Thursday, November 24, 2011

Our Life....Month to Date

Well once again it has been too long since our last post, and lots has happened.

We have been busy working, trying to save money, but also found some time to take another short trip to celebrate our 1 year anniversary. We decided to head North this go around and booked a few nights in this amazing B&B in Kerikeri called the Bed of Roses, I know romantic right!!!! So we rented a tiny hatch back and hit the road towards the Bay of Islands. We drove through some beautiful scenic drives and saw so many breath taking views (pictures posted on FaceBook). The second day we woke up and had the best breakfast at the B&B and headed to Paihia, here we caught the car ferry across the bay to the little town of Russell (the first capital of New Zealand). We wondered around the town center had some great Fish and Chips, went to the top of Flagstaff Hill and looked over the entire city and bay. We decided to drive back, which was considerably longer than the ferry. I should have known when the GPS asked if unsurfaced roads were ok, that we should have reconsidered. The drive was long and very very very curvy!! I thought I was going to get sick, not to mention the curves were on a "dirt road" hugging the side of a mountain. I am not sure if it was from the worrisome drive or just too much fun for one day but when we made it back to The Bed of Roses we both needed a nap! After waking up refreshed from our naps, we went for our anniversary dinner at the Pear Tree. It was great food and drinks and was the perfect way to celebrate our first year married! On day three we planned a long drive to Cape Reinga, which is the most northern point in New Zealand. This drive was long but absolutely the best. The views were indescribable, as you get closer to the Cape out of no where you see these huge mountains of sand to the west, as far as you can see. The large sand dunes disappear into the Tasman Sea, and at the Cape you can see this distinct line in the ocean where the Tasman meets the Pacific. This experience was almost spiritual it is surely a moment I will never forget. The next day we started our journey home, that's right back to the real world!

Now fast forward a couple of weeks. As we began the anticipation of Thanksgiving Holidays, we received word from home that my Grandmother had suffered from a heart attack. Of course this put Lindsey and I both in a state of suspense, not knowing what the coming days and weeks would bring we prayed and hoped for the best. Unfortunately what we thought was best was not what happened, and on our Monday November 21st my sweet Mama Mazie was called home. Always having been the person to get our family together for Thanksgiving, this year was no different. With exception of Lindsey and myself everyone came home to celebrate her life and all the love and joy she brought with it! She was like no other and will forever be missed by so many.

Even with the sad news of Mama Mazie's passing, Lindsey never stopped planning our first Solo Thanksgiving. I knew she wanted it to be special but given the week we had just been through made her want to make it the best. She spent the entire day Wednesday cooking away in our TINY kitchen, with 2 electric eyes for a stove and a miniature microwave size oven. She cooked dressing, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, cream corn, and picked up some sliced turkey from the deli (whole turkeys are WAY to expensive here). She also cooked 2 deserts: a pumpkin spice bar/cake, and some Mississippi mud brownies. The food was amazing and not sure if it was the circumstances that made it one of the most meaningful Holidays I have ever had or if it was just because it was our first one alone, but regardless it was one of the best and most humbling Thanksgivings I have ever had! That pretty much brings us up to date, and now I am just lying here trying to let my food settle before I go get some dessert!!!!




Happy Thanksgiving From Down Under!! Love You All!!!!!!!!

Ray 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halfway Gone!....Halfway Home?


