Making Friends in the City of Adventure

December 19 – Narrated by Alaina

Over the past few months I have heard a diverse array of opinions about Queenstown. Many have said its touristy, crowded but on the other hand, it’s beautiful and there are a million things to do… Including crazy adrenaline pumping activities. Let’s all be reminded that the bungy jump was created in Queenstown. Our first impression was that the city is bustling with young people and we enjoyed feeling the unique energy.img_9351

We arrived ready for lunch and immediately knew that we would have to go to Fergburger. With Mike being a burger connoisseur and me hearing about this place, it was a must do. Of course it was a must do for all the tourists we witnessed, but at the same time we saw other Kiwi’s eating there so it had to be legit. Mike and I were very happy with our Fergburgers, as Mike said “it was messy and delicious”, his favorite combination.img_0471

With full bellies, we started to walk the town. It was a beautiful day and really nice to just wonder without plans. We came upon a really cute square and there were stalls with local vendors selling their wares and music. It was very much an NYC feeling and when we came upon a gorgeous lawn, we thought it would be great to just lay on the grass and enjoy the day.

As we were laying, there were two brothers wrestling near us and I could tell they were having a great time and were most likely in need of burning off some energy. I ended up striking up a conversation with their parents and little did we know, we were about to become friends.

Our friends, Karl and Lucy are one of the more unique couples we have ever met. Lucy was born in NZ, Karl is from Ireland, they lived in San Fran and had the two boys, but for the past 2 years have been living in Hong Kong as Lucy heads up the Asia division of Method… Yes the home product line that we are all familiar with because Target is their largest distributor.

We immediately got to talking because K&L met in Boston, small world! We parted ways, but not before they told us about the campground they were staying at right near the center of town. With Mike and I not knowing where we were going to be parking that night, we thought we should check it out as it was such a central location.

Turns out, we got a spot and the facilities were by far the most modern we have seen. One thing that really resonated with me in Queenstown was the modern architecture and compact building. Super cool buildings that looked hip but also very practical.img_9406

Once we settled in, we decided to walk a block to check out the gondola that takes people to the top of a mountain so you get a beautiful view of Queenstown. Mike took a good look at the height and decided he could do it so we were off!img_9358

The gondola and everything on top of this mountain is impressive. It’s a modern structure that has a restaurant, bar, function space, gift shop, a cafe and a luge course where you take an additional “ski lift” even higher up and luge down to the main building.img_9399

The luge track is awesome! We had to do a lame practice run on a boring track but when we got access to the big track? On man, I think we both got air in our luge carts and the turns were fantastic. It was a lot of fun and having the view of gorgeous mountains as you careen down a track? Totally worth it.img_9373

*Sidebar: Mike and I were witness to two stag parties and they were hilarious. The first was a boat coming into the harbor and a group of gentleman caught our attention… Low and behold there was also a topless woman on board. The second was when we were heading down to the luge and we saw a full grown man in a wedding dress. He had been “outfitted” by his friends which included a wedding dress, veil and their attempt of putting bright red lipstick on him. We couldn’t resist striking up a conversation with him and assume that both parties continued their revelry into the night. img_9368

We then got our nightly cocktails and enjoyed watching the sunset from atop Queenstown. Mike was awesome going down the gondola and we headed back to camp. One would think the evenings festivities were over, but we found Lucy and Karl at their uber-fancy camper and it got rowdy.img_0503

Lucy made Karl run to the store to get all of her favorite NZ snacks that we hadn’t tried. Apparently, Lucy doesn’t drink a lot, but every so often, she surprises her Irish husband (who really likes to drink) and gets tipsy. Her drink of choice was sake and she was hilarious. We ended up sitting outside their camper for a good four hours talking about everything from raising two boys, how they plan on coming back to the states, to the long winded stories the Irish tend to tell. It was such a pleasure getting to know this couple, both of whom are engineers, extremely successful but still cool enough to camp and hang with a couple American kids 😉

After getting flashed with lights by a camper next door, we knew we had to wrap up our great night, but I am confident we will be staying in touch with our new friends.

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