Sunday, September 19, 2010

Nice day for a walk.

While we spent most of the weekend continuing to unpack boxes and move furniture around, we did get out for a short walk in the sunshine. This is what we can see when we walk across the street and down the hill about 5 minutes. Karaka Bay. The plant life here is amazing too.

French Fry Sandwich?

No joking....This is a "Chip Butty"
So while this apparently is not a delicacy born here in New Zealand, it apparently comes from the UK, but has been adopted.

White bread, butter, french fries or as they call them, "chips" and topped with tomato sauce(or ketchup)

These were served at the office on Friday and yes, I tried one.

Certainly nothing healthy there, but actually doesn't taste half bad.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Because you asked

It was quite a stormy day. Photo ops were few. But we intend to go back with better weather.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Moving in

This is exactly what you DON'T want to see, and unfortunately what our container looked like when we opened it.

The good news is that believe it or not we got lucky and nothing of great value was damaged. A few of the plastic flip top bins wee bent out of shape and probably trash now, but if that's all the damage we are thankful. We are still in the process of unpacking. Probably about another 20 or so boxes and I am guessing another 2-3 weeks before we feel entirely set up and done.

We will take some photos of the rooms as we complete them.

Right now it's more of a chinese fire drill where we move everything from room to room while we set up the next space.

We did get our last appliance - the Dryer. Bought it used off of Trademe It's in great shape and only 2 years old. We had to drive up the coast about an hour to pick it up. It was a fun drive and we got to see more of the area around us. (photo above)

The weather is still bouncing all over the place. We are getting wind and rain mixed in with some sunshine. They say spring is near but that only means more wind for a bit. October is supposed to the windiest here.

Cheers for now,
Stacy & Eric

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fun Food Facts

I had meant to post this earlier in the week but I have been too busy with the getting ready for the movers and then with the unpacking.(more on that later) The computers went off line for a bit and blogging from my iphone was not what I wanted to do. So here it is, my first food rant....

Where to start... First off, food is generally more expensive here. I wouldn't mind spending more for my food if I didn't feel like I was constantly settling for the stuff I was buying. Where are all my favorite brands and foods??? I have found some Campbell's, El Paso -counts as mexican here, Doritos, Oreos, Kellogg's, Best Foods, Kikoman, Paul Newman's dressings, and of course Coca Cola products. Most everything else is stuff I have never seen or heard of.

The cubes of butter you buy here are double size. They don't fit in my butter dish unless you cut them in half yourself.

The expected fast food is here, but we don't go near it. - McDonalds, Wendy's, Burger King, Subway and KFC.

Note these are in NZD - New Zealand Dollars
I could convert them for you but since my salary is also in NZD it only makes sense to stop worrying what that is in USD.

Big Mac is $5.10
Starbucks Venti drip $6.30
I believe our first major shopping to fill the pantry and fridge including all the basics and cleaning products was close to $600.00. Thank goodness I won't be doing that every month.

Interestingly, high fructose corn syrup is considered and "additive" and not allowed here.
we have real sugar! That probably explains why half my favorite food/brands aren't here.

Oh, but you can still buy saccharin here.

They seem to very conscientious about allergies and lots of places have gluten free items on their menus and markets carry a good number of gluten free items. Organic food is still hard to find or very expensive. And I can't find brown rice. I know I am not the first "expat" to say it nor will I be the last, but Trader Joe's could make a killing here.

Fun food: They have a chain called Wholly Bagels.
Good New York Style bagels, are something I missed in Seattle and love having again.
On the subject of "wholly" we also have two pizza chains here Hell pizza and Heaven Pizza.
Haven't been to Heaven yet(lol) but Hell pizza is quite good and the menu is very entertaining check it out.

You may have to look up some of those toppings. Capsicum -thats kiwi for bell pepper. And notice there is no sausage? not sure why.

They also use the name sultana for raisins as in we have Kellogg's Sultana Bran.

So, I have pizza and bagels and cream cheese, what else am I eating?
falafel, yogurt, cheese and crackers, ham (turkey is not common here and expensive if you can find it) and my new replacement for Clif Zbars is called Naturally Tasti Nut Bar-Choc & Peanut. Tastes too good to be all that healthy, but it is only a few more calories(which they call energy (kj) Argh metrics! than the Clif Zbar with more protein.

What I am missing:
Triscuit crackers
Robert's American Gourmet Smart Puffs
Jif creamy peanut butter
peanut butter Clif Zbars
Carroll Shelby's Chili Mix
Cheddar cheese
Pepperidge Farm crackers
Cinnamon Altoids

Still trying to tracking down Edamame, Herbs de Provence and onion power -go figure
Might be cheaper to make it myself.

In the category of odd foods

Kiwi fruit and habanero sauce (see photo)
Milo -Nestle's odd version of Hot Chocolate
Oh and I forgot to mention if you order a hamburger here it will come with aioli (mayo+) and beet root. If you'd like ketchup, it's called tomato sauce (tastes different) and in some places you have to pay extra for those little packets.

I am sure O am forgetting somethings and that there will be more fun discoveries ahead.
I will continue to post.

Cheers for now,
Stacy (and Eric)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Not much shaking here

Hi all -
So yesterday there was a big 7.1 earthquake that rocked Christchurch at about 4:30 am. Eric and I did not feel a thing. Except for when we learned of it, we felt a lot of empathy for those who did feel and experience it. Both of us experienced the 6.8 quake that rocked Los Angeles, CA at about that same time back in 1994. It is quite scary to be sound asleep and woken by such violent shaking and damage. The shock of trying to figure out what happened, what to do first and trying to get in touch with loved ones. I do not wish the experience on anyone. For what it is worth, the experience was made better by knowing that we were not alone and so many people banded together to help where ever they could. We were touched that so many people thought about us over here and reached out via emails and Facebook to make sure we were alright.

We are currently busy moving in to our new place, boxes everywhere. As we are putting things away and setting things up, it serves as a great reminder that we are indeed in earthquake country and need to secure things well.

Thanks again to everyone who checked in on us,
and if you know anyone in Christchurch our thoughts are with them.

Love to all,
Stacy & Eric