"Not all who wander are aimless. Especially not those who seek truth beyond tradition, beyond definition, beyond the image."

Friday, December 23

oh--and p.s.

I don't know how I forgot this is my last entry---or what made me think of it right now (perhaps looking out from my 14th floor view at work and thinking about all the stories I've heard about the way this building can SWAY when an earthquake hits). Anyhoo, we experienced our first earthquake a few nights ago!! And when I say "we experienced" I really mean Molly experienced and I sat there with absolutely NO CLUE. I was sitting on the couch--glued to the episode of CSI (or SVU...one of those shows that takes over me), molly was in the room and Connor was on the phone. I had no idea what had gone on until Connor said "no one even got excited for that?? Can we at least get a 'whoop, whoop' for the earthquake?"!! I was pissed! It was a 4.something by us---which is not that big....but plenty big enough that you shouldn't be able to just sit completely oblivious through it. I did. But according to Mol, it felt like someone was running down the hall, and then it felt like someone was shaking the house. Haha. Typing that out makes me laugh! HOW IN THE HELL DID I MISS THAT?!!? So, if you've ever tried talking to me while I was watching CSI or SVU and you got mad at me for not having any response to you, please take comfort in the fact that you probably could have SHAKEN me and I still wouldn't have responded. That is all. Back to my newspaper!


Tuesday, December 20

And the plan is...

Well, Christmas is fast approaching and I can't believe it! Where has the time gone? I don't want to make this too long but now that me and molly have a plan, I wanted to fill everyone in! Now, when I say a plan, I really just mean direction! We are all about playing things by ear.
First on our agenda is a car---it is a work in progress and we would LOVE to have one by the time Jules and Jarrod get here (12 Jan!!) but I guess it won't be the end of the world if we had to wait a bit longer. Our last day of work is 20 Jan and we couldn't be more excited! We have done a great job of saving up and are ready to spend it all on NZ adventures!! We are going to hit the road towards the end of Jan/beg. of Feb. and head up the North Island. We have started looking at tents, sleeping bags and other camping gear b/c we made an excutive decision to "rough it" for the next 2 months!! We may have to cough up some money on gear (tent, etc) but from our calculations, it will pay for itself in the first week at least (compare the price of a camp ground at $2-$5 to a hostel at $18-$28). We couldn't be more excited about this and are both getting a bit antsy (phil, that means we are really excited!!!). We are going to take 2 months to explore the entire north island---moving up the east coast and back down the west coast. The weather will be nice and warm and perfect for the beaches that are the north island. We'll be back here in Welly at the end of March--just in time for Molly's family to come visit and get in a reunion with the 29a flatmates. Then, it's down the south island where we will prepare for some INTENSE tramping experiences and crazy views (the north island has plenty but the south is known for it's SICK views and daredevil activities!).

So, for those of you who have been slacking on the blog, I promise it will get hella more exciting as we load everything into our little car (that we have yet to own) and make our way up the north island! Stories and beautiful pics are sure to follow! Although, getting to a computer will more a bit more difficult! If I dont talk to you, have a great Christmas---miss and love you!

next time you hear from me here, it will hopefully be to tell you that we have a car and are hitting the road!!

Thursday, December 15

pics to go along with last blog!

The little balloon friend that Phil left behind for us! Me and Mol at Phil's farewell dinner
The cave wetter!! Just imagine hundreds of these guys crawling right above your head!
Me and Phil outside Westpac stadium before the big cricket game
The cricket game!
More pics on http://photos.yahoo.com/mollyfoos

Friday, December 9

Just a lil' tidbit

Hi all :) Well, it is slowly but surely starting to look like christmas over here! Well, not really at all seeing as it gets warmer each day. But the decorations are going up, the music has started, and the tree with our popcorn (which me may have to guard from connor so he doesn't eat them in the middle of the night ;) ) and pasta ornaments is soon to come! Not much going on besides work these days but I thought I'd fill you in on a few fun happenings!

