Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Raglan - Home of the world famous left hand point breaks.

Easter is a four day holiday* here, and since we had the weekend off we decided to head out of town. I chose Raglan because it is relatively close to home, and I was intrigued by it's Bohemian Art/Surf culture.

We stayed in the cabooses:

This place offers accommodation in refurbished train cars with a hostel/backpacker/NZ holiday park atmosphere (ie shared bathrooms and kitchen facilities.)

Notice the Easter Bunny. She, along with 20,000 of her closest relatives and friends, lives here year round and thoughtfully provided a dyed hard boiled egg for P since her usual Easter Bunny was not willing to make the 6,000 mile swim to get here.

Also, notice the back of the Buddha sculpture.

If you are not so into cabooses, and you have some sway with the owners, you might get to stay here:

The view from this deck is amazing: (The view of the deck is also amazing.)

You could also stay in the "tipi retreat" for quite a lot more money or just bring your own tipi:

We met some nice folks here and had a quiet, relaxing break. While the shower experience was frustrating at times (scalding/freezing/scalding) and cooking dinner with 30 other people simultaneously is not my favorite sport, overall this was a great place. Best of all none of us acquired head lice which is my new gold standard for rating NZ backpackers/hostels/holiday parks.

On a day trip we visited Bridal Veil Falls: (Not to be confused with Bridal Veil Falls.)

On the way home we went to the Hamilton Zoo and chatted up this chimp:

And now P is off at horse camp and we are back at work. Fortunately this weekend is Anzac Day and my birthday, and I'm off work to boot! More adventures ahead!

Here is P, Flat RJ, Flat Ms Cool Nice, and BlingBling, the horse. Hope y'all have a great weekend!

* Good Friday is a big deal here- the shops close, no one works, and same goes for Easter Monday. B got Tuesday off as well - Easter Tuesday. I love all these holidays! Easter Tuesday?! Fantastic! Can't wait for Anzac and Queen's Birthday Monday!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Flat friends

We have been entertaining some flat friends. R.J. and Ms Cool Nice have been with us for awhile now and soon I will send them back home with photos and great stories to tell.

This picture is for grandma and grandpa, and grandma and grandpa, and the rest of family back home. P is enjoying Fall break and is away at horse camp for a week! Can't wait to see what her pigs get up this time!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Settling into Autumn

Soon I will share pictures and stories from our trip to Raglan, the easter bunnies we played with at the cabooses, and our adventures with flat Cool Nice and flat RJ. In the meantime we are winding down from summer and fattening up for the winter ahead.

Friday, April 3, 2009


This is a brushtail possum, a native of Australia that was introduced to New Zealand (goodness knows why) where it has thrived, much to the detriment of the local flora and fauna. I think of it as New Zealand's raccoon. They only come out at night, and I've never seen a live one, but there are scads of them squished on the roadside. They are New Zealand's most hated animal as they kill the native plants, kill the native birds, and have introduced disease to domesticated livestock. They are a menace.

But, as P often points out, they are also quite cute:

In fact I think that is possibly the cutest thing I have ever seen!

I started a new job this week, and it requires me to wake up earlier than normal. I'm not much of a morning person, and I think this is why it took me a few mornings to realize the garbage can in the kitchen was not just falling over and spilling its contents in the middle of the night. The morning I found little tomato bits pretty far from the can I realized my "clumsy can" theory was flawed. While I have no proof other than a messy floor, I suspect we have been visited by the night possums. There is a window we (used to) keep open just off the kitchen that is the perfect height for possums and rules out dogs (cats are still an option, though not many cats would work that hard to eat my veggies).

So it's a little spooky to think of a possum (even an adorable one) lumbering around my kitchen, and I'm glad it only attacked the garbage and left the rest of the food and humans alone!