The blog is evolving!

Stay tuned for new features including journey maps, some missing posts, linked photo albums, minor tweaks and ultimately... the earlier trips...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The big questions...

So... how was it?

Heaps good. Good lines, good company and good times. Looking forward to returning already! I consider a trip like this a must for anyone to do at least once.

Where'd you get to?

View 2007 - Queenstown, NZ - Ski Trip in a larger map

Any good pics?

Yup, hopefully they'll be online soon...

And some time-lapse?

Yup but I have to upload it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Day 9 - NZ

Cookie and Mikey say...
Actually, it's just Cookie as this is 5 months after the event.

Anyway, we packed and headed to the airport. Returned the car no probs and sat in the lounge and read while awaiting for our ride home.

One of our many deep and meaningfuls

Mikey and I halfway home

Landed back in Brisbane where Murray met us and took us home.

Mikey and Cookie Out

Monday, August 27, 2007

Day 8 - NZ

Mikey says...
Ahh, last full day today. Really enjoyed my sleep in. No, I really enjoyed it. No I don't think you're getting it, I really enjoyed my sleep in.

Last night I was watching... I dunno, ohh that's it - Munich. But as I've seen it before, not really any reason to loose sleep over. Bet you're all glad you know that eh?

Did the tourist thing today and we went shopping. Cookie is, how would I say... the most analytical souviner shopper i have ever shopped with. I mean, how hard is it to choose a tea towel, shirt or whatever??? Oh well at least he knows he's anal.

Got some things for my nieces and nephews and a t-shirt for myself.

Had lamb for dinner tonight. Was suprisingly good and I got a lot more than I thought I was going to after they brought out Cookies entree bread. Imagine one of those oven ready dinner rolls... now halve it... seriously is it impossible not to rip people off in everyway? AND it cost $2! Nearly laughed out loud though when the couple next to us ordered it and the waitress described it as a 'long' piece of bread.

Off to pack now so we're all ready to fly out tomorrow morning.

Oh and that babe I met yesterdayl dumped me. Said I didn't make her feel like a woman. I told her a team of beauty therapists couldn't make her feel or look like a woman. Luckily I had an ice pack on me to stick over my rapidly swelling eye.

Lessons Learnt
  • Don't go souviner shopping with Cookie

  • In fact i think don't go shopping with Cookie period

  • Watch out for butch womans right hook
Mikey out

Cookie says...
Day off the slopes today. Would have been nice to get to Treble Cone this year but it can wait. It was a nice change to sleep in and then lie in bed watching more Top Gear. I think I've watched about a season on this trip.

Did a bit of gift shopping. It was fun looking at all the crap that's available for people to buy. Seriously... most of the stuff is the same between shops. Not sure why but Mikey seemed to be getting a little irritated.

Strangely enough, there's three Global Culture stores in QT and I reckon we bought something from all of them. Also bought some more gear in anticipation of the Canada trip in Jan - Feb aye... I really don't want to look at my Visa statement when I get home. Think I might need to do some serious overtime to cover these costs.

Lazed around the unit again... and it really is a unit: one unit of bedroom and one unit of bathroom. Ducked into town again for some more shopping then popped in for some meat. Mikey grabbed some lamb just to prove he was part Kiwi and I tried some Wagyu. Never had it before so didn't know what to expect but it was alright. Couldn't believe the cute size of bread they brought out. Hahaha... talk about puny!

Anyway, gotta pack tonight and bail tomorrow morning.

Lessons Learnt
  • Sleep is good after 6 days of boarding, should be interesting to see how I handle Canada and then maybe France or Switzerland

  • QT is too serious, not many funny souviners this year

  • Mikey is great to go shopping with, he's full of suggestions

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Day 7 - NZ

Mikey says...
Actually woke up with a bit of energy today. Went back up to Cardies and I took it nice and easy down the slopes. Boarded a trail called Skyline. Will have to remember to take my R34 down there when I get it, I'm sure they won't mind.

