Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Zealand: In Review

Life in New Zealand is such an awesome experience. I often think of my friends and family back home and wish they were here and able too all the wonderful sights of New Zealand! Its like no other country :)
Will and I often get to sneak away from Otorohanga for a day or so and explore part of New Zealand that he has not been to yet, or revisit places we both have been. Its always fun no matter what, and the people are super friendly.
Dare I say I have been spoiled by the hot pools. Its someplace we frequent when we go out of town. We always look for a hot pool or mineral spa. New Zealand is known for their natural geothermal mineral spas-- they are soo wonderful. If you ever try it, a regualar hot tub will disgust you! :)

Hot water beach is a favorite hot spot: When its low tide, bring your shovel and start digging! If you hit a thermal hot spot, Presto! You have your own *natural* hot pool of salt water on the beach. Watch out for the tide coming in though, that water will be COLD! :) First come, first serve--- this beach can get pretty crowded. How hot is HOT? Lets just say, I burned my feet on the "sand" on a hot spot that was dug....

Waterfalls are more than just a view! Tramping through the forest is one of Will's favorite things to do, and I enjoy doing it with him, especially when he holds my hand (haha)! We love finding waterfalls. Damper Falls is the North Island's tallest one, standing at 74 meters high. Photo's dont do it justice, seriously.  Waterfalls can also be seen on the side of the road, just rolling down the rocks, slightly--- amazing! I don't think I can ever see enough waterfalls in my lifetime, each one is unique and in a different setting. Breathtaking and surreal, capturing by their roaring water, yet gentle lush surroundings.

Has anyone found the pot of gold? I dont think it exists because I have seen the end of the rainbow, many times over. The brightest and biggest rainbows can be seen here. You don't see rainbows like the ones here, in Florida or anywhere else I have been. Watch closely and the rainbow will light up like a florescent lightbulb!! If you look at this picture to the right, you can see the double rainbow in it as well as the one below! Not uncommon to see here! I tried to capture one on film (a complete rainbow) but it wouldn't fit on the screen---- I had to video record the length of it--- Now THATS a big rainbow!

Obviously, this one looked so stunning, Will decided to eat it, or taste it..... "Skittles. Taste the Rainbow!"

One thing that I have really enjoyed doing here is learning to cook, New Zealand style. Cooking is alot different than back home. For example, there isn't alot of "pre boxed" foods. There are some, but not as much as in the States! Goodness.... I didnt know how easy cooking was back then! College students sure do have it easy (they shouldnt be eating out!) I have thoroughly enjoyed cooking lunch and dinner for the husband each day-- I partly experiment, partly know what I am doing. I dont think I have bottomed out as a cook yet! (He still asks me to cook for him, so thats a good sign : )

I made my very first homemade apple pie Monday night! No store bought apple pie filling-- chopped apples and ground cloves with sugar and flour and water! Yummm.  Tasty!
(Disclaimer: This picture was taken before I finished the top crust. I did make the steam holes!)

Gumboots! This is my new buy! Notice my shoes, the black ones with the flowers on them!! LOVE IT! So feminine and girly, yet practical in every way. Will even likes them. :) This way, I can go tramping and stomping around in the mud whenever I want--- no matter how old I am! :) Of course I am STILL bundled up because summer is slow in its arrival! 14C here today and a cold rain.
There is so much fun and adventure here in New Zealand! All of the above pictures are of this week (as of monday) with the exception of HOt Water Beach, which was taken in Later September!
Some parts aren't glamorous, such as using a Long Drop when you are out in the middle of no where-- or freezing against the bitter wind. But through it all, its all part of the great adventure.
I laugh to myself sometimes and think about the great things I am experiencing here and the JOY of living in another country. :)
 No regrets. No more homesickness (for a while now). No planning out MY future MY way--- God has it all under control. Its all good in this New Zealand neighborhood :)
Love you all! See you soon!