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Hello from New Zealand
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TOPIC: Hello from New Zealand
#18838
Hello from New Zealand 8 Years ago  
I thought that was true of most countries. I've only ever been to Mexico and the Bahamas, but the overall atmosphere is much more relaxed, much less time-aware than in the US. (Of course, that may be because I was in places that cater to people on vacation.)

As far as restaurants, I tend to linger if there are empty tables, but I'll go ahead and ask for the check when the food arrives if it is busy -- that way I don't keep another paying (and tipping) party from sitting down at my server's table.
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#18839
Hello from New Zealand 8 Years ago  
Ghengis - which were your prefered NZ wines? I've heard of Otago - but don't know anything about it...usually with SBs you hear about Marlborough...

Lets hear it for slower service! (aids in digestion at the very least eh?) Some places expect that when you come in for dinner you will essentially be staying at your table all night...apetizers, drinks, dinner, drinks, desert, drinks...etc and so forth. I remember a few years ago in Austria we stopped in (on the early side) to this very nice looking (but empty at the time) restaraunt and asked to be seated. We were suprised but amused and entertained by the response we got. We were asked if we had a reservation - and when we said no the gentlement became quite agitated..."no reservation?!?!?!" "What am i to do" etc etc - he was beside himself and was actually runing around the restaraunt l;ooking at all his empty tables (like he was envisioning them as being full of patrons)..."where could I possible sit you" and so on...meanwhile the place was totally empty. We did eventually get seated (after he called for assistance)...and yes the place did start to fill up...but still had plenty of tables available by the time we left...its a scene I still remember and laugh about to this day. Also in places where they don't work for tips or where tips are ussually low and not so much dependent on level of service etc - you often find the wait staff and such less responsive (or in the case in many restaraunts in Paris - even quite hostile! lol
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#18840
Hello from New Zealand 8 Years ago  
I've done a decent bit of traveling (England, Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, Norway, Germany, France, Mexcio, Canda, New Zealand, and Australia for just out of country stuff, not counting the States i've been to here in the US), and while yeah a lot of places were Much more laid back than here, NZ was just such an exterme example compaired to some of the other places, It took about 2 hours for breakfast one day and we were the only 4 customers in the place for the whole 2 hours, and there were three people on staff....
I expect the relaxed pace, but it was just sooooo much more relaxed in some places (it might have been partly when we went, we hit the end of the tourist season so things may have been understaffed and winding down, but even my NZ co-worker was like "you guys got slow service".... which ended up in a long discussion of tipping, which they don't do in NZ. Jenny had a horrible time figuring out when to tip, and how much when she first came over and was here working in the states).

As to the NZ wines, the only place i can remember is winery in central Otaga called Chard Farms, i think i rememebr it partly we almost turned back becuase the road out to it was so spotty, they were pretty new (199something) and only did winery tours by appointment and so we didn't get a tour and spent the whole time in the "tasting room" and for the first hour or so, we got very personal attention (till other people showed up) and well, i think everybody but me was drunk when we left, and we ended up buying most of the wine we took home form them. I still have an unopened bottle from them at home, they were near Queenstown if i remember correctly.
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#18841
Hello from New Zealand 8 Years ago  
Hello All,

New Zealand was great and it was cool to see that the DoE Wicked Additions set was announced when I got back.

New Zealand is the shire, we were there during lambing season and white polka dotted (sheep) rolling green fields were everywhere.

Trying to catch up with life as usual, so I am going to be lazy and just provide a link to my wife's upload of pictures at: "flickr.com/photos/dnarotski/sets/72157594296583508" So please ignore the family pictures and no mocking of the gaming geek in the ugly hat. Again there are a lot of family pics, so if you can't ignore them, it's best not to look at the pics. That being said the pictures really do not do it justice.

Pics you might like: 9 Hobbiton pics on page 2, and boiling mud (p2), scenic views of coast, islands, mountains, and waterfalls, Doubtful sound (page 5), (page 6) a picture of washed up kelp - there were small to huge mounds of this and it looks like bundles of tentacles and could easily hide something living inside its mass, Moeraki Boulders (page 7) - looks like the remnants of a giant attack from the sea.
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#18842
Hello from New Zealand 8 Years ago  
Thanks for sharing the pictures! Lot's of intersting birds animals in New Zealand. Too bad about the lost art of Maori dancing...hopefully one day the younger generation might take to it once more and designate it as "kool" ? At this time they probably find it degrading as it seems to have become a cliche tourist dance? Hopefully, that kind of impression can be turned around some day...

