Weekly Wanderlusts

I’ve been trying this new thing I call my Weekly Wanderlust.

The point of Weekly Wanderlust is simply to make me more aware that I’m experiencing something new at least once a week. Whether it be something extreme (like jumping off the Sky Tower), or something a little more trivial (like grabbing a coffee from a new cafe on my way to work), it has to be something/somewhere I haven’t seen/done/eaten before. There’s no shortage of things to see/do/eat here, but I realize how easy it is to get caught up in a regular routine and lose sight of how much more this wonderful place has to offer.

So, I’m into the fourth week of January and although I’ve done more than just four new things (how often do I get to play the role of over-achiever?!), this is just a sampler.

First week – One Tree Hill! It’s a volcanic cone right in the heart of Auckland. It doesn’t actually HAVE the tree that the “One Tree” refers to. That one was cut down in 2000 by a “foreign usurper” (thanks, Lonely Planet!). It’s a beautiful historical site though, with amazing views of the city.

We followed that up with a trip to to Kiwi Yo, a new self-serve frozen yoghurt place in Mission Bay that allows you complete control over your confectionary creations.

Second week – my first BodyPump session. I work in the head office for an international health and fitness company, so I get to combine my love for sweating with my techy career. Amazing work environment with inspiring people, and I actually enjoy group classes now.

Third week – Fairy Falls for a hike with my sister and Leila-dog! I came across this destination on the Fetch magazine website. They feature beautiful walks and hikes that you can do with your dog. This site was kind of a life-saver. Leila is a super-active, outdoorsy dog but with the restricted hours dogs are allowed on the beach and the amount of hikes, parks and beaches that are off-limits to dogs entirely, I was getting a little discouraged. I was running out of new, interesting places I can take her.



Weekly Wanderlusts

I’ve been trying this new thing I call my Weekly Wanderlust.

The point of Weekly Wanderlust is simply to make me more aware that I’m experiencing something new at least once a week. Whether it be something extreme (like jumping off the Sky Tower), or something a little more trivial (like grabbing a coffee from a new cafe on my way to work), it has to be something/somewhere I haven’t seen/done/eaten before. There’s no shortage of things to see/do/eat here, but I realize how easy it is to get caught up in a regular routine and lose sight of how much more this wonderful place has to offer.

So, I’m into the fourth week of January and although I’ve done more than just four new things (how often do I get to play the role of over-achiever?!), this is just a sampler.

First week – One Tree Hill! It’s a volcanic cone right in the heart of Auckland. It doesn’t actually HAVE the tree that the “One Tree” refers to. That one was cut down in 2000 by a “foreign usurper” (thanks, Lonely Planet!). It’s a beautiful historical site though, with amazing views of the city.

We followed that up with a trip to to Kiwi Yo, a new self-serve frozen yoghurt place in Mission Bay that allows you complete control over your confectionary creations.

Second week – my first BodyPump session. I work in the head office for an international health and fitness company, so I get to combine my love for sweating with my techy career. Amazing work environment with inspiring people, and I actually enjoy group classes now.

Third week – Fairy Falls for a hike with my sister and Leila-dog! I came across this destination on the Fetch magazine website. They feature beautiful walks and hikes that you can do with your dog. This site was kind of a life-saver. Leila is a super-active, outdoorsy dog but with the restricted hours dogs are allowed on the beach and the amount of hikes, parks and beaches that are off-limits to dogs entirely, I was getting a little discouraged. I was running out of new, interesting places I can take her.



A beautiful sight, we’re happy tonight, probably ’cause we’re all so full of gin

December 24 – 26, 2011

My very first Christmas away from home.

Santa cruising on by Immigration hahaha…haha…?

Of course I knew that being away from family and friends for my most favorite time of year was not going to be easy by any means. But I think the sadness of it was alleviated by two things:

1) It didn’t feel like Christmas. At all. It was warm and sunny out and there was absolutely no snow (or chance of snow, for that matter).
2) My sister and I were surrounded by wonderful people that went out of their way to make sure  we had the best time possible without being with our Canadian loved ones.

