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


Very Small Loads!!

Bedroom/Glass Sliding Doors

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! 


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.      

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Chance of a Lifetime

To fully understand why this is such a huge step in our lives I must first recap the last year of our lives, and all the life changing moments that filled it. The New Year brought hope and promise for a soon to be newlywed couple, I was finally starting my last semester of college after eight long years and our wedding was fast approaching the following November. The year was soon darkened by the hospitalization of Lindsey’s Aunt Ethel.  She was in good spirits, as always, and positive even in the face of so much pain.  This cloud lingered several months until April when our beloved Ethel lost her battle to her cancer and was called Home. This was a devastating blow, to what was once thought to be the best year of our lives. 

This year rocked on and school once again consumed my thought process then to add to the excitement of the approaching graduation, I signed up for a study abroad program. Along with some of my friends we decided to extend our trip and back pack through Europe. Well finally the long awaited day of graduation came; both my Mom and Dad were so proud and excited about what life would hold for Lindsey and me. A week after graduation I was off to Europe and a final farewell trip with all my college friends. We had trekked through Amsterdam, Berlin, and had just arrived in Paris the day I called home and my life was forever changed. I was told my dad had suffered a stroke days before and was not doing well; in true dad fashion he told mom not to let me come home to stay and enjoy my trip. Well we all knew that was not going to happen. By 9:00 a.m. the next morning I was in the air on my way home to be with my family. When I reached my dad’s side around midnight his condition had worsened. The next day we transferred our first of many, hospitals. I spent the next several months at my dad’s side. Trying to be strong for him as well as m mom. Unfortunately the fight ended July 31, 2010 at 2:14 a.m. I was right by his side holding his hand when he drew his last breath; he too had been called home. I did not understand then, and still do not understand why he was taken from us, but dad always said, “Never put a question mark where God has placed a period.” Powerful words that have helped me more than anything else I have ever been told. After dad’s passing we were just a few months out from the wedding, so full steam ahead with the planning; which I think came at a good time to keep us busy.

The wedding came up fast and was a huge success.  It was truly a great day, filled with a lot of emotion; knowing that there were 2 great people that would not be there to celebrate with us. After we got home from our honeymoon and everything had calmed down, next thing we knew it was time for the holidays; our first holiday season as Mr. and Mrs., and the first holidays without Ethel and dad. 

Just so you are up with us, in less than 12 months we lost Lindsey’s Aunt Ethel, I graduated college, I lost my Dad, we got married, and went through all the first without Dad; Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Mom and Dad’s Anniversary, and Dads Birthday.
Rough year huh? 

After all that, Lindsey and I knew that it was our time to do something for us; something that was truly ours. So here we go, The Chance of a Lifetime, We are moving to Auckland New Zealand; we are going on a whim, with no job, and no place to live. Just with the belief in each other and God and love for one another that has been tested more in this last year than most are in a lifetime. Our trip is booked, and paper work is done; so please don’t be one to try and talk us out of it or ask us why, because as my Dad always said, “Never put a question mark were God has placed a period.”

With much Love!