Monday, September 27, 2010

Three things we love

  1. Wellington
  2. The Simpsons
  3. The Flight of the Conchords
Our town is getting a shout out in a recent episode that features our favourite New Zealand comedy-folk-rap duo.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

South coast of Wellington

We went for another run along the coast the other day and I took a few snaps in the gorgeous sunshine. Jake's getting ready for the Melbourne Marathon in October, so he's been spending lots of time out on the various running routes throughout the city. This one is my favourite - it's on the south coast of Wellington where you can see the South Island on a clear day off to the southwest. If you went straight south from here though you'd end up in Antarctica.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Feeling at home halfway across the world

I've been thinking for a while that our blog might be going through a bit of an identity crisis. Not a crisis I guess, but more of a conundrum. When we started blogging nearly two years and 150+ posts ago, we had a couple of goals in mind.
  1. To keep in touch with friends and family in the States and elsewhere (actually to avoid telling the same story over and over)
  2. To celebrate and share our experiences in a new country
And we've enjoyed every minute of documenting our adventures in this blog. Now that we are settled in and have (hopefully) a bit more perspective, a few things have been on my mind. We absolutely love it here. The people are genuine and the lifestyle is easy to get used to. To illustrate our experiences, I've always focused on the differences -- the Kiwi words we've learned, the sports we now watch, the more relaxed workplace cultures we've embraced, and the amount of wine we now appreciate.

I've learned it's very easy to settle in and feel at home here, and maybe that's why I feel like I'm running out of reasons to talk about our differences. It makes me wonder about why I blog and how our purpose seems to be shifting. Wow, is our little blog growing up?

I'll be giving it more thought as we approach that day when we will leave this incredible place and return to the States. That thought certainly brings with it lots of mixed emotions. In any case. I'm glad you're here. Thank you, dear readers, for coming on this journey with us.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Our jog along the Wellington waterfront

We've just had a gorgeous Saturday, and it finally feels like spring!

Jake and I took a jog into the CBD and decided to bring the camera along. Great idea, right? I can't take any credit -- I'm stealing borrowing the idea from a funny and compelling blog called Wellington Road. You should check it out.

Our route went through some of the gritty industrial part of town, but I decided to reserve our snaps for the beautiful waterfront where there was so much going on.

Above is a shot of the very far north part of the waterfront, including the East-by-West ferry that will take you across the harbour. And below is near Frank Kitts Park, which I learned hosts a craft market every Saturday. Luckily for me Jake brought a bit of cash on our run, and I quickly spent it all at the market.

A bit farther on is the farmer's market, but we didn't make it there. Our attention was stolen by all the activity in and around the harbour. Plus we had a chance to put our brand new camera -- and its amazing 14x zoom -- to work.

Above is one of the red tug boats that looks so small when we watch them from our house. Below is the snow-capped Rimutaka Range within sight of downtown. These mountains form a ridge that runs parallel to the east coast of the North Island.

While I don't know these people who are swimming, I can tell they are Kiwis. I think Kiwis are somehow immune to the cold waters here. There's no way I could get into this water, but maybe that's just because I'm used to Missouri lakes that are warmed by 100-degree summer days.

We witnessed nearly every form of transportation -- roller-bladers, stand-up-paddle-surfers, bicycles, sail boats, freight ships, tug boats, little fishing boats, helicopters and airplanes.

Wellington has had its share of dreary, overcast, windy and rainy weather lately. But when we have a good day, it's sure hard to beat.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Earthquake in Christchurch

Thanks to all our friends and family who've asked about us this weekend. We are fine, as we're a couple hundred miles away from the earthquake hit.

As usual when we have earthquakes or tsunami warnings, we find out about it from someone in the States who's read the news. This time it was my brother calling on Saturday morning from New Mexico... apparently we'd had an earthquake at 4:30 am NZ time. And a pretty big one. Initial reports called it 7.4 but it was later confirmed as a 7.1 magnitude quake near Christchurch, our second largest city.

That's on the South Island, and we're about an hour's flight away from it on the North Island. Jake and I didn't feel anything (he suggests this was due to the 'wine comas' we were sleeping off from the night before) but we've heard other folks here in town woke up from the shaking.

Sounds like there has been some damage to lots of buildings (see photos on and some injuries in Christchurch but thankfully no reported fatalities. I've heard they're dealing with utility outages, possible flooding, traffic jams and folks having to stay in shelters, all while experiencing scary aftershocks up to 5.0 magnitude. We're hoping things get sorted out quickly and life can return to normal for the people of Christchurch.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Raro can't be any fun without me

As I mentioned in my last entry, Jake's company sent him to "work" in beautiful Rarotonga in the Cook Islands last week. A year ago when he went on the assignment, I tagged along and we made a vacation out of it. He went on his own this time, which I'm sure was nowhere near as fun without me. Here are a few shots he brought back.