Zorbing – By Grace

Hello!!!!  Grace again.  I haven’t blogged in a long time.  Right now we are in New Zealand.  In Rotorua we did this thing called Zorbing.  Zorbing is where you roll down hills in these giant blow up balls with water in them!!!!  The zorbes are one big ball with a small one inside that you sit in.  If you are claustrophobic don’t do this.


You drive up a hill to where it starts. I would advise to wear your swimsuits there, or you could bring them to change in to.  You wait on a platform and when it’s your turn you dive into the ball.

There are two courses – one which you roll straight down and the second one you roll down a curvy hill.  We were supposed to do one time straight and one time curvy.  It was too much fun though, so we did the curvy one again. The people who work there advise you to do the wet one not the dry one, which is no water in the big zorb.  You can do the dry one, but they say it isn’t that much fun.  You should bring an extra pair of clothes just  in case yours get wet.  There are hot tubs after so you can jump in – that was great!


The water in the ball is warm.  It might get a little steamy in there, so if they give you a go pro you can take it, but it might get steamy.

After you roll down the hill they will take pictures of you in the ball and out.  The videos and photos altogether are about fifty dollars or so.

We were told Zorbing began when the owner wanted to walk on water like Jesus.  So he made blow up shoes.  Then he fell in the water and couldn’t get back up with those on – weird, huh?  He then tried a blow up ball on the water and it worked.  So that is how it all started. 

Clairbear, Lauren and Daddy did it with me.  Mom gets motion sick so she didn’t do it.  You don’t roll like a hamster.  I mean you can try, you just will fall.  You don’t get motion sick.  It rolls around – you just slide.  Hope you all liked my blog!!!!!

ta ta


New Zealand – by Kelly

So it seems as if my fellow bloggers have deserted me – not even Dave seems to want to post.  He spends most of his down time learning Japanese, so it is left to me.  I will do my best to update as much as possible.  I know everyone likes Dave’s posts, but I’ll have to do 🙂  We are behind, there is no way around that.  Lack of internet will do that to you, so I am going to start with where we are and will work my way back and fill in what I can.

We are in New Zealand and we are loving it!  Before we set foot here, we did spend a week in Bondi Beach outside of Sydney, Australia (more on that in another post).  We were happy to step foot in our first English speaking country since we started.  And thank goodness things are all in English since we have now started on our road trip part of this journey. Dave as our driver has to drive on the “wrong” side of the road.  This would be all the more difficult if we didn’t understand the road signs.

We arrived in New Zealand last week and went straight to Waiheke Island.  It is a small island about a 30 minute ferry ride from Aukland and super mellow.  So mellow in fact that the one rental car place was closed when we got there and our friend’s friend had to call them to come and open up again.  They didn’t think they had any more renters for the day, so they closed up shop early – I think we got there at 3:30.  Our kind of living!!  We were fortunate enough to stay at this great house given to us by one of Dave’s client, Doug.  We loved it!  It was at Enclosure Bay and we felt right at home.  We were able to cook, which was great.  For some this might seem odd, but throughout Asia we stayed mostly at hotels and we have been ready for some home cooked meals for awhile now.   Girls were happy in their bunk beds with reading lights and we had about 150 stairs down to a little private beach.  Too cold to swim, but it was nice to walk down to each day.

We spent some time walking the cute streets and checking out the shops.  Had a nice lunch and great beer at a local pub called The Cove and the girls enjoyed yummy gelato a couple of times at Island Gelato.  We walked the local beach and collected shells – a favorite past time when we come to a beach.


One of the best days was our drive out to Man O War Vineyards.  We drove across the island about 40 minutes – 2o of which were on a dirt road.  Dave definitely thought I was getting him lost, but I take my job as navigator quite seriously – especially if a great glass of wine is waiting for me at the other end!!  The terrain of Waiheke is beautiful – rolling hills, sheep, cows, vines and it ended with the tasting room at the edge of Man O War Bay  – amazing!!  The girls were able to run around the grassy area, there were games and picnic tables and we were blessed with beautiful weather!  The wine was fantastic!!  We tried both the whites and the reds and weren’t disappointed.  Still have one bottle we bought with us – and actually broke it out tonight.

We also made some new friends with the caretakers of our house, Chris and Margaret, who were kind enough to invite the 5 of us over for a delicious home cooked meal.  Always nice when we can meet locals and get a taste of real life wherever we are.  They were too kind and took good care of all of us.  We are enjoying the olive oil they gave us for our road trip from their own olive trees grown on the island.  Claire wishes she had a whole vat!!

We were sad to leave our little piece of NZ paradise, but headed back to Aukland for a few days.  A sleepy little town.  Dave and I both loved it – reminded us of Portland.  It seemed old school, not yet gentrified, but cool.  We really just had some down days – strolling the streets and shops. That always gives you a feel for how locals live.  The shops seemed to close early – I think 8pm on Saturday night – unheard of on the streets of San Francisco so close to the holidays.  Speaking of holidays, we were happy to find Christmas windows at the local department store all decorated, so we didn’t feel so far from the downtown Macy’s.  Plus there was a huge Santa gracing the corner of Queen Street where there was also a local playing the didgeridoo.  Pretty cool!  And we have managed to decorate a little at each place with stockings and a small tree. Plus our elf managed to find us all the way down here thankfully!!!  I have to say, while I miss the Christmas spirit with family and friends, there something to say about taking it easy for the holidays and not running around like a crazy person as I normally do getting everything done – gifts, cards, cookies, etc.  We will miss your Christmas cards, so feel free to email us a picture of it 🙂

We went up to the Sky Tower and looked out over the city.  Through the windows not only could you see the landscape dotted with now dormant volcanoes, but you could watch people bungee jumping from the top of the tower!  Crazy!!

