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Monday, March 26, 2018


Aaron's parents visited us for a lot of the summer and we adventured all around the region, including New Zealand.

Thanks for the map, Lonely Planet

After Auckland, we flew to the South island to spend a few days in Christchurch. In 2010 and 2011, earthquakes destroyed much of the historic city. Fifteen-hundred buildings had to be demolished and tremendous infrastructure repairs were required to put Christchurch back to operational. A massive rebuilding effort continues still -- it was beautiful to feel the spirit of this small city.

After he got over his brief infatuation with Papua New Guinea, Antarctica captured Micah's heart and imagination. It has held strong. Christchurch is one of the world's five gateway cities to Antarctica and hosts an International Antarctic Centre. Wow! We survived an Antarctic storm simulation, learned about early explorations in Antartica and today's Scott Base, saw Antarctic penguins, rode in a Hagglund and more.

The boys inside the Antarctic storm simulation room testing out the machinery

A rare photo of all 6 of us as we prepared for the Antarctic storm simulation!

We learned heaps about Antarctica and the incredible cooperation among the international community

Penguin playtime!

Nani and Papi Just before the Hagglund ride departed. We had no idea what was in store! Hagglund's are a main mode of transport in Antarctica. They travel over ice, snow and almost any terrain. The ride took us up steep hills, over massive boulders, through giant puddles and more.

Papi standing on melted ice from both the North and South poles!

Boys, listen to Frank Zappa: "Watch out where the huskies go, and don't you eat that yellow snow!"

Nani trying on some gear

Our weather in Christchurch was pretty dreadful, so we mostly found indoor activities like the Antarctic Centre, Quake City and the Canterbury Museum. We also got to spend some time in Christchurch with our American friends who had been on holiday and were on their way back to the US after living in Sydney for a short time.

Quake City info

Testing building designs against quakes!
Our last morning in Christchurch was gorgeous weather (damn you, Murphy!) but we wanted to check out the Canterbury Museum.

Papi and Micah in the reading nook <3!!

Incredible collection of photographs that travels the world - highly recommend!

I think I fly solo for the adults in our traveling party in saying Christchurch was a highlight! Others were less enamored. From Christchurch we went to Queenstown, which I'll blog about next!

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