Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Extreme adventure

So Tim and I are back from vacation. If you ask him, he'll say it's the absolute best vacation he's ever had. I do have to credit him with adding things to our itinerary that I never would have thought of doing. He'll also tell you, "you should go to New Zealand."

Anyone of any age can go there and find something wonderful to do. If I were younger, I certainly would have spent more time doing adventure sports. If I had kids, renting a camper and driving from park to park would have been fun. If I were older like my parents, visiting wine country, wildlife viewing and hot springs would have been fabulous.

We did a combination of these things. I can now say that I've been canyoning, black water rafting (which is really spelunking), jet boating, tramping (i.e. backpacking), hiking on a glacier, and... (drum roll please) bungy jumping! While I love adventure, I must admit I may not have thought of these things if it hadn't been for Tim's enthusiasm. We both desperately want to do more canyoning, but it's hard to find around here.

Of course, there are plenty of things we didn't have time to do - sledging, canyon swing, parasailing, sky diving (not sure how enthusiastic I am about this), helicopter tour, river boarding, mountain biking, and fly by wire. Just the thought makes me excited and tired. The dollars can definitely rack up but it's something I feel is worth trying once in your life.

On the mellow side, we did plenty of sight seeing. There was a Chinese Lantern Festival happening just when we arrived. It was fun to walk amongst thousands of locals and view the lanterns lit up at night. Being relatively close to Asia, there were plenty of food stands offering a wide variety of eats.

Down south, we did some animal sight seeing. The yellow penguins are a cute but odd breed of penguins. Unlike other penguins we learn about, these are solitary creatures who don't flock together. We also viewed a colony of albatross and cruised in a bay to see a rare breed of dolphins.

Did I mention we ate wild foods - grubs, worms, crickets, whitebait and more? I can't say I'd recommend too many of the offbeat items. Even horse burgers didn't really agree with me. The cricket was really just crunchy with no taste other than the satay sauce. We highly recommend the whitebait sandwiches.

If you're thinking, "gosh, she's taking awhile to post details about her vacation," I have good reason. From the start of the vacation, Tim was trying to figure out a good day to propose! Except for the days we were in wetsuits, he was always carrying around my beautiful engagement ring.

In Fiordland, there are areas that were carved out by glaciers to form beautiful water inlets. We took a cruise in one of these areas. The day started out rather wet and overcast, but on the return trip to the docks, the sun came out. The waterfalls along the mountains provided spray that created beautiful rainbows. As we left the boat, Tim spotted a viewpoint and wanted to take pictures. After a couple shots, he held me in his arms, kissed me very lovingly, told me he loves me, and asked me to marry him.

For a split second, I thought he was joking since he's commented like this before without being totally serious. But somehow I knew this was different, still it wasn't totally what I expected and my tongue started to formulate a question as I spotted a ring out of the corner of my eye.

"Are you going to get down on your knee?" I asked. (My friends all laugh at this.) So Tim back up a few steps, kneeled down, and said, "Now, will you marry me."

And then, I said, "yes." We're very happy.

It's been a bit crazy from the minute I returned. In my mind, I realized that we either had to rush to beat the rainy season, get married indoors, or wait until NEXT spring. Tim is pretty laid back about the timing. He thinks that if we take more time, I'll be less stressed. I don't think he quite understands that the longer it goes on, the longer I'll have to stress, fuss, and anguish over every little detail.

I think we're both surprised that in just ONE WEEK, I've managed to find a place for the ceremony and reception that we both can be happy with without breaking the bank. There are a couple wonderful hotels that we'd both love to use, but the $10,000+ more it would cost seems unjustifiable compared to saving the money for a house. We'll hopefully have confirmation by next week. This is another fine example of how, when I put my mind to it, I can accomplish things fast!

At the same time, many friends are telling me to remember to take time to just enjoy being engaged. I do hope to do that here are there. We have already gone through some minor tiffs. I told Tim that if he can stand me through this whole process, then we'll be good for many years to come.

It's kind of weird to have so much going on all at once. Meanwhile, I'm negotiating a job offer. If I do start a new job, I definitely like to get some wedding planning done so I can focus on learning the new job and not look like a total flake.

Now get out there and go to New Zealand!


Y. said...

I stumbled across your blog and have been lurking for awhile (I really enjoy your writing), but I wanted to congratulate you on your engagement. Congratulations!

P.S. My fiance's name is Tim too. =)

zerodoll said...

wows! congratulations! and a wedding can be planned relatively fast and relatively inexpensively (esp. if you can keep it small!) we're doing it all in under 6 months, and my dress and the dinner are the biggest expenses.

mini said...

WOW!! what a different post than what you've been writing about forever (well, not recently, but you know what i mean :) i can't believe it took you this long to tell us all.

i'm soo happy for both of you. Hehe, it always was Tim after all!

congratulations! (and great job nailing everything together for the the actual ceremony!)

Nicky said...

Wowsers! This is great news. Congratulations!

I agree that a shorter engagement means less stress. And remember, if you can, that the whole point of the party is that at the end you'll be married to Tim, which is all you need to achieve to have a great celebration. Everything else is window dressing.

Good luck, we'll be here cheering you on through it.

Lost said...

That's fantastic! Wishing you happiness and a smooth an easy wedding planning!

Pandax said...

Thanks everybody! It's lovely hearing from you all. I hope this year holds good things for all of you too.

Let me apologize in advance for my future posts. I can only imagine they will be full of unnecessary, overinflated DRAMA. ;)

Anna May Won't said...

congratulations! looks like you found your "needle." ;)

i agree with everyone that a shorter engagement and truncated planning process for the wedding are better. you definitely don't want to drag out the stress.

Megan said...

Congratulations! I'm so happy for you two!