Well, we made it!  Just over six months ago we packed all our clothes and headed out on what we were sure would be one of our biggest adventures.  So here we are halfway through our initial commitment to this journey; which, just so everyone knows, our parents thought we would be home by now.  It seems like only yesterday that we left everyone behind and now just six months out I can say we have truly learned so much.  We quickly realized that, much to our dismay, the parents were in fact correct when they told us money does not grow on trees!  We now fully understand why you turn the light off when you leave the room and also no need to turn a faucet on and walk away while it is running; yes, we are growing up.  We live in a one room apartment that cost as much as a luxury monthly car payment, yet it is a weekly expense.  We both have been able to maintain jobs, mine a temp position that is still going strong; Lindsey’s a more permanent part time roll.  We have for the most part, made a little life for ourselves and are enjoying it to the fullest.  We have been on several adventures, with more in the works.  We have been through our first ever Rugby World Cup, and even managed to squeeze in a couple of games.
 The seasons are finally starting to change here for the better.  We are trading in the cold damp days of winter for the dry and warm days of summer.  Everything is so green and beautiful, the weather is warm but not hot and no humidity, comparable to Mississippi.  Even better than the weather, I am even more thankful for the leaves on the trees.  I say this because our neighbor across the street is rather large and refuses to wear pants or close his blinds, and now thanks to Mother Nature we now have natural window coverings.
All in all, it truly is shaping up to be the best decision we could have ever made; having said that we do miss our family and friends more than we can say.  We are slowly coming to terms with not being home for Thanksgiving or Christmas; a first for both Lindsey and I. The only thing I think that will help make it easier is the fact that it will be the middle of summer here, so maybe we will not even know we missed it!
It is also hard to believe it will soon be one year since I married my best friend!  Time truly does fly when you are having fun and we are having a ball!!  We are truly blessed to have found each other and equally as blessed to have such amazing families.  Not everyone’s family would have been so supportive of a move around the world, but thankfully we both come from families that are not afraid to let us make our own mistakes!
So after six months we are still alive and well, and still dreaming big.  We greet each new day with a passion for what it could become.  Along with our dreams we continually look to the future and how we see our life going. Where do we want to live?  What do we want to do?  How can we make sure that we always keep this passion we have for life?  So with that said, we have a few options to decide on.  One of my dreams has all ways been to learn how to sail, and maybe even one day own my own sail boat and  sail around the world, well not literally, just from place to place. This dream may be closer than we realized; I will soon be enrolled in sailing classes here in The City of Sails, Auckland, New Zealand!  So with a passion and plenty of ignorance this is sure to be a fun journey.  Another option we are playing with is not coming home in April…… Pause for reflection.  Rather than coming home we may hop across the ditch and spend 12 months or so in Australia!  Oh by the way, we have not told our parents about this option so…. SURPRISE!!!!!
These are all options and decisions we will be making over the next few months, but all the while enjoying and living in the moment.  My parents always told me, don’t worry about it, you have the rest of your life to work!  Unfortunately for them, I actually listened to this bit of advice. While most of you probably think we are crazy and do not know what the hell we are doing; I have to say it is one of the best times of our lives. 

Ray 
   

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Our "New" Dog

Well, as all of you know...I love animals!! This is probably the hardest thing for me here. Our visa requirements will not allow you to travel with pets. Somehow I got away with bringing Ray!! Not only will our visa not allow pets, neither will our apartment! Darn!

So Ray decided that he would surprise me the other night with our new dog, "Shadow!" He has always wanted a Great Dane and now we have one. He is the perfect dog!!

I know we are crazy and apparentlly easily amused!

Enjoy! L

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Martha's Backyard


We recently visited the "American" store everyone keeps telling us about. We heard about it when we first moved because they stock lots of American products you can't buy at the supermarket! I was so shocked at all the items they had...didn't realize we missed them until we saw them.



We really didn't need anything, but since we made the trip we picked up a few things. We got a box of Kraft Mac and Cheese, Kraft Tuscan Italian Salad dressing, Quaker Cinnamon and Spice Instant Oatmeal, and of course a Twinkie!! We had to throw in the Twinkie because they were so popular at the store. All the kiwis there were buying one!

I know these items were random!! We had so much fun rummaging through all the products. The prices were double if not more then if you were to buy in the States...this is probably why we didn't buy much more! Crazy!!

Ta!

Lindsey


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Pancake Disaster

So I decided to get up on Saturday and make pancakes! Not such a good idea, they turned out to be terrible...or at least looked terrible.  Thank goodness they didn't taste as bad as they looked. I was practicing for a new souffle' pancake recipe I found. I at least thought I should try the pancake part first. I am not sure that I will ever master a perfect pancake, but I will continue to make them from time to time. I never could get the right temperature or timing, not sure which!  I was going to make them for Ray before he left for work, but he decided he was going to leave early. 


