Saturday, January 31, 2009

Circus Anyone?

This morning Ash and I awoke at the crack of oh 1pm. I turned to her and asked, “So do you still want to go the circus?” Last night a couple of customers asked me if I had ever been to the circus, basic, standard question not really anything out of the ordinary.  The circus doesn’t really make its way to Alaska very often, so obviously I have never been to the circus. The next thing I know I am being invited to the circus in Queenstown.  This afternoon Ashley and I ventured on gifted tickets to the traveling New Zealand Circus, “Out of Africa” showcasing the spectacular 6yr old hoola hoop extraordinar. As I was watching the acrobatics of the day I realized that I have a pretty cruisy job considering I literally do not have to perform back flips for my paycheck.  Usually I complain about having to carry heavy boxes and breaking glasses, but my life isn’t in danger from fire limbo and ring.  These guys were either amazing or insane.  I asked my new friend Erik from Kenya what makes one decide to join the circus.  His answer was simple and reasonable, “It was work.”  Then my next thought was how does one advertise themselves to be apart of the circus?  I’m still waiting for an explaniation to this question.  

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

3 weeks left in Queenstown

One of our roommates just moved to Sydney, which is so sad considering she is amazing and our life in Queenstown seems somewhat void without her here.  Since Tatty has moved we have acquired 3 more roommates.  Keep in mind we live in a two-bedroom apartment with 3 beds.  Basically we just keep our philosophy “sharing is caring”, so we share the floor, beds, food, and clothing.  The upside of close living quarters is we have much cheaper rent.  Downside is definitely never a clean apartment, and personal space is quite tough to find.  All involved it’s still pretty great.  As of now our plan is to leave Queenstown by February 13 and head out on a massive road trip.  Basically we are planning on hiking, camping, and exploring the country.  Because we are planning to leave in less than a month we have been utilizing our last bit of time in Queenstown to the best of our advantage. 

We only have another 3 months before we head home.  So we have decided to leave Queenstown and explore the rest of the country with our remaining time.  During our last few weeks of being in Queenstown we have been trying to take advantage of all there is to do in the vicinity.  We have spent the days swimming, hiking, and camping.  We live about 5 minutes away from a place to go swimming and cliff jumping.  We have been warned against swimming in Lake Wakitipu because apparently it is frigidly cold.  Obviously we did not take this suggestion seriously (come on how cold could it actually be?)  Well the cliff to jump from is about 15 meters high, so there is no way of testing the water before jumping.  As usual I was the first to go, I guess to prove it’s safe (which isn’t logical now thinking about it… oh well).  So Ash followed soon after my jump, and surprisingly the lake is fairly chilly.  After about 2 or 3 minutes of swimming around the water started to feel warm, and we began to mock those that told us it was to cold to swim (it could have been that our bodies were in shock on no longer had and sensation- just a theory).  We braved this excursion to “Little Thailand” with two of our friends Dana and Katrina (they didn’t jump). 

We have taken two camping trips one to the Greenstone Caples track all I can say about is my feet were completely blistered afterward (I hate walking on roots), the sand flies were horrific, and my legs still itch.  Even though this walk wasn’t optimum we still had a blast being gone from Queenstown for a short bit.  Basically our plan for the next 3 months is to walk the country, so I should start get used to soar feet.  We are very excited to start our trip. 

The second trip we took was to a neighboring town called Wanaka.  We went to try out their infamous movie theater.  It was pretty cool considering we watched the film on couches eating our snacks of chocolate cake and cookies.  But really we still think Bear’s Tooth is much cruisier.  After the movie we had planned to pull of to a wide spot in the road and set up our tents.  This is especially tricky in New Zealand considering livestock are in all of the fields.  We found a place right off the road and set up camp for the night, only to be woken up numerously throughout the night by bah, bah, bah.  Ash had a nightmare that there were dinosaurs in the field and we were in danger (I think this might be to our recent viewing of Jurassic Park).  Well we meant to wake up and leave before anyone found out we had even been in the field.  This didn’t work out for as well as planned.  At 8am we were woken up by the shepherd’s dog.  We quickly packed the car, but unfortunately not quick enough to escape the harsh rhetoric of the angry shepherd.  I nodded at her annoyance and agreed to leave with all our rubbish.  I remember a story Lang had about sleeping in a field in Europe only to find out it was a livestock field.  Well I have also been apart of this scenario, but our escape seemed to be a little less covert. 

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Christmas this year was very interesting especially since this is the first year either of us have been away from family for the holidays.  Although we missed you greatly, we had a surprisingly fantastic day. We had played around with the idea to move Christmas to another day and go camping instead but alas we couldn’t get the time off work so we were stuck in Queenstown.  For me the holiday started on Christmas Eve.  I actually had to work, but luckily there is a law stating that alcohol isn’t to be served on Christmas day, so it was a short shift.  After work I headed home around 2am; Ash and our two other roommates had made a fantastic Christmas Eve feast.  We had pasta and red sauce, homemade hummus, and red wine (it is New Zealand).  We all headed to bed after dinner to wake up late to pancakes and the viewing of one of my Christmas favorites “National Lampoons’ Christmas Vacation”.  It was a perfectly leisure day!  Because of so much activity on the day we each took a well-deserved nap. 

Because we don’t have an oven in our little apartment we weren’t able to make any kind of meal for the day, so we headed out for Chinese.  Nothing says Merry Christmas like Chinese food.  Well actually it was the only restaurant in our prince range that was open on the day.  It turned out to be a great decision, seeing as we hadn’t left the flat all day.  We dressed in our best clothes (well really it was whatever we had with red, white, and green) and headed out of our apartment. 

While living with Dana and Tatty we have been reminded to say our “thankfulls” daily.  We have been so thankful that our time in New Zealand has not been in vain, and we have met people that we have genuinely connected with.  I am thankful that I could spend Christmas with people that know and love me; especially when those that know and love me most are so far away.  

Monday, January 19, 2009

Fun in the Sun

We jumped off that cliff into Lake Wakatipu.

Rugby and beer... a productive afternoon.

Lake Hayes.

On TOP of the Remarkables. It was windy.

The Catlins

Alrighty. This is my (ash's) attempt to blog. The girls and I had a few days off and journeyed down to the south of the south island on a little adventure. Poor mel was working viscously and vigorously so she unfortunately was not able to embark on this 3 day excursion. So, in order to fill the beloved followers of our blog in on the most recent significant occurrences in my life I would like to direct you to Dana and Tatty's blog. They have uploaded pictures and comments of the trip.

THe most wonderful time of the year...

New Years. 

Christmas and Chinese Food... good combo.

Ginger Bread Houses!

Our beautifully decorated apt. on Christmas Eve.