Thankfully today’s adventure was about splitting the remaining 5 hours of our drive in half which meant that we could have a late start and plan around watching the (disappointing) Duke game. Debbie and I woke up and took about an hour walk around the main park/botanical gardens in Christchurch while making a few phone calls to catch up with the family.
We made our way back to the hotel to grab some breakfast and watch the Duke-MSU game. We’ll skip through the outcome of the game and just mention that post game, we were all packed up and planned to head over to the golf course next to the hotel before making our 2.5 hour drive down. We found the clubhouse and were ready to rent some clubs only to find that there was no individual present to greet us and/or facilitate the club rental. There was a space to leave your green fee in a lock-box but no one manning the shop so we couldn’t get our round in.
Disappointed, we got in the car and began the journey to our 1/2 way stop on the drive. Maybe 30-40 minutes in Debbie identified what John will easily call his favorite planned or unplanned pit-stop on the trip- we stopped at the Cookie Time Factory. NZ has had plenty of advertisements for this brand of cookie about it always being cookie time and we’ve seen them incessantly over the past 8 days. When the opportunity presented itself to stop and visit the shop where it advertised an unlimited/all-you-can-eat cookie tour, we felt the need to pull over.
Post U-Turn we walked in only to discover that there was no more cookie tour. That said, there was an entire store of cookies and we walked around until we found our chosen bags of cookies to purchase for the continued car trip. We took a few photos to document and continued to make our way Southwest.
After a quick stop for lunch at NZ local favorites Subway & McDonalds, we pulled over on the side of the road to get nice and close to the water. John really enjoys immediately taking his shoes off and wandering into the water on every opportunity he has so this was no different than any other.
We got back in the car for the final 45 minutes to get to our small city for the night (of 715 people). We checked into the AirBNB and made our way over to the outdoor sports store where the manager also was the manager of the “pro-shop” for the golf course. We rented clubs for $30 NZD, only had to pay for one greens fee ($20 NZD), and rented golf balls for $3 a piece and would be able to return them (the golf balls) for whatever we didn’t lose and we’d get the money back. We made our way to the golf course and not surprisingly there were no cars in sight. We had the entire course to ourselves as we made our way through six holes before calling it quits. Props to my wife Debra for being the only player to not lose a ball during the six holes :)- she’s got some natural talent and just needs some practice
After our golf outing, we made our way to the grocery store to purchase dinner for the night and returned to our small cottage. The girls made a lovely dinner and John and I were on cleaning duty. We had a nice night in and booked some exciting adventures for the week ahead in NZ.