Tulips

I LOVE tulips. Thus, it should be no surprise that Karalyn and I went down to the Botanical Gardens to see all the tulips they had planted. Don’t be fooled– it’s still winter here.

Me in front of a very pretty pink tree on our way down– the Botanical Gardens technically comprise the area from the top of the cable car all the way down to the bottom of a large hill. So it’s a walk to get to the flat part.

This is just one of the shots I got… hundreds of bulbs planted, all colors.

Me with the flag. Cool, huh?

The City Gallery just reopened after an extensive renovation. It’s covered in polka dots in reference to the current exhibit. Emma, Christina and I went, but unfortunately were on our way somewhere else, so by the time we got through the line, we had to skip some of the exhibits. I’m going to go back sometime before I leave to see the rest.

A cute picture in the tulips. So many parents, families, kids out taking pictures. So sweet!

Well friends, here’s the countdown: one week til Australia, one month til home. Until then!

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Strange Kiwi Food Combinations

Today’s post is dedicated to the strange things that I have seen people eat here. Overall, it’s just your normal, everyday food (with the exception that I do have to eat the dorm food, which is not so enjoyable). However, sometimes these strange things pop out:

a. beans on toast. Yes, the kind of beans you get in a can, warmed up and on toast. Emma claims it makes a complete protein.
b. spaghetti on toast. This one definitely beats out beans on toast with the odd factor.
c. ketchup on spaghetti. Now I have to clarify, most places here don’t give you actual ketchup, it’s more of a tomato sauce. Nevertheless, I feel it’s kind of redundant.

As I said, mostly it’s pretty normal, but I wanted to share these few quirky appearances. I might post once more before Australia; we’ll see. If not, look forward to those pics & commentary coming soon!

Things I Miss

Here’s a brief list of things I miss from home. I’m bored out of my mind & lonely, so feeling a little nostalgic and thought I’d share. Also, these are not in any particular order. As will shortly become obvious.

1. Baked Lays. For real.
2. Salad.
3. Healthy, delicious food in general.
4. My familyyyy.
5. Summer.
6. Umbrellas.
7. My kitchen!!
8. So many friends that are so amazing & wonderful.
9. Having plans.
10. Mexican food.

Well, that’s it for now– just a few of the wonderful things I look forward to seeing in… a short time. I know you are all anxious for an itinerary– it’s coming, I promise! Hopefully within the next few weeks… I finish finals early November, so trust me, it will be booked by then. I love you all and can’t wait to see you when I get back!

(PS- Countdown to Australia: 2 weeks!!)

Rugby Mania

Here’s some pics from our excursion to the rugby game in Wellington– All Blacks (the NZ national team) vs. Australia. Overall, the crowd was relatively calm, just jumping up to cheer when the All Blacks were close to a point. But it was nice to not have to watch the entire game standing!



I tried to upload the final scoreboard, but blogger has decided to be nitpicky or the internet is wonky again. Anyway, final score 33-6, All-Blacks. Woop!

A Trip to the Zoo

So on Wednesday, we took advantage of the weather and headed to the zoo- Liz, William (or as Liz terms him, Will-I-Am), and I. You have to take the bus to get there, but it’s a pretty quick trip. We went to Ernesto’s for some brunch/ lunch (I had fresh oj and muesli with stewed fruit and yogurt), and then headed on out.


Exhibit A: Pelican. Scene 1: It’s sitting so still, like a statue.

Liz: Dude, is that real?

Kiwi woman: Uhhh… yeahhhh (looks at Liz like she’s an idiot)

Me & Liz crack up. It was pretty hilarious.


One of the highlights of the zoo: the signage. What other zoo has bloody fingers on their animated characters??


I love the giraffes!


Baby chimp Beni. Isn’t he cute??

Me behind an elephant painting thing. Biggest disappointment: no elephants at the zoo, and the lions were away to breed. But all in all, a fun half-day experience!!

Rain, rain, go away

Well, dear friends, I just thought I would share this image with you. It’s of a newspaper page; I busted out laughing when I saw it.


As you can see, it’s the weather page. And– what a shock!! The entire country is covered in rain.

Later I’ll post more on my second week off and life back at school, but I’m waiting for a friend to upload people-pictures online. Here’s a glimpse of what to look forward to: lions, tigers, and bears oh my!, cafes, Cuba Street, and a booking for… Australia! ❤

Appreciation

Here’s a short list of things that I will appreciate coming back to the United States. The differences from the US to NZ are not too different, but I am definitely looking forward to these things!

1. 24-hour gas stations. Questions? Go back to the blog before the glacier hike. Enough said.

2. The right to refuse a pat down. Come on, I’m a criminology student. I know my rights… in America. Definitely appreciate them needing a reason and not being able to do “random pat-downs” just for the heck of it.

3. Being able to choose my own seat at the movies. Yes, they assign seats here. Not a big deal if you are going to a midday show, but opening night it can get hectic.

4. Showers with the lights on. Yes, friends, the motion sensored lights strike again, and I am tired of climbing out of the shower mid-way to turn them back on. I’m all for going green, but really…

5. Short time differences. I am definitely going to appreciate being able to pick up the phone and call whoever I want, and know what time it is. It’s so hard to catch people on skype!

6. Communication. When I leave here, I will have sent home around 30 postcards. Um, didn’t realize I had so many friends until I did that. Will not miss all the postage fees! I expect postcards from those going abroad in the spring!

That’s it for now… just a short note in my last day of time off, excluding the weekend. So weekend, here we go, and then classes resume! Six weeks of those, a week and a half in Australia, and then exams! Crazy!

Day Six: A Glacier Experience to Remember

Day 6: D-Day. Otherwise known as, one of the most terrifying experiences in my short twenty-one years (almost!). Also known as, the fear of heights strikes again! I’m sure you get the picture. We did a glacier hike on Franz Josef Glacier this day, and it was both completely terrifying and exhilarating. Definitely a once in a lifetime experience, but I’m glad I made it through it. This particular glacier hike involves a hike on a trail, then through water and over rocks, then up rocks, then putting on crampons, then hiking 1/3 of the way up the glacier. And when I say up, I mean on an incline… using ice stairs and just climbing, stomping as hard as you can to avoid sliding down the whole thing and dying at a young age (oh wait, that’s just in my mind. It’s supposedly perfectly safe). The whole thing is a 9 km return hike. Going up the ice stairs, I was terrified out of my mind and had NO idea of how I was going to get back down. Lots of tough thinking and promising myself a really nice gift for surviving this hike so close after the other one, and promising no more terrifying hiking experiences got me to the top. I also owe thanks to the Michael Jackson song “Black or White” which courtesy of the tour bus radio was stuck in my head the whole time. At the top, we stood for about 5 minutes, me frozen in place, trying not to fall down from the wind, refusing to sit because then I would have to stand again, and then headed to what I thought was the most fun part of the trip– weaving through “ice tunnels” which basically made you feel like you were in an ice cube, very tight and secure. Emma kicked butt and stayed behind me to make me feel safer, and the trip down wasn’t as bad as I was expected. Definitely an experience to remember. I owe all thanks for the pictures to Karalyn- she took her waterproof camera with her, because it alternately rained and hailed the whole time. Have I mentioned how terrified I was? Ok, ok, shutting up now. Check out the pics, and their website. Seriously cool.

^^Standing at the top of one of the gravelly hills… we’re not actually on the glacier yet.

^^Weaving through the tunnels at the top

^^Um yes, I went 1/3 the way up that and lived to tell the tale.

http://www.franzjosefglacier.com/tripguide.html