2023 has been a rough year for the world, from wars to extreme weather events. Yet for me, the latter half of the year has certainly been a better experience than the first. It's been such a relief to have a relatively clean bill of health. I know some women really struggle with anxiety in the aftermath of treatment, worrying about recurrence. That hasn't been my experience--perhaps because I've always been good at procrastination. I've been able to shove off worries to the future. Probably I'll be a mess when it's time for a follow-up scan, but until then, I've been able to throw myself headlong into enjoying adventures again.
|View from the summit of Treble Cone. NZ did not have a great ski season this year, but I enjoyed the heck out of the mountain anyway.
|Revisiting Nugget Point in the Catlins
|Walking a wintry beach near Toko Mouth
|Glorious coastal sunrise
|View of Lake Wanaka from Roys Peak
|Mt. Alpha and the Skyline track
It's also been great to spend some quality time with family, starting with a trip back to the U.S. to see my mother and brother (plus meet my new sister-in-law for the first time, since I wasn't able to make my brother's wedding due to the pandemic). Boy, I could write an entire post about the weird reverse culture shock of visiting the U.S. after 4 years away. Suffice it to say that it was a surreal experience, and confirmed that there's not much I miss. But I do miss my family, so it was lovely to see them again after so long apart.
|Hiking with my brother near Harpers Ferry in West Virginia
|The kiddo and I hanging out with my mom
My husband's mother, father, and sister came over from Australia to visit us, and that was wonderful too.
|Family dinner at a local restaurant
Best of all, I got to take my Aussie sister-in-law hiking in one of my favorite areas of New Zealand, Aoraki Mt. Cook National Park. No matter how many times I visit Aoraki, I can't get over the mountain's beauty.
|Ideogram cloud over Aoraki
|Aoraki at sunset
|Nothing like the blue of a glacial lake
|My sister-in-law on the trail to Red Tarns
|Playing in Lake Hawea's waves on a windy day
|Tubing on Lake Hawea
|Bodyboarding in the Hawea River
|A local guy built a surf wave machine on his farm, and holds occasional open sessions for the community. Now there's a good use of Kiwi ingenuity!