We left early and I started watching some quality TV. WWF wrestling to be precise. Out of about 1 hrs viewing I counted about 10 mins of actual wrestling, the rest was typical amercian commercialism.

Been reading my Harry Potter book and I have to say to J. K. Rowling; Why do you kill off everyone close to Harry who's not a main character! You even killed his pet owl! You know what I think? JK is actually voldemort and Harry's only chance to win is to destroy JK's quill.

It was my last day on the slopes today. Doing the tourist thing tomorrow and going shopping.

Oh and I found a NZ chic! She is a bit butch, but her hair is beautiful! Favourite feature - stubble.

Mikey picked up!

Lessons Learnt
  • Wait and the right transvestite will come your way
Mikey Out

Cookie says...
Thanks, Mikey but for the record, the only tranny I know is what's found in your car!

Anyway, tougher day at Cardies today. Overcast for the first half and icier conditions made for hard work. Bumped into the Kenmore crew again after a few hours and hung with them. Ended up taking Tim and Scott back to QT with us.

Afterwards we played some pool while waiting for the cleaner to look after our room... this is the life... Pilty, you'd appreciate having slaves to do your work ; )

Waiting for your room to be cleaned is tough

Mikey pretending to look the part

Lazed around the unit for a few hours. One of the stations had some WWF crap on TV. I can't believe that people actually find this rubbish interesting and entertaining. Sorry, I can understand that Americans would but any other sensible people out there would know it's not worth watching but just like almost all of their other sports, it's 95% talk and 5% substance... except in this case the 5% are the adverts.

Didn't see the Kenmore gang last night in the end as they were too tired. We grabed some take away Winnie's pizza and had it in the unit.

This is how grocery stores should be!

Lessons Learnt
  • Top Gear is funny and all but when you're tired, you're tired and you won't care if Captain Slow is dishing out a good bollocking to Clarkson or the Hamster

  • I was never any good at waking in the morning and it's not easier being exhausted from a day on the slopes

  • When snowboarding, you get bruises in places you'd never expect or could explain

  • New Zealand should move on from the Lord of the Rings fame and fortune, 8 hrs of time in an internet cafe playing the theme music gets on your nerves!!!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Day 6 - NZ - Meet the Kenmore Crew


We first saw them at the airport after we landed at Christchurch and as a couple of them were familiar, we thought we'd say hi. Introducing; Lee (Occupational Therapist), Tim (Freelance Photographer), Scott (Event Management) and Anna (I'm sorry, Anna, I don't yet know what you do).

Useless bit of trivia. Tim and Lee know a guy I started TAFE with back in the summer of 69' (I know, some of you would be quick to believe that I really am that old) I mean, '95. He was one of their youth leaders and now is a youth pastor down the coast.

This isn't their first time on the snow and are enjoying being back pushing white stuff down a hill.

Some more trivia. Lee was a member of the band Opposite Lock. We had them perform for the youth group a few months back and played there that night. He has since left the band.

Day 6 - NZ

Mikey says...
Back at Cardrona today. Getting harder and harder to get up in the morning!

Warmed up on the easy slopes then I tried one of the faster ones. Was going alright. Then I got off the lift. Thats when it got painful. Landed heavily on my buttocks. Was feeling very tender, and my butt wasn't too good either. But no! I must soldier on! So back I went up the lift. Very comfortable lift this one, padded seats, very nice on the old tush. But I stacked it again (there were a couple of successful runs in between though) and of course landed on my rump. OUCH!

Went for a break in the cafe at about 1pm and read my harry potter book.

Left about 3pm and then realised I had no idea what I did with my gloves. Suspect they're still up at Cardrona car park, or up at the big snow store in the sky.

On a side note. There was a guy who was hurt pretty bad yesterday up at the top of the lifts. A lifty told me he fractured one of the vertebrae in his neck. And that was just getting off the lift. Don't think his friends will ever let him live that one down.

