Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Shaw's Farm


We have had one of our favorite days in New Zealand to date! This wasn't some expensive tourist trap or extreme adventure, just good old fellowship on some of our favorites people's farm; Ed and Nikki Shaw. These people are almost self-sustaining and have an amazing outlook on life. Think amish...just with electricity and a car... ok, maybe more like mennonite, but no need to get technical. Ed still does his work with his two bullocks, Henry and Blackie, not a tractor. He also makes his own guns, bows and arrows, knives, and anything else you can think of. Pretty much this would be the only person I would be worried about Drew leaving me for. Anyway, they have lots of animals... including sheep!! When we pulled up I was for sure this is where I would be able to accomplish the one thing I wanted most in life. Unfortunately, being self-sustaining also means eating meat that you have provided... put two and two together ... and the sheep don't exactly want to be your friends. Needless to say, I did NOT get to pet them. Sad day for me... even more sad for the sheep. So I guess getting to pet a baby sheep is going down the same drain as my dream to be a beach volleyball player. (Apparently I'm too short....and I'm also really bad at volleyball).

And I can't forget the "goat cart". Ed made (of course) a cart for one of the goats so his children could ride in it. It was a blast! And I think it might be a good solution to our economic problems. Goat's are pretty cheap to keep and don't require gas. Just something to keep in mind. Other then that we had some amazing food right out of the garden and some meat Ed hunted (of course). No lamb though!
Sorry if there are lots of mistakes in this blog. I'm watching the All Blacks vs. Wallabies game and I'm not a very good multitasker. As for the other blogs I really don't have an excuse.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

Mt. Hutt

wow..two days in a row...don't get too used to it!

We went snowboarding at Mt. Hutt which is about an hour from Christchurch. It was a little bit bigger, much more like an American Ski Resort. The type that should have stopped selling lift tickets about 500 people back but wouldn't dare turn down the money. It was still lots of fun and beautiful. We learned not to take runs that said "OPEN with variable conditions". I should have known better after watching a couple of really good snowboarders about eat it, but apparently my better judgment didn't make it to the top of the mountain with me. Drew and I sat there with a couple of other snowboarders deciding if this was a good idea. Without my better judgment helping me out I decided to be the guinea pig and ending up sliding half way down the run on my butt down an entire sheet of ice. I guess that is what the variable conditions meant. Since my wonderful husband didn't want to leave me he did the same thing, only a little more graceful. The other two snowboarders decided against it after watching our failed attempts. We either could finish going down the tricker part of the run or hike back up the mountain. We choose the later and had to hike up the mountain, then climb down a hill into the back of the parking lot, and walk back to the lodge. All while carrying our snowboards. I refer to this as "the walk of shame".

On the way home we stopped to pick up a Japanese hitchhiker who needed a ride down the mountain. I thought about asking him to fix some of the electronics in the car as payment because it was probably his people that made them, but after Drew tried to speak some Spanish in attempt to communicate I decided it was better if we all just sat quietly and listened to music. I would have played something out Japanese hitchhiker would like, but I don't have any techno or Japanese rap on my iPod. I made a mental note to myself to download some of this music in case we come across this situation again.

Well, I'm going to spend the rest of my time trying to fulfill my mission to legally touch a baby lamb. They are super cute and I will go to anything to be able to do this before they grow up... since I won't be living here when the next group of little balls of cotton roll around.

kiwi fun fact: Kiwi here is considered people and kiwi fruit is the little green thing that we eat. It is very important to use correct terminology here because if you say, "I ate a kiwi today" they might think you eat people and not be your friend.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Well, having to use the internet in an internet cafe is getting expensive and is the reason for lack of blogging. We are now in Christchurch, but spent a couple of wonderful days in Kaikoura....

We stayed in a cute little hostel called The Albatross Inn. In our room there was a sign that said, "Do not be alarmed if a siren goes off in the middle of the night. It is to alert the firefighters if there is a fire since their pages don't seem to work. The siren is not an alert for a tsunami, air raid, hurricane or any other disaster you should be worried about." At this point I can only assume this is a volunteer fire department. And although I appreciate those who volunteer to risk their lives for other people, I do have a little bit of a problem with the fact they feel it is important to wake up the whole town to let them know what is going on instead of using their pagers. How they can even make a siren that is loud enough to wake the whole town is beyond me. Maybe they should use that knowledge to make the pagers volume turn up higher. Luckily, this only happened one night out of the three we were there. And believe me ... it works. I was ready to get up and fight a fire just so the stupid thing would go off and I could go back to sleep! As some of you are reading this you are probably a little worried for our safety. I know what you are thinking... "if that is only used to alert firefighters, then how are you supposed to know if there really was a disaster?". Don't worry, the sign covered that too. They said a man in a van would drive around and scream if something was to come up. I appreciate that the people of Kaikoura have learned from history and thought Paul Revere was on the right track. Although I had no idea they cared that much about American History. My only concern is that the man that is supposed to drive around in the van to warn us is also one of the volunteer firefighters.

One of the cool things about New Zealand is that you can be standing on the beach and be only about an hour from snow mountains. One day we drove up to Mt. Lyford and went snowboarding, which for me personally was the best day of snowboarding I have ever had. It was a weekday so there were probably only about 50 people on the mountain including employees. Drew and I even hit some jumps. Not in the way Shawn White or Zach Standefer hits jumps, but at least we attempted them.

Other then that we went to a wine tasting and saw tons of seals! Not at the same time though. There really were tons of seals, not just the wine making it look like that. As soon as we can get on Drew's computer we will post some pictures. And for all of you that are wondering what the heck that picture bellow is about.... Gollum people. New Zealand + Lord of the Rings.... come on.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Friday, August 7, 2009