Friday, August 28, 2009

The End :)

Boy did I leave all of you hanging!

So sorry. Life happened.

My last week in New Zealand was a whirlwind. A trip to Dunedin that included everything from seeing the steepest street in the world, watching the girls win their match, and a few other things and races that shouldn't be mentioned all sent me out on a wonderful note.

I made a lot of fantastic friends, people I will never forget, and people that I surely will see again. I loved the country I loved the people and I loved the love. It was all together one of the best experiences of my life.

One of my last few nights I, with the help of Megs invited everyone out for dinner and drinks as a wee going away soiree. So many people showed up! It made me realize how many friends I had actually made. And they weren't just acquaintances, they were real genuine people that I had come to really love and care about! That's when it hit me that I was really leaving a place that had grown into my heart, and I felt so sad.

New Zealand is a country that you can't not love. The beauty and the atmosphere alone are enough to keep me mesmerized. The people are kind and welcoming, and the air to my whole trip was so lovely that I can't think of one bad thing about it. I even kinda loved Subway now that I think about it.

I don't know where my life is taking me. Rather, I don't even have a clue where I will be four months from now, but I know very much that I haven't seen the last of New Zealand, and I will miss it until I return.

Thank you everyone who made my trip the amazing journey that it was. I am so grateful for all the friends and family at home who supported me, followed my blog, and kept me in their thoughts. I am also forever in debt to the wonderful people of New Zealand, who without them, my trip would have been far from the perfection it was.

I will have more adventures, but until then you can keep up with me in my blog about my new Internship, which I just started this week!


Thanks so much.

Caitlin xo

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Holy moly have I been busy. This has been the longest that I haven't blogged, and for that I am sorry. There has been no time! It's getting down to the final days of my stay, and there is so much left to do! I'm only writing this after an evening with some girls at the pub....

Anyways, do I have stories to tell! First off, I have had so many fun times. My last day of work was glorious and to start my freedom, I had a fantastic fish n chips party at Curl's house. The theme was "dig for gold" basically, they ordered about $100 worth of fish n chips, and you had to just dig for the good stuff. We also had Export Gold beer, and "gold" (white) wine along with a home made dessert that was ice cream with chunks of Tim Tams, Squiggles, and Snickers. It was fun, Mitchy did a good job planning it. We had 6 scoops of chips! Let's just say that is A LOT of french fries. A very healthy meal.

Next important news, I survived my first earthquake! It was New Zealand's 2nd largest quake ever, and it was off shore on the south island around a pretty uninhabited place, so no one got hurt which is good. It was a 7.8 on the scale, which is pretty big. I actually didn't know it was an earthquake, though. Sara and I were hanging out with Tracy, Matt, and Moir and Tracy and I both started feeling dizzy. She just brushed it off and was like "Oh, maybe it was an earthquake.." later on to find out it certainly was. It was kind of weird, like the TV was floating away from me or something, but I just thought it was something wrong with my eyes. Ha.. So no harm done, I kind of felt it, and I'm actually happy about it. We live by the ocean so we were on tsunami watch for a few hours also, although I'm not really sure what exactly I would do if a tsunami hit. I'm not really prepared for that kind of natural disaster.

Later on in the week Sara and I had a tourist day of Christchurch. It was very fun, we bought tram passes and went around the city all day long. We saw all the exhibits at the art gallery, which was quite interesting to say the least, and we even went to the history museum. I learned about Maori life and Moas (ancient extinct birds), and lots of fun facts about Christchurch. We also walked around the botanical park and had coffee at a mock-Spanish street called Regents St. We had kumera fries at the Dux Deluxe (the most delicious vegetable that should be everywhere in America...I'm on a mission to find kumera when I get back), and just had a really fun day. I like Christchurch a lot. Good city.

Our next adventure was the West Coast, and it was quite the drive! We went across Arthur's Pass through the Southern Alps to get to the coast. I drove from one shore to the other. It was beautiful. The mountains are now covered with snow, and it just sparkles in the sun. At first on our drive it was cloudy and you could hardly see anything, but at a certain point you get above the clouds and it's all blue sky and sparkling untouched white gleaming snow. Really indescribably beautiful. It was about a 4 hour drive, and we made it just in time before dark to see the cabins that we rented out- they were surrounded by a farm, and on a beach. What a strange combo. There were Sara's favorite shahammels (alpacas), and goats, sheep, pigs, and chickens. We walked up and down the beach and found a bunch of cool rocks that rival ANY rock family I've ever seen (Bridget, I have photos to prove it).

That evening, we walked across the road to see a Glow Worm Dell. That's a little worm that lives in the mountains and lights up at night. It's actually really neat, however, you have to walk up this little deserted train in the pitch black of night just to see all these tiny bugs. We were determined to do it as the good tourists that we were, but the night scared us so we waited outside until a family walked up and we followed them in. It was good fun. I tried to take photos of them but the whole glowing thing doesn't really transfer to a digital camera. Oh well.

The next day it was pouring rain, but we had already booked to go four-wheeling at the Franz-Joseph glacier, so we headed down further south from where we were staying (a little town called Hokitika). We had good spirits, and once we finally were suited up and on our quad bikes it didn't really matter how wet we got, because the dirtier the better. It was really fun, we drove through jungles and glacier rivers, which are the most crystal clear blue color you could imagine. Pure ice water. SO cool. The storm even cleared up and we had a fantastic time. The glaciers are really beautiful and it makes you feel small when you see how much power nature has. This glacier had carved out an entire side of the country. Really neat.

