Thursday, October 30, 2008

Saturday Oct 25 thru Monday Shannon's Birthday

Hi Again,

I'll always be a few days behind with my blog. It's Friday here now, Halloween, but I'm going to recap the last few days.

On Saturday, the 25th, we took a ferry to Waiheke Island for a Jazz Festival, being held at 5 different venues, all Vineyards.
video
This is a shot from the ferry we took to the island. Of course, it broke down right away, so we floated around for 1/2 hour until they fixed the motor.

When we got to the island, Shannon collected shells along the beach while we waited for the bus to take us to the vineyard.

This is a vineyard, Goldwater, our first stop.

Shannon in front of Goldwater Vineyard.

You remember "Drunks on a Train"?? Well this is drunks on a bus, BUT - not me or Shannon. The two couples sitting in front of me were so blasted, they joked and laughed like crazy, it was pretty funny.

Sunday - we went to the French market - Cigale - and ate some Paella for breakfast with Grant.
Afterwards we walked around town and ended up at a Belgium Beer CAfe, listened to good music and drank beer and ate really delicious food. After that, we walked around downtown, and went to a place on the viaduct and listened to music and didn't get home until 2 am.
Monday was Shannon's birthday, we met Grant in Devonport, where we had lunch and walked around Northghead hill, a place where they had a fortress with caverns all through the hill. This is Shannon and Grant in a tunnel.

Me and Shannon on top of the hill.


Who wlse? S & G
Some sailboats off in a distance. I have a really good zoom on my camera.

This is a Tui bird, a NZ native.
The next blog will be about our great time in Tauranga with the Reids. I have to prepare the photos for the blog first, that takes a while.
Happy Halloween to all at home.
Love, Kathy
PS, in case you didn't hear, Carl came in 3rd place on his fishing trip to Cabo, caught a 240 lb Black Marlin. Congrats Carl!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Road Trip

Hi Everyone,

I haven't blogged for a few days, just too busy to stop.

Today, Tuesday, we are headed south to Bay of Plenty. We will be visiting friends, John and Flick in Tauranga. I have my travel book out so we can see all the highlights on the way.

Yesterday was Shannon's 25th Birthday. We went to Devonport with Grant and had lunch then walked around a hill, an old fortress. Picture of all this to come later when we return from this mini-trip.

I guess Lili has adopted Carol as her new mother and they are all doing great. Good to hear from you all. Teresa and Bob are having fun with Damon's Halloween costume. Carl is now independently wealthy after winning a jackpot at the fishing tournament in Cabo.

Love to you all, I miss everyone, but having a fun time here.

Kathy

Friday, October 24, 2008

It's Friday Night and I made Enchiladas

Hi Everyone,

It's Friday night and I made an Enchilada casserole. I brought 2 packs of yellow corn tortillas, a large can of enchilada sauce and a can of green chiles in my luggage. We invited Grant, Alina and Anna over for dinner. They seemed to enjoy the food, but Shannon and I really enjoyed it. We made Margaritas, Carl's recipe, with the Grand Marnier too. Shannon is holding court, you know how she loves a party.

I haven't blogged for a few days. I get so busy during the day, and then by evening I'm in bed by 10. On Wednesday, we went to Devonport, a little town across the bay. We went through the shops and ate lunch at a little cafe that has the best food I've eaten so far.

video

Here we are after the delicious lunch and shopping.

We walked along the sea wall and looked out at the city across the water. The little houses that line the street are so cute, all Victorian looking. All of the homes are old and there's a little space between them, not crowded like Balboa, but it kinda reminds me of that.



Downtown Auckland from across the water in Devonport.

We drove up the street to the top of the hill, Mt. Victoria. It's the site of an old fort. From the top of the hill you can see Auckland city and Bay.

Here's a volcanic island Rangitogo (sounds like that).

This video was taken from top of Mt. Victoria.
video

We found this carved statue while looking around on the hill.

We drove around the hill to Cheltenham beach. Here is a video of the beach.
video

Cheltenham beach, Shannon picking up shells. There are so many shells on the sand.

This is a really nice home right on the beach, with a lovely garden.

On Thursday, we took the bus to the viaduct (the harbor) and met Shannon's friend, Alina, for lunch. I had pizza.

In the evening we went to the Ivory Lounge, a piano bar in Parnell, and met up with her friend Anna, who happens to be a nanny from New Jersey on a one year working holiday visa, just like Shannon.

Shannon and I at the bar.
The Piano bar.
video

So today, Friday, I stayed in my PJ's all day and we painted all day long. Then in the evening we had the enchiladas. Here's our art table, we covered it in plastic.

This is Shannon's painting of the shells she found the day before.

This is my painting of a bird from a photo Shannon had on her computer.

