Sunday, 24 February 2008

First impressions...

So here we are in Christchurch. First impressions? Not so good. We had trouble getting into our hotel (which is actually serviced apartments) as it has a hidden driveway. So, around the block twice before I was dropped off out the front.

Then, when we get in, though the room is actually lovely, there is no air conditioning. We are forced to take to the streets to cool down. Man, what a dirty, run down place this is. We are in the centre of the city, and the streets are full of rubbish, construction, and hooligans.

But we went for a walk around the streets (and cooled down significantly, there was quite a nip in the air...) then decided on KFC for dinner. Back up in the room, although I had opened all the windows, it was still quite hot. It wasn't until late evening that the air cooled enough with a breeze. We all still slept on top of the beds.

The back of the hotel is filthy too, run down, and dirty. And we were kept awake until I finally dropped off exhausted after midnight by a group of revellers in the next building outside the back of their hotel/restaurant. The drunker they got the louder they got. Might explore that phenomenon some day...

As I said, the room is nice, but everything is still so expensive and we don't like it here, so we have decided to cut short our stay and leave for Picton, and maybe the ferry to Wellington tomorrow. Hopefully we can find somewhere to stay along the way that is a bit cheaper than here too...

Will keep you posted! Oh, by the way, our Adelaide friends will know who I am talking about, but Craig and Rachel had a baby boy yesterday morning!


Saturday, 23 February 2008

On the move

Well, just a quickie this morning. We are on the move to Chirstchurch first thing this morning, as soon as I get back downstairs to move the troops anyway.

The wedding was lovely, relaxed and absolutely perfect. We couldn't have asked for better weather, and the celebrant and his wife have become friends. They want to keep in contact, and were tickled when we went back yesterday and showed them the slideshow of photos we received. They have never seen photos from past the ceremony of any of their weddings before. They also said next time we were here (which may just be next year) to look them up and they will look after us.

After the ceremony and photos we wandered back to the hotel for lunch (the restaurant was desserted). It was the perfect way to slow things down. Then we went back to the room for a rest, and back to town for a walk later. While there we stopped to watch a street show and Him got roped into helping.

Yesterday we just walked around town for the day. Lots of rest, relaxation and television on this trip.

As I said, this morning we are back on the road. We should be in Christchurch by evening (like going from Gladstone to Brisbane). Hopefully I can get to a computer very soon to give you more updates. Sorry it's a bit boring, but I only have two minutes left on my email time before I have to buy more ($5 for 30 mins).

Check back with you soon!


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Tripping around

Well, still here in beautiful Queenstown. So far we have managed to drive up to Lake Wanaka (where it cost $100 for two bags of groceries!), walked around every street (almost) of Queenstown, and driven all the way to Dunedin.

We have met the celebrant and the photographer, and checked out the gardens for the perfect spot for tomorrow. The weather has been so beautiful. Lots of chilly nights and cold mornings but outside at the moment it is actually about 35 degrees.

Jr Her has been mucking up a bit, as usual, but I think a lot of that is our poor eating habits. Lots of snacks on the run, and toasted sangers for dinner. I did splurge and buy a mixed salad for dinner tonight and tomorrow. Him and Jr Her are quite happy with toasted sangers though. We have eaten some lovely food like, lets see free chocolate.

That's right, free. We went to the Cadbury Confectionary factory in Dunedin yesterday. Drove for three and a half hours to do so too. Apart from look around two city blocks, that's all we did. It was quite interesting though, and we got some pick and mix chocolates from it. There is also a shop, and some things were a little cheaper than in-store, like the family blocks for $2.39. Bought two of those.

The dryer in the room doesn't work either, so we have had to make use of the laundry dryer. It normally costs, and if they try to charge our room, I will jump up and down. But the washer in our room works just fine (whew!)

I know some of you have had trouble trying to text me on the New Zealand number I set up, but don't despair. You can just leave comments here and it will be fine. If you need to contact us in an emergency, we are at the St Moritz Queenstown until early Saturday, then Oaks on Cashel Christchurch until 27 Feb, then from 28 Feb until 7 March we will be at Puka Park Resort on the Coramandel Peninsula. Sorry I can't be more specific.

We are taking plenty of photos, in fact, we need to buy another photo card! We have run out of room on the camera already! Horror! I think I have also conned the celebrant's wife to act as camerman tomorrow.

Well, getting all excited now. Must make sure the hair is perfect, the make up is on straight, and remember to shave tonight...

Catch you all in a couple of days.


Sunday, 17 February 2008

We made it!

Greetings earthlings! Hello from way over here in New Zealand! It seems strange to be so far from home, in fact in an entirely different country, yet everthing is much the same (except twice the price).

We have had an interesting journey so far. Flew for about a million years to get into Auckland, but arrived safely, took a courtesy bus (???) into the hotel, and found the restaurant fully booked for dinner. By this time it was half past seven local time, so we had to walk ten mins down the road to the local servo for fried chicken (very tastey).