I know he is glad that he did not stay! Hope this makes you laugh! 
I saw this medal at a store here and that I thought I deserved for my cooking skills Saturday morning! Perfect! 
Lindsey

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Life at the Grand Chancellor

To start our first week off we saw Porn Stars, Ron Jeremy, and Michelle "Bombshell" McGee in the elevators. Crazy to see them in person. It was definitely one of those "double take" moments! I guess they were staying at the hotel for an event here in town.

As I mentioned in the previous post I have been doing some cooking lately. We had our friends over for dinner this past week as a "Thank You" for helping us to move. I made homemade lasagna and raspberry brownies. My mom gave me her recipes for the lasagna and I spent quite some time at the supermarket trying to decide exactly what to get.  The cheeses here are a little different so I did some experimenting with the recipe.  The lasagna noodles were also very interesting.  They were "no cook" noodles and they looked like paper.  I was a little hesitant, but this all I could find. Ray and I pondered as it was cooking if it would taste any good....and they did! I had never seen these before but apparently they are pretty common. The brownies were something I saw on My Kitchen Rules, an Australian competitive cooking show. It was so much fun! The kitchen is a little small so I had to compromise and clean up while cooking. It was not as much fun without all the mess! I didn't feel like a real cook!


 

We also purchased a picture from them as the apartment was bare and not welcoming.  We are starting to hang things which makes it look much better.  Melody took this picture here in NZ! We love our new piece of art!


I will try and continue to post about my adventures in the kitchen! Until then I hope that my journey will inspire you to try new things!

Good o!

Lindsey 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Routine

Ray and I both have been working lots lately, which is great in many ways.  We are learning heaps about our jobs and are enjoying them and are also saving money towards our adventures around New Zealand!  We have Sundays off together twice a month.  Last Sunday we took a ride with our neighbors to the North parts of Auckland to see some of the beautiful beaches along the Hauraki Gulf as well as to the West to see some of the black beaches along the Tasman Sea. Very fun! They planned a picnic lunch for us which was great...a little chilly but such a great view of Snells Beach!

Red Beach
Snells Beach

Murawai Beach Domain....So windy sea foam was blowing everywhere and looked like snow!

As we noted previously we would be moving into a new apartment...and we have! With the preparation of the move came cleaning and packing up our apartment. Thanks to Melody and Cole we didn't have to lug 7 suitcases and lots of accumulated stuff across the city. They offered to help us since they have a car. I do have one funny with this I must share. I was over at there apt visiting the night before we moved and I managed to fall down there stairs.  I had socks on and slipped on the carpet and slid down about 8 steps trying to catch myself....so embarrassing. They didn't laugh, but I know they wanted too and I am sure they did when I left. I am still finding bruises from my clumsiness!


View of the Sky Tower from our apartment

We are excited about the new apartment not only because of the location, but most of all more storage!  It is located in the Hotel Grand Chancellor so we have use of all the amenities including a gym and a pool! 


Our new set of wheels!! Thats right we finally have our own mode of transportation....for our groceries and other findings, that is!  Melody and Cole gave this to us since we will be trekking to the supermarket each time as we moved about 10 blocks from the nearest store.  We are very fortunate to have this because we always wait until we have nothing left to eat before we go....I hate grocery shopping!

Many of you may find this next topic pretty funny! I am having to prepare and cook about 90% of the meals we are eating for dinner. I get home from work around 6 and Ray doesn't get off until 8:30 so that leaves me to make the meals at night. I have really enjoyed the opportunity to be in the kitchen by myself.  I have always disliked cooking, but I am getting better and more comfortable.  Ray has been really supportive of what I have made.  He says things like, "that is the best pork we have had since we got here!" I am learning how to cook things other than chicken!! Yay for me! I'm sure he is just trying to boost my confidence. I am hoping to try some fun recipes on my days off so I will let you know how they go.

