Tuesday, March 31, 2009

-girls just wanna have fun-

while our guys were on their manly weekend with manly men doing manly things, us girls fit in some quality time as well. i had big plans...pedicures. a group craft. amazing movie [7 brides for 7 brothers]. but our time was limited. so we did what's most important. talked and ate. buffalo chicken wing dip - a very nutritious meal. although we did have quite the healthy dessert - fruit! [it was kinda an accident but we won't go there, we'll just say we chose to eat healthy.] ps to the girls - we didn't even do a group photo?! what the heck kind of bloggers are we?

happy healthy birthday mctoria!
mand spent the night for a seesta slumber party. i didn't even have to bribe her! in high school when i was younger i used to bribe mand to sleep in my room with me. i simply hate to be alone. i just find it to be lonely and boring. so just like the old days we lay in bed and talked + laughed for hours. splendid. i love my seesters.

the next day we had a very successful trip to salvation army. i have a major weakness for vintage dishes. as in my cupboards overfloweth. but this was a necessary purchase friends. my absolute favorite pattern! 6 teacups. with saucers! for only .59 each. mand found a super sweet tray.

what a day, huh?!
mand, wanna sleep over again? i'll make you dinner.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

new zealand: day 13

we fly from christchurch to auckland. it's warm & rainy in auckland. we have about 7 hours before our plane leaves for the US of A, so we rent a car for the day. we head to an italian restaurant we googled, which turns out to be fancy smancy [good thing our dolla is twice theirs]. we have bread with olive oil dip for an appetizer and the olive oil is sooo yummy. worth the trip just for the o.o. because really the lunch wasn't that special. then we're off to shop auckland. j would love this lens [his bday's in a month, you could buy it for him]:

i eat one last hokey pokey ice cream before we leave new zealand. we see quite a few people sporting iron maiden gear. when we arrive at the airport we see this:

rad, huh?
we have a long night ahead. 11.5 hours to be exact. a night of tossing & turning. airplane meals. sore knees [am i getting old, or what? apparently my legs don't prefer to be bent allll night]. babies crying. food carts bumping elbows. people coughing.
it actually wasn't that bad. although i must say thank goodness for headphones + sleep masks. upon arrival at the la airport we had a very exciting celebrity sighting. little miss mary-kate olsen! i didn't even believe it was her. i googled it when i got home. [cause honestly, google doesn't lie.]

when i wasn't celebrity sighting, i passed time like this:

Monday, March 23, 2009

new zealand: day 12

today was dedicated to fishing. not so much because i like to fish [i don't] but more because i like the fisher [a lot]. i sat along the stream and watched my man fish and fish some more.

and then the call i'd been waiting for...'babe come here!' i caught the fight on video, then captured my sweet fisherman's catch.
a fish!

there she is folks! this new zealand mammoth was caught on a dry fly! [or something like that]
j + i had a nice lazy afternoon together, riding around the farm on the 4-wheeler.

walking along the great waitaki river.

i so love living life with this guy.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

new zealand: day 11

breakfast included the yummiest fruit salad i've ever had. new zealand has amazingly good fruit. we left nick, kate & hugo and the wanaka house. kate was the most spectacular hostess you could imagine. she was an awesome cook and i loved every single salad she whipped up. especially the avocado and corn salsa. sodanggood. she had tea ready every morning. she served tea & biscuits [aka cookies] every night. we threw in a load of laundry before we went to town & she had it hanging on the line when we returned [even my underwears]. i loved listening to her adorable nz accent. lets all be a little more like kate, ok?
the crew:

we were off to the easton farm in pukeuri [yes, of course we stopped for a flat white]. once we arrived in pukeuri, morgan gave us a tour of some of the farm. his dad also gave us an off-road farm tour in the land rover, which was quite exciting. we saw things like this:

here's the adorable farmhouse we stayed in. i really wish we had photos of the cute wooden arch and our adorable bedroom. no such luck my friends. so take my word: it was adorable.

wait, just wait til you see what day 12 brings...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

new zealand: day 10

more friends arrive at the wanaka house. we run to town for groceries and make a spectacular lunch. hummus + avocado sandwich for me. on fresh baked very yummy bread. the carnivores have some meat of sorts. we also have some lovely potato chips - new zealand has a great selection of potato chip flavors. after lunch we head to the lake to go jetboating. the brave also went knee boarding or water skiing. i had trouble even getting out of bed after our insane-o hike and was in no mood for strenuous physical activity.

so i sat on the beach and ate a totally amazing creme donut instead.

