September 29, 2011

How to spend a date night in New Zealand

Drive out to your favourite sunset watching place...

Then go watch the planes land...

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Find a good parking spot and get comfy...

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And grab some tasty beachside takeaway... my choice: corn fritters with a side of cream guac

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His choice: juicy hamburger...

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Our choice: hot chips...

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And spend it with your favourite best friend...

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And love each other no matter what. In greasy hair, lounge wear, and glam-less details, and love him back even though he smiles at the playback screen and not the lens.


September 22, 2011

Time for fun

One of my favourite parts of the day is catching up on blogs when heading into work on the bus. While my bus adventures are a story of their own, it's when I'm on the bus and get a chance to catch up on everyone else, that I'm in a happy place. I love being somewhere kinda foreign (still), surrounded by strangers, yet feeling like I'm not alone, like I have a group of friends catching me up on their daily shenanigans. Love it.

Today one of my treasured reads (I read but not comment, I never know what to say, and worry that it will just get lost among the hundreds of commenters. And I read her posts like a book... it feels strange because I'm not used to leaving comments in books, maybe we should?!) anyways... one of my treasured reads posted a sentence that spoke to me, and just made perfect sense. The kind where I think, why didn't I think that? How did I not know this already?

Kelle wrote "Lainey can't tell time yet, and she only measures anything by how much fun she has anyway."

Seriously, so true. If only we measured everything by how much fun we have. Which probably explains why things are so not fun when we're bored, and time seems to pass so slowly. Hello? Captain obvious? Anyways, I can't stop thinking about this sentence and liking it, so I wanted to share.

Now go have so much fun you forget about time! I'm looking forward to the weekend, are you? (I know, I'm a day too fast for you all. That's New Zealand for you!)

September 19, 2011

A 1930's date in 2011

This weekend, we attended our first dress-up theme party. We even hit up many of the costumes stores in Wellington to get our look just right! Who knew a little city could have so many costume stores?! It was so much fun digging around in aisle after aisle of costumes.

The theme was 1930's royal opera, so with a little imagination, internet stalking inspiration, and a whole lot of hairspray, we were ready to go.

We searched high and low for some medals, don't let them fool you. While we didn't get a close-up, I can attest that Kev's highest ranking medal was indeed a gold Mr. T's plastic one hanging on some pretty regal ribbon. Go A Team!

I loved how the 30's dresses were so flowy with simple draping that looked exquisite. Though I wasn't a fan of the unforgiving material this one was made of... somehow my belly button was visible! It's an innie! Ah, thankfully in the 30's, a little cover up was used....

With some thick eyeliner, pink cheeks, and a side chignon I was ready to go. (I pass on lipstick, just not my thing even though it was a sure staple in the look, I hope I managed to pull it off!)

We spent the evening drinking *bubbles, dancing to 80's music, eating finger food, walking across town and finding ourselves cosied up in a small above store bar sipping old smokies (a smooth scotch) with new friends.

*Kiwis don't mess around with sparkling wine/champagne - they just say bubbles!

And that's how two 1970's kids pulled off the 30's in 2011.

September 15, 2011

And then the sun came out!

Someone was listening!

Thank you, the sun shone brightly the very next morning. The day after that time it almost snowed again in Wellington, sun!

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Like a postcard!

Turns out a lot of people have misconceptions about the weather in New Zealand. I've received many messages and had many friends not amazed by the weather here, saying, it's winter, OF COURSE THERE IS SNOW. And I think, simmer down, I just moved here, and I was told there wasn't snow. Here's my tip about New Zealand weather.

Yes there is snow, but mostly on the South Island. Which sounds contradictory because South = hot in my books. California and Florida are examples of places south of Toronto and while we had snow (and other seasons) these areas I considered warm, being southerly and all. (Even though I learned while they may not have snow, they do get cold.)

But back to the lesson. The North Island does have snow, but more inland in areas with mountains. The northern island is fairly narrow so most cities run along the coastline. And while the actual temperature is probably colder near the water, it's damper and doesn't take to freezing.

