Blenheim, Marlborough County NZ

Yesterday we sailed across the Cookimg_20161229_194048 Straight from Wellington on the northern island to Picton on the southern island. The trip took 3.5 hours on a car

Our sister ship returning to Wellington.


ferry as big as a small cruise ship. The size was amplified by how small the semi tractor trailers looked driving aboard the ship. Funny watching everyone on board walking like drunken sailors due to the ship rolling from side to side in the choppy waters.

We picked up our rental car at the ferry terminal and drove south to Blenheim. Always uneasy the first day driving on the left side of road. We checked into our cute Airbnb cottage in the vineyards. Their total production of Sauvignon Blanc grapes is sold to Whitehaven. Whitehaven is our favorite. We are sleeping in the middle of next year’s production.IMG_20161229_111035179_TOP.jpg

We visited many wineries today and had lunch at Brancott Estate in a beautiful classic New Zealand contemporary architecture restaurant. I will post a YouTube video panning over their beautiful vineyards below. ( search Tom Brodehl).

I am having a difficult time formatting this Word Press blog. It inserts photos anywhere into my article out of sequence. Oh well. Tomorrow we will img_20161229_173620128continue our winery crawl.






Wellington, New Zealand

After a grueling trip (SFO to Fiji in 11 hours, 5hr. layover, Fiji to Auckland in 3 hr., 4 hr. layover, then Auckland to Wellington) we arrived and managed to go out to dinner that night and got to bed at 11. Slept like babies and were up at 7:30.

Wellington is a lot like San Francisco. A beautiful bay and steep hillside. And like SF, very walkable. Celeste and I walked for 6 hours today. We arrived yesterday to really strong winds ( a real challenge for the pilot to land with the winds buffeting our plane from side to side) and overcast skies. Today was magnificent, and warm with scattered clouds, a real treat.img_20161227_155405711

Today we walked the waterfront, rode a cable car up a steep hill and walked back to town through the botanical gardens.




View From Our Hotel Room


View Across The Harbor


We looked at the above art installation and in trying to find a title or artist name, I walked around to the backside for information only to find a door on each piece with a sign on each reading Public Toilet. Now that is a country with vision. At home one is lucky to find a plastic Porta potty. Even they are too expensive. Think I’m liking this country.

Tomorrow we take the ferry to the southern island.