our super sunburned legs are looking awesome. we're so romantic. we even peel together.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

new zealand: day 9

we wake up to great views in our cute wanaka home.

tea and toast for breakfast. with honey or vegemite. i choose honey. run to town for a little shopping...and guess what else? yup, you guessed it. over our flat whites, we look up a hike to...hike. then we were off to conquer mount roy.

as soon as we started, i started thinking thoughts like; 'hm, why do i do this to myself.' and 'self, you're very out of shape, why don't you exercise more?' and 'maybe i could just lay down right here and roll back to the car.'
the cool thing about this hike is there were no trees on the mountain, so we had amazing views the entire hike. although it was also the most frustrating thing because i kept thinking, peak - why aren't you getting closer? it was also quite hot & we were nervous about running out of water. [when will we learn, right leeko?!]

when we finally, finally made it to the top, the view was spectacular! it's quite exhilarating to reach a summit like that. we later learned mount roy is 5,177 feet. that's a lot of steps.

on top of the world with my best friend.
little did we know the most painful part was yet to come. it was so very steep. and the descent was so very painful. because it was so steep, i just wanted to run all the way down. so i did.

i did have a little spill. cause did i mention my legs were tired? those poor little legs just wanted to collapse. and they did...at least jenna said the fall was graceful.

the thing that kept me going was thinking about hokey pokey ice cream when we got home. mmm.

Monday, March 9, 2009

new zealand: day 8

we head downtown te anau for some breakfast. we find a bakehouse and j + i order blueberry muffins [and a flat white, of course, don't be silly]. the blueberry muffin is totally awesomely amazing. like the best blueberry muffin i have ever eaten. we stop by a stream so my man can do some fishing.

i have a big crush on him.
we head to queenstown for some shopping + some dinner.

tomato pesto feta tart thingy. so yummmy. if you make me this for dinner i will be your best friend. we proceed to find the worlds windiest road [while crackhead carina groans] and head to wanaka to stay with tom's friends. j shows off his driving skillz and narrowly misses hitting a hedgehog immediately followed by narrowly missing a hare. that's my man. we arrive late to wanaka, but receive a very warm welcome along with yummy tea and biscuits. our hosts are cate + nick [and their sweet baby hugo]. nick asks where we are from.
us: buffalo, ny.
n: oh, where the plane just crashed?
us: oh, no - that was nyc [thinking of the hudson crash, which was all over the news when we left]
n: no, the plane that just crashed in buffalo
us: say wha??!
n: here, it's in the [new zealand] newspaper
us: clarence?! that's like 25 min from our house. yikers. [thinking about the 4 planes + 18 hours of flying we have yet to do]
nevertheless we have a wonderful evening conversing with our new friends.

p.s. i ate doritos and gouda cheese for lunch today. healthy, right?
p.p.s. while we're on food confessions: we have nearly finished a [large] bag of cadbury mini eggs and easter is still over a month away. not good. at this rate, we'll have about 3 more [large] bags down by easter.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

new zealand: day 7

happy valentines day!
an insanely early start for our trek to milford sound. it's about a 2 hour drive and we have a cruise to catch at 9am. we stop lots and lots for photos cause we simply cannot believe our eyes. we had perfect weather for a cruise.

that's how we roll.

friends, meet milford sound. i recommend a valentine cruise through milford sound on a perfectly sunny day with blue skies and whispy white clouds. it's a good time. then we were off to catch our helicopter. [would anybody like to pinch me?] we landed on tutoko glacier. i don't even know if there are words to describe. it was totally tubular. how's that? but really, it was absolutely amazing.

love, love, love my valentine.
on the drive home j couldn't resist the streams, so we stopped for some fishing. no complaints from the crew...we simply took in the views. i just wanted to run and sing at the top of my lungs, 'the hills are alive with the sound of music.'

then we hiked to sutherland falls, the tallest waterfall in new zealand.

since we didn't have enough excitement for one day, someone [i won't mention any names] left the lights on and crackhead carina died. so for about an hour and a half we ran around looking for someone, anyone who could give us a jump. we only asked like a million billion people. lucky for us, someone got pulled and we finallyyyy got a jump from the police.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

new zealand: day 6

now that we're in the southland, j starts every morning off fishing. i still just start every morning off with a flat white. we walked around lake tekapo some more to take in more turquoise awesomeness.