We are looking forward to the Rugby World Cup coming up in about a month.  Our new apartment is very close to lots of the entertainment.  Hoping to catch some of the games at some of the local pubs nearby.  We are studying up to try and better understand the game. It's serious business around here!

Cheerio!

Lindsey

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Bitter and the Sweet (such is life)

Where to begin, as many of you may have known Joe, Lindsey's Grandfather, had been ill for several weeks. His struggle gave way in the morning hours, on June 25; just a couple months shy of his 85 birthday. Even though I only knew him for 6 years I can confidently say he was one of a kind. He was always a joy to be around, talk to and was truly an inspiration. Over the past years as Joe's health faded and things did not come  quite as easy to him some things never wavered, the love, respect and admiration he showed to Mrs. Martha (Gran Gran)  his wife of 64 years. This, along with many other great memories, will stay with Lindsey and I throughout our life.
 

Joe and Gran Gran at our Going Away Party in Brandon- April 2011

We were so fortunate to have been able to make the trip home to share in the joy of memorializing Joe Herbert Sanderson. This gave both Lindsey and I the chance to share in the celebration of his life. Joe, never one to mind what people thought, truly did live life "His Way."

Even under these circumstances, Lindsey and I thoroughly enjoyed our time back in Mississippi and being able to spend time with both of our families. We also kinda enjoyed the heat, sorry I know some of you probably would like to hit me right about now but it is really cold, wet and windy here. I, no doubt, loved going to Louisville and getting to see my Mom and her amazing yard and gardens, it is truly amazing what all she can accomplish. I think Lindsey enjoyed getting to see all her babies (cats and dogs) more than anything. Some days I think she may have missed her true calling because she sure does love animals.

 

Some of Mom's beautiful work!



GiGi...the sweetest "mean" dog you will ever meet! 


Stevie...Our first child. He's very bad...thank goodness the grandparents love him too!


 Teddy....Gran Gran and Joe's cat

We have now been back in New Zealand for a week and heaps has changed. I am on my third day at my new job and am really enjoying it. It is nice to finally be able to leave the apartment and actually have someplace to go. Hahahaha! Not to mention anticipating finally getting a pay check. Also, Lindsey and I are still in search of our next apartment. This process started just after we returned from Hawaii almost a month ago and given the speed things go here in Auckland we hope it will not be another month before we find one. So we hope to be able to share new apartment pics with all of you soon.

May God continue to bless us all, and as my Dad always said, "Never put a question mark, where God has placed a period."

Until we speak again,
Love, Ray

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Lots of Traveling

As usual we are way behind in posting. We have been traveling quite a bit. I recently accepted a position as a Sales Associate for Harrowset Hall Limited. A fine linen and bedding store in Newmarket, Auckland. Very cool store with lots of interior items to chose from...makes it hard not to buy and actually bring home my wages. I am really liking it a lot!! Work is about a 15 minute bus ride or 35 minute walk. Great location!  Ray had an interview this week and got a call back today. He has a follow up evaluation tomorrow. Fingers crossed that he will get the job! I know he is ready to find something with a regular schedule. You can only do so much people watching on Queens Street.


Beautiful daffodils one of my "workmates" gave me. Very thoughtful!!

As many of you know we traveled to Hawaii for Megan and Sean's wedding. Ray and I had never been to Kauai, it's absolutely amazing and cannot wait for our return visit. The entire weekend of wedding festivities were a blast. Perfectly organized and lots of fun! The weather was quite frustrating especially for an outdoor wedding for the days ahead.  However, it did allow us to see the raging waterfalls. We did lots of fun activities from kayaking to hiking the first 2 miles of the Na Pali Coast. The rain cleared just in time for the wedding day festivities to begin. The ceremony was so special. I just loved the Hawaiian ceremony, it was very sentimental and touching. So excited for Megan an Sean. It was a great time to get to see family and meet the Garvey family and all of M&S's friends. Great family!!


