“There is no glory in a star or a flower until it is looked upon by a loving eye. There is no fragrance from the April winds while they wander with joy.” – William Cullen Bryant
With lots of stars, flowers, and winds this month, I had a pretty happy April, and I’m so excited to share it with you. So let’s dive right in.
The first week of April was busy as I completed as many work projects as possible before our big trip. We found time for it two Easter dinners with our familieswhich were delicious and the perfect send off.
Then it passed three weeks in New Zealand! I have many important thoughts to share (which I’m sure I will in future blog posts), but for now I’ll just mention a few. learn about New Zealand and Maori culture at the Auckland War Memorial Museum, explore geothermal areas in Rotorua. , seeing glowworms in the middle of a black cave, sailing through the stunning Milford and Doubtful Sounds and completing the scenic Hooker Valley Track.
Besides, we were blessed the most amazing views every time we got into the car and perfect weather. It was hot and sunny for most of the three weeks we were in Aotearoa (te reo is the New Zealand Maori word for long white cloud).
April also celebrates Colin and mine 8th anniversary of dating. We didn’t do anything special about it but enjoyed our day in Rotorua and finished it off with Vietnamese food in bed watching Downton Abbey. So a pretty perfect holiday in my book.
Just before the trip our ceiling started leaking. It was 10pm and we heard a knock so we stopped to investigate. A few minutes later, water was pouring out of the back of our laundry room and dripping from several places along the ceiling.
Turns out the washing machine on the 4th floor was leaking all the way up to our first floor apartment. The washing machine was turned off, the landlords were called and it seemed like that was the end of it. But after having to leave our last place early due to water damage, we’re crossing our fingers that doesn’t happen again.
While our trip to New Zealand was amazing, there were some rough moments. The flights to Auckland and back (with a stopover in Fiji) were long and I definitely felt a little motion sickness. Unfortunately, it hit me again on our Doubtful Sound cruise as we ventured out into the rocky Tasman Sea. My skin also didn’t seem to like the South Island because I was covered up sand fly bites, cracks and dry skin.
Last but not least… we got a speeding ticket. Definitely low light 🙁
After graduating the bottom of the abyss (including both movies), Colin and I turned our attention to season four love is blind. Luckily, we got a few weeks off so we didn’t have to sit through a failed live reunion like everyone else.
We started watching too Race around the world and: US traitors this month. Both have been fun watches so far. No spoilers please as we are a bit behind.
What is cooking?
I could spend an entire post listing all the delicious things we ate this month. But some favorites include:
- Shrimp Pasta and Tuna Salad My Mom Made for Easter Dinner
- Passionfruit juice from Ciabatta Cafe in Rotorua
- Dan dan noodles from Dumpling House in Hamilton
- The famous Fergburger in Queenstown.
- Whitakers chocolate bars (especially the caramel flavor)
- And delicious meat pies all over Aotearoa (venison and plum and salmon and bacon were two standouts).
This month’s posts
This month on Teaspoon of Adventure I posted:
Just two posts this month as I’ve been too busy exploring New Zealand to write more. But check them out if you missed them.
For my throwback post of the month, I’m going back to April 2019. My 8 Biggest Packing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them. With temperatures ranging from 3-23 degrees Celsius, from cities to mountains to overnight boats and from museums to hiking trails, our Aotearoa trip was really hard to put together. I think I did okay, but I probably could have traded a few things (like a thermal long sleeve, which I only wore once for 10 minutes).
I thought April was going to be a big reading month for me. But after mostly listening to podcasts on the plane and being too tired to read after each day of adventuring, I didn’t actually finish any books in New Zealand. I finished all the books below before we left. I did start a few new books, but I didn’t like any of them, which also contributed to not reading as much this month.
This month I finished reading.
A Journey of My Own by Kate Wills
The travel writer dives into solo travel and reflects on her travel life post-divorce while weaving in historical stories and solo travel tips from female solo travelers. I really enjoyed this one. Some of the Covid stuff seemed contrived, but I loved Kate’s travel reflections.
The Bookseller at the End of the World by Ruth Shaw.
I loved reading Ruth’s account of her adventurous and often difficult life growing up in New Zealand and traveling across Oceania. This was interspersed with stories of his current life running the Two Wee bookstore in the small town of Manapur. We did stop by her bookstore on our trip, but unfortunately Ruth’s was closed for the season.
Four Aunts and a Wedding by Jessie C. by Sutanto
The sequel to Dial A for Aunties follows Maddie and Nathan as they try to get it down the hall as mystery and hijinks ensue. I didn’t like this one as much as the first book (and found some of the romance really awful), but once it started I enjoyed the characters and the mystery element.
This month we traveled to Aotearoa New Zealand. I have had New Zealand on my bucket list forever and have almost gone several times. It was so exciting to finally visit this country and be as enthralled as I thought I would be. The landscapes were so varied but always so beautiful, the people were kind, the food was delicious and there was so much to see and do. I can’t wait to come back and explore more.
Where did we travel in April?
- April 2014While studying abroad, I went to Italy with my good friend Nabil in April. We explored ruins in Rome and Pompeii, took a boat trip to Capri, and ate the best pizza in Naples. I then went on to spend a few days alone in beautiful Positano on the Amalfi Coast.
- April 2016Back in 2016, I found incredible round-trip tickets from Vancouver to Los Angeles for $63. Colin, his mom, and I went down to LA to see a hockey and basketball game, hang out at Venice Beach, and cry tears of joy in front of Hogwarts at Universal Studios (we didn’t think it would still be open. Shocked when it was).
- April 2018Colin and I took the first big trip of our relationship to Ireland in 2018. We spent 10 days in Ireland exploring Dublin, Belfast, Galway and Cork. Then a week later we followed it up with a quick trip to Austin, TX to do some street art and eat some delicious BBQ.
A big thank you to my mom for watching Ellie while we were away. We are so lucky to have someone who is willing to take Ellie for three weeks and who Ellie loves spending time with. I am also very grateful to Colin for all the driving in New Zealand, especially as it was on the left side of the road.
I don’t have big plans for May other than getting to work and enjoying the warm weather (fingers crossed). I’m hoping we can start using our patio this month and plan more of our summer and fall trips.
Also, I’m sure I’ll be spending a lot of May writing about New Zealand and putting together a photo book of our travels, one of my favorite ways to look back on the trip.
I hope you had a great April and I wish you an even better May.