A few weekends ago, we had a flat outing to the top of Mt. KauKau---late at night. It was a fun walk and a fab-tabulous view of the city lights. Somewhere on our walk back down, it became a great idea to re-visit the creepy tunnel that me and mol found a few weeks before. I think me and connor MIGHT have had something to do with that brilliant idea. So, we started the creepy trek up the pitch dark mountain with locked arms--no one wanting to be the last in the group. When we got to the tunnel, Connor bravely took off in to it with his torch and we all followed. Now, if you recall (see the pic in previous blog!), this tunnel was not that tall. We had to hunch down to fit into it. I think we were all preoccupied with fairy-tale scares (aka...ghosts) that the possibility of this cave being a bug haven just sort of slipped our minds. So, we get about half way into this thing and Conner happens to point his torch towards the ceiling (which, mind you, is really close to our heads)---it was CRAWLING with cave wetters! A creature that was new to the American kids and hated by the leader of the group! We all got the ebby jibbies and hi-tailed it out of there. I'll put a pic of this thing on my site soon...it was large...very large...and they were EVERYWHERE....and UGH! Sarah proved to be a great sport when mol looked at her with this look of terror on her face and told sarah "oh my god, DON'T move!". Everyone thought sarah had one of these creepy things on her...and mol started laughing. I would have cried, of thrown her back into the cave of something....but sarah just shook it off!! That night, I woke up to a spider on my face---and no, I wasn't dreaming it. I flicked the thing off me, then found it and killed it. Unlike me to kill a hramless spider---just happened to pick the wrong night to craml on my face!

Cricket players are wankers!!!
Me, mol and Phill took a day off of work and had our first cricket experience (well, it was a first for me and mol). When Phil first told me the game would go on from 2pm until 10pm, I laughed--thinking that there was no way in hell I would stay there for that long. All I could think about was baseball on steriods--and lets face it, baseball is not the most exciting sport to watch (unless it's a rice championship game and you are so excited that you dump your beer all over the person next to you!! --sorry amanda!! :)). Anyhoo, the game turned out to be awesome! The crowd was hilarious as were some of their outfits (we had some singlets, some rally looking boys--and some other crazy drunk people wearing things they couldn't have possibly been comfrotable in!). Soon after we were there, everyone broke out into a "ricky is a wanker" cheer that continued on and off for the entire 8 hour game! Hilarious. It was a crazy close game--Australia beat us by only 2 runs and it came down to the 2nd to last ball of the last over (for those of you that, like me a few days ago, know nothing about cricket, that's really freakin close!). So, yes, we did stay for the entire game...and it was awesome! And me and Mol are now experts and no longer need to ask Phil 1001 questions....

Speaking of the Phil
The Phil has somehow managed to pack up all his stuff and this morning left us to continue on his journey. We've all shared a similar sucky-ness about traveling. You meet great people, you become really close in a short about of time, you have so many great times together, and then someone leaves. That's just the way it goes but i have no doubt that we'll all meet again! Before he left, we had a flat dinner and Phil graciously got us all great gifts! And, we'll have a constant reminder of him as long as we have balloons in the flat. (Balloons became 'a thing' with us and we are all slightly obsessed with them. They make us laugh...it's the little things!). Phil is famous for writing on the balloons and dressing them up somehow & he left us a smiling balloon that is saying "I bet I'll make it til christmas" with a little hat on. Like I said---the little things!

Well, it's back to my work day! Have I mentioned that I love Mufty friday's?!

I'm glad mr/mrs anoymous is having fun with this!!!

Monday, November 28

Happy *belated* Turkey Day!!

Who was the anonymous that signed my blog a while back?!?! The escaped convict look?! Ring any bells! Sign your names!!! It makes my day to see comments everyone leave---but I'm a horrible guesser!!!

Well, Turkey day has come and gone and I hope it was just fabulous for everyone! For those of you I got to talk to, it was great to hear your voices! Me and molly had a moment of sadness when we called home to our familes. I think it made it worse b/c while everyone was together, we were at work. So, we shared a virtual hug, shed some tears, and got on with our day. Our Turkey day was on Saturday and we spent all day cooking up a feast to give our flatmates a little taste of home! Things that would have been simple in the states seemed to be a bit more difficult over here. The fact that they don't have pumpkin puree (and we couldn't let thanksgiving come and go without Connor P getting a taste of pumpkin pie), stuffing croutons, normal pie crust or a pie dish for that matter (sweet pies are hard to come by--if they have pie, it's usually filled with meat!), marshmellows (we had to go to 2 stores before we found ones that would do for candied yams!), or half and half, made things a bit more difficult! But, we had made our menu and we were determined to stick to it! Turkey, stuffing, mashed patatoes, gravy, cranberries, candied yams, breaded carrots, greenbeans, pumpkin pie and apple pie! I have to say, we weren't overly confident about how things would turn out, afterall, neither of us had really helped out cooking thanksgiving before, let alone done everything from start to finish! And by Connor's "have you guys ever cooked before" question, I don't think he was too confident either!!(we even bought a packet of cheap gravy in case we screwed that part up!) hehe. But, I have to say, we pulled it off! And we did it all---everything from making out own stuffing croutons to pureeing (is that a word!??) our own pumpkin. The turkey was a little dry but for 2 first timers, I think we did a dang good job!
Molly made up some thanksgiving activites for everyone, including some triva that really brought out the kid in all of us---Phil was caught redhanded cheating from Connor's paper (the look of determination in his eyes and the speed of his writing made us certain he had done it before...), innocent little Sarah worked dilengtly on her triva questions with confidence that her dad had taught her all there was to know about Thanksgiving--we never would have guessed that when she took a break and wondered off she had gone searching for the answer key---which she carried back to the table all stealth-like! I of course just sat there like a good little girl and answered the questions---but they all tried to disqualify me for taking too long. As for Connor---well, he was busy showing the German's around the house while trying to convince them that we were actually fairly normal people despite all the screaming and laughing going on!

