Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Welcome to New Zealand, Love!

Hi there, reporting to you live from New Zealand. We are perched on top of a hill, in the Cashmere region, overlooking the Southern Alps. We are staying at a temp rental, here is the view out the bedroom window, at sunset.

We arrived 2 days ago, on Monday. The flight was rather uneventful, not counting the severely drunk and throwing up man a few isles up from our seats. (sad to say he was American, wonder how we get such a bad rap internationally?) We flew Air New Zealand direct from San Francisco to Auckland, New Zealand, had a short layover in Auckland, then onward to Christchurch. A new coworker of mine waited about an hour for us to go through customs at the airport. Then he helped us with luggage (3 large pieces each) and showed us around Christchurch. We also went for coffee then relaxed for a night in a motel.

Yesterday, recharged from 12 hours of sleep, we went house hunting. We checked out a great location in the Sumner Beach area, it was very lovely (and purple). We also drove to the Waimairi Beach area, northeast of Christchurch and located on the beach.

It's been eventful here, to say the least, trying to learn why everyone is calling me "Love" and understanding that a "plunger" is actually a coffee press, and not something you use in a plugged toilet. Also, "Cheers" means thank you, not, hey clink my glass against yours.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Kiwi & Kindle

Our personal belongings left today with Crown Relocations. The items are being shipped via the Pacific Ocean to Christchurch.

We are leaving for Christchurch this Saturday, September 24th, from San Francisco airport and connecting through Auckland, New Zealand (North Island), which puts our arrival in Christchurch (South Island) on Monday, September 26th at 8:30am. Please note that I will not have access to my cell phone after Saturday. The phone number will not work. Please email me at and ask for our Vonage phone number if you need us.

After arriving in Christchurch we will get a rental car and hopefully a hotel room and some rest. Tuesday we move into a temp rental for a few weeks until we can find permanent housing.
Our first days of work are Monday, October 3.

Oh and, I never thought I'd purchase a Kindle, but in a moment of weakness I did. If you've read something great lately make sure to let me know!


Saturday, September 17, 2011

California Kiwi

In the last few weeks we have been based in San Jose with Forrest's family. The long stay began with Forrest's good friend Mary's wedding. Mary married John in Pacifica, CA. The ceremony was held in a uniquely charming setting and we had a wonderful time helping them celebrate! A full album of the photos is located here.

Forrest, Tom, Christina and I took a short day hike to the Loma Prieta Earthquake epicenter located in the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park. We picked up lunch at Gayles Bakery under the suggestion of Tom and Christina. Note: Tom and Christina always know the best food options! After the hike we grabbed some ice cream at Marianne's in Santa Cruz. I sort of wish the hike would haven been longer, considering the calories consumed!

We also took one day to check out the Pacific Ocean, near Davenport, CA. The weather was chilly, but that didn't stop some people from nude sunbathing and swimming. After checking out Pigeon Point Lighthouse, we drove back to San Jose.

Last weekend we gathered up a great group of friends and Forrest's family for a farewell party. Great food, conversation and laughter was shared by all and we really appreciate those in attendance taking time out of their schedules to celebrate the upcoming New Zealand adventure.

Monday we drove Forrest's mom down to San Diego from San Jose. Along the way we stopped (first) in Paso Robles for a few tastes of wine. why not, it was 11am. We happened upon a few winerys where 1. the wine pourer was from Christchurch and 2. a winery was owned by a native New Zealander aka Kiwi. I guess it was fate or perhaps the Adjustment Bureau guiding this day.
Next we stopped in San Luis Obispo for a tri-tip sandwich and a brief car tour of Forrest's Alma Matter, Cal Poly.
12 hours after we left San Jose we arrived in San Diego, we were greeted by Forrest's grandma upon arrival. We stayed in San Diego until Wednesday morning and then flew back to San Jose.

We have been waiting for our work Visa to be processed for the last three weeks. Prior to that we waited for our FBI clearance for two full months. Even though we have been exceptionally busy, there was always that overarching feeling that we need the visa paperwork to be processed prior to leaving for New Zealand. Imagine packing for vacation and not being able to shake that nagging feeling that you may have forgotten something and never being able to figure out quite what you forgot. Multiply times 11 weeks and add in an average of 23 questions per family member or friend regarding the move to New Zealand. Suffice it to say, the last few weeks have been challenging for many reasons.

But our patience and hard work has paid off, in addition to me putting myself in "time out" several times (with wine or champagne). Now that we have the work visa in our possession things are moving rather quickly. Our worldly goods get shipped next week, Wednesday via sea. I hope to have them relatively quickly (less than two months). We ship ourselves (via airplane) on Saturday September 24 from San Franciso.

We should be kiwi's very soon! Thanks to everyone for your help and support!

Monday, September 12, 2011

America's High Five

I spent some time in Michigan, on the farm. It was great to see family and to spend some time in the fresh air. Some of my favorite photos of the trip are below. Lisa and her horse, Jazzy. My Mom and niece Emma, My dad and nephew Colton, Forrest's birthday cake, Dallas and Emma frosting cupcakes and Dallas Emma and I "helping" Aunt Lisa with chores at the barn.