Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The eagle has landed

We're here! Actually we're well into Day #4, and there's so much to tell you! First we'd like to share a couple pics we shot of our beautiful city. This is Wellington Harbour, where Jake and I took a walk on our first full day. We've gone running along the boardwalk there the past two mornings as well. 

The weather has been absolutely spectacular here, although everyone we meet tells us we're very lucky to have this many sunny days in a row. Below is a shot of the skyline on the waterfront. KPMG's building is one of them, but I'm afraid I can't identify it in this shot. I think Jake's crossing his fingers for a harbour view from his office, but we'll see. And yes, I said harbour. :)

The reason it's taken so long to check in with you, dear readers, is that we've been focusing on finding a house to rent and a used car to buy. Jake's been fantastic with learning how to get around the city and even how to drive on the "wrong" side of the road. It's been pretty strange to ride in the left-hand side of the car without a steering wheel or brake pedal, but I'm getting used to it. I'll try driving before long, but not quite yet. We've visited lots of neighborhoods and rental houses, and actually missed a good rental today by 30 seconds -- no joke. Some of the neighborhoods are high up on hills like the one behind me in this pic. 

In the meantime though, we're in a nice little temporary apartment in the heart of Wellington. We like it, but we're definitely looking forward to unpacking all the bags and settling in. Did we mention that all nine of our checked bags made it through our four flights perfectly on time? Nothing was missing or broken. An amazing feat of aviation coordination! Although of course they charged us $144 more than they'd quoted us on the phone, but whatever. We're happy to have all our stuff. 

Our first 36 hours were spent napping, doing a bit of unpacking, wandering around our new city, coordinating with the front desk for a key that would work on our room door, and reading the operating instructions for the clothes washer, the oven and the dishwasher. You'd think they'd be easy to figure out, but neither of our master's degrees were of any use whatsoever. 

We're chilling out at home right now before we head out to celebrate New Year's on the harbourfront. I guess NZ (pronounced "inzed"; not yet sure why) is one of the first places in the world to see the New Year, so that's kind of cool. 

Everyone we've met has been so warm and welcoming. Our experience at the bank when we set up our account was just spectacular. Before we left the states, Jake and I had an absolutely infuriating experience with Commerce Bank. At our bank here, people are friendly and know what they're doing -- I wanted to hug the lady who set up our account. We're really looking forward to meeting some folks and seeing much more of this place. 

Oh yeah, and after all this big talk about sheep, we haven't seen a darn one of them. Sheep count to date = 0. 

Love you and miss you all! We'll check in again soon. 


Corey said...

Glad you guys made it. Looks like it's going to be the New year there in about 4.5 hours. Happy new year to you both. We're still T-minus 23.5 hours to go here. Heck, the annual Gabbert NYE party is still 19 hours away!!

Good luck.

Your Mom Deed said...

Wow! Your new home looks so cozy and nice. The scenery is exhilarating even to look at, let alone be living around. By the time this is posted, it will already have been a new year for you two; we are still some hours away. What a great way for you to begin 2009! No sheep sighted yet, though, heh? Hmmm. . .I've been misled.

jamie said...

Misled? Yes, we're all feeling a bit misled at this point... :) Maybe Jake and I will have the chance to venture away from this city on this four-day weekend and go see some sheeps. I'll keep you posted.

Corey -- I hope you guys have a great party! We're sorry to miss it. Please tell everyone hi for us and let us know about all your highjinks.

Kathie Doosing said...

Jamie and Jake:
So nice to be with your parents when they received their 1st call from NZ!!! Your adventures were the topic of our New Year's Eve celebration. How exciting! This is my first visit to a blog site. Deed is trying to educate me. I have dial up at home, so I am doing this on your mom's laptop. Good luck, best wishes, and Happy New Year!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Swearingens! NZ looks beautiful! If it weren't a 10 million hour flight away and we didn't have 2 kiddos, I would have to consider visiting you! Glad to see that you guys are settling nicely into your new country. We saw the NZ fireworks in the harbor on the news - is that the harbor you guys are near? Looked incredible. Looking forward to hearing about your latest adventures and we are wishing you guys a very happy 2009. -Arlene, Jeff, Jake and Evan

Anonymous said...

So nice to visit with you last night! And now to look at your pictures just brings everything more to life. Running around in shorts in the middle of winter....I'm going to go get my flanel PJ's on and sit by the fire. You are right, your apartment certainly looks totally modern.

Love you, talk to you soon, Mom

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year! Looks and sounds like everything is working out great. Jamie, keep the photos and blogs coming. I've gotta see a sheep ASAP!!!


Jamies Father said...

It sounds like the two of you are going to have a wonderful adventure for the next two years. I have to admitt that I would be more supportive and happy for you if you had mentioned that you stored your stuff at your folks place in Mooresville at MOORESVILLE MINI STORAGE. It wouldn't have taken much effort to tell everyone that your father build the largest mini storage facility in Livingston County MO and that we have the lowest rates around. But no....You just said that you stored your stuff at your folks place in Mooresville. I wouldn't expect you to go to the trouble to tell everyone that we now have 158 storage units in 5 buildings amounting to 24,000 square feet in storage space with 7 different sizes ranging from 5' X 10' for the rediculously low price of only $15.00 per month all the way to a 10' X 40' storage unit for only $70.00 per month. You see, I realize that it would be unreasonable for me to expect you to tell everyone that. I also wouldn't expect you to tell the people that we offer discounts for prepaying 3, 6, or 12 months in advance. But as your own father, it would have been nice if you could at least have printed MOORESVILLE MINI STORAGE in capital letters. Would that be to much to ask. Remember, I used to give you an allowance.

California Grandma said...

Hi kids, this is your California Grandma. I wondered why a license plate I saw with BAA reminded me of you, and then I remembered the sheep connection. You sound like you're having fun. Good luck to you both.

Anonymous said...

'Zed' is the correct pronunciation of the letter Z - used everywhere but the United States.

'In' for N is because of the Kiwi accent.

Jake said...

Here Zedebra, Zedebra, Zedebra... That's a good Zedebra.