Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ute R Us

Evidently trucks here are called utes, which is short for utility. This truck is an advertisement for Ute R Us a truck rental agency, I believe. I wonder if the cabs of these trucks are especially cozy and plush?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Our Family Trip (to the West Coast)

We took a family trip to the west coast near Auckland. You might remember this view from an earlier post. It's still beautiful there. We had a car this time, which made me think that biking here was suicidal given the type of roads. We went to Karekare, the overlook for Piha, then onto Muriwai then up to Shelley beach and then back via the North Shore.

The surf at Karekare was fun to wade in. B and P (and later A) all went in. There were some surfers nearby. We ate lunch on a hill overlooking the beach.
The beach at Muriwai seems to extend to the horizon. We were headed to a gannet colony just below P here.
The gannet colony started out on an island nearby but over time they expanded to the mainland and now had nests on several points. P reports that they were very stinky. The young gannets still had their downy coats and were not yet flying. Can you pick them out in the picture below?

The west coast is certainly beautiful!
Later, on the beach A and P searched for shells while B flew his kite. It was perfect weather for kite flying. We then went to a beach on the Kaipara named "Shelly" and searched for more shells.

On the way back home we tried to drive over the Harbour Bridge but it was a traffic jam as usual and so we were routed around the harbour.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Our Adventurous Walk to School

Our walk to school every morning involves many ups and downs, but the best part is going through Alberon Reserve. It is delightful to live in a place with such nice flora! Note P's cute uniform!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Wintergardens at the Auckland Domain

On the afternoon of the first day I was in Auckland we went to the Wintergardens at the Auckland Domain. A domain is like a park. The Wintergardens are greenhouses, they are for keeping plants warm in Winter.

This is me. I am looking at BIG FISH in the water. They reminded me of Isabel, my old goldfish.

This is a caterpillar I saw in the greenhouse. (It will be a Monarch Butterfly! A and P doubt this however.)

These are enormous Pitcher Plants hanging over an HUGE lily plant. Pitcher plants eat insects!!! The happy, friendly excitable plant keeper showed us pictures of babies sitting on the lily pads (for this type of lily, there are apparantly only two of this species grown outside of the amazon).

This is the bottom of one of the pads from the lily being held up by the keeper.

I liked the Auckland domain because of all of the different plant we saw. We also played football (errr, soccer), harassed some ducks, and saw the big ferns in Fernz Fernery.

P (with contributions from A and B)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Multiplying Bloggers

In case you haven't heard, A and P finally made it to Auckland! They arrived last week and we have been busy getting the apartment in order, traveling to beaches (this is Cathedral Cove), and settling P into her new school.

All 3 of us will now be posting to BRAMPA - it should be obvious who is sending the message (posted by A, B or P...)

There might be some kinks in the works while we get used to posting with different accounts. Thanks to everyone that helped with the final move! Br(AmPa)

Flying to Auckland

This is me at the San Francisco airport.

I made it! They have lots of cool places here.

My school is very different...each building has 3 or 4 classes.

This is me again reading about Queen Elisabeth before she became queen.