when we arrived on the south island and went to pick up our rental, the salesperson said, well it's the last one i've got. so we were thinking it would be really good or really bad. it wasn't really good. we affectionately called her crackhead carina. she had over 75,000 miles. when we passed cars, we would rock to try to give a little umph because she had no pickup. j pulled the drink holder out, and the entire compartment fell right out. the breaks were a little iffy, which wasn't very reassuring on the many steep hills and curvy windy roads.

but she never died on us. we had to make it to te anau for our early departure to milford sound, so there was lots & lots of driving. the scenery was breathtaking and just kept getting better. when we arrivied to our backpackers, our double was actually the cutest little a-frame you ever did see. the sky was a luminous blue night sky with never ending twinkling stars.

today: summerrrr! ok, so maybe it was just 48 and sunny. but it gave me thoughts of summer. and felt so very nice and warm. i went for a walk with my favorite guy. splendid. speaking of my favorite guy...he's amazing. he's an incredibly talented graphic designer. think i'm just biased? looky here! congrats friend.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

new zealand: day 5

in order to save $100 kiwi, our rental car had to be returned by 9:18am. rotorua is known for geothermal activity, so we couldn't leave town without checking out some of that action. especially since we had to smell the sulfur all night. on our way to the airport we stopped by kuirau park. there were bubbling mud pools, hot springs, and gas and steam upflows. it was quite fascinating, though i was a bit concerned that there was a school & playground right next to one of the bubbling mud pools. in 2001 there was a huge mud eruption, which covered the entire area....oh, let's have the children play here!

this one is just us steaming...
i had an amazing flat white [you didn't think i'd go a day without one, did you?] at the airport cafe and a yummy boysenberry muffin. it was super foggy & our plane left about 30 minutes late. we flew from rotorua to christchurch. the weather was rainy and much chillier in the south. drove to lake tekapo where we had some amazing pizza for dinner and found ourselves at a fancy smancy resort for $70 whole us dollars.

we still had clothes everywhere...
lake tekapo was absolutely breathtaking. the water was the most amazing turquoise you can imagine. it was unreal.

sooo...about that bachelor. to be honest, i'm totally disgusted. if you are so totally torn between 2 people one day, why in sam hill would you propose to one the next day?? he could have just chose one to see how things went in this little thing we call real life. and the way he rationalizes things - 'i had to go with my heart' or, my favorite, 'i can't help how i feel'. that just makes me want to spit. so apparently, if you feel like punching someone in the face, go for it - we can't help how we feel. feel like going to the grocery store neked? go for it - can't help how you feel. jason says so. and don't even get me started on molly's immediate forgiveness of his actions. she basically jumped in his lap. he even walked out holding her hand in the air, as if to say i won! blech. tisk, tisk molly. on the brighter side, jillian's the next bachelorette! [ohhh, here i go again]

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

new zealand: day 4

walked downtown tairua to get [you guessed it] a flat white for breakfast. a beautiful walk along the bay. bought some groceries and had toast and manuka honey on the deck at our backpackers. drove to cathedral cove to get our beach on. it was about a 45 minute hike down to the beach. the temp was approximately 85 degrees. it was a hot hike. the cicadas were deafening.

cathedral cove is pretty much the most perfectest beach you can imagine.
..white sand
..blue-green crystal clear water
..massive rocks
..amazing views.
..perfect, i tell you.

factoid: you may recognize this beach from the chronicles of narnia.
we went for a swim to cool off after our sweaty hike. we were having a grand time splashing around in the waves when i saw a shadow lurking below. i was all,
"is that a stingray?!"
jenna & i didn't wait around for an answer, we booked it to the beach. i just about had a heart attack as i was swimming to shore because i saw my shadow underneath me and was pretty sure a stingray was stalking below, ready to eat me. thankfully there was no stingray following me to shore, but we fo sho swam with a stingray. the boys didn't even get out of the water! such manly men.
then we were off to hot water beach. volcanoes have created hot water reservoirs underground, as hot as 147 degrees. simply dig a hole in the sand and you have a natural thermal hot spring to sit in. a pool of steaming hot water sounds fantastic when you're sitting in ny and the temp is 15 degrees. after hiking in 85 degrees, it wasn't quite as enticing. note the cape...i was being very careful not to get sunburned...perhaps i should have had the towel on my legs. i totally toasted my legs. as in i literally could not fully straighten my left leg for 3 days because the back of my knee was burned so badly. go me.

i did get some great shots of j surfing while my legs were sizzling in the new zealand sun.

i sure love my surfer boy.

p.s.: you know how you need to count to 10 when you're angry. i think i need another day to forgive the bachelor before i comment...