|Kaikoura - Pure NZ|
There was a fast paced change coming for us, our little life in Christchurch was coming to an end. We had been working toward getting my green card for America for the whole year and all of a sudden it was all finalized. Amy's New Zealand visa was expiring in 10 days, our friend's Matt and Sarah were getting married in 16 days in Wisconsin and I had a little adventure up to the U.S Consulate in Auckland and just like that, I had a permanent resident's visa for America. We booked flights and set upon packing our bags.
It was obviously quite the relief to get the big 'yes' from the Americans. We were growing very tired of the process and at the time it was looking like there was the possibility that I may not have been accepted. My trip to Auckland was smooth accept for one little mess up I made with my hostel booking. On arrival at the YHA I didn't have a booking for that night and they were full! I had booked my bed for a few weeks later somehow! So along with a German fresh off the plane, we walked across the CBD and found alternate accommodations. It was quite the introduction for the young man walking down Queen Street at midnight, there were a few creatures out for sure.
We definitely kept busy those last days. I invited people over every night, not that I didn't normally do that anyway. We had beer to drink and things to catch up on, and goodbyes to say because unfortunately we likely won't see many of these friends for some time. We enjoyed a few final Crazy Mountain Nitro Rye's at the new Dux Central as well as a pint at our other favourite bars and breweries. Finishing up at work was very sad for both of us. We had truly become members of the 'whanau' at our places of employment. We had a nice dinner out with my boss Paul at Cookin' with Gas and Amy got thrown a 'Red, White and Blue' America themed going away party at the preschool and a bit of a bigger extravaganza out on the town with workmates from the restaurant. She had also recently won the first inaugural staff member of the week at Mexico, with an embarrassing photo framed by the door and all.
We had gone a bit rugby crazy the last while in NZ. We had the world cup starting soon, so I made sure we went to a local game before the RWC kicked off and we got rugby fatigue, but you can be sure that that never happened. As it turned out I also got given some more Canterbury tickets and we went to another game right in the middle of the RWC. On that day I believe I woke up watched a couple of delayed games on TV, we went to the live game and then watched another one or two games that evening. RUGBY!!
We had been practicing AcroYoga for a few months and with good weather about, we practiced in the garden, experimenting on any friends that were willing to try it out. One obliging person was our good friend Henric from Sweden who made himself at home on our couch on and off for a few weeks. He was a fast learner! Knowing that I would not see a crappy fish n chips establishment in some time, I really lived off shark and potatoes for my last days. But plenty of frisbee golf and cycling kept me in balance, not sure what offset the beer though. A trip up to Kaikoura was the icing on the cake to our end of our year in New Zealand. It is depressing to think that in over a year we nearly hadn't even made it there. A place we both truly love, where the mountains meet the ocean and the empty beaches are raw but breathtaking. Being able to dip my toes into the freezing turquoise ocean after a day of selling the finest alcoholic beverages to a willing audience at the 'Kaikoura Seafest' was a perfect sendoff. Until next time NZ, ka kite ano, we will see you again.
|Thomas and Paul proprieting. More like, 'give me your glass and I'll fill it quick.'|