Posts Tagged With: Holidays

The Wrong Side of the Road

As if we'd forget to "Keep Left"

Our Rental Car

It’s funny how things end up working out for my Easter roadtrip.  Due to a lot of interesting circumstances, my hand was forced and I was going to have to finally drive in New Zealand.  I was splitting driving duties with another fellow Canadian who was a first timer as well and we were going to have to quickly get used to driving on the wrong side of road. 

Loaded with maps, a GPS, and extra insurance we hit the road.  The roadtrip was a great introduction to driving in New Zealand if we ignore the issues with roundabouts and not one but two run-ins with the New Zealand police.  What happened at the first roundabout is something that will remain with the 3 people who were in the car and all I’m willing to say is that it added an extra hour to our roadtrip and there might have been a moment where my life flashed before my eyes.  The police…well that’s a whole other story.

Police Officer story #1  involved a routine drinking driving roadblock where everyone in the car stared at the instrument the cop shoved into my driving buddy’s face.  The driver stared back at the lady cop with a blank and slightly grossed out look and we could tell she was wondering how she was going to get away with not putting her mouth on this unhygienic instrument.  The police officer clued in and then chimed in with instructions right before my driving buddy orally violated the breathalyzer. 

Posing with our car

As for the second cop story…let’s just say that there were 3 major driving violations that started out with the police officer pulling us over and saying, “wow, there were some scary moments back there!”.  He broke out laughing when we blamed the GPS for breaking the speed limit amongst other things and after a quick chat about who we were and where we were from, he proceeded to give us directions to our bach and sent us on our way without a ticket or warning in sight.   From Wellington to Napier, we had made it safe and sound without any major incidents and gave us moments that we’d laugh about all weekend long.

Categories: NEW ZEALAND, nz: wellington | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Spirit of Chrimbo

Good Times on Xmas Eve

It was all about the Orphan Christmas celebrations this year.  No turkey, no decorations but a whole lot of amazing people.  From the Xmas Eve house party to the Kiwi Christmas on the beach, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that it’s the people that surround me that made my chrimbo magical this year.   It was an odd mishmash of travellers just passing through to people indefinitely extending their stay in New Zealand but who would have thought they would be the ones to form my family this holiday season.

The lesson that I’ve learned is that Christmases may come and go and people might come in and out of my life but at the end of the day its worth getting lost in the moment and enjoying those around me however brief.  And if I’m very luck – I may just meet the odd person or two that get me and decide to stick around for a lifetime.

Categories: NEW ZEALAND, nz: auckland | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Its Starting to Feel A Lot Like Christmas?

Chilling with a snowman with our sunnies on

Santa Claus Parade

I’ve tried everything possible to get into the festive spirit this year from checking out the Santa Claus Parade to chilling out on a grassy hill at Christmas in the Park and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that it doesn’t feel like Christmas to me.  Decorations are up all over the city, trees are sparkling in windows all around (my spying is very Hitchcock…I know), and I’ve even received my first parcel of prezzies and still NOTHING!  Even more surprising is that I have zero desire to bake and subject my coworkers to a never-ending parade of cookies, bars, and all other glorious goodies full of fat.

I have difficulty believing its the weather that’s bringing on my Grinch attitude as my family used to vacation in sun destinations over the holidays and I’ve always managed to be annoyingly giddy with Christmas delight.  It troubles me that I can’t put my finger on exactly what it is about a Kiwi Christmas that doesn’t have me in my usual frenzy of holiday cheer.  Good news is that I still have a week before my Orphan Christmas celebration and hopefully at that point I’ll rediscover my festive self once again.  After all, if I don’t subject my friends to all the holiday cheer they can handle (okay, I know…I’ll go beyond that and dive into overkill territory) – who will?

Categories: NEW ZEALAND, nz: auckland | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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