Thursday, November 29, 2012

Pancake Parade

In New Zealand even mundane bus journeys are not mundane. Since we were passing by, and he needed to stretch his legs, the bus driver let us out here. Just, you know, no big deal. Don't worry that it's outstandingly gorgeous and other places you would have to pay for it!

Look how lush and dense the forest is. If you needed to run away from a dinosaur (come on, it's as likely here as anywhere) you would just be trapped by the vegetation. 

I think that these rock formations, these Pancake rocks, were formed from millions of years of erosion. I think it was fairies making a city. 

(I asked the Gentleman Caller to take some photos so that I was in one that wasn't a selfie. He took a photo of my bum and handed the camera back. What a sweetie.)

You know those days where you just cannot even believe how beautiful the world is? That day is today. 

Today I am thankful for things that take my breath away. I am lucky. 


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tip Toeing on a Glacier

Glaciers are cool. They are like giant ice cubes, and, you know, other things. 

On this day, on most days I really did love New Zealand. Glad someone else did too!

Waterfalls were everywhere. Magic was everywhere. 

We walked through this empty landscape with green lush mountains on either side. We walked to get a glimpse of this huge glacier that disappears a little more every year. 

Today I'm thankful for umbrellas. And also free veggie soup that the hostel makes every single day! Yummo! 

So you like pretty pictures? Do you? Huh? Ok here you go.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Queenstown: Adrenaline Junkies

Queenstown is a lovely little town on a lake surrounded by mountains. It's also a place where people do things like jet boating, rafting and bungee jumping. If you like that sort of thing. Which we don't. So instead we walked around looking for the world's largest backpack. Which we found:

Truthfully, it's only slightly smaller than mine. We had planned on going up the gondola. But one day I was crabby and crappy and didn't want to do it. The next day it was pouring. The next day the gondola was closed for maintenance and we were told that it would be open in the afternoon. It was not. Nor the next day. Instead we walked around:

On our last day we discovered there was a bit of a ceremony going on for this steamship. It has been running for 100 years. There were a bunch of steam tractors that blew their steam horns when the boat came into the harbour. It was a call and answer of horns. And all the other boats came along as an honour guard to usher this boat into it's next century. It was all rather emotional really. 

Clickity clack your way over to Mind the Ramp for more pretty photos!

Today I am thankful for having a lovely time, even when things don't go as planned. 


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Turning a year older in the first snow in over a year!

I turned 31 last month. I talked about it here. Because I'm terribly behind on life here are the photos. I started the day mighty early to get on a bus from Christchurch to Queenstown. I also was surprised with a lovely gift of a cupcake from my hostess! 

The bus ride was long and very twisty turny. But it was gorgeous. I mean look at it:

Lake Tekapo was the lunch stop, what a beautiful place! Also this was the first time that we had seen snow in well over a year!

We finally reached our destination and wandered around town. We managed to find a funny little bar called Cowboys that was decorated very appropriately. They also had crazy cheap drinks (and as we found out the next day, free little pizza bar snacks!). 

A glass of wine by the fire was the perfect way to welcome ourselves to this new place.

For dinner the Gentleman Caller treated me to a Mexican Fiesta! Yummo!

We worked very hard at perfecting our The Rock looks. 

There were many that just ended up like this: A huge giggle. 

Nailed it. Or is this bedroom eyes... it's so hard to tell. 

The greatest bit was trying all their hot sauces. With names like Saddam Insane, McCain's Torture Sauce and Fiery Fart, what choice did I have? (The Melinda's was the best)

Today I am thankful for growing a year older in a new place with a lovely man by my side. 


Monday, November 19, 2012

For stripes, for reals

An outfit post! A real one!

This was worn to walk across the city of Christchurch to a brewery for lunch. 
There was an Earl Grey beer. AMAZING! 

cardi: The Bay
tank: Cotton On
skirt: City Chic
tights: ?
shoes: fancy Crocs
necklace: gift, from Spain
sunnies: Ricki's

And the best for last!

Those flowers in the background smelled so perfect.

Today I am so thankful for the gift of smell. When I first arrived in New Zealand the air was crisp and cold. But it also smelled so amazing. Fresh, new, clean, bit flowery. Perfection. 


Friday, November 16, 2012

The Bach

My lovely friend took us to her family's holiday house. Because kiwis are cute it's called a bach! We spent 2 days playing Monopoly, drinking tea, reading and driving around the Banks Peninsula. Magical! We even managed to find a cheese factory and a fudge shop. Perfect few days!

