Cheering on the Canucks...
We’re cup bound!!! Its Game Day!!! I’m not surrounded by a sea of blue and green with fans going absolutely nuts all around the city…WHAT! So it turns out that even though I’m still in a Canadian city – its just not Vancouver. For some reason I expected the entire country to be a sea of blue and green to support the Canadian team in the Stanley Cup Finals. SHOCKING…I know! But no matter – I’ve found a bar and hanging out with the best of them to see Game 1 of the finals.
We may not be in Rogers Arena but we’ve got beer…we’ve got nachos…we’ve got heart! I’m surrounding by amazing people and even the groom-to-be (it may just be days before the wedding but this was a well deserved break from a little speech writing if I do say so myself!) It’s a nail-biter but the Nucks take Game 1 and everyone starts to hoot and holla – well maybe it was just us and the other table full of Vancouverites but as far as I’m concerned that’s everyone at the bar as we’re the only ones that count!
It’s strange as there’s a part of me that would give up anything to be in Vancouver at this moment but I look around at my posse of misfits and know that this is where I’m meant to be. I’m finally amongst friends (and not the starter kind) and that in itself it as good as win.
Categories: CANADA, canada: toronto
Tags: Boston Bruins, Canada, canadian, canadians in new zealand, canadians working abroad, canadians working in new zealand, canadians working overseas, change of life, live and work in new zealand, National Hockey League, new zealand, NewZealand, Oceania, Roberto Luongo, Rogers Arena, Sports, Stanley Cup, Stanley Cup Finals, SWAP, Toronto, travel, Travel and Tourism, travel blog, Travelogues, Vancouver, Vancouver Canucks, Vancouverite, working overseas
On my desk sits a jar with the sign “Homeless Donations” which was cleverly crafted by one of my co-workers upon hearing the latest drama rocking my world. The story is that I’m now going to have to move out of the flat I’ve just moved into because the landlord is moving back in (some sorted tale about an ex and a new partner and I’m trying very hard not to get judgy about it…especially after hearing the timelines). Anyway, the drama isn’t so much that I’m going to have to move again but that this news comes on the eve of my month-long trip back to Canada.
So essentially I’ve been given 42 days notice to find a new place to live at a time when I’m overseas for 36 of those days. Brilliant! In no way is that mission impossible in this rental market! So silly little me…I was hoping that there would be some sympathy to my situation as its less than ideal to put it nicely (not to mention the fact that I had mentioned a month-long vacation in May prior to moving in). I pledged my case of I’m not in the country so would it be possible to either wave the 3 week notice period if I moved out immediately or extend the notice period to allow atleast a couple of weeks for me to properly flat hunt once I’m back. Turns out that there wasn’t an ounce of compassion in this so-called human being…I might even use a term that rhymes with witch to describe her as I got told about contractual obligations when I asked for understanding.
So there you go…rock…hard place…me. Getting ready for a trip while packing the rest of my belongings to shove into a storage unit before I head off to the airport all the while knowing that I’m paying to be a phantom lodger in the flat due to contractual obligations. Fun times! The one ray of sunshine in all of this is in less than 48 hours, I’ll be in another country…time zone…headspace and my only struggle will come a month from now when I’ll have to return to sort out this mess. The question that keeps lingering in my head…will I?
Categories: NEW ZEALAND, nz: auckland
Tags: Auckland, Canada, canadian, canadians in new zealand, canadians working abroad, canadians working in new zealand, canadians working overseas, change of life, live and work in new zealand, new zealand, NewZealand, Oceania, SWAP, travel, Travel and Tourism, travel blog, Travelogues, working overseas
Inside look at the Quarter Acre Cafe
I don’t know why the three of us in a car always makes for an eventful day. Since it was rainy and wet on Easter Monday, we decided that we would take our time getting back to Welly which essentially translates to numerous stops at cute little cafes along the way for tea, chai lattes, and cakes of all sorts. After several hours behind the wheel, I was finally able to pull into a truck stop which left much to be desired as far as the cuisine went. After choking down a rather unpleasant breakfast, we were on the road again.
The next stop was in Shannon when we spotted what look like a cute little and pulled into the first available parking spot. Before stepping out of the car, we noticed that there was a teenage boy who was kicking a dog and the girl with him was giving us the skunk eye. Yes, there was 3 of them and they were only teenagers but the sensible Welsh girl spoke up and said, “Maybe we should just keep going as the last thing I need is to get my head kicked in!”. That was all we took and we were back on the road.
