New Years Eve is always something I feel ambivalent about. Everyone makes a huge commotion, and to me, it really isn’t anything special. It is a time used by many to reflect on what they did, and what they want to work on for the future. But to be honest, I do that every day. I don’t need a “day” or a “new year” to initiate a change in my lifestyle. I celebrate “a new day” everyday, rather than “a near year”. It’s great if its a catalyst for change for others, but to me, its just another beautiful morning to wake up. That being said, I never have really had an “awesome” time on new years. Most times growing up we were away on vacation, and in college it just never was a big deal. It is more important for me to focus on this moment, whatever that moment is, then for me to change my future moments. If you are always concerned about how you will be in the future, you will miss out on how you are right now. And how can you ever change, if you are not in tune with your current moment?
On this particular New Years, we were in fact, the first country in the whole entire universe of the world to celebrate New Years. Now that is pretty impressive. I had planned a “surprise” for Greg that was his christmas gift in the morning, which was a ride on a Jet Boat, which is famous in New Zealand for going incredibly fast, turning sharp corners, and going in 2 cm of water. It was very thrilling, very fast. It is worth it if you are doing a package with something else… but it is very very expensive to do it alone. My favorite part of Greg’s surprise was the helicopter tour that I booked! After the Jetboat, we took a bus to the top of a local ski mountain, where the helicopter would pick us up, fly us to the top of the Majestics, and then bring us to the airport. It brought us over the valley/mountains of Queenstown, and up to the top of the “Alps” to overlook the lake. It was breathtaking and incredible. We both voted it was the best part of our trip. Greg was like a little kid on Christmas, anticipating what his surprise was. I have always wanted to go in a helicopter, and I am so happy to cross it off my Bucket List from this trip. Our pilot was comical, friendly, and truly made it special.
Afterwards, we went on a bit of an adventure. We drove to Queenstown to walk around Queenstown gardens, which offered a 30 minute walk around the beach/gardens with breathtaking views (do you get the point of Queenstown.. it is breathtaking). Halfway on our peaceful walk, we realized we forgot something very important in the helicopter. We both had a minor heart attack. Fortunately, it was at the helicopter. After returning back to downtown, we found a cute outdoor restaurant and sat down for some beers and some delicious food. I got fresh seafood. It was probably caught that day. I also had some sangria, and Greg got some local beer. It was a bit chilly, but sitting in the sun made it feel like a spring day. Afterwards, I dragged Greg to do “Gibbston Valley Wine Tours” which I am thankful we did (even if he is not), so that we could learn about the differences of NZ wine to those we are used to drinking. It was a cute rustic wine cave, complete with a resturaunt, a cheese shop, and a little small breakfast/pastry nook. It was the cutest winery I have ever seen! They only make wines for sale in NZ, so I loved seeing how the business was run and operated. We went back to our hotel, relaxed, then went back into town for dinner reservations at Fishbone. We had a marvelous time, and stayed all night chatting with an older Australian couple that was seated next to us. We were able to BYOB, which we later realized was a bad choice, since it made us come across as cheap when the server asked if it was a special bottle. Nope, it was just a cheap one in the liquor store.
One word for Queenstown on NYE? Crazy. Cray-cray-crazy. Every spot on every road and park is completely populated, and most of them are under 22. It was a very young crowd. It was a very drunk crowd. There was numerous pub crawls, many outdoor food stands, bands playing by the water for 9 hours. They know how to throw a party. It was quite the wild scene. We sat and listened to the (horrible) band play til midnight, watched the fireworks, had some bubbly, and took the first water ferry back to the hotel. It was the best new years that I could ask for.