Wednesday, July 25, 2012


As I begin day two of staying at home with the flu, I realized I hadn't even considered my captive audience that may be awaiting my next post about life in Christchurch. However, likely not as captive any more. regardless... a general re-cap of the last month. and it hasn't snowed again since my first post regarding snow, so, fear not! you aren't missing any treacherous winter conditions.  Since I have been sick, with nothing to do and not wanting to go in and infect my co-workers (even though it's quite common here as it is in the States), I started watching Mad Men and I really enjoy it! Where was I from 2007-2010. Oh yeah, Moving from Phoenix-Boston with a brief stop-over at The Farm in Michigan to help with Dad Projects like painting hay wagons, bright red. Yes, Mad Men, good series, I'm working my way through Season 1, episode 9 comes up today. All possible because of my wonderful in-house Microsoft-hating tech support. Thank you, Forrest :)
As yes, the updates...
We travelled to Lake Tekapo for an extended weekend, 16 June.  The dark sky above Lake Tekapo was recently recognized as the largest dark sky reserve in the world and the evening tour did not disappoint. 
As per usual, we took a trek in the hills/water/snow back in the far reaches of Lake Tekapo, passing by an eerily perched mega resort where it always felt like we were being watched/hunted. and next day we travelled back to Christchurch. 

The last part of June Forrest ran in the 'mud, sweat, and tears' adventure race. a testosterone and costume filled event that Forrest really enjoyed, along with a few thousand other people.

We also checked out a rugby match at the recently constructed AMI (part 2) stadium.  The current AMI stadium, where the some of the Rugby World Cup games were to be held, was ruined in the February 2011 earthquake, which was unfortunate, considering how expensive the stadium was to construct. however, shockingly similar to most of the other buildings in Christchurch that were recently built, cheaply and without recognition of the major fault lines running through Christchurch and New Zealand. alas, i digress.  The rugby game was... entertaining. at least I finally know why every. single. kiwi. wears short shorts (even in winter) called "stubbies". because the rugby players do! and everyone loves rugby! hurray!

The next day we hiked Mt. Thomas, a great day hike, less than an hour drive away.  We hiked the Summit track up and wooded gully track down.

The first part of July we travelled (via airplane!) to Queenstown and for a ski trip to  Cardrona Ski Resort. My frist attempt back on the skis since one hungover New Years Day at Snowbowl in Flagstaff, Arizona in... 2007? My elbow hurt for 3 months after that trip. the only lasting scars from the Cardrona trip, aside from pride, were the aching calves from being rammed into those god awful ski boots. how does anyone like skiing? so much crap to carry around. but the time you've collected all your gear, dodged the kids and the black ice on your way up to the lift line, you're too exhausted to perfect your technique on the way down the bunny hill. Anyway, I think Forrest enjoyed himself on his snowboard. I don't know for sure because Forrest has advanced way beyond my bunny hill tribulations and I didn't see him most of the day.

I'm sure a lot of you are thinking, "why are Forrest and Sara dressed in costumes lately?" and if you're not, I shall enlighten you anyway. 'Fancy Dress' is huge here. Fancy Dress does not mean, 'to put on a fancy dress', rather, 'to dress in costume'. I have been rather resistant to the idea of costumes since... well.. probably sometime back in 4th grade and one of my lovely brothers or cousins scared the bejesus out of me with a dumb mask, or perhaps in 7th grade when i was forced to watch one of those terrible chainsaw and mask movies. costumes to me = scary costumes, Halloween = scary, and I don't watch horror movies. so now we're all caught up with Sara's mental processes. 
Forrest's mid-winter (fancy dress) celebration took place at the Air Force Museum. We had a great time. I conspired with three lovely ladies working at Forrest's office to wear 1960s air hostess outfits with me. well, really I just made the hats and we figured out the rest. all for about $35/person. and the dress is cute enough to wear again (flashback to all those bridesmaids where the bride that told you as much). Forrest rented his costume the day of the event and the whole ensemble worked out perfectly.

Belated 4th of July celebration was just this past weekend and we had a wonderful turnout and some great costumes.We also found Miller and Budweiser beer, to keep things authentic.

So i guess we've been pretty busy and if  you've made it this far into the blog, thanks for reading!
We are really looking forward to our trip back to the States in late August. Hopefully we will be able to see many of you as we travel from California to Michigan and then over to Lisbon.


  1. For being resistant to costumes you always have the best ones! I remember that orange traffic cone made from a dress bag, and I'm still jealous of it! Loved both of your recent costumes! So creative!

  2. Hi there you two! Great pictures. It looks like you're having a good time. You know how much I like to dress up! What is the name of the lake in that one picture? Or is that a bay? I don't know my geography that well.
    I tend to agree about skiing. I remember once a "friend" was sure my boots were too loose (he always knew best) so he tightened them while I wasn't looking. They were those solid molded boots. Within about 15 minutes I was in PAIN and fighting to get them off. I have a high instep and cannot lace boots and shoes to look the same as other peoples. I had to spend the rest of the day sitting. I haven't been skiing since. Too much equipment that wears you rather than the other way round.

  3. Loved this post... And thanks for explaining the costume parties! And I second skiing... At least down hill. Hope all is well.

  4. It's always entertaining reading how popular rugby is. Makes me think how jealous my dad is of you having such easy access to live, in-person rugby. He pays a ton for satellite so he can watch rugby games on TV.
    We are finally getting settled into our new house, and now are off to NYC for a long weekend, then up to the lake for Labor Day with my family. Hoping that somewhere in there I'll have a chance to review the NZ itinerary. Otherwise, if you think we're waiting too long, just book stuff for us and inform us of what we'll be doing in NZ with you guys. Sorry we've kept you waiting on feedback! It is by no means an indication that we aren't SUPER excited for February. We are beyond excited to get to have you as our tour guides!
    - Gina (& Isaac)