View of the coast from the hike


Mr. and Mrs. Sean Michael Garvey....I love the way he is looking at her. So sweet!!

Can't wait to see the photographers photos of the wedding events.  Two beautiful people and amazing location!


Hideaways Beach

We returned to Auckland to begin apartment searching as our current lease expires towards the end of July. Apartment renting is quite limited this time of year as the Rugby World Cup is fast approaching in September. We have seen some great and not so great places. Hoping to get this all squared away soon.

So now you can see what I mean about lots of traveling. We have been using the bus, train, our legs to walk all over this city, and very long plane rides!

Miss you all very much and hope all is well with each and every one of you!

Cheers!!

Lindsey

Monday, May 30, 2011

Settling in as a Kiwi

As usual....we are really slow in providing new post.  Lots has been going on since we last chatted. We have been continuing our job search and touring around the city and surrounding suburbs. The job search is going pretty good. We have had several prospects, just waiting for the right thing to fall in place. 

We have met a great couple that live in our apartment building from the states. They are originally from Washington State and have lived all over the world. Melody and Cole are a wonderful couple and a great inspiration for us. They have been married for 28 years and have 3 children. They moved a far distance to England when they first got married and have continued to live around the world in many places such as, Canada, Hong Kong, Texas, New Zealand.  They are setting off on another adventure in October as Cole has received a job transfer to Cairo, Egypt. It's pretty interesting all of the places they have been and where the will continue to go. We are so fortunate to have met them and have enjoyed all of there stories about living all over. 

They introduced us to the church they attend, Auckland Bible Church, and we really like it. We have met some really great families from all over....lots of Americans surprisingly! Everyone has been very helpful with our job search and telling us about all the local places to shop, and what to do. The grocery store(supermarket) is always fun. Trying to figure out what something is or what to buy that would be similar to what we use back home. 

This week we have been to Mission Bay which is a cute little town on the beach about 15 minutes from our apartment. Its in the direction of our walk in the mornings. The view of the Hauraki Gulf was amazing! I had to get my haircut and highlights!! Something I love to do...so fun and relaxing! 

We also went to Mt. Eden which is a summit 200 meters high and is the highest natural point in Auckland, therefore, the 360 degree views were breathtaking. The hike up was pretty funny...no real travel paths as there are many ways to get up. We climbed steps that had been built and followed the very narrow trails created by humans or even cattle...not really sure. When we reached the top of the volcanic grassy crater the view of the city was unreal. We really enjoyed Mt. Eden, it is one of the most famous landmarks and was created 20-30,000 years ago. 

We are really enjoying it here, but at times it's really hard to be away from friends in family. My grandfather, Joe, is having a tough time lately with his heart. He was diagnosed with aortic stenosis and atrial fibrillation years ago and it's giving him a lot more problems recently. Please keep him, my grandmother, my mom, and our entire family in your prayers. He is at home comfortable with 24hr care which is good.  The past few days have been hard, but he is doing better today. Everyday is a blessing! For those of you who don't know him, he's a real character! Full of himself and lots of jokes. He will turn 85 in August! Please pray for comfort, strength, and understanding!

As for this next week we are off to Kauai for my sisters wedding. We are looking forward to seeing everyone and spending time together. It's going to be such a fun time. I know that it is going to be absolutely beautiful! Haven't been to the island if Kauai yet so we are getting excited about all the fun things planned. Congrats to Megan and Sean! 

Lindsey

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Our Life for the Past Few Weeks: Somewhat Busy


It has been 3 weeks since our last post, so I would like to apologize to those of you who actually read this. We have been somewhat busy. We are finally getting settled into our apartment and trying to make it feel more like home. We have been on the hunt for jobs as well. We have applied to more jobs than we care to count and have received numerous rejection emails and phone calls. The business world here is pretty slow during the winter season so jobs are pretty scare apparently. We are applying for all types of jobs to welcome a new challenge to our adventure!! I have been on one interview while Lindsey goes on her third on Thursday. We are not letting this “slow” start get us down, but it is discerning when you apply for a job and they contact you back to let you know you are over qualified for the position; which has happened to us both on several occasions. Never the less we press on and the hunt continues.