Head on over to Mind the Ramp to see more photos of beckoning eels, upside down trees, and searching for treasure on the beach. 


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Christchurch Wanderings

Since the Central Business District is pretty much gone, some enterprising soul thought to make a new area out of shipping containers. How cool is that? Such a great use of the space that is left, a place to rebuild the community. 

dress: City Chic
top & jacket: Ricki's
scarf: market?
leggings & boots Target

The Gentleman Caller likes to watch Epic Meal Time and we made the second attempt of a bacon weave. It turned out perfectly and deliciously. Equal amounts of perfectly crisp bacon for everyone. Goes great with pancakes! 

My lovely friend Laura let us stay at her house and took us on a tour of her city. I think that maybe she reads this blog too sometimes. Hey Laura!

Christchurch is so close to such perfect areas of natural beauty. Just incredible. 

Click on through to Mind the Ramp for more photos.

Today I am thankful for friends that I haven't seen in 5 years, to friends that live across the world and having it still be awesome!


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Earthquake memories

Christchurch, New Zealand:

I never realized how much this city was effected by the earthquake. It's like it is referred to as The Earthquake, like a character. The city centre doesn't even exist any longer. There are whole blocks of the city that are abandoned and fenced off. Parts that you can't even walk into for fear of buildings falling down. And you can't see the beautiful Cathedral at all because it's behind a pile of rubble. It's so sad. There is such a sense of loss. It's almost like the identity is lost. 

There are fences, traffic cones, and bulldozers everywhere. Everything is in a state of disrepair. Or buildings that have been pulled down but haven't been cleared away because there are more important things to attend to. 

But there is also a sense of community and resiliance. There are spaces that are growing in between the damage. The dance-o-mat is where you plug your ipod into a washing machine, pay $2, and then music will come over the speakers and you can dance in a public space. Families were dancing together. It was amazing. Such a great way to create hope amongst the rubble.

It was overwhelming. It was eerie. It was more emotional than I expected. Read more at Mind the Ramp. 

Today I am thankful to live in a safe part of the world. It's not the most exciting place but at least I know that the ground under me will stay where it is. I hope.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sydney Harbour

As we were planning our departure from Australia we couldn't spend a year in this country and not go to the big, well-known city. Mostly we just walked around and enjoyed the sunshine (which was a pleasure after the rainy, chilly Melbourne days).

A lot of time was spent taking touristy photos of the harbour and bridge. A lot of time. 

top: Jay Jays (I think that's the name of the store?)
belt: Silpada
shorts: Ricki's

It was such a gorgeous day, perfect for walking around the harbour, through some gardens, and stopping for some Oktoberfest beer (unexpected and awesome!).

The Opera house is a pretty strange and intimidating building. It's absolutely huge when you get right up next to it. The roof is made of tiny tiles! The whole thing is so iconic. Whenever I saw it I'd have to shake my head and be all "I'm in Sydney! Australia!"

Today I'm thankful for being able to see something that is perhaps cliched and overdone, but still awesome. 


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Bondi Beach Babes & Sydney Swans

Bondi Beach is the epitome of Sydney in the sun. We took the train and scoffed at taking the further bus. We used our internal GPS to guide us along the long walk to the beach. 

We lounged on the hot sand, I fell asleep with my book on my belly and got a resulting book tan. We ate delicious fish and chips, found a pub to play cards in and magically found a cheap sushi train in the train station. What a perfect day!

This fountain reminds me of a dandelion. I made a wish just in case. 

We wandered into a mall at some point and I discovered what is very possibly the best pair of shoes in the world. Oh Miu Miu why are you so expensive. 

When we were in Melbourne we watched the Aussie Rules Football Grand Final. We went to a pub that traditionally supported the Sydney Swans and cheered them on to win. As we were walking down the street in Sydney we stumbled upon the Swans victory parade!

These man-kangaroos had bouncy springs in their feet and fake muscles in their arms. I don't really get it but it was pretty fun. 

There were machines that shot confetti into the air. All I could think about was who was going to clean it all up?

We took a shortcut through a mall and participated in a mini mixology course. We learned how to make a daiquiri with the proper bartender technique! And we were able to drink our creations too, all for FREE!

Today I am thankful for happy accidents. I love when things just come together without even trying!