New Zealand and the Crazy Trip Home

It’s been a while since I last checked in, and I’ve had quite a few adventures in that time. My teammates on the US Ski Team and I traveled down to New Zealand, where we trained our butts off for two weeks straight, ON SNOW. That’s right, snow. In July. It was an amazing time, and we got to train at the highest level possible, but as several readers have pointed out to me, there has already been an abundance of blogs describing the training, so I’m going to share some stories about non-skiing things in NZ and the travel back home.

As skiers we are gifted the opportunity to travel all over the world, and see many different locations. One of the things I find myself doing as we travel, is looking for common threads between all the locales. Because the places we visit can be so different from one another, these common threads can be really simple things, and often, I find myself comparing sunrises and sunsets.

NZ Sunrise Day 1
NZ Sunrise Day 1

New Zealand was aided by nearly perfect weather, and snow covered peaks, but I can say without a doubt that the sunrises and sunsets I saw there were some of the most beautiful in the world. It’s impossible not to love what you’re doing when every day begins with a golden flicker of a sunrise and ends with amber sandstone painted across the sky.

 

nz sunrise 2
NZ Sunrise on Day 2
nz good photo
Great shot of the trails

 

I have no real logical segway to this picture, but when we visited Queenstown on our day off, I found a huge creek and promptly regressed to age 8 in the cornfield behind my house, and spent a while jumping across it, sometimes it’s good to remember to play.

nz river jump
NZ river jump

The trip home was quite the odyssey. Because of the international date line, we leaped backwards a whole day in time which gives your jetlag a whole new meaning.

We left from Queenstown on a short jumper flight to Aukland which is the staging point for nearly all of NZ’s trans-pacific flights. Queenstown is infamous for having the (self appointed) “most beautiful runway in the world” I can’t say I can argue with that title too much.

The most scenic runway in the world
The most scenic runway in the world

When we got on the NZ Air planes in Aukland, we were treated to one of their world famous security videos. But did you know that NZ Air now gives you ability to text other passengers IN THE AIR?! It is absolutely the greatest innovations in air travel technology since, probably the airplane itself.  Because of this technology Paddy and I were able to discuss the movie we were watching as it happened despite the 78 rows of seats between us.

What a time to be alive
What a time to be alive

When we reached LA after the 13 hour flight across the Pacific and tunneled through the impenetrable maze known as “US Customs” Paddy and I had only 9 more hours to kill, which at the urging of our Coach Matt, we spent on the beach.                                                                                                                                                                                      NZ beachpaddy beach

It was quite the shock to our systems, traveling from what was effectively mid January weather right onto the Santa Monica Boardwalk. The shock was mitigated however by our “Welcome Back to the USA” meal; the finest Carne Guisada I have ever eaten. As the Mexican settled in our stomachs, we relaxed for a few hours on the beach before trying to grab some ice cream.

I say that we “tried” because apparently this goofball has no idea how to eat an ice cream cone…hint Paddy, ITS NOT FROM THE SIDE. (Sidebar: Normally I would feel bad about posting this photo, but he refused to bury me in sand on the beach, so this one’s on him)

paddy ice cream

Ever since flying home from LA, we have been taking it relatively easy here in Vermont. After a big training camp it’s always good to rest a little and let your body absorb all of the training you just did. And, while it’s nice to be home, the 90 degree temps and ridiculously high humidity have us missing the winter temps of the Snow Farm more than just a little; till next year New Zealand!

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