While there a lovely couple of Maori's wandered in and started a fight. Well, he did. She was the butt of it. The big fella was going to punch the living daylights out of the attendant (missed what that was about). His woman decided to try stop him and ended up on the receiving end of some lovely threats. Tears were shed and someone asked Him is he saw anything (I had my back turned the whole time...)

Anyway, we had dinner, walked back to the hotel, and it rained. Of course it did. We had to get up before 5am next morning to catch the plane to Queenstown, but made it just fine, flew into Christchurch for a 20 minute stopover, and on to Queenstown.

What a wonderful view! Coming over the mountains was so lovely, except for the running commentary the American lady behind us was getting from a native New Zealander. We booked into the motel about ten, and it was even ready and waiting (did you know they put a welcome message onto the Television in your room when you log onto pay tv? Nice!)

They also have parking for only $5 per day, valet if we choose for no extra charge! Very lovely people behind the reception desk too. Can't recommend it enough. Slight hitch in that our mobile phones don't work (Sol, can you and miss Moose tell old folks we are temporarily out of touch thanks?) But the town is beautiful and the hotel is close to the centre of town.

We have also partaken in a couple of local adventures, like riding the sky gondola, and Jr Her and Him also did the jet boat ride today. I do have photos but you will lhave to wait. We didn't bring the lap top so can't attach any photos till I get home (sorry...wasn't supposed to be that way). My fault for suggesting we leave the lap top at home.

I will keep you all up to date as I can, but like I said, no photos just yet. We are meeting tomorrow with the celebrant and hopefully the photographer, and today picked a spot for the ceremony.

Well, will keep you all up to date as we go.

Cheers from Queenstown! xxx

Monday, 11 February 2008

All suited up

So we ended up buying Him a suit on the weekend. I know, we weren't going to. But they were on special, and, well, why not. It is a very dark colour, bit hard to tell if it is blue or charcoal, but has a fine stripe through it. Very soft too. And a red tie. The tie itself is lovely. It is a real scarlet colour with darker embossed stripe, and fancy filligree work through it.

Then we had to get a shirt. I looked at a couple of cream ones, but the one he chose is practically white. It too has an embossed stripe and filligree work through it. Mind you, his ensemble cost as much as mine. But I guess he needed a suit anyway...

So we have started packing. Well, Jr Her is packed, and I am working on it. Pretty much finished. Just need to iron my jeans. Other than that I am done. I hope. Oh, and the brush I dry my hair with on Friday morning. If there is anything I have forgotten, I will get it over there. I just need to figure out what to do about a jacket. I don't want to fill the suitcase with one.

Oh, and Jr Her has a head cold...

By the way, we were given another wedding present on the weekend. This from a lovely neighbour two doors down. She chose a squareish glass bowl, with mother of pearl finish and translucent white hand painted stripes inside. Very beautiful!

Tomorrow I have to finish work on time and nip to the nearest phone shop. 3 is charging a fortune for international calls, so I want to find a prepaid cheaper sim card, which shouldn't be too difficult. Lets see what I can come up with. Set myself a challenge and lets see...

Friday, 8 February 2008

Not long to go...

Are you as "over" this wedding as I am? I realised yesterday that in two weeks I will be married. Yes, at the tender age of 40 I will be a first time bride. Shocking.

I was so unenthused last night I could barely summon the effort to open the gift given to me by my boss (who couldn't wait until the reception in April, and lets face it, nor could I cause my frying pan is broken). I just looked at it and felt horrible.

Why? Well, weddings are supposed to be fun, family, romance, exciting, blah blah blah. But mine is just fighting, quick, no real planning, and lonely. There, I said it. It is very hard doing this alone.

There are now family issues which I wont go into, and don't want to get involved in, but as a surrogate member of the family, I feel like I am in the middle. Actually it doesn't have anything to do with me really and I can walk away. But I like the member concerned and don't like to see bad feelings.

I got the wrap from the dressmaker last night too. It's not exactly what I was looking for cause it is only one sided, so I would have to be careful how I drape it or you will see the hem and seams. And it will be way too light for the weather I think too. But it will have to do. I just don't have any more time to organise anything else. If it isn't done by now, well, it doesn't need to be done.

Oh, I do have to book the meal menu for the reception. But I am getting told no cake, no table decorations etc. The bombonaires are a gift from a friend, or there wouldn't be any of those either. Now, I realise this is supposed to be a simple get together, but part of the above fight is that the said member wasn't coming because he thought it was a simple gathering, not an official reception. People are offended because said member isn't coming, yet states that that is all it is...a simple get together that has blown out of proportion. And why has it blown out of proportion? Because I wanted something worth remembering for me and my guests. Still, no big flash stuff, no cake, no speeches, no toasts, nothing. Just lunch. The end.

Anyway, I am just "over" the whole thing myself now, and just want it to be over so I can get on with life.

Nice, hey?