Monday, March 31, 2008

Congratulations and best wishes to our friends Jesse and Kristy on the birth of their daughter Cadence last Thursday. Jesse made it back for the birth from his combat rescue course in Washington with 50 minutes to spare. No worries!
Also congrats on tearing up the selection course Jesse.
posted by Marianne and Bryant at 10:50 PM 0 comments

Good friends, good times

We said goodbye to Buz, Kristine and Paul yesterday. They flew in from Alaska and Idaho for some nice Hawaiian weather and mother nature cooperated all week.

We did some great kayaking and snorkeling on the North shore along with all the other "must do" activities on the island. It was fun having them stay here and the week went by way too fast.
posted by Marianne and Bryant at 7:13 PM 1 comments

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I haven't posted all the new Zealand pictures yet but I wanted to get this up. My son Tyson who lives in Albuquerque sent it to me. He has skated since he was a tot and just keeps getting better. He is the one in the brown T-shirt and also the one jumping over the big blue rail.
posted by Marianne and Bryant at 9:34 PM 0 comments

Sunday, March 23, 2008

New Zealand West Coast scenery

posted by Marianne and Bryant at 2:24 PM 0 comments

Friday, March 21, 2008

Duel use bridge

Not only are most of the bridges one lane only and extremely narrow on the West coast of New Zealand, but a few also serve double duty. I was a little nervous squeezing the camper across these things but this one this one took the cake.

Yes, those are train tracks running down the center. The road and rail beds merge on either side and you just have to watch the signals because there are no crossing gates.
posted by Marianne and Bryant at 10:03 AM 1 comments

Franz Joseph

One of our favorite places from the trip was the town of Franz Joseph on the West coast.

It has a huge glacier that comes right down into the rain forest. If it hadn't been raining it would have been a shorts and t-shirt hike up to the face.

You get a sense of the scale of it by looking closely at Marianne and I standing by the cave at the front.

Labels: , ,

posted by Marianne and Bryant at 9:31 AM 0 comments

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Doing a big counterclockwise loop of the South Island put us at Westport for our next stop. There I saw these crazy birds at the campsite called Weka (prounounced wika) birds. They were like across between... hell I don't know. But they were funny to watch and throw scraps to.
New Zealand had no land mammals before man got there 5 or 6 hundred years ago so birds EVOLVED to fill all these strange ecological niches. Like the biggest eagle and the Moa which was a monster sized ostrich-like flightless bird. Of course a hundred years or so after man shows up he manages to eat every last one of them, but their skeletons are found all over here.
I also found my dream car and Lil braved the roaring rapids suspension bridge.

Labels: ,

posted by Marianne and Bryant at 11:05 AM 0 comments


Kaiteriteri is on a rugged piece of coast near a large National park. We did some hiking and Marianne also acquired a large fan club.
posted by Marianne and Bryant at 10:57 AM 1 comments

A boat ride

Next stop, South Island. We drove the camper onto the ferry in Wellington for the 3 hour ride to Picton. The ferry was huge and I was surprised how many trucks, campers and cars they can stuff onto it. We arrived in Picton around lunch and hit the road for a place called Kaiteriteri.

Labels: ,

posted by Marianne and Bryant at 9:50 AM 0 comments

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


The Monday after the race we drove South to Wellington, the capitol of New Zealand and the ferry port for the South island. Spent the a few days there taking in the sights. The park, waterfront and botanical gardens were my highlights.

Labels: ,

posted by Marianne and Bryant at 9:24 PM 0 comments

The race

After a week of goofing off and tapering my workouts nicely it was time to race. The weather called for rain but the morning was dry and the lake was like glass. Smooth and really clear. I said the hell with it and lined up at the front of the swim start. There was more water polo type contact then I've ever experienced before and I was still having to guard my little piece of water all the way to the 1.2 mile mark turnaround but I could feel I was going well and when I stood up to run out of the water the clock on the beach read 59:55. I still had to run out and I clocked a 1 hour 10 second swim, so I still haven't gone under an hour for this distance. Darn!

Hopped on the bike feeling good and ready for a long day. A short climb out of town on the two lap bike course and directly into a stiff headwind. I rode ultra conservative and let many people whiz by which worked out later. As the day wore on, the weather deteriorated. The wind picked up, the rain started, and it just continued to get worse. I nailed my nutrition on the bike and after 3 steps on the run I was pretty sure it was going to be a good day. I felt bad for the Marianne, Bill, and Lil standing out in that howling wind and rain to cheer me on but they later told me they took warm up breaks in the camper after I passed. So last 5 K sign is coming up and I'm on track so I decided to let it all hang out. I picked up the pace and finished the last 5K in under 20 minutes. I felt so good I was chastising myself after that for not dropping the hammer sooner but, oh well. Final time was 9:57 and some seconds, 106 out of 1200 and 11th in my age group. I achieved my goals of going under 10 and having a good run so I was happy. The next day Marianne and I went to the rolldown for Kona slots and I just slipped in there so I have that in the bag for the rest of the year. That evening was the awards ceremony which had awesome food and great entertainment. It was the first one we had ever gone to and I think we'll make it a habit.

Labels: ,

posted by Marianne and Bryant at 7:46 PM 3 comments


It was a long vacation with a lot of photo's so I will try and blog our activities in order. But since your reading it on a blog, you'll probably read the last entry first, then scroll down and read this last anyhow.

After landing in Auckland at 6 am we were picked up by the camper rental company and taken to the depot to pick up our home for the next three weeks. We then drove to Taupo which is on a huge lake in the center of the North island. A fun fact someone told us about the lake is that it's the same size as the country of Singapore, which has a population of about 4 million, which is also the population of all of New Zealand. A lot of things there remind me of Europe. Great cafes, clean streets, little cars etc. We did some hikes to water falls, a trip to some erupting geysers, a dip in a hot spring, and a sightseeing flight over some volcanoe's. The whole area is thermal and you see steam coming out of the ground in the strangest places. The water Marianne is standing in was as hot as the hottest jaccuzi . It took some getting used to.

Labels: ,

posted by Marianne and Bryant at 7:12 PM 0 comments

Back home

Well we arrived home from New Zealand after a really great 3 weeks. We put over 3000 kilometers on the camper and saw what feels like every nook and cranny in the country. No matter how much fun I have on vacation it's always nice to sleep in your own bed.

I have a ton of pictures to put up but these will have to do for now.
posted by Marianne and Bryant at 12:40 PM 0 comments