The road less traveled…

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Seal poop…and other stuff.

I went to the beach the other day and smelled some fresh seal poop for the first time. =) I had a nice little walk through some intense muddy conditions, but I made it to the seal colony on the other side and scared all of the seals into the water. I wasn’t even sure that I was at the seal colony until I smelled their crap and saw them all start waking up and popping their little heads up.

Galway beach

Galway beach

Seals. Yup...they are fleeing.

Seals. Yup...they are fleeing.

So i think that one of the highlights of our daily lives is seeing the courier truck pull through our driveway and drop off the packages. Usually its all stuff for the business, but we all still race to the office to see what they have left for us.

Well, the other day we were having a fairly frantic day with all the units needing to be cleaned and around noon we saw the truck and tom and I went racing to the office. What did we see? One big box. Whose name was on it? MINE!!!

So my birthday package had finally arrived from Texas and it was filled with all types of goodies that thoroughly made my day. And everyone else was extremely jealous that I got fun mail! So thanks for the birthday gifts family! And all the other extra stuff…I am hiding those Starburst jellybeans for a rainy day…oh hey, its raining right now!

The newest edition to our family...mr. potato head....and his family. Also lovin' the Husker Gear. Thanks dad!

The newest edition to our family...mr. potato head....and his family. Also lovin the Husker Gear. Thanks Dad. We have the potato head family right next to our TV so that we can play whenever we are watching movies. It's ace!

My birthday shot of Tequila, sent all the way from the great state of TX. It's 5 o'clock somewhere.

My birthday shot of Tequila, sent all the way from the great state of TX. It's 5 o'clock somewhere.

Other things going on with me – I just started an additional job a few nights a week at a local cafe/restaurant. Its a really fun place to work and I really love the people and the atmosphere. The food is freakin’ delicious and it’s nice getting a good meal and a drink at the end of the night. Mostly I am just waitressing, but I have also been helping out in the kitchen on some nights. Gotta love scrubbin’ those pots!!

I did have an American moment the other day when I opened the cash register and completely blanked. I guess I am still getting used to the NZ currency.

So that’s the update! I told ya’ll I was gonna get better at this bloggin’ thing.

PS – Happy Thanksgiving!! Hope you all enjoy the holidays with the family or whatever else you may be doing. And I really hope that none of you will be staying somewhere like the hillcrest motel…that would be a bummer. =)

November 24, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The blog neglection has ceased!!

Time flies when you’re having fun, and I have been having tons of it!

I can’t believe that I have been in New Zealand as long as I have and all of the amazing things I have been able to do. My roommates and I decided to purchase a car together, which has allowed us to explore even more on our days off. For those of you who do not know (like Alysha), new zealanders drive on the left side of the road. Which means the driver’s seat in the car is on the right. I’ve been driving for quite a while and I can honestly say that I am quite used to it. The main slip-ups are when I try to turn my blinker on and suddenly the windshield wipers are going. My car is also a stick shift, so it was interesting getting used to shifting with my left hand instead of my right. Another thing I tend to have problems with is going over the bridges. There are quite a lot of bridges around here and they are only one lane, so whenever I drive over the bridge I automatically start swerving to the right side of the road instead of the left, and I probably look like some crazy person on the road who’s had too much to drink. But I am quite used to it by now and really enjoy driving to unknown destinations on my days off.

Our new car. Its name is Roger....but I am not sure why.

Our new car. Its name is Roger....but I am not sure why.

My awesome stereo system...you NCL people know what I'm talkin' about.

My awesome stereo system...you NCL people know what I'm talkin' about.

I was given a pretty nice guilt trip from one of the glacier guides that I hadn’t been on the glacier yet, so after a few months of being in town, I finally hiked Fox Glacier. I only managed to do a half-day hike, but it was free so I wasn’t going to complain. I can honestly say that I enjoyed the hike better then the Franz Josef glacier, but the day was lacking Kat and it just wasn’t the same. I even got stuck in a group with the ONE guide in town that I was warned about, and now I know why. But all-in-all it was a good day on the ice and now when guests ask about the glacier I don’t have to lie and pretend that I know all about it. Now I can sorta tell the truth.

Our "special" guide explaining something spectacular.

Our "special" tour guide telling us about something spectacular

On the glacier....wishing that Kat was taking my picture and not some crazy Asian.

On the glacier....wishing that Kat was taking my picture and not some crazy Asian.

View of Fox Glacier from the trail we had to hike to get there.

View of Fox Glacier from the trail we had to hike to get there.

The Glacier Valley

The Glacier Valley

There is a lot of hunting that goes on here, especially venison. I have some friends who go out in a chopper and shoot 10-20 deer a day from the chopper. I was able to go out with them one day and check it out. So I was sitting in the middle of nowhere in a truck and heard the chopper coming around the mountain, and when it came into sight it was carrying a load of about 8 deer. I ticked that off my list of “things I never thought I would see in my lifetime”. A helicopter with a load of deer dangling beneath it by a rope, definitely a new one. But it was also an awesome experience, one of these days I’ll get some pictures of it.

I’ve also made it out to the beach a few times on some really nice days. One night in particular was simply gorgeous and I didn’t have my camera with me at all. I felt like I was in heaven. We were quad-biking on the beach around sunset and the day was so clear that we could see the mountains and both glaciers coming down the valley, and the evening ended with an awesome B&B (bonfire & beverages).