The next day we had to leave, but on our way out we made it up north past Greymouth to Punakaiki to see the Pancake rocks. They are these rocks that have formed into little stacks that look like pancakes, but no scientist can figure out why. The rocks are huge and they spread across an entire beach. There are also blowholes at these rocks that shoot up water when the tide comes in like a little geyser. Once again, nature being awesome. I think this trip has reinstated the word awesome for me, because some of the things I have seen and experienced have really filled me with awe. New Zealand is a wonderfully beautiful and neat country.

On the way home from the trip, Sara and I had the great idea to buy a boogie board and sled down a hill in the mountains. Mission accomplished. It was wonderful....Sara ate it once and got a big scrape on her back, and I was kind of a sledding pro, not to brag or times.

Since we've got back from the West Coast, it's been a whirlwind really. The day we got back was a celebration for the girls of Western, because they won the league with like 4 games to go. Pretty impressive. We also house-sitted for Sara's mom, which was fun because she has a really neat apartment and a really cute dog named Ted. We took him to the beach and to the dog park and he was loving every second of it.

Curls and Megan were wonderful and took me to a farm that Curls' uncle used to own at the foot of the Southern Alps. It was so beautiful. We first stopped at a lake that was called Lake Coleridge. It was blue as the ocean and the sand was white as the Pensacola Beach that I spend my summers at. So gorgeous. We then drove over to Lake Ida, a lake that is in the shadows of a mountain so it is completely solid ice. At first it's scary to walk out on a frozen lake, but once you figure out how solid it is it's so much fun! We had Curls' dog Bessie with us and she was hilariously awkward walking on the ice. I tried to do a running dive that didn't really work out, and we had a couple of ice-skating races. It was really a good day. The farm was so neat, I could only dream of growing up in a place like that. So many places to get lost! We did a little four-wheeling action and took on a couple of rivers with the car. Overall, a fantastic day trip.

Yesterday, Sara's friend Georgia had a ingenious idea, and we jumped right on the bandwagon of it: to go for a winter dip. We actually jumped in the ocean. I thought my feet were going to fall off. I couldn't run fast enough out of that water. It was so cold!!! I am, however, glad to say that I've done it. Most of you who know me would understand how big of a thing that was, because I don't even get into most water unless it's the bathtub-warm ocean water of the Gulf on Pensacola Beach. I'm a wuss when it comes to being cold. It was certainly fun though.

Tomorrow's a big big day....I get to go whale watching! I'm so pumped. It's fun to be a tourist. And expensive. I suppose you only live once, so I'm taking my chances as they come, and I can't imagine a better time to go whale watching in New Zealand. I'll surely update the blog with those adventures.

My time is running short now, and I'm getting sad. I've gotten kind of used to my lovely little life here in Christchurch. It's so beautiful. That is really the best way to describe it. With the expiration dates on the milk starting to show my departure date, I'm trying to stretch my days and make them last as long as possible!

Start the countdown now, though. I will be home very, very soon.

I still miss everyone at home, and I'm already starting to miss everyone here. I'm beginning to think that I'm going to always be missing people and places now. I guess that's not always a bad thing, though. Good to have something to miss :)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sweet Summertime

Today is a really really nice day. It is so clear you can see the entire Southern Alps mountain range and all of the Port Hills in one glance. The sun is shining and the air is so clear and nice, I've finally gotten a beautiful summer day :) It made running so much nicer. It's easy to be motivated to go outside when it's not rainy and cold. I suppose you gotta do what you gotta do. And with the help of my borderline psycho trainer Sara, I have been going out on the cold rainy days and running. She is kicking my butt. And it's helping. I've got every single one of my run times down by a ton...but back to what I started with: the sunshine! It makes me happy.

This past week has been kind of random. I hope everyone had a fun 4th. I sure did. American Independence was celebrated here in New Zealand, the right way. We all dressed up in our red, white, and blue and went out on the town. I personally had the Star Spangled Banner written on my back (I was wearing a backless dress), and we even found a belt that had "USA" written in camo in the dollar shop....don't ask me why they had it, but I bought it haha... We had beads and party hats and we hit the town. It was a fabulously fun night.

The next day we went and saw Matt play in a game with the Mainland Soccer team. I'm going to try and explain this but I will probably fail. So the teams around here all are mostly clubs, but the Mainland league is a group of players that are selected to play for their area. The area around here is Canterbury, which is probably the second best or largest behind the Auckland area. Sara plays for the women's Mainland team, and they practice a couple times a week, but they don't usually have that many games until the end of the season. Well the men's Mainland team was put together to play against a professional team from Wellington that actually plays in the Australian A-league. It's basically the only professional soccer team that NZ has. Long story short, the Mainland team ends up playing really well against those pros, and almost comes up with a victory (missed an open goal)...they end up with a tie, which most were pretty proud of. Matt played really well, and it was cool to see someone I knew play in a big stadium atmosphere. It was fun.

Also, Sunday Pip came!!! I was SO excited to get to see her again!!! Her sister was playing a hockey game here so she came to watch. It was the first time she'd really been to Christchurch I think. Sara managed to introduce her to some of the major food places (sushi ball, a couple of cafes, etc.) and we just hung out and caught up. She just got back from a trip across America, so it was fun to catch up on her crazy stories. I love those foreigners. Seems like every time I'm with Pip I'm planning something. This time, it's when we're going on a Europe trip (we've decided 2 years to save, and that we want to do a Tour de France on bikes), and also a Vegas trip next July, which will be a bit easier for me living in the states. We've also discussed whether or not we should all try to play professional soccer in Australia and live together, or if it would be fun to all live together in Auckland. It's fun to imagine all those things. Being around Pip makes me want to live with her. Always funny times. She's working on a muesli business right now, and about to be working in a fishery for her dad. Ha. I love my friends.

