we got up, had a yummy breakfast, and headed to visit The Dish. When we got there, we saw a movie that told the story of how The Dish was built and how it is used today.

Then we saw two short 3D movies, the first one was about our galaxy, the Milky Way. The second one was about The Dish. We wore 3D glasses and it was really fun.

After that, we had lunch in the Dish Cafe and watched the Dish move. They move it when they change experiments.

On the way back to Parkes we went to an alpaca farm. I got to see a baby alpaca eating from a bottle. It was five weeks old.

Then we went back to our Bed and Breakfast and we had a delicious dinner of cheese pizza. It was great!

Wed, 2006-06-07 16:53

Traveling from Burleigh Heads to Parkes

Submitted by michael on Wed, 2006-06-07 16:53.

This morning we got up early and we drove to Ben Lomond. It was a long drive and we got in at around 6:30 in the evening. It was really dark, but we found our Bed and Breakfast, the Silent Grove Farmstay.

We had ice cream before going to bed.

In the morning, we got up and packed and went out to see the animals on the farm. I got to pet some sheep and see a cow and some chickens. They have Australian Sheep Dogs that you can't pet because they are working dogs and not house pets.

Then we got in the car and drove to Gunnedah, the Koala Capital of Australia. When we got there, we found a Bed and Breakfast called Roseneath Manor and we settled in. We went out to dinner and I had a Hot Rock Chicken dinner where I got to cook my chicken on a hot rock at the table. It was really fun! Then we went back to Roseneath Manor and watched the movie The Dish since we are going to visit the radio telescope from the movie The Dish when we get to Parkes.

The next morning, we began our journey to Parkes. We drove and drove and finally in the distance we saw The Dish! We drove to The Dish and the Visitor's Center was closed. We walked around anyway, and then we got in the car and went to Kadina Bed and Breakfast in Parkes. It's run by Mal and Helen Westcott.

We had a yummy dinner of tacos and then went to bed. It had been a long day.

Tue, 2006-06-06 16:48

A Warm Pacific Ocean

Submitted by michael on Tue, 2006-06-06 16:48.

Today I swam in the Pacific Ocean at Burleigh Heads. First my Dad and Hannah and I built sandcastles with big moats. My Dad built a sand turtle that was really cool!

Then we went in the water and I got to swim in the ocean. It was very awkward to go into the ocean and swim underwater with goggles. What I loved doing was to swim really fast and go along the wave and while it would curve in, I would hold my breath and dive under. The water was very warm like a hot tub! And it's winter here! I wonder how warm it gets in the summer?

I didn't want to get out but it was getting dark and it was time to leave. It was great fun!

Mon, 2006-06-05 16:34

"Crikey!" My Day at the Australia Zoo

Submitted by michael on Mon, 2006-06-05 16:34.

We got up early this morning and we drove to the Australia Zoo. We got our tickets and went inside and we started to look around.

The first animal we saw was Harriet, a Giant Galapagos Land Tortoise who was collected by Sir Charles Darwin in 1835. Harriet is the oldest living captive land animal on the planet. They think she is about 176 years old. I really liked seeing her. I am a turtle lover.

Then we went to the Crocoseum...to see the trainers feed a "Salty", a HUGE crocodile. When they jump up for their food, they go very high in the air. They are attracted to noise coming from near the shore, like footsteps. Also, they can wait underwater without coming up for air for up to three hours! They are very patient.

We also saw lots of Kangaroos and I got to pet one! It felt very soft. Then, we went to see the Koalas, which are NOT bears, but marsupials. Marsupials are animals that carry their babies in a pouch until they are old enough to be on their own.

Before we left we saw the Wombats. They are cute like stuffed animals, and the waddle, waddle, waddle around. They are marsupials too.

It was a great day and then we drove back to Burleigh Heads.

Sun, 2006-06-04 16:31

Flying to Brisbane, traveling to Burleigh Heads

Submitted by michael on Sun, 2006-06-04 16:31.

Today we flew from Alice Springs to Brisbane, picked up a rental car and drove about an hour south to a place called Burleigh Heads. It's one town south of a place called "Surfer's Paradise".

We got settled and had dinner at the Lone Star Steak House. Then we went to the movies. This was the first time we have been to the movies since we left home in December. We saw "RV" with Robin Williams and I loved this movie. It's so FUNNY!

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