Lessons Learnt

  • Wear underpants made out of bubblewrap

  • Take gloves off IN the car

Mikey Out

Cookie says...
Second day at Cardrona and another bluebird special. Wind picked up later which actually blew people around like a donut. Funniest thing we saw today was a kid who came rushing into the base buildings kicking his skis off, throwing his poles down and then screaming 'I'm busting!!!' and made a B line for the loos.

Bumped into the Kenmore crew again today so while Mikey was busy tenderising his rump, we cruised the other runs. Took them out to Captains Basin which they loved, plenty of room to go wide and long. Moguls didn't stop us either. We're meeting up with them later tonight for some pool and beer.

No bizzare parking attempts on the way down however we did see some tourists taking photos of a fire truck leaving QT in a hurry... because they don't have them in Japan?

Lessons Learnt
  • I can do two things at once (go fast down a slope while videoing the experience)

  • Buy Mikey gloves with a leash attatched to his neck

  • Buy shares in bubblewrap undies

Friday, August 24, 2007

Day 5 - NZ - Meet Adrian

Mikey, Adrian and I chairpooling

Adrian is another male homosapian from Australia who lives in Melbourne and works for Ford as an automotive designer. He uses Alias to model and style vehicles and if you've seen a Typhoon on the road then you've seen some of his handywork. He enjoys documentaries, likes wildlife and travelling.

Adrian impersonating a seagull

Day 5 - NZ

Mikey says...
At Cardrona today. About an hour drive from our hotel. First run was painfull as i landed on my butt right under the ski lifts. Right cheek was reasonably tender for the rest of the day. After that though i was cutting sic! Well I think I was anyway.

After getting my confidence up I tried a more challenging slope with a few humps and bumps in it. I mean it can't be that hard, I'd seen all the kids do it as I was going up the lift. Result: Multiple stacks and ego shattered.

Returned to easier slope where I was a lot more comfortable and confident. Maybe a bit too confident. Here's the result of me taking a turn harder than what I should've...

Going, going... gone...

On the way down we saw japanese drifting gone wrong.
It was fun to take photos of the japanese and beat them at their own game!

Lessons Learnt
  • Don't drift down unpaved roads

Mikey Out

Cookie says...

It's a hard life waking up to this view each morning but someone has to do it!

Change of venue today (and underwear), Cardrona here we come. It was a refreshing change (both - refer first sentence). Picked up Adrian on the way along with some breakfast (bacon and egg quiche and a croissant). Made good time to get there and started the green run with Mikey before Adrian and I headed over to the runs hanging off White Star Express. Had several very quick runs and we were loving it. The boarder cross track is good fun, unless you're Mikey. Made a few passes at the jumps in terrain park then headed over the backside to Captains Basin.

After a black diamond run complete with a boarders worst enemy (moguls - large snow mounds designed for skiers) and a few other quick runs we headed back to White Star et el. Stopped for lunch along with the other half of the snowriders and headed out for some photos.

Mikey is concentration personified

I found some chewing gum under my board and tried to remove it

Bumped into the Kenmore crew at Fergburger tonight. Might see them at Cardies tomorrow.

Lessons Learnt
  • Avoid getting ice on your camera

  • Mikey is going faster than before which makes it hard to get photos of him, especially when he didn't understand the concept of leap frog photography (photographer gets in place and subject makes a pass - repeate this process several times)

  • Adrian is a better photographer than Mikey

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Day 4 - NZ - Meet Gus

Gus only does profile photos

Angus Davis; (male, homosapian) an engineer formally of Australia and presently residing in Fernhill, two minutes west of Queenstown. Gus was part of the legendary 'A Team' on the Wivenhoe Alliance. He is also widely acknowledged as the world record holder for the number of times he's locked his keys in his car. Distinctive features include blonde hair with a natural perm, boyish looks and by now he is probably sporting two black eyes from his girlfriend, Claire (originally from South Africa).