Big news: I quit Subway. I decided it's time to move on to bigger and better things. Ha. I've got less than 4 weeks left now, and I don't want to spend them making sandwiches. Although I made a lovely sandwich artist, my time with the layered meat, bread, and cheese is over. My boss was ticked off a bit, because they have to rehire now and I'd only been there for a little over a month. Oh well. I've got things I want to do before I leave, and Subway gets in the way!!! I'm going to work the rest of the week, and then have my freedom.

Yesterday Sara and I went to Sumner Beach, which is pretty close to her house, and it was so pretty. We took Ruba and she went mad running around. There is a huge rock thing that you can climb all around, and it's got caves and lagoons and you can go to the very top or all the way underneath. We were exploring. We threw a ball into all the lagoons and made Ruba jump in to get it... ha we really were like little kids, it was fun. I forgot my camera, though which made me so mad! That just means we'll have to go back...

That's about it on the fun front. I've been working a lot, which is also part of the reason I quit. Tracy and Matt have moved out of their house to save for when they move to Australia, and everyone else is kind of just hangin out. It's funny how you can be in a completely foreign place and have it become just normal all of a sudden. One day I woke up and realized I was taking it for granted! I am currently in the process of turning myself back into an awe-filled tourist. I need to document and remember every second of my trip here.

I miss home, and I'm thinking about every single one of you. I'll keep updating with the last four weeks of fun filled stories. Be looking for them!

Much Love

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

So Much To Say

It's been about two weeks since I last blogged (sorry) and holy cow, has a lot changed. The world has lost too much! Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, and even the OxyClean guy have all passed away...morale of those stories: cancer sucks, which we all know too well, and heart disease is scary, so take care of your bodies, and lay off the drugs. How sad.

On a lighter note, the lovely Erin Campbell is married! (She looked gorgeous...I facebook stalked, I wish I could have been there!).. And also U. S. of A. put a spoiler on Spain's undefeated run with a huge upset in the semifinals of the Confederation's Cup, and almost did the same thing in the finals against Brazil! What fun games to watch...I'm an offense girl, obviously, but America's defense, well the way they played was something special. Talk about getting in on every tackle possible....Onyewu and Howard are fantastic, really.

I have officially found my most favorite restaurant in the WHOLE WORLD. It is undoubtedly the best food I have ever had. The whole time I was eating with a smile on my face. It is called "Lotus Heart" and it is this small restaurant in the Cathedral Square in downtown Christchurch. From the window you can see the lit up art thing, and the Cathedral, and lots of the city, because it's on the second floor. It's like this zen/chic/meditative place all wrapped up in this cute eccentric and eclectic atmosphere. The room is small and the tables have gerber daisies (my favorite!) and candles, and there is a flute player in the corner serenading the guests. The food is all-vegetarian/vegan, and-before you write it off- it is amazing. Even you carnivores would not be able to resist. There was everything from salads to burgers to Indian curries (what I had) and pizzas. I can't describe how good it was!! I am definitely going back....!!!

Moving on to my goings on...I have been busy! I've finally gotten more hours at Subway, which is good because that means I'm making money and going to be able to quit soon! I hate it really...I am actually working with all 16 year olds. And they're all dating each other. I so do not belong there. I'm an outcast 22 year old at Subway in New Zealand. What am I doing with my life...hah. Anyways, the point is I am making money and doing fun stuff when I'm not there.

One good thing did happen at work, however. I saw all the All Blacks rugby team; they walked right in front of us. And I also got to meet the man that does NZ's version of Wheel of Fortune. He is probably the only New Zealander on TV that I would recognize...How funny is that? He was nice, and liked my accent :) hah.

After that fun filled day (I was at Subway)...Sara and I drove through a little cute town on the water called Lyttleton, and then took Ruba to Corsica Bay, which is absolutely gorgeous. I will post pictures on here shortly, so be looking for them (probably tomorrow), but it is a place where we went in December...Bridge, Sarah, Sara, and Staci braved the water and swam out in it, but it is about 30 minutes' drive from Sara's house. There are mountains in the distance and hills all around the crystal clear blue water. We took a small hike around the bay, which was really neat. There's an island out in the bay that I would love to kayak too! I need to buy a kayak....

That week I also started employing Sara as my personal trainer (almost regretably at this point...just kidding). She is kicking my behind! I need it...She's really good. She's helping me with my strength, agility, and fitness. I go to the gym and then meet her at the soccer fields and she runs me ragged. I think she is enjoying it a bit too much...But I am definitely getting fitter, better, more comfortable, and faster. I've also been training with her team a bit, which has been okay. I still haven't gone in for any tackles or anything like that...biding my time really, waiting for a good moment to surprise someone/keeping myself safe. Ha.

Sara and I also took a really neat day trip to a frozen lake! We drove into the Southern Alps, it was about an hour and a half drive, and stopped at a lake called Lydia (I think) that was frozen over. It was really fun, we walked out on the ice and hiked all around it on a small trail that ran around it...and also through some private property, but we had no problem maneuvering around the electric fences. The Southern Alps are so unbelievable gorgeous this time of year. The snow looks perfect, and they are just majestically breathtaking. I also took lots of photos of that day, which will pop up sooner or later.

