|It's picture postcard beautiful wherever you look in New Zealand.|
It's a country of two main islands where they drive on the left but then in the southern hemisphere north is warm and south is cold so it works.
It's Australia's neighbor and every third person you meet came from there. Kiwis are a bit more reserved but their senses of humor are wild. In Milford Sound April Fool's Day is celebrated with the nude tunnel run and the owner of the Bottom Bus - it covers the bottom of the South Island - also started nude rugby.
Rugby reigns and World Cup winners the All Blacks are adored. Air New Zealand uses them in its ads, safety messages and wraps its snacks in - all black, of course.
Sheep far outnumber Kiwis and relocated Aussies. There are more shades of green than Pantone ever identified in its rolling hills and only-there tree and plant life. Truly awesome mountain ranges give the Rockies, Patagonia and the Alps peak for crag. Gentle rivers or raging torrents and blue, blue seas. One look and you start imagining Middle Earth just as Peter Jackson did.
Wellington advertises itself as the coolest little capital in the world and I won't argue.
The experiences I had will keep me writing and blogging for months to come.
Princess Cruises is having its first-ever After Thanksgiving Alaska Sale.
Running from November 25-29, the sale offers passengers up to $1,000 in savings and up to a $50 onboard credit on one of the cruise line’s popular cruisetour vacations, which combine a Gulf of Alaska cruise with rail travel to Denali and stays at Princess’ exclusive wilderness lodges. For those who opt to see Alaska by sea only, the sale provides a free balcony upgrade and up to $100 onboard credit.
Examples of sale fares available include:
• 10-day Denali Explorer cruisetour starting at $1,213 in May; $1,740 for August departures
• 13-day Off the Beaten Path cruisetour starting at $1,618 in May; $2,373 for August departures
• 7-day Voyage of the Glaciers cruise starting at $699 in May; $999 for August departures
• 7-day Inside Passage cruise starting at $749 in May; $899 for August departures
The After Thanksgiving Alaska Sale begins on “Black Friday” November 25 at 12:00 am PST and runs through 11:59 pm PST on Tuesday, November 29. The sale is available to residents of the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico. Reservations made during the sale require a non-refundable deposit.
Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237), or by visiting the company's website at www.princess.com.
Save on any cruise
Speaking of cruises ....
Wherever you want to go, you might save money and/or get special treatment if
You're a senior - that's age 55 and up.
Are or are bringing a guest who is a member, past or present, of the military.
Are a past guest of the line.
Are taking a child or children.
Are flexible about your dates.
Or can leave on short notice.
Holiday Travel Tips
Last minutes tips for this weekend.
1. Non-stop flights are always best, but the reality is if you live in Jacksonville you'll probably have to connect thru Atlanta, Charlotte or Miami.
2. If so, and if you have less than 1 1/2 hour or 2-hours to change planes, limit yourself to a carryon.
3. Print out your boarding passes at home.
4. Consider paying extra for those premium up front seats so you'll board first and have room in the overhead for storage.
5. Don't forget: picture I.D., liquids together in one plastic bag and no container larger than 3 oz., wear shoes that are easy to shed and put on jewelry and belts after going through security.
1. Bring a cooler of drinks and snacks and put it where you can reach it without stopping the car. Games and videos for the kids or better yet, grab pictures of the relatives you'll be seeing and tell family tales about them to one another. Just don't say anything you don't want the young ones to repeat!
2. Set your departure time to avoid rush hours in any large cities you have to go through and remember, today's rush-hour traffic will begin early.
However you go, be patient and bring your sense of humor. You'll need it.