Which brings me to the next topic---new flatmates! The German couple, despite our strange behavior has decided to move in! We are all a bit excited---and between the 5 of us, we are bound to come up with a few German words. Which, will probably be needed since neither of them speak very good english! So, it should be interesting to say the least! They seem nice and after a little breaking in, fun too! If you know any German (other then bad words and "yes, exactly"---we've got those covered) throw them my way!

Hope everyone had a great Turkey Day! Love you :)

Sunday, November 20

Wednesday, November 16

Just smile and nod...

It's lunch time over here on this side of the world and I'm using the strong winds as an excuse not to go for my lunch time run! The hour that we get for lunch is fabulous!! At first I didn't even know what to do with myself---it seemed like forever! I thought about cutting it down to 30min and getting payed for the extra half hour but I have since decided that it makes the day fly by when you go for a run (or blog, read the newspaper, or trashy magazines that seem to rule this place, or meet with mol in the park!) for an hour in the middle of the day! Anyhoo! Work is going well--my boss asked me a few days ago if I would feel comfrontable answering the phones when things got busy. I'm pretty sure my voice was shaking the first few times but I'm starting to get used to it and am kind of loving it! One thing I learned really quickly is that you can't just smile and nod when you talk on the phone. The whole 'just smile and nod' has gotten me by many a time when I don't understand a damn word that someone says (esp. sarah who might forget to breath when she speaks---between me and mol, we are usually able to piece together what she says. Although, it may make for some delayed reactions!) but that doesn't seem to work too well on the phone! Which is kind of great I guess--I'm sure I'll be able to understand these Kiwi's perfectly someday soon but so far I've been quilty of passing on a few calls simply b/c I can't understand them! And I'm perfectly aware that if I screw up or tell someone something completely wrong, they'll be able to track me down with "that girl with the accent told me so". The girls have been sure to point out that there is no hiding for me!

Enough about work! Our immature flatmate that I have told some of you about (ya know ash, the guy with the chip on his shoulder!) has now taken his TV out of the living room. Hilarious. To make what could be a really long story short, Mr. Brenden (or, 'the b' as he referes to himself) is extremly immature and has gone through periods of outright ignoring everone who has come through the house. It's happened to me and mol for about a week until I said something and Brenden just pussed out and told me nothing was wrong. He has now started ignoring Phil for the 2nd time. Sooo, we all got to the point where we have had enough. We were all meant to go to his 21st birthday but decided that he treats us like crap and being there would just damper our moods. SO, we decided to stay home and have a party of our own! Mol had a brillant idea of picking names out of a hat to see who would be the birthday person---sarah won! HAPPY BIRTHDAY SARAH became the theme of the night---complete with balloons, a few games of 'circle of death' (in which sarah made a rule that you had to say 'happy birthday sarah' before you picked up a card) and some great flat drunken moments! We managed to stay awake for the All Blacks rugby game--we kicked butt!! And finally made it to bed soon after the birds started chirping and the sun came up! The B hasn't been around much since the weekend but this morning when we woke up, we noticed that he took his big TV out of the living room and left the smaller one that belongs to connor on the floor. We can't help but laugh! We hope it means he is moving out but it's more likely him just being spiteful.

Off to get some reading in before I head back to work! Hope all is well at home! Miss you all! Also a big congrats to my Rice girls who pulled out a big Conference USA win--that's HUGE for a program that is only 5 years old! Mol should be updating her online picture account soon so we'll be sure to put a -few- pics from our big birthday night up there!! :) (the website is written on one of these last few blogs)

oh--one more thing! I now have MUFTY friday's at work!!! The ANZ Bank has decided to join the rest of NZ and we are now allowed to wear jeans on friday! I think I'm more excited about the word mufty then I am about wearing jeans!

Tuesday, November 8

Read other blog entry first!

keep telling yourself that the hair will grow back :) :) (b/c it will! no worries!)

