Sunday, February 22, 2015

Together Again in Christchurch

Thomas rocking it in the estuary
Well it took over three months, but we managed to get Amy's visa all sorted out, and to get her over here, right in time for Guy Fawke's night fireworks on New Brighton Beach. For Amy's arrival I had made sure my wood working goal of building a bed out of pallets was accomplished, as I wasn't sure she was keen on sleeping on a mattress on the floor. With a just a few days to spare I got it all knocked together and looks, well, rustic is the word I would use.

Amy spent a few of the first days acclimating herself back into NZ life and had a few outings with Gran and easily managed to get back relief substitute teaching for her old agency. She also had a few days work helping our friend B-rain out with his organic beverage company, at the A&P show doing samples and endorsing the product. Was a bonus as she got a chance to walk around the show and see a bit of NZ farming culture sorta stuff while working.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Another year of traveling, another Thanksgiving overseas. Amy has gotten good at hosting the holiday, and she spent the entire day before preparing dinner and dessert. With our American friend Natalie here for Thanksgiving as well, we decided to have a good old American gathering. Amy made her Greek Pastitsio, her grandma's broccoli casserole and her mother's baked sweet potatoes and I made roast chicken and roast veggies. All our flatmates came out for the back yard Thanksgiving and Natalie and her partner Euan joined too. Natalie brought a salad, cranberry sauce and wine. For dessert Amy made a pumpkin pie, a pineapple coconut carrot cake, and cranberry white chocolate cookies went down a treat to go along with Euan's extremely impressive pavlova.

Making sure we get amongst all water sports activities, we have gotten Amy out a few times on the surfboard that I bought her as a welcome back gift. Without a lot of surf time over the last few years, I've rediscovered that surfing really is a challenging sport, especially when dealing with New Brighton or Sumner waves. Amy gave it a good go and I guess technically we'll say she got up standing a few times. Always good to be out in the ocean though, I seem to enjoy mostly just getting a good body surf in and messing round helping Amy get going. 

Amy catching a mini wave at Sumner

I try to get to the estuary every time the wind is humming, and often I drag Amy along too. She enjoys reading a good book in the car, or trying to spot me amongst the other windsurfers and attempting to take a good photo. With the help of Christchurch windsurfing legend and my new friend and mentor Rob, I've been progressing heaps, and should be getting mean air, over waves in the harbour or at the beach in no time!

For some reason getting up on Saturday morning and running our asses off keeps sounding like a great idea. So we have been boosting down to Hagley Park and getting our weekends off to a flying start. Amys doing good working her times down and I have probably hit a wall going sub 20 minutes with my PB of 19minutes 47seconds. It really is a good way to start our weekends full of activities.

With our local Grower's Direct Market selling tomatoes for 99 cents a kg, I decided to surprise Amy with more than 5kgs worth one night. I didn't really know what to do with them, but we ended on making mum's tomato relish recipe! With a large pot we boiled the tomatoes and our collection of jars alike, and made enough for some Christmas presents too!


We got really lucky landing the flat that we did. I moved into the flat on Kahu Road, right across from Boy's High a wee while before Amy moved in. With 7 other flatmates, it was a mean way to meet some new people, make some friends and have some good times. The two other guys in the flat are our closest friends. Andrew is into mountain biking, and I got him to join me to play frisbee golf and generally he agrees to do anything and everything with me, and Dan plays ice hockey, and its good fun going to watch his games whenever I can. When Amy got back, she put her touch on decorating our room, and with the new (used) beach chairs I acquired for us, we've had nice days sitting in the sun, and nice nights sitting by our makeshift fire pit. I've planted an epic vegetable garden, and in no time we'll have an incredible amount of produce. All in all, its been an amazing way to settle back into New Zealand life.

Welcome to our humble abode!

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