This past weekend was another treat! We went to an All Black's rugby game! It was in the big stadium in downtown Christchurch, and it was packed! We paid for the cheap seats in the Tui stand, but ended up being able to weasel our way into the nicer, closer seats, which was perfect. The highlight of my night was being able to see a Haka performed live. It is this intense Maori dance that they do right before kickoff, basically in the faces of their opponent. I would be so scared if someone did that to me! It's really something you all have to YouTube, because it is just ridiculously cool, but hard to explain. Intense is really all I can say. They were playing against Italy, and they won. Everyone was cheering and doing the wave and going crazy and drinking, just like any professional or national sporting event you'd see anywhere. The atmosphere was just fun. Apparently even though they won they didn't play well, but I don't know the game well enough to know the difference, so I was happy about it.

After the game we went to a going away party for Stephanie, one of Sara's good friends. She's moving to Hamilton with some friends. It was a fun little party, and I got to meet a few people that I haven't met yet (Steph plays for Coastal, while Sara plays for Western, so I got to meet all the Coastal people that I didn't know yet).

Sunday I spent my whole day watching The Lord of the Rings. I know, I know, no need to say anything. It's a large portion of my life that I won't get back, but I felt that it was necessary. It was all filmed in New Zealand, and for that reason I felt I had to watch it. And I discovered it will help me to explain the coolness that is New Zealand: okay, so all the mountains and snow covered peaks and gorgeous rolling green hills? Yeah, that's all here, and real, and so close. The clear blue rivers that they canoe through, I drive by those daily. The mountains are always in the distance, and they really look that neat! It's all very beautiful and hard to describe, and I hope The Lord of the Rings has aided in my attempt.

I believe I have caught up on my life with my blog. I've got a few things planned for my upcoming weekend already, even though it's only Tuesday. Matt is playing in an important soccer game that he was chosen for, so we're going to see that, and then possibly another day trip. Seeing as how I've stopped drinking, my weekends are not spent hungover and miserably eating gross food and sleeping. It's really a strangely lovely way of life...hah. Who would have thought?

I PROMISE to be a better blogger in my final weeks here. It's less than a month now. Weird...but I have most definitely been thinking about all the goings on at my home(s), and missing every single one of you. I hope everyone is having fun in the last few weeks of summer!

I love and miss you all!
xoxo Caitlin

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Swine Flu

It's been 10 days since I last blogged!!! I need to catch up! I think I left off with Megan's birthday, and Sara and I were about to go out to to celebrate with her for mine and Sara's new jobs and her birthday. We went out to lunch at this pub place, and just as soon as we ordered our food, Sara was attacked by what I think was the swine flu. (HA!) Funny now, but at the time we all kind of freaked out. For some reason she felt really sick, and got so cold that she was shivering. She had two puffer jackets on and my Ugg boots and then drank two pots of tea and a hot chocolate and couldn't get warm! We went straight from there to the doctor's, which I had to drive to (scary-luckily it wasn't a manual). He said that she'd gotten some kind of flu, but it was okay and probably not swine flu but he didn't want to test her cause even if she had it she wouldn't get the vaccine thing because she was strong enough to not need it or something like that. So for our celebration day, no one ate anything and we went home and slept the afternoon away. Exciting.

The next few days were filled with me running, working, going to the gym, a bit of beach time, and playing soccer. I also got a library membership, which was exciting for me...Thursday night we went to eat with a few peeps at a Mexican restaurant. The cheese dip was not the same sadly. That is one thing NZ is lacking...good Mexican food. Anyways, I met a couple more of Sara's friends, and we went to a small bar up the street and just had a couple drinks and talked. Highlight of the night: one of Sara's friends has seen the documentary "Lost Children of Rockdale County." I don't know exactly how that came up in conversation, but all the way across the globe people know about the syphilis outbreak my hometown is famous for. Classic. I laughed for a while about that one.

Saturday was the big day. BUS TRIP! It was actually really fun! After all the games that day (the men's game was so freezing that Meg, Sara, Tracy, and I all left at halftime) we went home, showered, and headed to the clubrooms where the buses were picking us up. Basically, the bus is a big school bus, and it drives you to the furthest pubs in Christchurch, stopping at four or five throughout the night. It's loud and everyone is dancing and singing and drinking on the bus, and then you get off and just party at all the different places. It's hard to describe how it is so fun, but it just is. The last stop is in downtown Christchurch, where it drops you off so you can spend the evening dancing. We danced so much...It was fun. I stayed out with Matt until 4:30...needless to say, Sunday I was absolutely useless. I was pretty much nonexistent until Monday afternoon.

I did get to go and see Tomo again, however. She came in for the weekend to stay with Josie, and Sunday we pretty much just hung with them all day long. It was just what I needed, and it was fun. We watched Summer Heights High. That is the most hilarious show ever. Everyone should YouTube it. I had already seen it, but there are hilarious outtakes for each of the characters (that are all played by the same guy) and they are equally as entertaining. SO GOOD! Check it out.

That brings me to my next point I will be making on this blog: I'm done with drinking. Really. It's bad for me and it makes me not want to run, and I need to run because I need to be fit fit fit for season. So I'm turning up the heat on my training, and cutting out the booze. So responsible and mature, I know.