Always remember the 5th of November

(I'll get to that title in just a minute!)

Not sure where to start--my days are starting to blend together! I guess I'll start with 2 weekends ago. We are finally starting to get some nice weather so I pulled on my tramping boots and took off looking for a bit of a challenge. Everytime we take the train to the city, I notice this little trail off in the mountains, and everytime I look at it wondering what is has to offer! So, I set off to find out :) It was nothing too crazy but it was a nice little getaway that is only about 10 mintues from our house. Not to mention it was a tid bit creepy walking through the woods alone! It's okay mom, I won't do it ever again--!! It only took me about 2o minutes to get to the top and I wasn't feeling too satisfied. So, worked my way back down to a little stream that runs for who knows how long! I tried to stay dry at first, but by the end, I was willingly up to my knees in chilly water.

So, that brings me to this weekend--and the title of this here blog! The 5th of November is an event called Guy Fawkes. It's named after a man who was plotting to blow up the parliment building in England--he was caught and evidently burnt in a big bonfire. So, every 5th of Nov, people celebrate with fireworks. ("always remember the 5th of november--gunpowder, treason, and plot. I see no reason why gunpowder, treason, and plot should ever be forgot"). So, we planned for an exciting flat outing on saturday night---expecting the fireworks show to be very similar to our 4th of July. Wow, were we wrong!!
We started with a big flat BBQ--we had an american touch, a kiwi touch, and an england touch. It was damn delicious! So, off we go---expecting a nice fireworks show, never expecting that for the next 2 hours we would feel like we were in a war zone. As soon as we hit Oriental Parade (a road that is right on the water and the hotspot for the night), things got nutty!! It started with really load noises (that were pretty unmistakenly fireworks hitting cars), and heaps of people. I'm pretty sure that within the first 5 mintues of getting to Oriental Parade, we all jumped back or huddled up at least 5 times. I turn to my right--some chick who has no idea what to do with a roman candle throws it on the ground. It shoots off once and flys under some cars--shoots off again, comes right at the crowd of people--shoots off again and goes right towards another group of people. All the while, the girl is chasing it, (oh, and she now also has a sparkler in her hand) trying to catch it. She finally does and points it away from the crowd--right towards some people on their balcony across the street. I look to my left and there are fireworks of all sorts shooting up within feet---no, inches of crowds of people. All along the beaches, kids (and when I sy kids, i mean YOUNG kids) were setting off their own fireworks with absolutely no regard for the fact that they are REALLY hot and dangerous! Yeah, yeah, I sound like a huge wuss and I lost count of how many times I told my mother to get out of my head that night. But, just when I told myself to stop being a wuss, another piece of fire would come flying at my head. You try it and tell me you don't run away crying. I felt like I was playing dodge ball with fireballs---that exploded on impact. Surprisingly, all the crazyness that was going on around us stopped as soon as the big show started. It was awesome and beautiful and it was nice to not have to watch our backs for 15 minutes! But as soon as the show was over, the crayness started all over again!! Walking back through the crowd---more people who thought roman candles were fun to point at crowds of people. Me and Phil ducked as one flew right over our heads--turned around and watched it land right on some guys lap. We found a nice little place that was a bit away from the crowd and decided to hang out there for a while (don't get me wrong--we wanted to get out of there ASAP but we drove---and we thought it was better to hang out then to try and drive in this crazyness---yeah, remember the fireworks hitting cars bit earlier??). So, we sat on this little roof and just watched in disbelief. 2 young kids (couldn't have been much older then 6) were not only lighting the fireworks on the edge of the dock, but were jumping over them while they were lit. The parents kind of watched. Another roman candle (or something that shoots off multiple things) was lit on the edge of the dock and fell in the water. I thought the water would just kill it. Nope. Shoots once---right towards the dock where all the kids were, shoots again, and again and again---no one ever knowing where the hell it would end up! We finally made it home safe and sound--me and molly repeating over and over about how it would never fly in the states. How we were never allowed to light fireworks until we were at least-what, 13? And even then, dad or big brother was right next to me and I had to run away after I lit it. Usually the garage was a safe enough distance from the street!! Anyhoo---enough of that! It was quite an experience!

The first All Blacks game was on that morning at 5am. We didn't make it. We set our alarm but we weren't quite Kiwi enough to actually get up. But we caught the replay the next day and they kicked butt! (the All Blacks are the Kiwi's pride and joy--the rugby team that basically owns this place!). Next weekend they play at 3am--we'll be at the bar watching. For sure!!

