I'll admit it. It wasn't love at first sight. It was more like that whole tribal print trend that I thought was so ugly at first but the more I saw it the more I was like, hold up, pretty sure I'm a few moccasins and arrow prints short of a complete life. When we first drove through Christchurch all I saw was old buildings and littered parking lots (or "car parks" as they call them). But the more that I see it, the more I am seeing only the big beautiful trees, the green pastures lining the roads and the history and character draped in ivy. Yeah, we've been flirting a lot lately, this New Zealand and I, a little googly eyed at times and whispers of sweet nothings so I think it's only fair to put a label on it and say we're officially in a relationship. Maybe I should update my facebook status. It's been too cold and rainy to venture out and explore much (which is probably all for the best since right now all of our money is being sucked away into the black hole of miniature refrigerators, faux dryers and beds that smell like a Hong Kong kitchen), but I've quite enjoyed getting to know our own little hood just a little bit better. It rained for weeks, okay, maybe only 3 days, but as soon as the forcast was dry I packed up the kids, the lunches, the shovels, the buckets, the coats, the boots, the hats and the gloves and then three hours later we were finally headed to the beach (as a side note, driving on the left side of the road no longer feels like a death wish). It was the perfect day for building sandcastles, which we thoroughly enjoyed, until they got in too deep in the water and somewhere between the wet socks, lost glove, forgotten coat and the chaffed legs I may have called them all cry babies and swore off going to the beach ever again. Or atleast until it warms up.
As luck would have it, there is a library right on the beach. Seriously, in what universe does that exist?? Can you even imagine curling up with a good book and watching the waves crash outside? We looked like rift raft washed up by the waves, but it was so nice to warm up for a bit and to temporarily put an end to the whining.
I made the kids walk with me to the end of the pier, well for Jayden it was more of a hobble. The poor kid and his wet jeans that chaffed his legs so bad he had scabs the next day. In my defense, I told him he could wait by himself on a cold wet bench surrounded by strangers if he didn't want to come. The view was beautiful, they got to see all the crabs caught by the fisherman and keep a vigilant watch for sharks for the lonesome surfer. I'd say chaffed legs was a small price to pay for all that, but I'm pretty sure Jayden would disagree.
The parks here really are so awesome, you know the kinds we had growing up with the really dangerous metal slides, merry-go-rounds and swings with exposed chains that have long been banned in the US, yeah those kinds. I just love them, it's good for kids to get exposed to a little thrill and danger in their lives. And this one just so happens to be right across the street from us. I can't wait for the sun to stay up past 5pm so we can take family walks down here in the evenings. It has the best climbing trees, except for the one that has a chair screwed into it and smells an awful lot like pot. That one they stay away from.
I have gotten my money's worth out of these over priced "gum boots" as they call them. Even if my brother made fun of me and said he bought a pair just like them at the local IFA that he used while shoveling cow manure.
And this is Judy. Grandma Judy. Yes, my new best friend is our 59 year old landlord who loves deep sea fishing, brings me farm fresh eggs and lets my kids jump on her bed. She caught us a lobster and Blue Cod on her most recent fishing trip and the more I stared at that lobster in the fridge and the more that it stared back at me, the more scared I got. But she came over and showed me how to batter it up and prepare it and I'm going against every fibre of my natural being when I say this, but I ACTUALLY LIKED IT! She also invited us over for a lamb roast. Once again, I'm a little scared.
So yeah, I've decided teepees and gold baby moccasins are overrated, but this stuff...yeah this is the stuff that really makes my life complete.