I've got big plans coming up. I'm finally getting more work hours, which is good because I need the money, and on top of that the All Blacks (rugby team) will be coming to the mall that I work in. People are getting excited...I hope I get to see them do the Haka. Another good thing to YouTube. They get really into it. It's like a traditional Maori dance thing the Rugby team does before each match. It's actually really intense and neat. Sara and I are having a low-key weekend. I want to watch the Lord of the Rings, because I've never seen it and apparently there is a Christchurch tour for the movie (it was filmed in NZ-mostly in Queenstown though). We also are going to go kayaking some time soon at the's like surfing only in a kayak, I'm pumped for that also. And last but not least, with my next couple of paychecks, I'm planning a trip to go whale watching! I can't wait :)!!

I hope I didn't leave anything out...It's been a while.

I got really homesick yesterday, so I made macaroni and cheese and that helped a bit. It was really tasty. I hope everything is going good for you guys at home. I love you all!

xoxo Caitlin

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Catching UP!

It's been about a week since I've last blogged, and a lot has happened! I've just been so busy with my work at Subway...haha (not). I get hardly any hours there...which sucks, but doesn't suck at the same time because its not like I love making sandwiches. It makes my hands smell like onions. Its gross. But it's money, so I'm okay with it.

Thursday, after I worked a grueling two hour shift and Subway, we went to lunch with Josie. It was at this delicious little house that was turned into a cafe. I had falaffel for the first time, which was really good. Anyways, after that we went to Honeypot cafe downtown to show Sara's paintings to the owner, and she put three of them up! Really exciting for her. She tried to play it real cool like she had totally done that before.

Friday we went to the beach with Ruba again and watched the kayakers and surfers. I wish I had the guts to go out in that freezing cold water. It looks so fun, but I can't imagine that I'd be happy at all if I was that freezing. That night, we went to the movies with Tracy and Matt. We saw "I Love You Man" and it was hilarious. Loved it. The highlight of my night, however, was eating the delicious cheese pizza before the movie. Apparently, it's really weird here to eat cheese pizza. They put things like apricots and cranberries on their pizzas and consider that normal...right. Cheese suits me just fine.

Saturday was the big day. We went to all the soccer games that day, and it was freezing. Freakin freezing. Then, we rushed back to the house, got dressed, and went to Gunnie's house for drinks before our party. The best part is, it was a double-denim party. Amazing. I wore cut off denim shorts that just happened to come all the way above my belly button and a denim vest that was equally as ugly and short. Sara's costume was also hilarious. She was wearing little kid's too short for her overalls and a denim vest along with the best find of the denim shopping day: denim platform shoes. Really awesome. Somehow, she ended up having some boy at the party beg for her number. I mean beg. She was so ugly. I don't know how she does it. So we went to Gunnie's in our denim, and then all piled in a car (Megan drove us) and went to the clubrooms. The clubrooms, as I have explained, are rooms that everyone from the club that Sara and her friends play for go to after all the games on Saturday have been played to basically drink and hear about everyone else's games. There are men and women of all ages that all know each other in this one bar-like place and we prance in in our our denim glory, and they all stare at us. It was halfway a little intimidating and also somewhat funny. We stayed there for a bit, listened to all the stories of the game, and then went to the party, which was held at a bar.

The party was for Hannah, one of Sara's friends that was turning 21. It was really fun. We ate, drank, played the peanut game (really cool- you drop a peanut in your beer and the last person to have their peanut rise to the top loses and has to drink), we danced, and even played a bit of the pokie machines. It was a really fun night. Then, Megan drove us home, we woke up the next morning and laid around all day and watched movies. Quality weekend. Sunday night we also went to eat dinner at Sara's half-brother's house. He's older and married with kids and it was a really nice dinner.

Hmm. What next? It's hard to remember everything I'm up to days later...I guess I should blog more often.

Monday Aaron came home, which was exciting. I had to move out of the room for a bit though. He's only home for a week, he got a contract with a team in Australia to play soccer, which is really cool and even more so because it's in the middle of their season, so he's going to jump right in and start playing midway through. I think he's really excited.

Tuesday I worked, and we went to the Art Center...That's about it. There's a lot of cool art there though. Maori artists are very tribal-like and they have a lot of really neat meanings and symbols in their work. I really liked it.

Big news today: Sara finally got a job!!! She's working at a gym called Configure Express. She'll be a gym instructor/personal trainer. It's exciting and we're going to celebrate, because I also got my first Subway paycheck for about $30 today. That's about $20 for all you Americans. High rollin.

The rest of the week is about the same: work, Tracy's house for dinner, Curl's house for dinner, and so on. We are, however, going on a bustrip on Saturday that everyone is raving about. I'm hoping it's all that everyone says it is. Sounds like you just hop on a bus, drink, get off the bus, drink in a bar, and then do it over again. But apparently this is great fun. I should have some great stories about it in a couple of days, so I will keep my blog updated.

I miss and love you all. It's weird to think of everything going on back home, my family is at the beach, my friends are surely by now all gathering for Erin's wedding (congrats), and I am growing a bit green with jealousy of all the fun everyone is having. I'm going to need to have that much more fun to catch up :)

Cait xoxo

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Eat Fresh...

So I got a JOB! WooooHOOO! Subway in the mall that is walking distance from Sara's house. Yes... $12.50 an hour (that's NZD so it's not that much at all) and probably just 20 hours a week, but it'll keep my pockets a bit more padded than no job would...So I'm not complaining, and hey, I got a cool Subway visor and t-shirt out of it. Ha.

I trained today. It was good, fast, easy. They call me a "sandwich artist" to be specific...but really that's my job name. I just had a few discrepancies with those dang gloves (I have clammy hands and the gloves are so hard to get on!), and the sauce things that you put on come out so fast! I ruined a sandwich or two. Overall, a better first day than Chilito's a few years back...and they want me to work tomorrow and next Tuesday. I get work immediately, and the weekend off. Perfect. Plus, the latest I would work will be 6:30 on most days and 9:30 on Thursdays and Fridays. Already better than Dick's midnight closings...I'm quite happy for my little part time job.