Sunday me and molly took off for Mt. Kaukau (pronouced cowcow) looking for a nice little hike! It was beautiful!! Only about a 20 minute walk from our house and a 60 minute hike to the top. On the way up, we came across this CREEPY looking tunnel that we didn't have the guts to go into. Maybe next time! We hiked a little more and saw rolling green hills for as far as we could see. It was breathtaking. The pictures just don't do it justice but I guess they never do! We saw lots of sheep which we were super excited about!! They are just so cute :) When we got to the top, we had a great view of Johnsonville (our home) to our left and Wellington (our work) to the right! We had to cut the hike a little short b/c when we got towards the top we thought we were going to be blown away! But we are planning to do it again soon! I wish I could explain the view--it was just amazing!

Wednesday, November 2

Daylight Savings...AGAIN!

If my memory serves me correctly, the states just went through daylight savings and you all have "fallen back". What does this mean for us? Well, we are yet ANOTHER hour apart!

So, Florida (aka eastern time) you are now 18 hours behind me and Houston (aka central time), you are now 19 hours behind me! JEEPERS!! That's a long time...but it actually makes it easier to get each other at resonable hours!!

Me and Molly are off to our "pub meet" tonight...complete with our "smart" outfits (aka, business attire) and SNEAKERS!! Yes, that's right...we have taken the plunge into fashion suicide and now wear sneakers when we walk to work. It's HOT, let me tell you what! But hey, try walking to work and back everyday in really uncomfy shoes...! We didn't last long and have followed in the (smart) locals [sneaker] footsteps!

How I fare this weekend after attending GUY FAWKS (a huge fireworks event), drinking a considerable amount, and trying to stay up until 3am to watch the first ALL BLACKS (rugby) game since we've been here. I'll be in touch :)

A big hug and "i love you" to all my friends and family in Florida who were very fortunate even though they were without power for over a week after hurricane Wilma. Glad everyone is okay. Keep your spirits up. :)

Been meaning to mention for ever now that JULES and JARROD are coming to see us!!!!! We are so super excited!!! Can't wait guys :)

Saturday, October 29


Molly put the pictures we have taken so far up on her yahoo account. You can get them by going to


and going to the Wellington, New Zealand album.

Wednesday, October 26

Pictures! :)

Did some tramping (hiking) to the top of Mt. Victoria and got a great view!
Our weekend trip to the Martinbourgh vineyards were great! I found myself a rent-a-cat and she was just adorable!! Why do I always tend to find rent-a-pets?!
Mt. Victoria
me and mol having fun with shadow shapes! See the heart?!?! awww :)
Our new best friend! The kitchen at our flat!

Isn't our living room just adorable?!?!

Hiding with all the lilies at the botanical gardens

Saturday, October 15

Livin' la vida local

Don't have too many new pictures for you guys but thought I'd throw in our flatmates! From the far side: Sarah (conner's GF who doesn't really live here but she's around a lot), Conner, Phill, and Brenden. Such a great group :) The other is of me and Molly on our deck! We are patiently waiting for it to warm up a bit so we can get some good use out of it (and the BBQ!).

Well, I'M EMPLOYED!! Always a good thing! I went through a temp agency and they found me a job pretty quickly. I'm working at a bank dealing with written enquires and credit card stuff. Basically just a lot of computer work! It's nothing too thrilling but it's cool being in an office autosphere surrounded by kiwi's! And they are paying me good money! So no complaints here! My office is on the 14th floor and overlooks the harbour--on a good day it's a BEAUTIFUL view! It's really layed back---so much so that yesterday (friday), we had a "company meeting" from 4-5 (my work day is from 8:30-5) and they served everyone wine, beer, champagne, and great food! Not to mention they were giving out free bottles of wine to people who could answer some questions. Some of my coworkers didn't come down to the meeting, so instead, they drank wine at their desks. So basically, they payed me to drink their wine and champagne and get tipsy while I was 'working'. Apparently, come friday, they perfer to have happy hour come to them! And it's compltely normal and acceptable. Such a foreign concept to me!!

We are really starting to get settled and are really just enjoying living like locals! We got our monthly train passes and actually love taking the train to work every morning! Molly found a water polo team that she'll be playing with twice a week and I am still in the process of finding a soccer team! But I found an indoor soccer place and I may try to join up soon. And our flatmate Phil playes some soccer as well so we've been talking about knocking around sometime. Our room is still a work in progress but it's really starting to feel like home. We've used some maps of NZ that we have and some pictures that we brought from home to decorate the walls. We are still waiting on some drawers so we aren't completely unpacked yet. But when our room is completely done, I'll send some pics of it and the house!

Until we make money enough to up and leave and travel around some more, I'll be here, soaking up the culture of this place, doing the best to live like a local :) Send me some email!!

