Lifting the wine glass to my nose, I take a sniff. I swirl its contents around, watching as it slips back into the glass bottom, and, finally, take a sip. I must be missing something at this wine tasting because I can’t smell, let alone taste, anything.
“That’s water,” my friend says as I frown at my glass. “It’s to clear your palate before we continue tasting.”
With this realization, we both burst out laughing.
As our road trip around the South Island of New Zealand came to a close, the group decided to take a bike tour of the vineyards. A somewhat dangerous enterprise in theory to be biking on open road while sipping wines, it turned out to be a beautiful way to see the vineyards.
As someone who chose not to drink in college (binge drinking will never make sense to me), this was something new (and legal) while abroad. When the crew biked back to our original location, we stopped to take pictures in fields, laugh, and just enjoy the beauty that was being young, traveling, and in good company.
The next day we headed to Kaikoura. Now, I have no idea what heaven may look like, but I have a feeling it might look like Kaikoura. As my travel companion said, “There’s mountains in your backyard and the ocean in your front.” And. It’s. True.
As someone who lived in New York, I have a new found appreciation for horizons. When I can see a horizon that is not crowded with buildings or billboards my spirit literally feels like it’s opening.
If I ever see Kaikoura again I’m sure it would make me feel like my spirit had been flung to the East and the West.
Panoramic cameras were made for Kaikoura. If I could, I would stand at Kaikoura’s horizon all day every day because seeing that horizon with mountains encircling water quiets the mind. No other thought enters because you’re simply taking in the beauty that is.
Maybe one day I’ll be able to return. Until then, I hope this picture does it justice.