Thursday, April 7, 2011

Official update.

So,  it has been a while.

Things have been good though, really good.  And only seem to get better for the most part, which is so great.

Had a little bit of time where I was getting homesick, missing friends and family a lot... and really wanting to go home for a visit.  I guess that happens after 4 months!  Luckily, I am out of the slump.  Had some good phone conversations / online conversations with friends and family, and it helped a lot.  

By the way, in case I didnt mention it before (cause I probably didnt), Mom and G are moving to South Carolina coming up this year!  CRAZY!  The house is going to be sold, and off they will good.  It will be a good change for them, Mom especially.  Gary will be closer to the girls (though thats not why they are moving), and it will be a new fun place.  They're going to Charleston to be exact.  It will be good for Mom, she'll be in a new place, new people, new things, and warmer weather!  Im really happy for them.  Sad the house wont be there anymore, and what ive called home will no longer be, but I think its good.  Exciting.  I'l just have to take trips to visit my friends!  Which throughout the US, isn't too bad ;-).  I never really thought about it, but I wouldnt be going home after this anyway!  Not for permanent.

Things have been going really well for Kyle and I.  Learning to adapt and live together, learning the things that upset or annoy eachother, and really just trying to flesh out a life has been challenging, but been going well.  Better than I thought.  Had some time where it was harder, moving, getting used to work schedule, ME not spending so much time at the office, and compromising on things.  But I think we're getting it.  And I sure as hell am happier over all. 

Starting to work out again finally too.  Ive been riding with the bike shop next door roughly once a week.  They KICK my ass, so right now once I ride with them on Tuesday, Im pretty much unable to keep up on Thursdays, so I just do once a week at the moment. But Ive been running, started swimming, and Kyle and I are doing all of it (except riding) together.  Starting to do push ups and sit ups at the end of run workouts, and tonight we're going to do swim at another local (indoor this time) pool.  We had been to Parnell Baths, which is an outdoor, salt water pool.  Really nice pool, and cheap!  But now its getting cold, and I think they close for the season on Easter anyways.  So we're going to check out the one in Newmarket.  I think they have a little gym too, so I can start lifting before / after swimming again.  Just like old times ;-).  Im happier when Im working out, thats for sure! 

Had a nice little break from work last month, Kyle's mom and brother came into town for two weeks.  It was hectic, but fun.  I tried to catch up on all my work hours within the payperiods, so that I would still make money and get my work done.  Made for some long days though.  Early early mornings, and some later nights, but fortunately I was always home for dinner while they were here.  Our first stop was Coromandel.  We pretty much took two long weekends off while they were here, so we went off on Friday morning, and headed south to spend 4 days out there.

The weather was BEAUTIFUL just about the whole time, and we rented a bach to stay in.  Really close to the beach, included the use of kayaks, and had everything we needed.  Really liked it there.  Heres some photo hilights :-D

The view on the way through the mountains.
Here is the house we stayed at

Beautiful sunset the first night.

Beautiful view of Coromandel, the next day on our way to check out Cathedral Cove!  
***By the way, this as the day of the Earthquake / Tsunami in Japan.  We did not know that it was happening at the time, and we spent the day out in and around the water (not to mention Kayaking as well as snorkeling..).  Very very greatful that we were not affected like we could have been.***

 Heading down to Cathedral Cove... these are the "stairs" we had to make it down first!


Sadly the "Cathedral" part was blocked off because we recently had a cyclone come through and take out a bunch of coast line :-\.  We got to see it though!

Next morning I walked down to the beach to watch the sun rise and take a walk :-)

 Well worth the early wake up

We went charter fishing one of the days out there too, and had a GREAT time with that!  We saw little blue penguins out in the water on our way, and those things are SO cute.  We were fishing for red snapper, and even though we got off to a slow start, man did we end up with some fish to take home later!  More than we could handle!  Kevin and I got to be the lucky ones of the day too, he caught a Kahawai, and I caught the monster King Fish!  The only one on the boat to snag one, and boy did I fight for that fish!  He caught the line toward the end of the trip, within the last hour, and it took me 20 minutes or so to reel him in!  15lbs of fish right there!  (6.6 kilos or so).  Man, it was well worth it.  That was my last fish of the day too.  And the "captain" of the boat was impressed!  haha, he stood next to me and helped give me some advice while I was reeling it in.  Everyone wondered if I was going to get tired or not, but nope!  I reeled that sucker in.  Very proud.  heres a nice few photos :-P

Red Snapper, one of the many!
And the winner for the day: the King Fish

Then, exhausted, back to the house we went.  Dropped the fish off (probably had like... I duno... 40 - 60 snapper we caught that day???) to a local guy to have him cut them up into fillets, steaks, etc, and smoke the Kahawai, and we picked them up the next morning after our train ride.  We took a pottery / scenic train ride tour the next morning.  It was nice!  Lots of history, learned all about this artist that just makes fantastic pottery.  Patti was all over that too, we all had a good time.  I got Kyle a neat barrel looking mug for work, and Patti got a nice little plate to take home, as well as some other miscellaneous gifts.

Then, on to Northland!  Ahipara is where we stayed, also known as Shipwreck's Bay (no, we didn't see any shipwrecks sadly..).  But while we were out here, we hung around the beach, and enjoyed some relaxation. 

But check it out, we stayed at this bach with a Fantastic view!  And a GREAT porch!

Check it out!  Talk about Beach-Front...

That night, the sunset was ABSOLUTELY spectacular


Where ELSE could you see something like this?!
 Gorgeous Panoramic by Kyle.

Well, heres what the Blue Penguins look like!  Sadly, this one isnt living, but hes still cool

Cape Reinga, the furthest North Tip of New Zealand :-)  Where the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean Meet (over on the Right side of the photo with all the waves)

The Light House

This little tree is over 800 years old, holding on to the side of the rock.  This area is the gateway to the Mauri equivalent of Heaven, if I remember right... kind of a neat place :)

On the way to Bay of Islands, driving along 90 Mile Beach!

 We stopped off at the "Kauri Museum" and the staircase on the inside is literally made of a tree.  AND ITS HUGE!  I can't remember how old it is, but the thing is EPIC!  Kyle and I found a bunch of things that we want to go back and get to take home for the house.  They sell unfinished Kauri wood, which is so cool!  We will be going back.

What a great trip!  Sadly, once we made it to Bay of Islands, it rained the whole time and we were only really there for one full day, so there aren't really any photos of that area.  We'll go back though, we wanted to do a snorkeling day at Poor Knights Islands, but they cancelled it due to the weather.  Next time!

Anyway, thats it for now, LOTS of photos I know, but enjoy!!!!! :-D

We had a great time with them here.  SO glad that we got to do so much as well!  It was really nice to have some vacation time from work.  And boy, did we take advantage!  

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