Saturday, October 8

Contact Info

Just a quikie to let everyone know that we have a phone number (a landline that will be cheaper to call if using a calling card) and addy.

934 4580 (when you use a calling card, I think you dial the county code 64 followed by the city code which is 4 but no promises :) ) You may have the pleasure of getting any one of my flatmates on the phone (Conner, Sarah, Phil, Brenden or Molly) but just ask for me! Please be extra careful of the time change if you call this number. You'll be waking up a houseful of people if you get it wrong! So, if in doubt, ring the mobile!!

If you feel like sending me some love letters :)
29a Monowai Road
Johnsonville, Wellington
New Zealand

(nope, no zip code needed!)

We plan to be here for the next few months but I'll keep you updated! I'll write more later but things are fabulous! Love the flat, love the flatmates, love the location, hate the freezing weather!! We are waiting patiently for summer!

Hope all is well :)

Thursday, October 6

Off roadin' it!

We finally got some nice weather so mol and I decided to venture out and booked ourselves on the seal saffari! A group of us loaded into a 4 wheel drive and we were on our way. We made our way up some of the steepest hills EVER and just when I was sure we were going to start rolling backwards, our driver, Todd, mentioned that people bike up it regularly. That can't possibly be fun. Lucky for them there were little words of encouragement written on the pavement the whole way up. I think I'd need a little more then that to even consider trying to bike up these hills. Anyhoo---we got a great view of the city below and a breath of fresh air before Mr. Todd decided to scare the crap out of us!! Suddenly the nice paved path turned to a rocky dirt road and we had officially switched into 4 wheel drive. Fan-freakin-tastic! I think I was laughing to keep from crying!! Nah, it wasn't that bad but it was definitely my mom's worst nightmare. In fact, there was a woman sitting across from me that was playing the mom role quite well. Knuckles white from gripping the "oh shit" bar and a look of pure terror on her face. We took the rocky, steep excuse for a road all the way down to the black sand beaches. I was certain we were going to flip several times--but I took comfort in the fact that Mr. Todd was the spitting image of Mr. Incredible. Not to mention that he had a role in The Lord of the Rings (true story)--I knew that Mr. Incredible wouldn't possibly let the tires slip! We made it to a seal colony and got within feet of a few seals. So cute!! Now, it's finally move in time!! We're getting on the train to our new home in a few minutes!

I have 2 interviews tomorrow so cross your fingers for me!! :)

above are 2 little seals that we saw on our adventure! One just hanging out and one putting on a nice little show for us. If I didn't know any better, I would have thought we were watching a trained seal at a zoo. But don't be fooled--there are no gates around these guys!
If you look closely, you can see the snow capped mountains of the south island. Also-the black sand beaches that line the west coast of NZ.

Behind me is where the pacific ocean meets the tasman sea--we could clearly see where the two currents met by the color difference and the intense crashing of the waves. It was almost as if there was a giant reef when it was really just the crashing of the currents.

This is the harbour that our city is based around. We finally got to get a great look from above!

Wednesday, October 5

Movin' on up...to Johnsonville!

We found a flat!!! After searching for a few days, meeting lots of nice ppl and seeing some not so nice places, we found a place and flatmates that we just adore!!! It's in a beautiful house up on the hills in a little town called Johnsonville. It's a beautiful 20 minute train ride out of the city and the town itself is just adorable! The house is nice and modern (and clean) on the inside and has a great view of the city and harbour below. We'll be sharing the place with 3 guys--a 20 year old physics student named Conner (and his GF sarah who is there often), Phil,a 20 year old funeral director (yah!! I have my own little kevin abroad!), and a 25 year old marathon runner from England. And yes, the place is super clean! And not just for a house of guys---it's clean by our standards!! Rent is really afforable ($70 a week each---which works out to be about 50 US dollars) and they have everything we need. Internet, dishes, completely furnished room, washing machine, dryer, etc. So, we leave our hostel tomorrow and head to our new home! We can't wait! No luck on jobs yet but now that we have a place we can really focus on getting that done. You may think we did this backwards but Wellington is so accessible that nothing is really out of the way. I'm going to walk into a few vets offices and apply to a few temp agencies. The next 2 months we are focusing on making some money and just living like locals and really taking in the cultural of this place.

We had our first car experience yesterday and it was awesome!! Just being in the passenger side is so cool! We are still getting used to looking the correct way to see approaching cars and not being weired out when we see a little kid in what would be the drivers seat at home!

