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The Grandstand: Seeking contract-allowed thrills in New Zealand

Big League Stew

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New York Yankees outfielder and BLS blogger Curtis Granderson(notes) is currently on a goodwill trip to New Zealand and will be sending us updates as he travels through the country.

I had another amazing day today in New Zealand. It was actually the first time I was able to participate strictly in the amazing adventures this country has to offer. New Zealand is known as the extreme sports capital of the world. The tough part about this trip is that there are so many things that I am unable to try right now because of my contract.

First I have to thank Tourism New Zealand for setting up all of these adventures. They've been very gracious hosts to me while in both Auckland and Queenstown and I have had a lot of fun getting to know their staff and country.

Tourism New Zealand initially sent me a list of adventures to try while I was in New Zealand. Some of the things that I just could not take part in included spelunking, bungee jumping, sky diving, and going down some of the steepest and fastest mountain biking trails in the world. It's even harder to turn those things down now that I'm here and checking out the scenery. While Auckland has a bigger city feel, we are definitely in Lord of the Rings territory here in Queenstown.

My day started with some breakfast before we went out to an adventure named Ziptrek, which provides zip line eco tours both here and in Whistler, Canada. Here in Queenstown, they have the world's steepest zip line which is around 30 stories. In order to get to that one, we had to try five other zip lines first, while also learning about the human and environmental dangers that are posed to our planet and wildlife. It definitely was an eye-opening experience

Next on our tour was lunch, and we had to get a burger at the world famous Fergburger. The burger was good-sized, but what I really liked about it was that it was very lean meat. There was no grease, yet it was still very juicy. That's a tough thing to accomplish. I also loved the sauce they put on the burger. I would definitely recommend Fergburger if you're in Queenstown.

Finally, we went to Shotover River where we jumped on a jet boat and were taken through some caves and narrow passages on the river at high speeds. The driver was named "Chopper," but I guess a nickname like that means you can either drive a boat or helicopter pretty well! The cool part was that we came within inches of the cliffs at times before doing 360s in very tight areas.

You can check out the video for some clips of both the Ziptrek and Shotover Jet. Tomorrow I will get to hang around Queenstown before flying home in the early afternoon. While it's been a fabulous trip, I am excited to get back to Chicago and then to Tampa to continue my training for the season. Go Yankees!

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