When the temperature drops to form icicles, snow flakes, hail and freezing rain, it's rare, even though it's winter. It hovers around 3 degrees, which is a far cry from -40 degrees celcius that I grew up with in Alberta Canada. My Kiwi friends joke that I must laugh at them all watching them in awe of the snow and cold, but I don't. They are so amazed by it all, back home, you just complain about it all, it's a very nice change.

Ok that concludes my lesson here. I'm thankful it's warming up!

In other news, we are back to filling out immigration papers. Our work visas have been extended for at least a year, and we hope to apply for residency, allowing us to live here and come and go as we please. With certain skills on the country's shortage list, you can earn residency a lot easier and faster than in most countries. Unfortunately, since New Zealand is so small, the student population tends to leave after high school to live overseas, making it hard to retain talent. Would you believe that plumbers are in high demand here? Maybe you should rethink your occupation and come join us?!

Have you ever lived overseas and dealt with work visas? It's such a paper nightmare and challenging, and at times can feel so restricting. Often I've felt so stressed out putting my future in the hands of a piece of paper, or in this case a blue sticker in my passport. Sometimes you feel like no one could possibly understand your nomadic lifestyle, and then I meet some of the coolest people (in real life and through this blog) and then I don't feel so minuscule and like an alien (as the US categorized me). Hoping residency comes through, it would be a really cool moment if we could be proud Kiwis!

September 13, 2011

Pass the sunshine, please!

I used to miss the change of seasons. When we moved from Toronto to Los Angeles, the weather was very stepford-like, bright and consistently summer year round. It made me miss home (Toronto) and crave things like crisp cool fall air, or a dewy spring morning.

When we moved from Los Angeles to San Francisco, the weather was rainy and cold for two months straight. It made me miss the sun and the day after day sunny temps (even when stores posted snow flakes and mittens in their store fronts, LA didn't fool me).

When we moved (temporarily) from San Francisco to Vancouver, the weather was dry, cool, and wet. It made me miss the fog.

When we moved from Vancouver to New Zealand, the weather was windy, warm and cold at once.

And now all I miss is a consistent summer and some consistency in seasons!

Luckily spring is around the corner, tempting us...

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And today made me miss things likes fro-yo, ballet flats without socks, skirts that aren't lined, wearing scarves as accessories, and carrying an umbrella justincase that rain cloud lets loose.

Hold the hail, please! I'm not used to a season change... but I hope tomorrow the sun comes out.

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Rare, just so rare to have such cold temps in Wellington!

But I'm thankful today included hot chocolate, tall leather boots, a lined dress, a wool coat that kept me warm when the winds tried to take me down, and carrying my wool hat* justincase that rain cloud lets loose. (*because an umbrella doesn't cut it in this windy weather!)

September 11, 2011

When in Rome

New Zealand is hosting the World Rugby Cup, and as any good sports fan, time to get behind the All Blacks and support them! And the city? Well, they are ready to go:

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Sign posting in the CBD (central business district) of Wellington

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Not the Wellywood sign (thankfully) but a temporary, fun sign

And a really cool experience on Friday at noon, my first flash mob!
The haka was performed in front of hundreds, in the CDB of Wellington. While the Haka is a traditional war dance, it has been adopted by the New Zealand Rugby Union and performed at all games. A few months ago in one of my past temping environments, we performed the haka as part of a welcoming ceremony, and not knowing what was going on, it scared the crap out of me! Now I know better, and love the excitement it brings to people.

World Cup Haka Flash Mob from WanderInDelight on Vimeo.

Haka flash mob during a red light

Game on! Now if only I knew how Rugby was played...

September 6, 2011

Real quick update...

Turns out the acronym for Random Acts of Kindness day was RAK not ROK as I reported, and no one told me!

Truth: Today I wore my 'fat' pants that I shrunk 3 months ago, making then way too tight (as such rendering them no longer fat pants), but today they were baggy. I realize this sounds like I'm bragging, and I am? Thank you. Fat pants from 4 years ago that are now baggy? Amen. New Zealand has been good to me! I'm so excited!!!

