Thursday, September 4, 2008

Wednesday & Thursday

So on Wednesday we were going to go do the canyon swing but it was raining pretty hard so we decided to check on the snow in the mountains, no luck. We were experiencing a “Nor-Easter”. If you were on the east coast of the U.S. that would mean it’s going to get cold; here in the South Pacific on the other hand, it means warm and really wet. So we spent the day doing Melissa’s favorite extreme sport, SHOPPING. Travis was scared, but he didn’t want to chicken out so he did his best. Travis did really well at it, he bought a hat and a belt (sort of had to, the one he was wearing broke so he was wandering around with his hands in his pockets so his pants wouldn’t fall off). We then went back to the hotel and did another of Melissa’s extreme sports, DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE. Once again Travis was scared but figured if Melissa’s willing to put up with the boring stuff he wants to do (Canyon swing, bungee jump, maybe make an early departure from an airplane) then he will try to do these sports as long as it’s safe.

So for dinner we went to “The Bunker”. Melissa found it online when looking for good places to eat in Queenstown. It also appealed to Travis in that if you don’t know where it is you aren’t going to find it or even stumble into it. This place is great but you have to walk down an alley and go into the wood door, the first time we heard about it we were told that there is no sign, or anything else to give it away, it’s just a wood door on the alley. They have added 1 inch letters above the door now. The food was excellent. Travis had the local cheese and salad to start, Melissa had a pumpkin, truffle soup. For the main course Melissa had the lamb (that was also Travis’ first pick) and Travis had the Duck, we also had a bottle of pinot noir with dinner from a vineyard not far from here. Both the duck and lamb were exceptional. The restaurant is just the sort of place that Barry would love; actually it’s just the sort of place that Barry would open. Also the music that they played was amazing, it was rock, punk, and reggae tunes that had been re-recorded as lounge jazz (Roxanne by the Police, The “can’t find a better man” by Pearl Jam, a Sex Pistols song that I can’t remember the title of).
Then back to the hotel and call it a night.

So on Thursday we had thought we would see what the weather was going to do. Travis got up got dressed and then looked out the window to see it had snowed during the night, not quite where we were but the snow line was only about 300 feet above us. Only one thing to do, change clothes, pick the resort to go to, and go snowboarding. So we changed clothes, jumped in the car, drove to Starbucks to get coffee and breakfast, and we were off to Coronet peak. So the map said it was about a 35 minute trip, and as Travis is driving, following the prompts from Melissa the navigator, he begins to think that this is a long 35 minutes. So Travis says to Melissa “This sure seems longer than 35 minutes” and Melissa says “yeah it does” and begins checking her maps. The problem was that the navigator expertly guided us to Cardrona, not Coronet. So at the turn off to go up the mountain we discussed our options and decided to go back to Coronet since we would be closer to Cardrona when we were staying in Wanaka. the road this trek took us on is known as the Crown Road, and connects Queenstown & Wanaka, across the tops of the mountains instead of by going around. Here is a picture of the winding path up the hillside, as well as one of us near the top!
After parking at the mountain and all the other requirements to go snowboarding we hit the slopes. Unfortunately visibility was only about 20 feet, and not knowing the mountain at all it was a bit disconcerting. So we stopped for a while and it cleared a bit so we went back and hit the slopes. Again, if only it were pretty around here…
When we got back to town we went out for dinner, first we went to Dux de Lux but we were not impressed with the hand-crafter beer available so we went to a pizza shop called Hell. If you can’t go to Hell, they deliver. Melissa ordered a pizza called “Damned”, it was a vegetarian pizza that was quite good except that Melissa had read one of the ingredients as artichoke, when it was actually avocado. Artichoke, Avocado, Coronet, Cardrona, it’s all the same right? That about covers Thursday, tomorrow the canyon swing!

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