Sara's got a couple of job prospects also. She interviewed today and yesterday for two gym jobs, they actually have salaries and commission things in them, that's what a degree will get you as opposed to Subway. She'll find out soon though, I'll keep everyone updated.

It's been a really gorgeous couple of days. Like the kinds of days that make you have the best runs ever and you just want to sit and look outside. I also got the new Dave Matthews Band CD. AMAZING. I love them. Made my week actually.

Last night Curls picked me up and we had dinner over there. I got to see Maori Megan again (YAY)...and Curls cooked while we caught up. She made a huge deal about me not eating meat, so she made me go buy a substitute (veggie sausages) because she thought me just eating veggies and potatoes wasn't sufficient. She's funny. Mitchy was there too, she's funny. And she cut her bangs. Looks good. Then Curls took us through all the photos she took in America. They were ridiculous. I can't believe you all let her come back from America with just random photos of food, fat people, and cars. I'm not talking about just a few of those photos, but it took about an hour for her to go through the photos of the hummers, trucks, school buses, oh and the one sea horse she found interesting at the Aquarium. That is really all she has. It's pitiful. It's Curls. I wish you could have witnessed her explanations of them as well, priceless.

Thought I'd just update on the job sitcho. We're off to see Tracy now. I miss you all back home, I will call soon.

Ding xoxo

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Queen's Birthday Weekend

So I'm a bad blogger. I know it's been a while, and I was going to save it until tomorrow (for no particular reason), but I promised Ryan I'd blog here goes.

It was a long, fun weekend. So much fun. Randomly on Friday I was invited to go to a concert with Megan, Renee, Katey, Sara, and Marcia, plus some extras...I met a few people. It was downtown at a bar, the band was called "Sneaky Sound System." I had never heard of them, but it turned out to be loads of fun. They were a pretty cool band, and as usual for a concert, I managed to get front and center. Good time, ended with a family sized french fry at KFC.

Saturday morning Sara and I managed to wake up early in the morning to meet her mom for breakfast at a restaurant called Honey Pot. It's a cool little cafe like place downtown, and they have a bunch of paintings all over their walls. Sara asked about them, and turns out that they need more paintings and are going to take some of Sara's and put them up on the walls..! Neat and exciting!

Anyways, after that we got in the car and drove to Hamner Springs...a hot-pool resort in New Zealand known for it's relaxation, spas, and hot springs. It was soooo cool! This was a long weekend, so we stayed Saturday and Sunday night...Monday was the Queen's Birthday.

Saturday we first walked around the town and looked at a few shops. It's a really neat town, really close to the Southern Alps so there's snow capped mountains everywhere you look. After our tour of the town, we went to the hot pools, which was really cool. Some of them are naturally heated by sulfur, and they smell like Rotorua, or rotten eggs, but they're good for your skin and really hot so I liked those the best. We found a good dinner place and ended up coming back to our cute little cabin like hotel room and falling asleep early (not much of a night life in Hamner).

Sunday...such a good day...drumroll please...we woke up to SNOW! So exciting! So cold! We had heard it might, but didn't really think it would. It was white EVERYWHERE. I loved it. We then proceeded to walk across the street to the spa, where we indulged in a sauna followed by a massage. Heaven... we were given these robes to wear around the spa place, and so when we then decided afterwards to go to the hotpools we walked around in between pools in our robes. Great save from the cold. The hotpools are so nice and warm, and it's really cool to be sitting in this big thermal hotpool and have it snowing all around you (it was still snowing), but when you decide to move or go to another pool or leave even, you're outside in the snow, cold, and wet. It was borderline miserable, but worth it cause it was so much fun. So then we did more hot pools for a few hours, and after that we went, showered up, and ate at a cute little tapas place that gave us way too much food. What a perfect day.

Monday we woke up early to take on hiking a mountain. I'm not kidding when I say, it may have been a bit dangerous. Like borderline really bad idea. We had planned to do the waterfall hike, which was about 2 and a half hours long (straight uphill by the way...tough). That hike would have definitely been sufficient for my state of fitness and health status at the moment. But of course, to make the hike even better, the ground was covered in fresh snow, that seemed to get thicker the higher we got up the mountain. We had gotten pretty far, and were determined to find that waterfall, so we just decided to go on, no matter what. We had to actually walk across logs and rocks to go by two streams that were overflowed because of the rain and snow, and the paths were completely covered at the top. We made it all the way there. It was worth it, and not so bad. Turns out, the hard part was getting down. Man, that was scary at some points. Long story short, we both made it back, tired and in one piece, and we drove home from there...tired and hungry (we got a pizza). Here's a sideways view of the waterfall we walked to...

So that was my weekend. A full schedule, I'd say, and it was so much fun. Next weekend should be just as fun. Today (Tuesday) Sara, Megan, and I went shopping for a party we have on Saturday that is a double-denim theme. It's gonna be hilarious.

Also, good news: tomorrow I have a job interview. With Subway. Ha. Hope my visa doesn't get in my way. I also had a phone interview today with Sunglasses Hut. Both good prospects, and hopefully it will turn into something. It's been almost a month! I will let you all know how it goes...