Day 4 - NZ

Mikey says...
You'll be happy to know that I'm no longer harrassing the kids (when I say kids most of those on the kiddie slopes are older than me and most of the kids are on the trail runs). Went on the slopes all day today and have multiple bruises and a sore head to prove it. Then tried to take an action photo of Cookie going over a jump. I'll let you decide how i've done by the photo we post.

Then we nicked off early and went for a ride on the TSS Earnslaw.

Mental note: Don't stand under the horn.

Then we met up with Gus and Claire (friends of Cookie) and went to a place called Winnies. Good food and I got to watch some union while we waited for a table. Then we went some fancy schmancy chocolate dessert place but I was too cheap to by anything. $2 for a mint biscuit! I could buy a whole packet for that much!

We tried to make it to a seminar on at the hotel but we were a bit late.

Lesssons Learnt
  • Steam boat horns are really loud

  • Don't stand near steam boat horns

  • If you want to get out of taking photos, take bad ones or at least better ones of people other than the person you're supposed to photograph

Mikey Out

Cookie says...
Well, for me I spent the day on one run with a jump so I can get comfortable with time in the air. Seemed everyone wanted to do the same as you had to queue for a bit at times. Another bluebird day which made it a winner.

Thought I'd try and get one photo of this jump. It isn't a particularily big jump but it was fun. So... enter Mikey. Deadset... 100+ photos of everyone else which looked great but do you think he could get a decent one of me? So I hiked up the hill a good 20 times for this...

Mikey's attempt at photography

We left the Remarks and headed for a boat trip. Thought I'd capture it as time-lapse so you can all view the quick version when we return. Bumped into Adrian again (Melbourne dude from my last post) and organised to take him up the hill the next day as his crew had grown fluffy slippers and decided they wouldn't hit the snow the next day.

Captain Cook sails the high seas again!

For dinner we headed to Winnies with Gus and Claire for beer and pizza. The novelty of this place is that the roof literally opens and is therefore one of the must see sights in QT. Their pizzas are also a must. Mikey liked the pizza so much that he tried licking the plate clean... front and back! The resulting splinters were easily removed due to the amount of alcohol consumed.

Splinters stuck the wooden plate to his tongue!

Lessons Learnt
  • Mikey is not a photographer

  • Landing with more backfoot will ensure you stack your landing and provide amusement to onlookers

  • Mikey is not a photographer!

Day 4 - NZ - Break in Transmission

We shall return you to your scheduled programming shortly.

(this was due to pizza and beer difficulties)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Day 3 - NZ

Mikey says...
Experienced -4 temperatures today. Didn't freeze my balls off but it was close. Frustrating and good day on the slopes (oh actually only one slope for me) today. Frustrating cause I was struggling to get my turns going but great when I finally got it!

Cheap day for me as I was on the kiddie slopes all day today
and didn't have to buy a lift ticket ... technically ... ;-)

Went to Fergburger and got the Codfather.
I was surprised it lived up to its name.

Thats about it from me except of course for...

Lessons Learnt
  • Don't let Cookie have the keys to the car cause he'll tell you you've got them and you'll start freaking out that you've lost them
Mikey out

Cookie says...
Day two and my body is hurting. Some will say it's old age... I'll say it was the 3 summersaults down a steep incline virtually under the chairlift. Mikey was saying that when people see someone stacking it, everyone cringes with empathy with them. I would like to think landing on my board and cruising away after this acrobatic display resulted in the thought 'he's a machine', however it would be more realistic to assume I provided a moments entertainment to the crowd above and recieving a barrage of laughter. I had the iPod on so had no idea what was going on above.

Spent the day on the upper runs and met more Aussies including some dude from Melbourne who's over here with a crew from a Presbyterian church and he grew up in an eastern European baptist church... interesting combination.

We forgot to mention that there were some guys from Kenmore Baptist on our flight over and Mikey briefly saw them today.

On the way home we made the customary pilgrimage to Fergburger. People rate it and it's usually busy for a reason and as Mikey said, it lived up to expectations. Here's a pic of the menu and as you can see, my choice of burger had already been made for me...

