So here’s how it went down…

One night a couple of years ago while I was looking at photo sharing web sites I noticed this amazing photo of a fountain. The backlighting, the seagull landing, the perfect blue sky, and the water – so sharp it looked like it was moving – I had to pay my compliments to the photographer. That’s when I met Jim!

We started out just chatting about photography, but soon we discovered that we had similar tastes in music, books, and life in general.

Movies… not so much. ๐Ÿ™‚

At any rate, we became great friends. We’ve always said that we’d put each other up if we were ever “in the neighborhood” but being that he lives in Paradise (a.k.a. New Zealand) and I live in Grand Rapids (a.k.a. NOT Detroit!) it seemed unlikely that these offers would ever amount to much. They were sincere offers on both ends, but a travel distance of around 8,500 miles is nothing to sneeze at. We literally live on opposite sides of the planet!

Fast forward to July. My dad had just been through a near-death experience and I came to realize just how short life really is. I talked to my husband and then to Jim and we made arrangements to visit him in February – our first real vacation in seven years! February the perfect month — still brutally cold here in Grand Rapids but quite warm in New Zealand — and the best part is that the kids will have just gone back to school so the beaches will still be warm but a bit less crowded. Perfect!

I’ll be blogging here every so often up to the date of the trip, then daily (or more!) while we’re gone. If you know about RSS you can subscribe to this blog and get automatic updates. (And if you don’t know about RSS, EMAIL ME! It will change your life!) Oh yes, there will be trip photos in spades, so watch for that here as well.

Got a comment? Got a question? Want to yell at us for not smuggling you along in our luggage? That’s what the Comment link at the bottom of each post is for, so use it! ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh, and one note — you may be wondering why this isn’t all going on my regular blog. Well, I leave my blog address just about everywhere and I don’t really want to advertise to the general public that our house will be empty for two weeks, even if the neighbors WILL be watching it. Make sense?

6 days, 7 hours, and 55 minutes to take-off! But hey, who’s counting? ๐Ÿ™‚