I love you all and will be a better blogger from now on! Promise!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


So there was no way to blog in Australia cause I had no computer access, so I'm going to fit my whole adventure in this blog. It was so fun! I could totally live there. We stayed on a river, that was right in the middle of the city, but on the other side of the city was a beach, which was walking distance. We stayed in Gold Coast, on a beach called "Surfer's Paradise." So cool.

Our hotel was really neat. It was called "Vibe" and it was really young and hip. There was a nightclub inside of it and a really flashy restaurant. Our room was kind of modern-y looking, and the shower was SO nice...Funny how you remember things like that hah.

It had everything that you could want in a city, and it was pretty young too. LOTS of shopping (which I definitely did) and food and malls and cool boutique places to look around in...but then it was right on the beach. Also, Australia is always sunny. Apparently, when we were there it was "cold" but it was like 75/80, so I was happy! Before we left, it was so cold that Tracy and I tried to watch a couple soccer games but we got back in the car, bought hot chocolate, and watched Sex in the City in our PJs instead. It was freezing!!!

So we didn't stay long in Brisbane, we actually just got into a car and headed for Gold Coast. Funny story: the car was in my name, because I have my full license and Sara only has a restricted one. I was planning on just driving it off the lot and then letting her take over (opposite side of the road thing still gets to me). Anyways, turns out it's a stick-shift...good thing I got one lesson a week before. I was so nervous. I hit the gas really hard and revved the engine inside the rental place. HA! oops...Sara was trying to walk me through it, and I did okay. At least I didn't stall, but I pulled over immediately after I turned out of that parking lot. What a start.

We met up with Pip and she was so good to catch up with! I miss that wee little girl...hah she's so small. We took pictures and I look like a giant. Maybe New Zealanders are just smaller, kinda like Asians...hah, I'm sure they'd love that comparison. I do find myself feeling really tall sometimes though, all Sara's friends are so short, even her dad...Anyways, weird Pip showed us all around, and (of course) took us to her favorite food places. She really put some thought behind it.

Some of the food highlights included an all vegetarian buffet (LOVE) and this delicious market-like place with the freshest sushi in the world. It had all other kinds of stuff too, like fruits and soups and a chocolate place that was divine. There was a bakery and everything, kind of like a over sized Whole Foods, cause it was all organic and really fresh. We also had...drum roll please...a place called Igloo Zoo, which if I ever go back that could be the only reason why. SO YUM! (I know you hated that Bridget)...But it was! Fresh Frozen Yogurt with fresh organic toppings like white chocolate and pomegranate and all kinds of fruit and this thing called halva...OMG it was amazing. We went twice, and my size of choice grew the second time around. Loved it, well done Pip.

For my birthday we also went to this place called "Oh-Mi-Ly" which was a local favorite according to Pip. It was Vietnamese food, which I had never tried before, and it was pretty delish. Tomo and her girlfriend came that day to see us. Well, they came to see Sara really, cause Pip and I have never met her, but now we have and now we're friends..Tomo was exactly what I thought she'd be like, and nothing like what I thought she'd be like. She was funny though, I liked her a lot. Ha. We went after dinner to the big casino on Gold Coast, and that was neat. It was HUGE! I've never been to a casino that big, not that I've been to many casinos, but it was big. We had fun joking around, but our money didn't last long. The smallest minimum betting table we could find was $10 besides the pokies, and when you're only starting with like $40 maximum, that's like four games...give or take a win or two. Oh well. Cool to see, and Casinos are the most fun place to people watch...there are some crazies...and so much money! It's unbelievable how much money people blow in those places.

Other special things of note on our trip: we went to a place called Broadbeach (I think) and watched the surfers...They were sooooo good. And so far out, and surfing towards these big rocks...Seemed dangerous. We also went to a big shopping mall called Pacific Fair, which was neat because it was like a mall that went winding inside and outside. I liked the outside parts, but I would get lost it was so big...Like a maze. We spent a good bit of time at the beach, which just so happened to have just gotten demolished two days before by freak tropical storms that rolled through. There were like cliffs of sand where the waves were coming up to, they had the highest tides ever, and there were tractors up and down the non commercial parts trying to even the sand out. It was still a really pretty beach, even though Pip said it was normally much nicer. The water was super warm, which most of you know is the only way I can even come close to putting my feet in.

Overall, a great trip to Australia. I can cross that one off my list. I'd still like to go to Sydney someday, and I'm definitely planning on going to Perth in the near future to visit Sarah :) I'm glad I had a good first impression of Australia, though. It was perfect.

Today was the day to job hunt. Sara didn't end up getting that gym job (sucks), but I got a good prospect this's a job that's looking for a short term working assistant in an office. I called and they seemed to like me. I'll see how it pans out, it would be perfect though. We went to the mall and handed out resumes. That's when you know you're desperate. Ha. Oh well, it was funny, and I really just want a job for selfish reasons, so I can afford another trip to Fiji or Australia or something. A perfectly justifiable reason.

Sara's dad made me the COOLEST jewelry holder for my birthday. It's not really easy to describe, but it's perfect and neat and just take my word for it :) He's so talented!

So it's Thursday night now, and this weekend just so happens to be a long weekend in New Zealand; It's the Queen's Birthday! I'm happy about it. What does that mean? Another trip! Extending my birthday celebration. I don't know where we are going, but Sara has something in mind, so I'm gonna run with it. I love seeing new places, and New Zealand is so beautiful. I can't wait!

I am getting a bit jealous of my family because I know in a few weeks they're going to be heading down to the's on the back of my mind, and my little taste of the beach was really nice. Every now and then I think "What was I thinking!! I left SUMMER!" but then I realize I'm in one of the coolest, prettiest countries in the world and that sets my mind at ease...It's still there though, missing the summertime and all my friends and family.