(click on the photo for a larger picture and read the menu)

Not as sweet as the real thing though ; )

Lessons Learnt
  • Glad the helmet I bought is a multi-impact model

  • Nougat in subzero temps is really hard to bite into (choc bars are our staple diet)

  • Photography and boarding down steep slopes concurrently isn't easy or smart

  • Think I'll be visiting Ashley and Martin soon...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Day 2 - NZ - Mikey's Lunch...

I heard he was tight but going to these length to get a free drink of water?
It was his first experience with snow.

Day 2 - NZ - Murray, are you missing something?

Mikey says...

If not... take a close look at this photo...

Anything look familiar?

Day 2 - NZ

Mikey says...
Wow soo much has happened since we last posted.
Forgot to mention that our room was upgraded to a lake facing unit instead of the backside of a hill. So shibby!

Hmm... watched quality NZ TV last night which included a moving and well scripted Van Dam film. Wow, I know I'll never be the same again. Watched X-treme 4 x 4 which my uncle hosts! Wont be writing rave reviews but I know big lukey would've loved it, and too me that enough (sniff sniff).
Right, snow stuff!

Set alarm for 6:15. Got up at 6:35, new record for me.

Headed off to the Remarkables (named after Pilty) and got there nice and early so we didn't have any traffic or parking probs.

Cookie show me the basics on the learner incline and I did feel like a bit of an idiot cause we were the only ones boarding and it felt like everyone was looking at me. But I'm used to people not being able to take their eyes off me.

After 'mastering' the basics Cookie went off to the fully shic stuff.

The kiddie slope was fun but then the lessons started and you had to dodge heaps of people. Didn't hit anyone (down here...) but did manage to save a baby from a burning building.
After lunch I went to the real slopes.

Cookie went down with me for the first few but I kinda ran into him. Luckily we were both unscathed (phew). After that I just kept going down the same slope. Stacked it many times, (mostly just off the ski lifts!) one very painfully on my butt.

Found out that I'm more comfortable in goofy stance so will have to change set up of board as is set up for natural foot.

But having said that, I'm up and sliding and having fun so far.

Lessons Learnt
  • Don't run into people

  • Don't watch Van Dam films
Mikey Out

Cookie says...
Okay, my turn : )

Yup, got Mikey up and sliding and he's had fun so far. Bluebird day to begin with which made for some very quick runs. Managed to smash myself on one of the quickest and the helmet has paid for itself already. The day closed in after lunch and the flat lighting palyed hovoc with the visibility of edges and stuff you want to avoid.

Chatted to a few people but quickly discovered they're all from Australia... including the ones with Kiwi accents!

And Mikey has come out of the closet... he's Goofy!

Lessons Learnt

  • Don't board downhill from Mikey, he will hit you

  • You won't find natives on these ski fields, they all moved to Australia

  • One piece suits do not look good, especially if you're male and it's canary yellow

  • Glad I bought a helmet

  • Mikey's uncle actually hosts a TV show

Monday, August 20, 2007

Day 1 - NZ

Mikey and Cookie say...
Well me and Cookie, sorry Cookie and I (using proper english since that's what they speak here) are just chillin' at an internet cafe setting up this blog.

So you may ask how's it going so far?

I'll let my eloquent friend take over here to report our progress...

Yup. We made it... just... customs was really busy so we were the second last people to board, which is completely unlike Mikey and I in terms of punctionality. Mikey also had the privilage of being searched for explosives by a 130 odd kilo Maori and this was while he was still in Brisbane... unlucky...

Mikey and I halfway to NZ.

So yeah, nothing special so far apart from us starting this blog.

Lessons Learnt
  • The Japanese cannot even go grocery shopping without video documentation

  • Check fly before leaving unit (Mikey assures me it was breezy, but comfortable)

We're off for some shut-eye, first day of boarding tomorrow.

Cookie and Mikey Out

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Queenstown '07

Primer to come...