Friday, September 11, 2009

Could I actually like cold water sports??

I had a boyfriend once who said I pretty much shut off once I get cold. And he's not very far from being right on. I HATE being cold, and I get cold very easily. In fact, I feel like Mr. Rogers every day at work when I come in from the 90 degree weather and put on my sweater for my day in the office. With that in mind, I was a bit hesitant about booking a 5 hour black water rafting trip in New Zealand. The adventure itself sounded fun, but I gave up on river rafting when I realized I just plain don't like being trapped in a raft, freezing cold, for hours at a time. But I'm in New Zealand, right? How bad can it really be? Except that when we woke up this morning it was rainy and maybe the coldest it's been since we got here. The rain part didn't matter so much since we were going to be in a cave, but it did make it feel much colder.

We got to the caves and had to put on wetsuits (that were already cold and wet), helmets, boots, and the rest of our gear. Once we had the wetsuits on, I actually felt a little better because I felt somewhat protected. Then we headed off to learn how to rappel before we headed into the cave. So this was what our cave excursion consisted of:
  • Rappelling down about 150 feet into the cave
  • Riding a zip line about 500 feet into the cave after our initial descent
  • Jumping about 15 feet into freezing river water onto a tube
  • Tubing in the dark to see the glow worms
  • Walking/Swimming through caverns and jumping down waterfalls
  • Climbing up a few water falls to get back out of the cave

There were a few times things got slightly intense. However, the wetsuits saved me from getting too cold, and our cute guide Andrew was very helpful in making sure I didn't fall and hurt myself. Also, you can't really stand around hemming an hawing about jumping into cold water when there are 6 other people waiting for you and a guide right there counting to 3. Besides, I figured if everyone else could handle it, so could I. And it was AWESOME!!! I loved every mintue of it. Even if it was cold. Totally worth it. And totally worth coming to New Zealand for.

Still... my favorite extreme sports will continue to be the ones where I can hop out of the cold water straight onto a beach with 90 degree weather...

Friday, September 4, 2009

9 Paid Days of Freedom...sort of...

I have been released from work for 9 paid days to take a "holiday" in Australia and New Zealand. This actually worked out to be 15 days of travel for me, since one work day is a holiday and there are 3 weekends included. 15 beautiful days of being away from my life. Except that my blackberry and laptop are my trusty travel companions just in case someone from work needs my help. I guess it's nice to feel needed. And... it's also nice to have work pay for me to use my cell phone and the internet on vacation.

Just a few highlights of the trip so far:
  • Ben Folds in the Sydney Opera House
  • Hot Aussie (and Italian) boys taking care of us
  • Whale watching (which ended up being dolphin watching)
  • Bondi Beach
  • A hot new Sydney haircut
  • Much needed R&R