Don’t be fooled we have also been having fun, as well. We have done just about every “free” activity you can do in the city, which is not a lot, and also had several small low cost adventures.  Every morning “we” start our day with a 6 ½ mile walk to Mission Bay. I say “we” loosely since some mornings Lindsey is unable to get me out of bed. This walk is a perfect way to start your day; it is a beautiful winding walk along the waterfront of Okahu and Mission Bay. The views of all the sail boats in the Bay are amazing and the morning sun gleaming off the water is other worldly. After the walk we come back to the apartment and cool down before getting changed and thinking up things to do with the rest of our day. 

Some of our small adventures that we have taken include: A trip to the Auckland Domain, A walk to the Viaduct, A ferry ride and hike around Devonport, a trip to One Tree Hill/Cornwall Park, an interesting bus ride to the beautiful Auckland Botanic Gardens and a train ride to the village of Remuera. More in depth posts to follow on all of these adventures along with some photos. 

So as you can tell we have been somewhat busy. We have plenty more adventures planned and cannot wait until we can fill you in on how they have go, but until then we are just hoping for a job that will allow us to stay and actually get to do them. Hahaha!

We love and miss you all and hope to hear from you, if we have not already; and we can’t wait to see the Anderson family in two weeks in Hawaii for Megan and Sean’s wedding weekend!

Ray

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Our First Home

So we moved in to our new apartment today! We really like the area because it is centrally located to anything you would want to do.  It's only a three month lease so we hope to get something a little larger next so it will be much easier for us to have visitors come and stay! Attached are some photos.

Lounge Area

Kitchen/Dining Area

 Bathroom






Washer/Dryer
Very Small Loads!!

Bedroom/Glass Sliding Doors

Bedroom
Please notice the closet space (not much)...same on both sides!

Kitchen cabinets and shelves....Guess What?
We are using them both as more storage for our clothes.
Next we will resort to the oven as Carrie Bradshaw would do! 

Hope you enjoyed the photos. Its been fun getting moved in and of course moving out of the hotel we have been in since we arrived almost 2 weeks ago!

Lindsey & Ray

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Happy Easter

Yesterday was Anzac Day, a national war memorial day, in New Zealand and Australia. Businesses were closed as they recognized the soldiers and war veterans. There were many events throughout the weekend in honor of the war.  The Auckland War Memorial Museum located in the beautiful Domain held several events and displayed war movies projected on the side of the building. Many parades took place all over the country.  It was a very humbling experience and so glad that we could be here to see. 

We joined the St. Matthews Anglican Church in the city centre for Easter Sunday services.  The service was great and those we met from the congregation were very nice. 

After church we decided to treat ourselves to something we would eat at home....a greasy cheese burger and "chips". Chips are really French Fries, didn't take us long to figure that out!  We definitely missed our typical Easter meal back in MS. We haven't met anyone yet that can cook as well! 

Those who are planning a visit will be excited, you will now have a place to come and stay! We have found an apartment!   It's located in a very central area to lots of entertainment. Very near the Viaduct and Harbor, Britomart, Vector Arena, Downtown Auckland, and Parnell. We are ready to move in and get settled!

Jobs, oh yeah we have been researching opportunities for one of those too! We are looking for jobs in several areas so that's why we picked an apartment that was a little 
more centrally located. We will keep you updated on how the search goes.  We both have our CV (resume) ready and will continue to submit to companies over the next few days.

We are getting more and more accomplished each day....we now have a New Zealand bank account and we applied for our IRD numbers today. An IRD number is for the Inland Revenue for tax purposes.  

We hope that you had a Happy Easter with your families! 

Lindsey & Ray

Monday, April 25, 2011

Auckland Lately

We have been doing a lot of walking the past few days. In some ways this city is very similar to San Fransisco because of it's hills. It's up one and then down another.  I have decided that a map is very deceiving...the destination never seems as far away as it really is.  I think it should also let you know when to expect a major incline! We always seem to pick that route.