Kool rocks and waters...

the "hobbiton" looks so bare when compared to the movie eh? You would think if they were going to charge $50 that they could pay someone to plant some flowers and perhaps also re-create the interiors of the hobit holes? I'm not saying they should "disney-fy" it...but perhaps just a little more effort like putting different colors on the hobbit holes instead of just white? Anyone else have thoughts on this? Am I missing the point here? Should the landscape be left au natural to show how it really is? I was just thinking that perhaps one "small" area could be really done up with props, flowers, fences, cobblestones, etc... to show the transformation?

Any thoughts?
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#18843
Hello from New Zealand 8 Years ago  
When we were nipping through Central Otago (i did much driving there, one day MUCH to my displeasure having to back track almost half a day becuase some one thought they lost something at the hotel) i couldn't help but think that yeah this is just about how i would imagine the Shire to look (and if memory serves that is where much of the filming was done for Hobbiton).

The landscape is all i saw, and it very much evoked the shire in my mind, it might me be nice to jazy it up, but darn it just looked like it as we drove through and that was enough for me (i think they were just starting to work on the movies when i was there)
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#18844
Hello from New Zealand 8 Years ago  
the "hobbiton" looks so bare when compared to the movie eh? You would think if they were going to charge $50 that they could pay someone to plant some flowers and perhaps also re-create the interiors of the hobit holes? I'm not saying they should "disney-fy" it...but perhaps just a little more effort like putting different colors on the hobbit holes instead of just white? Anyone else have thoughts on this? Am I missing the point here? Should the landscape be left au natural to show how it really is? I was just thinking that perhaps one "small" area could be really done up with props, flowers, fences, cobblestones, etc... to show the transformation?

Any thoughts?

Hobbiton was built on an operating sheep farm, and it was rather humorous to see the sheep grazing around the "hobbit holes." What is left of the set occurred because heavy rains prevented the set from being completely torn down (It's deconstruction had already begun and it is the only set location that still has props up in New Zealand) and returned to normal, during the delay large numbers of tourists asked to see the set. From that interest, the sheep farm contracted with the studio to keep what was left, but there was a no improvement or filming contract as part of the agreement, so the sheep farm/tours, may not be allowed to do "improvements." I do agree, I think it would have been so much better if they had kept the flowers, doors, mill and bridge over the pond. Still it was a fun place to visit and much more compact than I would have suspected.
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#18845
Hello from New Zealand 8 Years ago  
the "hobbiton" looks so bare when compared to the movie eh? You would think if they were going to charge $50 that they could pay someone to plant some flowers and perhaps also re-create the interiors of the hobit holes? I'm not saying they should "disney-fy" it...but perhaps just a little more effort like putting different colors on the hobbit holes instead of just white? Anyone else have thoughts on this? Am I missing the point here? Should the landscape be left au natural to show how it really is? I was just thinking that perhaps one "small" area could be really done up with props, flowers, fences, cobblestones, etc... to show the transformation?

Any thoughts?

Hobbiton was built on an operating sheep farm, and it was rather humorous to see the sheep grazing around the "hobbit holes." What is left of the set occurred because heavy rains prevented the set from being completely torn down (It's deconstruction had already begun and it is the only set location that still has props up in New Zealand) and returned to normal, during the delay large numbers of tourists asked to see the set. From that interest, the sheep farm contracted with the studio to keep what was left, but there was a no improvement or filming contract as part of the agreement, so the sheep farm/tours, may not be allowed to do "improvements." I do agree, I think it would have been so much better if they had kept the flowers, doors, mill and bridge over the pond. Still it was a fun place to visit and much more compact than I would have suspected.

Ahhhh...that explains a lot....
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#18846
Hello from New Zealand 8 Years ago  
Hobbiton was built on an operating sheep farm, and it was rather humorous to see the sheep grazing around the "hobbit holes."
Doesn't that describe almost all of Central Otago... ;), I remember a statistic that over 90% of Otago is clasified as "grazing" land. (though there are lots of Deer farms as well)
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