Will Schlep for Scenery
Back when I was a young newlywed, I had the goal of making a separate photo book not only for every vacation, but for every year of our lives. It was a lofty goal, but I snapped thousands of pictures each year and viewed myself as the historian of our two person family. Would we even remember we used to go rollerblading along the canal if it wasn't documented in a photo book?! What about the first time I actually cooked a meal? And that time it rained. Would we remember what the rain looked like on the windows when it rained in Arizona?! These were precious memories I didn't want to lose.
I married in 2009 and as you know it's 2016. Seven years of changing jobs, residences, and interests not surprisingly has crowded out the free time I previously used to spend making photo books. The last year I made an annual photo book was 2011. In fact, I still haven't created a photo book of our honeymoon to New Zealand and Fiji seven years ago. I'm slowing gaining ground however, at least on the vacation albums (yeah, yeah, 1st world problem to have I know) and I now only have 5 vacations remaining to capture in book form. This means I can start to begin to think about how I will layout the honeymoon albums. I likely won't get to the "Honeymoon Album(s)" until I've locked down Czech Republic, Costa Rica, and Belize, but the fact that it/they plausibly could be created this year has me reminiscing.
I tied the knot as a recent college grad (read: we had little money), but we had (and still have) the mentality of "go big or stay home" when it came to travel. We spent less on Pinteresty wedding details in order to splurge on budget accommodations halfway across the world. A motel in Taupo, New Zealand served as our home base for exploring the North Island for four nights and a charming, but basic resort catered to us for six nights in the Mamanuca Islands of Fiji. With only four nights to explore all of the North Island of New Zealand, we had to pack the activities in.
The first day we skied Mt Ruapehu, the highest peak on the North Island, in the morning and jumped from the highest water touch bungee in the country in the afternoon. The next day we drove 11 hours on the left side of the road to see the natural arches of Cathedral Cove.
For our third and final full day, we planned to explore Rotorua, a town known for it's hot springs and mud baths. A town that we also came to know by it's smell: the scent of rotten eggs. The plan was to bask in a romantic spa treatment with the mineral rich mud, stroll through the thermal wonderland of Wai-O-Tapu, and finish the day at dusk with a visit to Rainbow Springs Wildlife Park, just in time for a kiwi sighting.
A late start meant that we didn't have time for a spa treatment and arrived at the geothermal park minutes before last admission at 3:45pm. With a park closure at 5:00pm and last shuttle pickup at 4:30pm, we were left with 45 minutes to explore the park. The park map estimated that the longest route, made up of 3km of trails (about 1.9 miles), would take about 75 minutes to complete.
I looked at my husband and told him we really only had one option: to jog. I wanted to stop at all the look outs, enjoy the scenery of the full loop, and make the last shuttle. I didn't travel half way across the world to half ass my geothermal experience.
So we jogged. In my $5 green suede Old Navy flats I jogged from look out point to look out point. We orchestrated timed selfies (kissing and smiling - it was our honeymoon after all!) and logged a 9 minute mile pace in between. I maybe broke a sweat; I honestly don't remember, but I wasn't tired. The beauty invigorated me. And when we hopped on the last shuttle in time to make it to the nature center to see the kiwis, I was all smiles. I will schlep for scenery. That hasn't changed in the last seven years.
We'll be schlepping to Tahoe this weekend for a one night camping trip. It'll likely take around 8 hours of driving round trip, but I'll take a dip in that crisp, blue water and I'll be all smiles. I live for the schlep. And the editing I did on these photos is the start of a very promising honeymoon photo book.