Snapshot Sunday: Fire Dancing on Mana Island

[ptcPhoto filename=”FireDance1024.jpg” title=”Hot” caption=”Fire Dancing on Mana Island, Fiji” position=”center”]

Fire poi is a dance for the most daring of performers, often found in the South Pacific. Here Patrick from our resort surrounds himself in a ring of fire and swings around a flaming baton for dramatic effect. The motion, music, and bright orange fire against the night sky make for a captivating performance.

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Sixteen Months In…Lost Stuff, Found Friends

Like the cover photo? That’s us enjoying canned spaghetti on a beach in Fiji. Because we spent the last four months in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. And we’re really, really poor now.

Speaking of Australia and New Zealand, internet has been pretty spotty and expensive for some time now. So I apologize to our regular readers for having left you out of the loop for such a long stretch. Things have been good with us, and I’m really looking forward to filling you in on our adventures and sharing some of the thousands of photos we’ve taken along the way.

[ptcPhoto filename=”KangaUpdate.jpg” title=”Kangaroo” caption=”Around 200 of those photos might be of kangaroos.” position=”center”]

I suppose I have to go all the way back to Portugal to fill you in on the Saga of the First Aid Kit. We had an early morning flight from Lisbon to Hong Kong and I left it in the hotel room. Which really sucked when we arrived in Hong Kong without sleeping pills and suffered from some of the worst jet lag ever. This wasn’t just any first aid kit, you guys. It had all of our OTC meds, pain killers, motion sickness tabs, antibiotics, and A YEAR’S SUPPLY OF MALARIA MEDICATION. I asked – nay, begged – the hostel to retrieve and send it to us over the course of 7 weeks and 22 emails, to no avail. It’s just gone now. We have to start over. Sad.

In happier news, we’ve had not one, but three! visitors over the last couple months. That means we got to share a ton of fun activities with friends – from tasting Australia’s wine country, to an informative yet awkward didgeridoo lesson, to hang gliding and hiking through Middle Earth. Some good times, for sure.

[ptcPhoto filename=”Erebor.jpg” title=”Edoras” caption=”Sharing a boys moment atop Edoras from Lord of the Rings.” position=”center”]
[ptcPhoto filename=”TimTam.jpg” title=”Tim Tams” caption=”Enjoying Tim Tams in Sydney with Caroline.” position=”center”]

We’re on Mana Island in Fiji right now. Our resort is, shall we say, pretty basic here. But there’s sun, sand, and rum, which is really all you need if you’re on an island, right!? We’ve made some friends and tomorrow we get to go snorkel with jellyfish and see the island where the movie Castaway was filmed.

[ptcPhoto filename=”FijiUke.jpg” title=”Ukey” caption=”Ukey posing on a Fijian beach.” position=”center”]

The most recent new development in trip news is that we booked tickets to Singapore. We have extended family there who have graciously offered to host us, and we’ll be happy to see more familiar faces soon. We’ll be there for four or five days before moving up to Malaysia and Thailand…and I’ve learned not to plan too much further ahead than that.

For now our top blog priority is to update our galleries, so you should have a whole lot of trip photos soon. Stay tuned for our best images so far this year!

Snapshot Sunday: New Zealand Flowers

It’s autumn here in Kiwi Land, but many flowers are still in bloom. Happy Mother’s Day to Mom, Cheryl, Grandma, and all the other mothers in our life. You rock. Have a great day!

[ptcPhoto filename=”MD1.jpg” title=”Busy Bee” caption=”At Christchurch Botanical Gardens” position=”center”]
[ptcPhoto filename=”MD6.jpg” title=”Succulent” caption=”At Orere Point, North Island” position=”center”]
[ptcPhoto filename=”MD3.jpg” title=”Rosy” caption=”At Christchurch Botanical Gardens” position=”center”]
[ptcPhoto filename=”MD5.jpg” title=”Hibiscus” caption=”At Orere Point, North Island” position=”center”]

[ptcPhoto filename=”MD4.jpg” title=”Bud” caption=”More from Christchurch Botanical Gardens” position=”center”]

[ptcPhoto filename=”MD7.jpg” title=”Mushroom” caption=”And an electric blue mushroom for good measure – at Lake Matheson, South Island” position=”center”]

Snapshot Sunday: Hiking Among Tongariro’s Volcanoes

[ptcPhoto filename=”TongariroSS1024.jpg” title=”Ruapehu” caption=”Mount Ruapehu – Tongariro National Park, North Island – New Zealand” position=”center”]

Hiking the 17km (10 mile) track to Tama Lakes is a good way to see Tongariro, New Zealand’s oldest National Park. In addition to ski fields and the North’s only glaciers, it’s also home to three active volcanoes – Mount Ruapehu (pictured), Mount Ngauruhoe, and Mount Tongariro.

The park served as the set of Mordor in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and nearby Ngauruhoe was shot as Mount Doom.

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Snapshot Sunday: Horsing Around in Middle Earth

[ptcPhoto filename=”Horsing640.jpg” title=”Horseback” caption=”Horseback riding near Glenorchy, Otago – New Zealand South Island” position=”center”]

Looking for that quintessential Lord of the Rings experience? Try horseback riding near Glenorchy on the South Island. There you can cross braided rivers and canter through the actual locations used in the movies – all with the majestic Misty Mountains as your backdrop.

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