Since work doesn’t really get busy til about now, we were all able to have a few days off and I decided to take a random road trip up the coast. It was nice getting away on my own and even better driving up the coast on a sunny afternoon. I ended up stopping in Punakaiki which is famous for its’ pancake rocks. The rocks were neat, but not as impressive as I thought they would be. I still managed to do some exploring on my own and chillin’ on the beaches. I stayed at a cosy hostel right on the beach and had a whole evening of relaxation and later fell asleep to the sounds of the ocean.

Pancake Rocks

Pancake Rocks

Pancake Rocks

Pancake Rocks


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The next day I went off venturing into the bush on my own. I hiked up the fox river and made it all the way to dilemma creek. They call it this for a reason, because you can either cross it, or you can’t. I tried quite a few different times but the river was just too high, and the water was too COLD. I gave up. I did hike up to some caves and explored them instead, almost slipping and severely injuring myself a dozen or so times, but I survived.

Exploring the beaches by Punakaiki

Exploring the beaches by Punakaiki

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On the way home I stopped off in Greymouth (which is the big city for us) and stocked up on supplies and did some grocery shopping for everyone else I work with too. I very seldom get to go to Greymouth that I found myself idly wandering the stores in a daze of wonder. The Warehouse is a lot like a Kmart or Alco, and I spent a lot of time in the toy section of the store and finally walked away with a couple of puzzles. However, the highlight of my afternoon was devouring a delicious Meatball sub from SUBWAY! Oh how I miss fast food places. Next time it’s gonna be KFC!! If only this country believed in Taco Bell….then I would be set.

My new flat mates are awesome, don’t know if I have mentioned them much. Tom and Jess are from England and are really easy-going and great to live with. We all get along great and every now and then enjoy some meals together and most recently have instigated pasta mondays and taco tuesdays!! The only problem so far has been the competitive rivalries whilst playing Mario-Kart on the Nintendo 64. We do quite a bit of trash-talking that has brought about the need of a swear jar. Every word=$1. There’s at least $20 in there already, and none of them are mine. =) In other words, I am kicking butt at Mario-Kart.

Me and Jess decided to feed the horses in our backyard some icky carrots. And they loved them!

Me and Jess decided to feed the horses in our backyard some icky carrots. And they loved them!

Tom doing some "quality control" on our BBQ

Tom doing some "quality control" on our BBQ.

I have met quite a handful of new people around town and every now and then we find time to meet up and hang out. On Halloween I spoke with a few people about my extreme disappointment in the holiday celebrations. There wasn’t even anything going on at the pub. So we decided that we would go trick-or-treating. Considering I was the American in the group I was threatened that my costume had better be awesome, and I think I did pretty good. It was an extremely last-minute costume, as were my roommates.

Our Halloween Costumes!! And yes...we were doing the Ben Stiller face....or at least trying to.

Our Halloween Costumes!! And yes...we were doing the Ben Stiller face....or at least trying to.

We started out with just four of us, and by the time we headed to the pub to finish our night we had recruited 3 people to join us. Not exactly sure on their costume choices, but we thought it was a successful evening. We managed to get a few candies, beer, 1 scone, 1 sandwich and 1 orange. We were the only adults that dressed up for the occasion and even at the pub, there were people who had no idea that it was halloween….this country is totally missing out on a great holiday! I did my best to represent….I hope that you are all proud of me!

Enjoying our loot of goodies....and a beer. Happy Halloween!!

Enjoying our loot of goodies....and a beer. Happy Halloween!!

For the most part the weather has started to get warmer since we are heading into the summer season. We have had a few afternoons basking in the sun in the backyard which has been lovely. I say for the most part because yesterday it was SNOWING!! Not only in the mountains…but where we were too. Not enough for it to remain on the ground, but I was still driving home the other day through a snowstorm….I was not thinking happy thoughts.

On a sadder note, there was a helicopter crash a few days ago and a well-known pilot was killed. I didn’t know him well at all, but my friends here and in Haast did. Its a very somber environment at the moment as they are still determining if they will be able to find the body in the lake and also wanting to know what went wrong. He was only 31. It’s one of those things that makes you wanna take a good look at your life and realize that it could be over in an instant.

So that’s the news from the south island. My apologies for slacking in the blogging department, but I guess I have been completely submerging myself with work and play, and not enough time to document it all. I will try to do better. Cheers!

Other random pics:

Jeremy's puppy Tess. She likes to make a mess in my house. But I still love her!

Jeremy's puppy, Tess. She likes to make a mess in my house...but I still lover her!

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Me (obviously)...at Knights Point. I stopped there to pee....and it was pretty! (the view, not my urine)

Me (obviously)...at Knights Point. I stopped there to pee....and it was pretty! (the view, not my urine)

This is what our shower looks like. I thought dad would like this pic. The guy who fixed it said he would send a faceplate to cover the giant hole in the wall....and that was 2 months ago. I guess we are just pleased that the shower works. We were a smelly bunch for a few days!!

This is what our shower looks like. I thought dad would like this pic. The guy who fixed it said he would send a faceplate to cover the giant hole in the wall....and that was 2 months ago. I guess we are just pleased that the shower works. We were a smelly bunch for a few days!!

November 7, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 6 Comments