Andrew has had the best birthday a boy can ask for... spending time with his beautiful wife ;) and his adventurous best friend in sunny New Zealand, meeting all kinds of great people from all over the world, having first-time crazy experiences, and being able to celebrate two days in a row (once in NZ time, and the next in USA time!). This has been one for the books- 26 is treating you well so far, Drew!
Tuesday, Andrew's "first" birthday, we spent some quality time with our German friends, Jessi and Marie. Andrew and I have loved meeting Chris' friends from all over the world! We drove to a cliff that was a couple minutes from town. Chris somehow knew about this place, but I have no clue how he found it because it's not marked from the street and there is no parking! We parked on the side of the highway, jumped the highway guardrail, and followed a tiny, terribly steep trial that opens up above the water of Lake Wakatipu. The view was breathtaking! The boys and Jessi had fun jumping into the water while I had just as much fun taking pictures from my nice warm spot above. The water here is straight from the glaciers and FREEZING!! I don't see myself venturing into it anytime soon. In the meantime, you can find me on the ground with a camera glued to my face.
After our little cliff jump, we all soaked up some sun at a beach across the street and grabbed some lunch before our venture to the grocery store.
For Andrew's birthday, we invited all of our new friends over for a "traditional" American meal. At first, we couldn't decide what to make because I don't fry chicken, pizza is not "American", and everyone in the world has had a good hamburger (those are the only three American dishes we could think of at first! Turns out, Americans just steal food from everyone else...). Eventually, we decided on pimento cheese, meatloaf, mashed potatoes and veggies. I cooked while everyone enjoyed meeting new people and sipping on yummy New Zealand wine. All of the food was a hit, what a relief!! I guess you can't go wrong with cheese, ground beef, onions, ketchup, and potatoes no matter where you are. Jessi and Marie made yummy desert muffins with apple, cinnamon, and white chocolate drizzle. They were so good!!! Everyone had a great time, but I think Andrew was the happiest person there. He likes nothing more than to have a room full of happy, sweet friends all laughing and having a great time together.
But that wasn't it for the birthday boy! Yesterday (Wednesday, Drew's "American" birthday), we jumped off a bigger cliff... but not just any cliff jump. The worlds HIGHEST cliff jump, the Shotover Canyon Swing. It's pretty much just a humongous free-fall - 360 feet high with a 200 foot free-fall. At the bottom, you swing over the water and enjoy the gorgeous view while you are lifted back up to the platform.
It. Was. AWESOME! I loved it so much, I jumped twice! This is the video from my second jump- backwards!! The first time, I "dove" off, even though I just ended up flailing and flipping over in the air. Jumping backwards was terrifying!!! Chris did back flips and Andrew just jumped straight off. We had a great time and it was definitely the best way to remember Andrew's 26th birthday in New Zealand!
yes, I took pictures of pictures to add to the blog. But these were too good to leave out! Andrew had a pretty basic jump. He literally just jumped off, feet first. This was my first attempt to gracefully "swan dive". As you can see, it was a total fail! When I was lifted back up to the platform, the workers said I reminded them of the You Tube videos of cats trying to jump to something, but falling short halfway. I took it as a compliment because I love cats and I always laugh at those videos! haha. Cheers!
Mary Hester Williams
FASHIONABLE FINE ART
I'm a city girl living a small town life with my husband and baby boy. Here are my thoughts in type, my dreams in paint and my life in pictures.