Getting caught singing 'I'm so excited' (a la Pointer Sisters) by your boyfriend = reeeeediculous (a la Judge Judy styles). To set up the scene for you... I was singing 'I'm so excited' to Turkey, who has kicked another food allergy, and on the mend. Kev was engaged with a tv show, and I had no idea he paused the show to watch me do little high fives with Turks and listen to my sorely sung tunes. I laughed so hard I cried (out of embarrassment).

If you are searching for a new comfort food, one that you will crave for weeks on end after your last indulgence, then make this Gardener's Pie. Yes, there's no meat, but trust me no one will notice. Everyone will ask for the recipe, and hey I won't tell anyone if you use chicken stock. It's yummy, buttery goodness and you have to have seconds. You've been warned, enjoy!

And... it's spring time in New Zealand! Good bye year of winter! This year has been San Francisco until January (that started last October), Vancouver until February and winter (until September) in Wellington... hello sunshining warm spring temps!

/end updates

September 1, 2011

ROK it out

Today is random act of kindness day in New Zealand. Or ROK for short, a ROK day is always a good day. It started out with a lovely sweet treat from a lovely sweet colleague who treated our team to some sweet goodies. Made my day!

And then at the end of the day, one of my favourite bloggers, Vanisha, awarded me the Liebster Award, and that made my day too! I'm pretty sure this award isn't for ROK, but it ROK's to me. Thank you Vanisha! She blogs about life in Fiji while completing her research studies, and her and hubby also do some amazing community work with children - very inspiring! She's a lovely commenter and I hope you check out her blog!

Liebster means dear, sweet, darling, beloved in German and in case you didn't know I'm part German, how fitting and great to learn something new! I don't speak German but would love to learn! I'm still getting a handling on kiwi-speak so bear with me.

The aim of the award is to bring more attention to blogs with fewer than 200 followers, that people think deserve some additional attention. (I have no idea how to tell how many followers people have, but I wanted to highlight some special bloggers to me who make this online world so much fun!)

There are a few rules in accepting this award:

1. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them - Thank you so much Vanisha!
2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Post the award on your blog.

Sara's Top 5 Picks For The Liebster Award:

Morgan at The Handcrafted Life
I've said it before, girl has got one heck of a shoe collection, and she loves animals, makes hilarious gifs, and rules at DIY projects - I always learns something cool. She also likes to wander around and enjoy weekend getaways, she's a planner to the max - we are kindred spirits. And bonus, I know her in real life, she's awesome!

Kim at High Heel City Streets
She's a lawyer living it up in San Francisco. She has great style and loves to celebrate. I love her weekend recaps and enjoy hearing about her latest getaways. I also met her in real life long before I had a blog and love that we are blogging buddies!

Leah at Chandeleah
She's a Kiwi living it up in Vancouver Canada, and as a Canuck I think it's pretty cool to hear about her life as we experience the exact opposite of everything! She keeps active and enjoys the working holiday life in Canada with her boyfriend. While we haven't met yet, I hope one day we end up in the same place at the same time and enjoy some vino over our shared adventures.

Jenny at Practically Perfect
She recently relocated to New Zealand, and I can't remember how I found her, but so glad I did. She lives opposite ends of the island from me, and I love reading about her day-to-day activities, not only because I can relate to her experiences but also enjoy the views from her side of this amazing country. She also has the cutest newborn baby with a hilarious passport picture!

Carolyn at Life in Graz
She's living life in Austria with her husband, and she has great stories of what it's like living there. She's made some expat friends while there, and shares what life can be like when you don't speak the language. Her daily outings and shopping experiences crack me up, and she takes great pictures of the city and her travels around town.

Hope all you ladies had a ROKing day too! Thanks for stopping by if you're a visitor from Vanisha, I appreciate you taking the time to visit my little part of the bloggy world.