Saturday, December 25, 2010

Our Christmas!

Surfing on Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve at the Cathedral

This is where we spent Christmas day!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas to all

It is Christmas Eve here, and I am sure none of us really feel like that is real. We keep saying it's the weather, but I think that it is really being apart from all the usual hustle and bustle and anticipation, planning events with others. We are definitely looking forward to our plans too though! We hope to do some surfing on Christmas Eve, and have a beach bbq on Christmas Day. As well, there is a beautiful cathedral in town, where we will go sing carols and celebrate Christ's birth (the most important part) tonight. A memory I will remember is singing carols as we hiked through the pouring rain on our Abel Tasman hike. A beautiful hike, not so beautiful weather, but made enjoyable through friends. Although it is amazing how few words you actually know to some of those carols!

Anyways just wanted to say a quick Christmas greeting to everyone. Enjoy it! Sip that hot chocolate, get cozy around the fire, rip into those presents, but remember that is all extra and Christmas really comes down to a simple family with a small baby.

Much love, joy, and peace!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

News: Good and Bad

Wow, it's been awhile! We have been struggling with our (Erin's) computer which has made keeping this site up a bit more challenging. Hopefully it is fixed soon and all our pictures are okay. Scary.

However, we do have some good news: we are employed! Yay! We are phone fundraising, both of us. Now stop laughing, we know. But this is a very important job, many non-profits are counting on us :) I know I thought we were done with the call centres. Interesting fact: I was very excited when Andrew came and worked at the phone survey company I worked at in the summer of 2004. However he found a "better" job soon enough so I outlasted him there. By a bit to say the least.

We are very thankful to have found jobs and in talking to people at work it sounds like the have had a lot of trouble finding anything, which made us feel a lot better. So now the fun is over for awhile because we are working? Think again! We get two and a half weeks off over Christmas, starting in two days so we are heading south! Hooray!

And we have added two people to our crew; Erin and Jen (my sister and her friend) joined us on Monday. It's been good to see them and hear about their adventures. Our place is not large, but we all manage to fit.

We have had a travel issue: Andrew has lost his wallet or it was stolen. We've been hoping it would turn up, but it seems that is not happening. We did cancel all the cards before anything happend, but it sucks especially that his license is gone. Good thing I can drive!

So some good, some bad, I guess that's life. We are very excited to go South and share more adventures with you!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Amazing Auckland

Hey all,

I'm a little behind so I wanted to share with you some things we have done in Auckland in the last bit.

1. Kelly Tarlton Aquarium
Now we are not usually aquarium/nature park/interpretive center people but we needed to get out of the house and the guidebook highly recommended this aquarium. The best part was definitely seeing the live penguins. There were a whole bunch. There were also a bunch of chicks too which was cool.

straight out of National Geographic

The sting ray and other ocean animals were neat as well, but the aquarium was not as great as we expected.

2. U2
U2 definitely met & exceeded expectations. Fantastic! If you can go when they are in Edmonton, you may see us, because we would love to go again. We got our tickets not too long before we left, so we were in the standing zone. That was cool, but got a bit old. I guess it's us getting old, we like to sit!
Life list item, right here!

They had a huge stage setup with the coolest video screen I have ever seen. It was neat too because they layered other images under the concert image. Hard to describe the set up but amazing. We heard that it takes 250 people to set-up/take down the stage, and that they have 3 different ones because they can't get it to new locations fast enough. I would love to know how they plan all the transport and everything for all of that, so many details.

It was neat to go to an outdoor concert, and the weather was so nice.
Just to show you the screen - it expanded and then came back together lower down, if that makes sense

U2 played most of our favorite songs. I loved "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" the most. It was their first more mellow song after some more rocking ones and it was just beautiful. They did a nice memorial for the miners (that's a link in case you haven't been following), which was a sad but nice moment. We had hoped all along that they would make it out okay, and though it was getting doubtful, it still makes me tear up to think of when we heard there was no hope. Andrew loved "Where the Streets have No Name" which was also fantastic, although the person in front of us started talking on his phone in the middle. Arg, concerts make me a grumpy person when dealing with others. All in all, the whole band was fantastic and put on such a good show. Bono was so Bono-ish, I just loved it and we had a really good time. Worth the sore feet.
Eeeeee! Best picture yet! We are pretty happy with our trusty camera

Oh, I should mention Jay-Z opened for U2, why I do not know. He was okay, not bad, but could have been better. I think the best bits of his songs are when other people sing, but it's not bad for getting your groove on, but again, could have done that better, just never seemed to quite catch the crowd. Much funner when you know the songs too. Best part: seeing Beyonce!! in a box dancing along. I heard the people next to us talking about her, and then we just scoped her out.

Clearly that HAS to be Beyonce

Jay-Z = okay but I love Empire State of Mind

3. Santa Parade
This was a new expereince, going to a warm weather Santa Parade. They put on quite a show, but it was so hot, we didn't stay til the end and missed Santa. Oh well. The big balloons were my favorite, absolutely massive, and marching bands sounded good, but they all went to percussion as soon as they got to us. A fun time and probably the only time we will get a sun burn at a Santa Parade!
a giant Kiwi balloon

That's what we have been up to in our new home town. I'll share about our trip to Wellington, the capital city soon. I also want to put up a post about what it's like to actually live here, so lots to look forward to on this place.