I made the enchiladas during the day, while Shannon worked out to a Tae Bo DVD I brought her from the States. Her friends came over for dinner, then they went out dancing around 10:30. I stayed home and did this blog and now I'm going to bed. We have a big day tomorrow. We're going to a Jazz and Blues concert taking place on an island in various vineyards. Ready about it in a couple of days.
Love, Kathy and Shannon

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tuesday Oct 21

On Tuesday, we went to the Auckland Domain Historical Museum. Here is a video clip of the museum grounds.

video

It was pretty interesting. First as you enter the main hall there was an exhibition about stuff that gets shipped to a museum and is stored forever in the warehouses and never makes it to the display areas. There were huge wooden crates with things on top of them, like stuffed sea lions, creepy old dolls, frozen baby orangutan, old military uniforms, just weird and creepy things. Here is an example of weird stuff. These are marionettes sitting in theater seats.



There was a display of old Auckland from the early 1800's with a recreation of the shops from back then. It reminded me of Disneyland main street.

They have a historical wing that shows the wartime from the past and actually has two full size airplanes.

Then there's the Maori history, the indigenous people. I don't have spell check on this blog system, so try to forgive the spelling.
Here is a display of some shields, their hand carvings are famous here. They carve everything.




A outrigger canoe, all made by hand.


Carl, here's a black marlin, thinking of you.


Shannon is resting her dogs.


Out in front of the museum. me.


After that we went to a town called Parnell which sort of looks like Laguna or Balboa where the little shops line the small street, and there are many art galleries. We had fish and chips for lunch. Then we went upstairs in a gallery and met an artist who was preparing for his opening exhibit that evening. He is such a great artist, he's the official artist for the New Zealand Army. His exhibit was of the local horse races at this particular gallery. Here is a picture of Matt Gauldie, the artist.


After that we went home and made dinner and Grant came over to eat with us.
So that was our Tuesday.
Love, Kathy and Shannon

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sunday and Monday

We woke up on Sunday morning late, then hung around the house for quite a while, trying to gain composure. We ate a solid breakfast of eggs and oatmeal, still trying to absorb last nights fun.

Shannon took me on a drive to One Tree Hill, which is a huge park called Cornwall park. I shot some video of our drive through Herne Bay, the neighborhood where she lives.
video

When we got to the park, I couldn't believe the beautiful trees. The streets are lined with overhanging trees.
video

Sheep and cows roam through the park grounds. I tried to get close to sheep for a good picture.


Cows for Carol to paint.


Me


Me sneeking up on sheep


We were way up on top of the hill overlooking the bay.


Shannon


We must have walked 3 miles that day uphill and downhill. So many people were out, walking, picnicking, playing ball. It was a warm, beautiful day.

That evening was pajama party night. I brought us matching P.J.'s, Sex and the City Movie, M & M's, magazines. We watched the movie and ate the candy and went to bed by 10:30. WooHooo!


Today is Monday. We walked in the morning for about an hour, then came home and I frosted Shannon's hair for her. It's pretty blond now. Then we watched the movie "The Love Guru" thank to Brandie. We finally got cleaned up around 5 pm and drove to Mission Bay, along the Viaduct, and found a good Italian restaurant. We each had our own pizza, very tasty, and expensive. All food is expensive here, but there's no tax or tip, so it isn't as bad as it would be if you had to add that to it. After dinner we had some really good ice cream.
All dressed up.

We got home around 9 pm, and put our pink PJ's on. Tomorrow we're going to hit the road early and tour around.

Good night, I hope everyone at home has a good week.
Love, Kathy and Shannon

Saturday, October 18, 2008

First Evening

Like I said... we went to the grocery store. Look at the price of limes. Rondi you would be rich with your little tree here. $22.99 a kg, that's close to $11.00 a pound.


We went for a short walk on Ponsonby Road, stopped at a cute house for a photo op. Actually I think this is an art gallery of some sort.





We went back to the house and took a 2 hour nap. Boy I needed that. Then we had a pre-party, before we went out. I broke open my new bottle of "42 Below" Kiwi flavor. Shannon wasn't keen on it, she's not a big Vodka drinker. So I drank hers. We had chips and hummus and salsa.
About 9 pm we went out to a local bar where they had a live band. Shannon's friends, which included her main squeeze, Grant, joined us. We all danced, everyone had fun, especially me. We closed the place.

This is us in the bar, with Grants friend, Matt.
Me and Grant, dancing - if you want to call it that.

The band was really good, everyone is so casual. They played a lot of 1970's music.

Ahhhh aren't they cute together. He really likes her and visa-versa CUUUTE
Video of the band...
video
That was my first day, it went until 2 am. LONG DAY!
Thanks for checking in on me.
Love, Kathy and Shannon too.