I'm really upset that the big thing of ketchup Kim got for me before I left didn't make the packing cut! I had to leave it behind due to a lack of room and I'm missing that heinz deleciousnes already! "Tomato sauce" is a poor, poor excuse for ketchup. But me and Molly have done a good job of whipping up some great meals! And more then one have been based on 'guesstimates' b/c apparently we left converting measurments back in the 2nd grade. I'm sure we'll improve in that area!

So, I totally saw Lauren Hill (no, not the famous one---a friend from Rice) in the grocery store the other day. If that doesn't prove that it's a small world, I don't know what does!! She was only in Wellington for a night but we chatted for a while and she showed us some great pictures. This country has SO MUCH waiting for us!!

We went to the zoo today---I have a new favorite animal (see above). I just want to squeeze his cute little face!!!!! muuuwwwaaahhh

Hope all is well back home!! I'd like to give a little shout out to my Rice girls who have won their first 2 conference USA games!! Keep it up guys :)

Sunday, October 2

Spring Forward!

Hi all :)
Just a little head's up that our clocks have sprung forward! So, we are now ahead of you an additional hour--then, come your daylight savings time (when you fall back), you'll need to add yet ANOTHER hour. I think your fall back is at the end of October---so I'll be ahead of you east coast people 18 hours. But for now, I'm ahead 17 hours!

Saturday, October 1


I have a cell phone!!! Incoming calls and text messages are completely free so go get yourself an international phone card and call me up :)

Okay, thanks to Maria and the parentals, I think we have finally figured out this phone thing!!! Call using a calling card--the codes you will need to enter are 011 then 64 (i think this might be the country code then the city code...) then my number: 27 335 0824.

We are still figuring out how to use calling cards to call our on our cell phones. Once we do, I'll call the states! Until then, don't be afraid to call me :) Just remember, we are ahead 16 hours!!

Happy Friday all! God, how I love fridays!!! :) :) :)

Friday, September 30

Well in Windy Welly :)

Hi all!! Well, I have made it to the city I plan to live in for the next few months! Wellington, NZ! Better known around here as Welly, and, as we discovered yesterday, they don't call it the windy city for nothing!!! I swore I was going to be blown over! But it's gorgeous and the weather is beautiful despite a few gusts of wind! We hopped on a bus in Auckland and made the 11 hour treck cross country. The drive was amazingly beautiful and it was just a little taste of what this country has to offer! Rolling green hills for as far as you could see, snow covered mountains in the backdrop, volcanoes (some still active....YIKES!), heaps and heaps (that's right, I said heaps!) of sheep, and beautiful lakes, streams, and rivers! When the bus dropped us off, we were left to fend for ourselves and find our way to our hostel. We quickly discovered that the rolling hills that cover this place aren't quite as beautiful when you are trying to walk up them with loads of luggage in tow! It might have been the hardest we had to work for a bed--I found it hilariously challenging!! We spent all of yesterday searching for flats and will probably keep looking until the end of the week. We already looked at 2 places that weren't quite right for us but the people here seem AWESOME. Everyone was so friendly! I can't wait to find a place and settle in for a while! So, the agenda for the next few days is flat and job hunting and exploring our new city! It may sound pretty mundane but us, it's SO exciting!!! Hope this finds everyone well! I'll be in touch in a few days!


Hello again!! I was a bit rushed and completely out of it yesderday so I just wanted to take a little more time to fill you in! Getting to Auckland was a bit of a scare at first, Kev, you almost won b/c we nearly missed our flight! Well, not really, but we were sure cutting it close. We got to the airport with plenty of time but when we got to the counter, the woman told us that we HAD to purchase tickets out of NZ otherwise they would not let us through customs. Apparrently there was a misunderstanding somewhere along the line and it got our hearts pumping fast! We had to buy tickets to Australia in order to get checked in---they are refundable so it's not too big of a deal but it was a pretty big "hiccup" (as Molly described it) at the start of our trip! We had to run to our gate--which was just a tad scary!! Then our luggage was the LAST to come out at baggage claim! Fabulous!
We spent all of yesterday walking around Auckland and trying desperately to keep our eyes open. When we were walking to use the internet yesterday, it took a bit longer to get here b/c apparently there was a graduation cermony going on--in the form of a parade!! All these graduates in their robes following men in kilts playing bag pipes, on a busy road that they didn't even bother to close down. When we saw how long the parade went back, we decided to just make a run for it--right through the middle of it! The city reminds us a lot of Australia--which is cool, but we are really anxious to get to Wellington and get to know "our" city! We have a few options for flats and will hopefully find jobs with ease--but time will tell I suppose. We hope to go down to Wellington tomorrow but how we are going to get there is still up in the air. There is talk of renting a camper and making the 10 hour drive ourselves and making stops along the way to sightsee. Can you please take a second to picture that?!?! Me and Molly driving a camper...on the wrong side of the road...most likely stick shift. We want to do it just to say we did---hilarious! Our orientation starts in a little bit and then it's off to explore some more! Can't wait until we are settled and have jobs--once we have the security of an income, we'll start traveling around and taking some fabulous pics for you guys to enjoy :)
All my love :)

