5 Pictures: My Favorites from New Zealand

5 Pictures: My Favorites from New Zealand

Waaay back in 2013 I went to New Zealand for a week to explore. Predictably I ended up falling in love with the place and really can’t wait to go back. My trip in 2013 was magical and wonderful in many ways so I thought I’d share five of my favorite pictures I took during that epic trip.

The Best Airport Lounges in the World

The Best Airport Lounges in the World

Shower. Massage. Champagne. A Porsche to drive you to your plane.

All of these things are found at the best airport lounges in the world. The lounge visit is a crucial part of the travel experience for me, particularly when traveling internationally. There’s just something about having a quality meal, a few quality beverages, and a relaxing shower or massage that gets my mind right before I fly.

I get asked pretty frequently to talk about my favorite lounges in the world. I have not visited all of the great lounges out there but I’ve been to quite a few. Let’s take a look at my five favorite lounges and then I’ll tell you about some lounges I want to visit next.

To Middle Earth, Finale: Qantas First Class

So hopefully everyone’s finally figured out the irony of the title of this trip report, in that I didn’t really ever make an effort to see or do anything particularly Middle Earth-ish on this trip.  Next time, I guess.  But anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed everything thus far.  This part has been a joy to write, because everything was simply fantastic.  Thanks for your patience and your wonderful comments. The Plan As a quick review (explained more thoroughly in the preview for this trip report), I built this trip around First Class availability on the Qantas A380 for the long-haul between Sydney and Los Angeles.  The cost was 72,500 AAdvantage miles and a relatively small amount of fees (American doesn’t charge fuel surcharges on Qantas flights).  In order to maximize the value of the ticket, I booked my return flight starting in Christchurch with a one-night layover in Sydney, followed by the long flight back to the City of Angels, then onward back to Dallas for a whopping 3 days rest until I left again for a work trip. Getting out of Christchurch I had a restless night of sleep after being followed and passed slowly by the same SUV full of guys yelling at me while walking down a mostly unlit street in a so-so area of Christchurch.  I’m a big and relatively strong guy, and it takes a lot to make me feel threatened, but this was full-on fight/flight feelings.  I always joke about my two-step process for… read more

To Middle Earth, The Part Before Qantas First Class: To Christchurch

Milford Sound was wonderful.  I wanted to stay there, and briefly thought about applying for a job with Real Journeys.  Alas, I could not, I had clients waiting for me upon my return. Leaving Queenstown after Aggie Football I awoke with a start at 4:30 the following morning (and by “start” I mean “loud alarm”).  I wasn’t concerned with jetlag or the long drive ahead of me that morning, my focus was half a planet away in College Station, Texas.  The Fightin’ Texas Aggies were taking on the Rice Owls in American College Football, and they needed my support.  Thanks to a good friend, also named Andy, I was able to watch the game via his BelkinTV app.  I watched the sun rise over the top of my iPad as the Aggies deftly handled the Owls.  I knew I needed to leave by 9, so the Aggies had a schedule to keep.  They did.  The victory was ours just before 9am.  I quickly packed my things, grabbed a shower, and hit the road for my final journey in New Zealand: driving to Christchurch. As expected, the views were scenic, if not a little foggy at first, which made me feel like I was in a horror movie. The fog eventually lifted, which was nice as it meant I could see farther than a kilogram or so ahead.  The drive was mostly uneventful.  I enjoyed mostly empty roads that were quite desolate at points. I had heard the drive had a… read more

 

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