The weather here is turning winter with an average temp of 21 degrees C, which is comparative to 69 degrees F...a perfect day in MS. The locals are cold here all bundled up in jackets and scarfs! I'm sure we look crazy with short sleeves and shorts, but otherwise we are HOT! 

We have been doing some apartment searching hoping to find a place to settle for a few months.  Its really a tough decision to make....we could live in the hustle and bustle of the city centre, the Ponsonby area which is very young and has lots of entertainment, or the artsy/main street feel of the Parnell area. Decisions, decisions!! Today, it was overcast and rainy so we found ourselves just riding the "Link Bus" around so that we could ponder more on the areas we are interested in. The drivers know us by name! It cost $1.80/pp and it stops through all the fun places and a great way to learn the city.

I have managed not to do any shopping "yet", that's the key word.  Auckland has some great shopping at wonderful prices! I am sure I could get into trouble fast.  We heard about a great place to go outside of the city for bargain or outlet pricing for over 100 designer brands....its called the dress mart! Ray even said that he waned to go! 

Our favorite spot that you can find us most of the time is at Esquire's, a local 24 hour coffee shop. They have wifi internet so we go there a lot. They claim it's "free wifi", but that's if you make a purchase you get a 1 hour voucher.  Seems a little misleading! In other words we have had way too many Caramel Macchiato's the past few days.

Ray and I had dinner the other night with a native Mississippian and her husband, Lisa and Kerry Avery.  I know it seems crazy that we came all this way and still find someone from MS! We were introduced to them by our great friends, Cathy and Al Lawson from Raymond, MS.  Lisa and Al went to architecture school together at MSU.  We had dinner at a great Thai Restaurant called Java Room in the wonderful area of Parnell where they live.  We had such a great time with them and look forward to our next visit together! They were a lovely couple and were so kind to offer suggestions about getting settled and employed here in Auckland. 

Sorry we haven't posted any pictures lately, hoping to have more up soon! 

Lindsey

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Some of our Photos

 Our Bags at AKL airport
Our hotel room

In Search of Us


First let us apologize for the delay of our 2nd blog posting.  We have spent the better half of the past 2 day’s frantically in search of ourselves.  Coming to terms that not only is wireless internet not free, as is back home, but cost and is limited to 1 hr. of access or a certain # of MB’s.  We have laughed at the things that are so expensive here; products that back home would be considered low end or cheap, seem to be luxuries here. Lindsey’s $7.00 Shampoo is a whopping $25-$30.00 here.  These things are more difficult to wrap our heads around than anything else.
               
We have made our first friend in Auckland, her name is Hang.  She is a Vietnamese girl that has lived here for four years.  We met her yesterday at a restaurant called Neptune’s; she was our waitress. We began to talk and she filled us in on all the cheapest places to get phones, calling cards, and phone plans. She also gave us the names of several websites to find jobs and apartments.  Lindsey just had to ask her about cheaper shopping places and stores that compared to our Wall Mart and Target.  Lindsey used the example of buying clothes hangers and asked where we would get things like that. Hang replied, “I have plenty. I bring them to you tomorrow.” We told her no need but she insisted. Then next thing we know she shows up at our table with her bag, coat and hat and says, “Let’s go, I show you everything.” That’s right; she took off work to show us the ropes.  We walked and walked for the rest of the afternoon. She showed us all the cheapest ways to do things. We now both have cell phones, and since we were already out with her, Hang insisted we just come to her apartment and get the clothes hangers.
               
So there we were at the end of the day walking from Hang’s apartment all the way back across the city with all our bags of stuff and now an extra large bag of clothes hangers.  She also introduced us to the public Library; were guess what, the internet is free.  All in all our first 2 days have been an eye opening experience.

It just goes to show that no matter where you live or what culture you may come from, sometimes everyone needs help searching for themselves.