Slice of Heaven
Luckily we spotted another sign for a cafe shortly after that but were little shocked to find out it was in a garden centre. Where we in for another treat like the meal we had at the truck stop? Well we desperately needed to nip into the loo so good or bad, we were stopping. Much to our surprise, the Quarter Acre cafe was amazing. The food was fresh and amazing. The service was unbelievable. It was everything that we were hoping for and would never have discovered it if it wasn’t for the teenage thugs in Shannon. The owner of the cafe even gave us apple/feijoa pies for the road as we were in for bumper to bumper traffic for the rest of the drive. It was the perfect little retreat with a wooden fireplace to boot that gave us the much-needed break from the grueling drive ahead.
Categories: NEW ZEALAND
Tags: Business, Canada, canadian, canadians in new zealand, canadians working abroad, canadians working in new zealand, canadians working overseas, change of life, Easter, Easter Monday, Levin, live and work in new zealand, new zealand, NewZealand, North Island, Oceania, Quarter Acre, Quarter Acre Cafe, SWAP, travel, Travel and Tourism, travel blog, Travelogues, Truck stop, working overseas
One of the buildings on the tour
The one thing that took me by surprise this Easter weekend was how much I was going to love the Art Deco feel of Napier. It all started on a lazy Sunday morning were we had a bit of a lie-in before venturing into town in search for food. As we slowly walked around and inspected the cafes, it was becoming very obvious that our big plans from the night before of doing as much as humanly possible just wasn’t going to happen. Instead we took our time and enjoyed brunch before slowly strolling through town until we came across the Art Deco Trust.
It was here that we were introduced to a volunteer tour guide who knew everything imaginable about
Peeking through a mailbox
the town. She took us up and down streets and told stories about love and tragedy that took place in Napier. Everything from how her cousin narrowly escaped being crushed by a piano and then sat on the pier with her mom to watch the landscape change before her eyes to a son having to make the decision to give his mom a fatal dose of morphine to keep her from burning alive in the fires that roared through the town after the earthquake. We peaked through mailbox slots and looked through windows to see the full extent of the beauty of the architecture.
This was my first taste of Napier but it definitely will not be the last. This tour was just a peek into how fabulous Napier can be over Art Deco weekend. It was then and there that the three of us decided that that’s one event next February that we won’t be missing.
Categories: NEW ZEALAND, nz: napier
Tags: Architecture, art, Art Deco, Backpack, Canada, canadian, canadians in new zealand, canadians working abroad, canadians working in new zealand, canadians working overseas, change of life, Hawke's Bay Region, History, live and work in new zealand, Napier, Napier New Zealand, new zealand, NewZealand, North Island, Oceania, SWAP, travel, Travel and Tourism, travel blog, Travelogues, working overseas
Us on the tour
If you’re going into wine country than the only way to start off the weekend is by visiting wineries. Courtesy of a winemaker flatmate – we were given the insider scoop on what would be the best tour to book in the region. The tour started off with silly questions such as what kind of wine do you like…hmm, is ALL somehow the wrong answer? Well I hope not as that’s what the 5 of us chimed in with. We like red…we like white…we like New Zealand wine and so on. Turns out we were a van full of girls that were not picky about the wine we drink – BIG SURPRISE!
All afternoon, we drove from winery to winery and sampled the best the region had to offer. At each winery we started out with whites and finished with reds. In between all the drinking we stopped for a delicious lunch at Elephant Hill. I followed that up with chocolate snacks after tasting #3 (what’s a girl to do…they were looking at me from the counter screaming “mmm…chocolate!”) and then finished off the day with a little wine and cheese while basking in the autumn sunlight. It was a great first day in Napier. I was surrounded by good company, nice food, and great wine – what more could I ask for.
Categories: NEW ZEALAND, nz: napier
Tags: Backpack, Canada, canadian, canadians in new zealand, canadians working abroad, canadians working in new zealand, canadians working overseas, change of life, Drink, elephant hill, Food, IEP, live and work in new zealand, Napier, Napier New Zealand, new zealand, New Zealand wine, NewZealand, North Island, Oceania, Recreation, SWAP, travel, Travel and Tourism, travel blog, Travelogues, Wellington, Wine, Winery, working overseas