Monday, August 06, 2007

Happy holidays

Nick and I shot down to Queenstown last week for a short week's holiday (Monday - Friday). We used up some Air NZ dollars at the Crowne Plaza which has a convenient location but a crappy and expensive breakfast. Its supposed to be 4 1/2 stars, compared to the Sofitel where we stayed last year being 5 stars. Well either I'd hate to see what 3 stars gets you or I'd say that its over-rated. Our room was very small, with two double beds instead of a queen. The bathroom had a shower over the bath and several broken items and there wasn't even a small stereo, let alone a DVD player - the TV didn't even get Prime so i missed my Monday Stargate Atlantis (never mind - its on order from Amazon). Breakfast being a bit lame meant that we ate out for breakfast after the first day. In fact we ate pretty well while we were down there (too well say my jeans). Best meal for me was the chocolate and berry waffles from the King George Bath-house on the morning that we left. Another highlight was Lone Star - I'm always amazed at how great they are, in Chch as well as Queenstown - and its the staff that make all the difference. I really should write them a complimentary letter. Food was great as always too. Nick and I went for a two hour trek at the Dart River stables. I was put on an 18-2 hand Clydesdale called Drum. That was an experience, his canter and trot were so big it actually took me a bit to get the rhythm but once I had it was great. Nick didn't really enjoy his standardbred so much - just wanted to follow the others a bit too much so we were separated for the main. The trek itself was a bit tame - we got to canter but then we had to wait for the others to catch up. The trek went up the river bed, it would have been nice to get some of the hills in. I had a two-hour massage and facial session the next day which was marvelous, especially as I was quite sore and a bit tired. Having the trek was really a test for me to see whether I could handle riding for a longish period again. I'd say that it was a success and I will look at riding a bit more consistently in the Spring. Nick only skied on the Wednesday while I was being pampered. Thursday he drove me around - it was really nice. We went over the Crown Range (now fully sealed and un-scary) to Wanaka and back, had lunch at a really nice place which was called something like the Farmhouse restaurant and wandered around Arrowtown (not in that order). We stopped in and checked on the boys and girls in West Melton on the way home and they all looked fine. When we got in there was a Harcourts blue booked with a scrawled message from an agent with people interested in buying in our street so we may let them check the place out next weekend. Needless to say that prompted a bit of a tidy up around the place - lawns have been mowed, branches chipped and a pile of iron and stuff taken out to the container at West Melton.

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