Tim & Anja's New Zealand Adventure travel blog

Joe and Erin browsing maps and brochures planning their adventure

Aren't they cute! We took them to the Castle Hill area because...

The only picture of the four of us from a nice viewpoint...

Out in the Port Hills above Christchurch with Joe


We were thrilled to host our friends Joe and Erin from Boston last week! Last year we went to their wedding in Ireland, and this time they travelled to see us. Everything went smoothly with their flights - Joe had a business trip in Japan, then flew back to San Diego for a friends wedding, met up with Erin, and together they flew from Los Angeles to Christchurch via Auckland - wow that's a lot of flying!

It was a quick visit, but a great one full of fun conversations and a little adventure. We tried to show off the Canterbury area with a short hike out in the mountains, and we were lucky the weather cooperated so nicely. We splurged and bought some good NZ wine and cheese, and another night took advantage of the chance to eat out, a special thing we don't do very often. We've met some nice people here, but seeing old friends who we already have a relationship with is something totally different. It really reminded us how much we want to re-connect with friends and family when we get back.

After we overwhelmed them with travel tips and suggested driving routes, Joe and Erin hit the road in a rental car on Thursday to continue their adventure on their own, armed with some maps and sleeping bags we loaned them. We might see them again when they pass through Christchurch to drop off the car and catch their plane home. I'm sure they'll have some good stories, and we're curious to see if they visited some of the same or different places we did.

Another fun thing recently was Guy Fawkes Day. Apparently every Nov 5 New Zealand celebrates the day this dude tried to blow up Parliament in England in 1605. Now we know what it's like for July 4th in the US, but it was pretty intense here. I've never been in a war zone, but from all the noise and bang and zing and pop we heard that's what it sounded like. It's actually quite controversial, people seem to be a bit out of control in buying fireworks at the store and then doing stupid things like lighting things on fire and burning down houses, let alone just the annoying part of all the noise.

Anja and I simply walked out our house and strolled about 5 minutes to the bay to watch the 'official' fireworks show taking place at the beach near the pier in New Brighton. It's pretty far away, but the show was high enough in the sky and we could see it very clearly. When we turned around and walked home, we could easily see the amateurs playing with more fireworks in their yards around the hills above our house.

Today was a cold, wet day with driving rain, and who would want to go to a cafe in this weather, so I had the day off from work. Tonight we might go see the Al Gore movie An Inconvienient Truth about global warming. Thinking about politics, there has been some coverage over here about the mid-term elections and who will get control of the House and Senate, so we're interested to see what happens.

Otherwise, my sister Katie comes on Sunday and we're looking forward to more playtime ahead. Time is flying, woohoo!!



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