And now we have rented our green and purple Jucy mobile and have hit the road!


We won’t fly again until we get to Christchurch on January 5th.  Currently we are in Rotorua staying at Cedarwood Lakeside Motel right on the lake.


It is has trampolines and swings, so everyone is happy.  And happy is key right now.  It did get ugly for a couple of days in Waiheke and we wondered if we were going to have to throw in the towel on the trip, but we had a family come to Jesus moment and decided we were continuing on.  I think that coming down from all the time in Asia was more than we thought it would be.  But we seem to be in a good place now.  We are definitely trying to change up our itineraries a bit and slow things down.  It isn’t worth it to move around too much when you are gone for so long.  But here in NZ and Australia, there are many things we want to see and we are trying to work it out.  Once we get to Europe in February we have decided to try to stay in one town/city for at least a month at a time.  We’ll see how it goes.

I’m going to end with the great adventure Dave and the girls had today – Zorbing!!  What a crazy experience where you roll down a hill in these gigantic inflated balls with water inside – just like a hamster in a hot tub 🙂  They loved their first two rides so much, they did a third.


We are taking a break before going to learn about the local Maori culture tonight – girls are rewatching Return of the Jedi so we can be ready for the news Star Wars movie when it comes out.  Can’t wait!!

And stay tuned – we are scheduled to zip line on Friday – definitely out of my comfort zone, but I’m ready…….I think!



Our time in Bali – By Kelly

We are a little behind on the blog.  Our time in Bali got away from us and once in Ubud, internet was spotty.  We will be updating as much as we can.  Might be a little our of order, but it will all be there none the less.

Bali is a lot different than Dave and I expected, mainly bigger and more crowded.  I think we were thinking it would be along the lines of Hawaii, and I’m sure there are places that are much quieter, but we spent time at the beach in Seminyak and there are a lot more people than we expected.  And it’s hot!!!!  When we say hot, crazy hot for us San Franciscans!!  Easily low 90’s with close to 80-90%% humidity.  Took us a few days to get used it that, although I never fully did.

Samaja Villas – We stayed at a great place close to the beach.  Probably a 5-8 minute walk or a quick bike ride on the two bikes they had to use.  The staff couldn’t have been nicer.   A little bit of indoor/outdoor living, which took some getting used to since the eating area and living room was outside with no AC and I already mentioned how hot it was.  But the pool was amazing to have in the afternoons when we needed to cool off.

Beach days – we had many.  The girls spent hours playing in the waves, boogie boarding and Claire tried surfing again, which she loves.  Dave did too, but has decided surfing isn’t for him 🙂 We had to be in the water while we were at the beach other wise it was just too hot – so no sunbathing on the many lounge chairs set up on the beach, but we found many seas shells and treasures walking the beach and playing the waves.


Horseback riding – The girls have been asking to ride horses this whole trip and we had to walk right by Mesari Stables each day to get to the beach, so we really didn’t have any more excuses.  The girls and I chose to go for a sunset ride when it was cooler and there was a nice breeze.  They had a great time!! Claire was in her glory and the twins are now horse lovers like Claire.  And sunsets on Seminyak are quite a thing to see both for the beauty and for all of the people who come to see it.  The beach side bars and restaurants are filled with people.  Each restaurant has large bean bags and umbrellas set up so that everyone can enjoy the sunset – it is really something to see.


Massages – I am loving the massages throughout Asia – it has been a treat. And in Seminyak was no different.   We were introduced to a woman named Susan who owns Jari Menari Massage through a friend. She sent us pages of information before we left about place to go, places to stay, restaurants, etc.  We definitely had to try a massage at JM and we were not disappointed!!!  We loved it so much we went back twice!  If ever in Seminyak, that’s the place to go!  And we made a new friend in Susan who even had us up to her beautiful home for our first home cooked meal of the trip.  We were in heaven!  She had dogs and a pool and couldn’t have been nicer.  She even gave us tips on where to go once we left Seminyak and headed to Ubud.  We will be meeting her cousin up here who paints on silks, which the girls will love.  We love the friendliness and hospitality of all the people we have met.  We have pages of information from Susan and another friend of a friend, Amy, who lives in Seminyak as well, if you ever need tips for a trip to Bali, let me know.

Thanksgiving – We couldn’t miss our favorite holiday, Lauren would not let us if we tried.  So we found a hotel in the area that was serving a traditional Thanksgiving dinner – the L Hotel.  A beautiful rooftop setting  with almost all we could imagine – pumpkin soup, turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and apple pie.  The only thing missing was the stuffing, but we survived and had our first Thanksgiving as a family away from home.  We missed being with the rest of our family, but we know this is only temporary and we were blessed to be together in a beautiful place on an amazing adventure.

Tour day – We had a driver take us all around for the day. We started at Padang Padang beach where we swam amongst tons of seaweed, but it was beautiful for sure.  And there were some caves that Claire, Grace and Dave explored.  Again, Claire was in her glory and wanted to go back again.

We also went to Uluwatu temple which is an amazing temple on a cliff – truly something to see.  There were some crazy monkeys – one that grabbed at Grace’s foot, so we didn’t spend long, but are glad we were able to see it.

Our last stop was Jimbaran Bay for fresh grilled seafood at Cafe Made Bagus, which Susan has suggested.  Amazing!!!  We saw the fresh fish as we walked in the restaurant as well as the coconut husks that they grill them on.  We chose to have a little of everything – prawns, lobster, clams, squid and white snapper.  So delicious and the view was amazing and the beach was relatively quiet.

We are now in Ubud and have much to tell you – more to come soon!