Wednesday, September 28

Safe and Sound :)

I'm going to keep this short, just wanted to let everyone know that we got here safe and sound!! The flight flew by--I fell asleep and when I woke up, 9 hours had already gone by! Not to mention me and molly had a row to ourselves do we got to spread out a bit. Nice! Flying in was absolutely GORGEOUS!!! So much green...and then so much water...and then more green! haha. We really are in the middle of NOWHERE! We are exhausted and it is only 11:15am Tuesday morning here (16 hours ahead of you FL/NY peeps and 15 hours ahead of you Houston folk!)...we are going to explore so we can try to get our bodies on schedule ASAP! Although, adjusting to Australia's time change last summer took a good week+ so we shall see. I can't believe we're really HERE!!!!

Saturday, September 24


I've had requests to update my blog so I'm givin' in! I obviously have nothing to report on New Zealand yet but the last few days have been great! I spent a great weekend with Molly and her fam-- Great food, wine (and when I say wine, I mean lots of wine!), a great game of "new zealand" jeopardy courtesy of the creative parentals, an introduction to field hockey, and endless laughs (mostly thanks to Abby...and her friend Kimmy)!!
We then waited in the airport for 4 hours for our flight going to LAX b/c the emergency slide was broken. Wonderful. But, when we finally got to LA, Julie and Jarrod (2 of our bestest buddies that we met in Australia) were waiting with open arms! We spent the next 2 days living the OC life and got the full tour---Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, food hotspots--not to mention delicious home cooked meals and margaritas!! Sucks to have to leave them again---Megs and MB, you were missed like whoa--but we decided that we are all crashing Jarrod's for Christmas. See you there for our Dippity Ditty!
We are now hanging at my friend Christel's who lives in West Hollywood--we'll be here until Sunday looking for famous ppl. She lives in walking distance to just about everything! :) We are currently sharing the apartment with George the cat--he has a sister somewhere but I'm convinced Molly threw her out the window. We spent most of the day looking for flats in Wellington and it seems there are some great deals. We are both getting really anxious--Sunday is only 2 days away! The next time I blog, it will be to tell you a little something about NZ...I promise!!

Wednesday, September 14

Tears Galore

Using Ashley to test out adding pics to this thing! Looks like it works! I'm leaving Florida on Thursday and things are starting to REALLY sink in. I said goodbye to my mom, brother and cat on Sunday and I took it a lot harder then I had expected. Saying goodbye for what we intend (my parents and friends are making it clear that if I happen to come home in 3 months, the trip isn't a 'failure'! Nice try guys--but I doubt that's gonna happen!) to be a year is really different then saying goodbye to go to school. I'm taking Ella (my sugar glider) to her new home today, and then saying more goodbye's to friends. As excited as I am to finally start this trip, the goodbye's are killing me. The stress is really starting to set in and as Keri, Maria, and Molly have already discovered--I'm a mess!! I can't make a decision to save my life and have been trying to fit too much into a day! And ironically enough, here I am typing in my blog! Writing is calming though and since I'm driving to pick up my cousin in a little bit, having what will prove to be my daily drink (for the next 3 days) of cocunut rum and pineapple juice isn't really the best "calming" option right now!! So writing is next in line! :) No one is allowed to cry in front of me for the next week---I'm a facuet and just can't handle it!! Love you all.

Saturday, September 3

It's getting real!

Well, I just sold my car! Putting it up for sale was the first reality check, and now that it's sold, it's really starting to sink in that I'm leaving for a long time! The next few days are going to be pretty hectic. My last day of work is on the 9th and I have lots of packing to do (any tips on how to pack for a year are needed!) and little things to take care of before I leave. Not to mention getting in all my 'goodbyes' with friends and family. I know a lot of people don't know the actual date I'm leaving the country--so, the flight to New Zealand is Sept. 25th at 11pm (from LA). My trip starts on the 15th with me going to Philly to spend a weekend with Molly's family (and help her pack!) and then we are flying to LA to spend some time with friends before leaving for good. The days are starting to fly by and my emotions are so mixed. Scared to death, excited as all hell, nevous about going with Molly and so freakin excited to be going with Molly. All we can think about is how we're going to be feeling when we're going to the airport. GULP!