On Christmas Eve, we ventured over to Mary’s parents’ place for an afternoon of suntanning, swimming, great company and delicious food (Mary and her father were part of the Tongariro Crossing expedition). Marjo and I brought citronfrommage – a Danish dessert that is part of our Christmas family tradition. We hid an almond in it and the person to find it wins a prize.

What is going on here? Marjo is photo-bombing without ANY enthusiasm and I’m not sure what’s going on with my Mr. Burns’ hand…?

Mary’s dad won the prize – which was a gargantuan, novelty-sized gift bag (you could seriously house a family of possums in it), filled with the most random stuff. Glowsticks. A light bulb. Truffles. Baby food. A ruler. Which could have been used to measure the french baguette – hilariously enough, it had gone limp in transit.

Mary and her parents spoiled us. I could not have imagined this Christmas without our surrogate Kiwi family.

On Christmas morning, Marjo and I drank mimosas, Skyped with our family, exchanged presents, made crepes (served with the pure maple syrup my Frenchman had sent over with me from Montreal, which I had been hoarding for that “special occasion”), then suntanned in our backyard before heading over to Mary’s for the orphan’s Christmas bbq. I got sunburnt and smashed on Christmas Day. Believe it or not, both were firsts for me!

From the Skype cam

Left to Right: Germany, New Zealand and Canada x 2

I still have yet to experience the chaos of Boxing Day shopping (in any country). We decided to forgo it again this year in exchange for some downtime on the beach.

Takapuna beach looking towards Mount Rangitoto – the red pohutukawa trees  bloom in December (aka Christmas trees!)



Scammy Jerks at Concerts Who Don’t Follow the Rules. Or, How I Maximized My Foo Experience

December 13, 2011

Back home on Canadian soil, as soon as someone said the words “So-and-so is coming to town on [insert date], do you want to go?!” I would immediately be all wishy-washy and uncertain and apprehensive and the like. Why would someone who has proclaimed to loooove live music for so many years be so hesitant to go to a concert put on by a super awesome artist or band?

(Especially when I have a tendency to dress like the lead singer. This was kind of an embarassing discovery. I have a magazine article where he was wearing something very similar. Lookimee, I’m Dave Grohl!)

Anyway, I figure it’s because of the typical concert experience I’ve endured time and time again. Unfortunately for me, going to see one of my favorite bands means that in order to get an awesome view, I need to be right up there in the mob of jumpy, shovey, drunky people. I don’t like that. I haven’t liked that since I was 19 and tore my ACL in a mosh pit (hahahahaha to all those people I totally lied to about how I tore my ACL. Ten years later and I come clean!….Ten years? Ugh, gross. I mean like five).

The Foo Fighters show in Auckland was probably one of the greatest shows I’ve been to. I’ve been to the Foo a few times before and I know they always put on a good show, but Auckland was a completely different experience. First of all, seeing the Foo in Canada meant the venue was most likely in an arena. In Auckland, it meant being outdoors in a field, bordered by an embankment. A natural amphitheatre.

Marjo and I were supposed to have Embankment tickets (read: spectate the show from about a quarter mile away on a slippery slope – it rained all day – with thousands of other people). The rest of the people we were with had Field tickets. So, we did something I would not have normally considered doing – we shamelessly scammed our way to better seating.

The Field ticket scanner machines were a cachophony of “beep BEEP…beep BEEP!” Then I go through, and the guys’ scanner goes “Bleep do bloop bloop” and my face froze and my mind raced and I figured I could at least suggest that his batteries were dying, but he didn’t even look at me, just thrust my ticket back at me and I rushed through, hoping Marjo had the same sort of luck, which she did, so BAM! So easy, I felt almost guilty. ALMOST.

We also managed to find ourselves at the front of the merchandise line, as well as the beer line. Believe it or not, I did feel guilty but that’s the beauty of it here – everyone jumps the line! And there’s no sour, snarky comments. Such a chill vibe – everyone is so laid back and just wants to have a good time. And I figure it was karma repayment because I let a not-so-inconspicuous beer-line-jumper in front of me during the World Rugby Cup festivities. Yep, a true philanthropist over here.

Everyone rocked hard in the rain…so hard, that the 50,000 concert goers caused tremors the whole time the Foo Fighters were on stage!

http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/6145614/Foo-Fighters-rock-Auckland-literally