That's short for God's own country.
They're not modest about it here.
The people like this country because there's plenty of room, a great deal of land is kept untamed and undeveloped and the people have a generally laid-back and "can do" attitude.
It's not a huge country - not huge when compared to its giant neighbor.
But it's more than big enough for everybody here. Since people aren't crowding one another out, it's all okay.
We're in New Zealand - Aukland, to be exact. And we'll be touring here (and reporting back to you whenever we can) for quite some time until we move on into Australia.
No, we don't have any pictures just yet. But as soon as we're able to download some we will send them along to you.
This is a big trip for us. We'll be touring for a considerable length of time -- hopping from one place to another.
Just to give you some idea of what an enormous journey this is, it took us 34 hours to get here to our hotel room from the time we left New Jersey until the time we checked in. That involved three flights, two transfers and a myriad of security and customs checks and passages.
So, we begin with this clear warning: These days international travel is definitely an adventure. And it's most assuredly not for the faint of heart. We're not discouraging you. We're simply telling you what it's like.
For all the advances we've made, we haven't found a way to simplify travel across boarders. In fact, it's probably more complicated today than it's been in a long, long time.
Still, we're here -- here at last. And this is a land of incredible natural wonders.
We'll be goin at it zestfully.