“You guys! Look at this! This is BEAUTIFUL!” These words come out of my husband’s mouth a lot. And by a lot, I mean it’s become a joke among his daughters. If one of our girls spots something interesting and calls her sisters over to look at it, another one will say “Why, it is ‘beautiful’?” adding air quotes and a smirk.
Seriously though, I was lucky enough to marry a man who fully knows how to appreciate the beauty in the world, and as a result he’s changed the way I look at things. After being with Brian for over seventeen years, I’ve definitely learned to stop and take it all in. I stand at the base of a magnificent tree and stare into its kaleidoscope of branches and leaves. I’ll search for the distant details of a panoramic mountain vista. Maybe peer into the ornate architecture of a tiny flower. I see things differently because of Brian.
However, he’s still the master. Often he’ll call my attention to something truly amazing I would have overlooked, and I have to nod and smile with appreciation. Other times though, I squint searching for the thing he’s talking about. “You can’t see it, babe? Look at the way those clouds are doing that thing. They look so cool!” Hmmmm…okay, I’ll just have to take your word for it on this one, dear.
This attention to the world’s beautiful details is the reason Brian’s photography has so perfectly captured our experiences on this journey. We will look back at these photos years from now and they’ll transport us to this time and the things we learned on this adventure together. Although, not to knock Brian’s skills, New Zealand does make it pretty damn easy to get some incredible images through the lens. Here are a few of our highlights over the past couple weeks.
During the two and a half weeks we’ve been in New Zealand, our family has packed in a lot. We’ve hiked around the base of Mt. Cook, driven through the Crown Range, walked around the banks of Lake Wanaka, toured the lovely city of Queenstown and cruised through Milford Sound. Many of these experiences we’d heard about from friends before we came, so we were kind of expecting to be blown away. However, we’ve also appreciated the beauty of this country in the less popular places. You kind of have to go out of your way to find an ugly spot in New Zealand.
I think some of our friends might have been as excited for us to come to New Zealand as we were. Any time someone heard we would be coming here we’d get a message or Facebook comment telling us how beautiful and amazing this country is. When we were in Fiji and I was working to find affordable housing for our time here (which turned out to be a rather difficult task) my friend Diana couldn’t help but smile every time the subject of New Zealand came up. After visiting last year with her family she fell in love with this country, so when I would get frustrated with the booking process she’d say things like, “Oh, don’t worry, it’ll be fine. You’ll be in New Zealand! It’s amazing!”
It turns out she was very right. It all worked out and it’s all amazing! New Zealand is almost so beautiful that you forget it’s beautiful. Luckily, the girls and I have Brian around to keep reminding us.