Melton Estate

After returning to Christchurch and packing, we departed for our last dinner together at Melton Estate Vineyard. The wines were quite good, the food was delicious and the presentation was entertaining.

We were sad to be leaving New Zealand, but looking forward to getting home.

On our return to the hotel, Chas showed us how to find the Southern Cross. That made me very happy!


Garden

We had a little spare time in the morning before going to the Antarctica Center so Chas took us to the Mona Vale Garden. We walked along the Avon River to get there.

The house and other outbuildings had been extensively damaged by the earthquake and were closed, but the gardens were well-maintained and beautiful.


Golf Lessons

In addition to the gardens, I was amused by these golf lessons at the sports complex. The girls in the amazingly dowdy uniforms are younger than a certain age, sixteen, I think. Older students are allowed to wear sports clothes. We all reminisced about the awful gym suits of our youth but agreed that they were much better than these!


Taf

We can't leave New Zealand without a photo of Taf. We were blessed with two really good drivers.

One of the things that I like about Road Scholar is that the drivers and guides aren't relegated to substandard accommodations and meals. They joined us and contributed greatly to the enjoyment of the trip even when they were "off duty."


Airport Haka

Only in New Zealand.

As we were moving through the airport in Auckland, we overheard more than one ceremonial Maori greeting, but this was the most impressive.

The young people were meeting the trio with their backs to us. Their haka lasted quite a while and was performed by both men and women. The chanting was quite loud.


Acknowledgment haka

After they were done, the two men being greeted reciprocated with a haka of their own. It lasted quite a while too and was, if anything, even more demonstrative.

The chant must have been formal because the young woman in black seemed to be quietly repeating the chant.


Its Great to Be Home

Once both recitations had completed there was much embracing and a few tears.

What a homecoming! We didn't find anything like it at Dulles.


Home

From summer in New Zealand to winter in Virginia. This was the view from our deck two days after we got home.

But it's spring and two days after that, it was 70°. The crocus are now blooming and the spring peepers are singing their love songs.

I'm afraid our new Canadian and New England friends may not be so lucky.


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