I love you guys, and I miss you!

Take care of yourselves and write to me sometime :)

xoxo Ding

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Oh Happy Days...

I would like to keep you all up to date with the differences between here and home. Some of you may not even believe it, but I am not lying. First off, I wake up every morning by 8 AM. I know. Shocking. I also am sleepy by 10 PM, but not much really goes on round here that late, and most of the friends we hang out with have jobs. It's actually been refreshing. Next, I run every day. Like every day. Rain, hail, or sleet. I figure I'm not really doing much with my life, I have to at least run to feel productive. Next...believe it...I don't hate coffee. I know! And I LOOOOOVE tea. Hot tea. It makes me all nice and warm when I'm cold. And, get this Stace, I drink it with half a sugar and no milk. I'm kind of a big deal. I don't even know what that means....

Also, a few of my other discoveries. It hails here a lot. I still have an initial instinct to run and dive for cover like it's going to tornado or something, but it just will hail and people get out their umbrellas and go on with their daily activities. Weird. Another discovery, Bridge you'll like this one...Remember how far we drove Christmas morning to find a Catholic Church? Well there is one right up the street from Sara's house. Like walking distance. I changed up my run the other day and passed right by it. Ha! Oh well...

It's been a rainy few days. Monday we shopped with Megan all day in town, and I also discovered a whole street that is AMAZING! Sarah you would have gone crazy about it. And broke. I couldn't afford anything, but it was really cool to look around. The city here keeps growing and growing to me. I think I've almost got it down and then I discover a whole new street of coolness.

Tuesday I had an interview with a Temp Agency as I said. Well, what a bust. First, the car that we have been using is Aaron's (Sara's brother's) old car, a "Datsun Sunny" if you've ever heard of one of those. Ancient. Bright yellow. Almost as much character as the good old Saab, but nothing will ever have that kind of reverence, right Dad? Ha. Anyways, we get into Datty, as we call him, and he kaputs. Actually, he starts, we reverse into the middle of the street, and then he stalls and floods. Perfect timing. It was cold and I was in my nice interview outfit. We had to push him to the side of the road and call a taxi, that cost $20. I was too much of a wuss to find the place by myself so I made Sara tag along. She waited in Starbucks while I went to an interview to have a guy tell me that there weren't many jobs and I wasn't qualified to work in coffee shops or as a waitress cause I've got no experience, but he'd keep me in the database. Seriously. Why did he even bring me in again? It was an annoying morning... So I had to make a better day of it. I went to the store and bought crafts and Sara and I made crafts...personalized headbands! I love it and the day turned out good...It's the small things in life.

So getting to today, Wednesday. It rained/hailed/sleeted/snowed all night and morning and day. I got one break in the clouds where I went for a run (my longest yet) and then it started back up again and should continue throughout the night. Anyways, so we went to see Renee, who just had surgery on her knee to take out a pin (she had the same surgery as I did a year ago, and the screw was HUGE) and she's doing well, the surgery went really smoothly and she's even walking already. We watched Revolutionary Road with her and it was really good. Anyways, I'm rambling but the most important news about today is that Sara and I bought a plane ticket to go to AUSTRALIA!!! On Sunday! I'm so excited...!! (Squealing inside) We're flying into Brisbane, where Sara's good friend Tomo lives, and then renting a car and driving to Gold Coast, where our lovely friends Pip and Nels live. Among many other things, I'm so pumped to see them! And Alex, don't worry I will buy you a boomerang.

Needless to say, the next few days I'm laying low. Keeping up my "productive" days, and hoping for some sunshine, but if not Australia is supposed to be pushing the 80s, and I'll be right on the beach. I can't wait.

Hopefully I'll be able to find a computer while I'm there, but if not I'm going to keep a wee journal so I can remember every detail (Bridget style).

I miss you all so so so so much! I am also very jealous that you get the real-time American Idol, cause I'm not going to see it until Friday evening :( I'll already know who wins by then for sure...

Okay, much love from across the globe xxoo

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Crazy days...

The last few days have been pretty fun filled. Wednesday, I went down the river in downtown Christchurch on a paddle boat. We did the usual...fed ducks, tried to get them to eat off our hands, avoided getting splashed. It was really fun. We saw a group of little baby ducklings in the park and they were so cute! They would eat straight from your hand. Real fun. We also had a picnic that of course consisted of Tui. I tried a new fruit, a fijioa, which is really delish. Sara's dad grows them in his backyard, along with apples and pears.

Thursday was a bit of a quiet day. I ran and caught up on some reading. Boring, really. Went to a retail store for furniture and bought Sara's dad a table. It's for Sara, really so she can paint, but we put it in his house.

Friday was neat. I got Sara to drop me off downtown and I just kind of strolled around a bit. Looked in some shops and took in the scenery. It's really a cool city. That night we went with Tracy to the Casino and we all came out on top. I just played the slots, and I won $30! Sara and Tracy both played Black Jack. People are weird in Casinos though, one lady kept trying to tell me how to play and it made me mess up. How many different ways are there to play slot machines? I mean, I just pushed random buttons.

Saturday was really fun. I went with Tracy to Sara's and Megan's game, then we went to Tracy's boyfriend Matt's game. Sara's team won and her and Megan (the goalie) both scored goals. Matt's team lost, but it was still fun to watch. Then, we went to the clubrooms (after a shower). Clubrooms are like a room that the soccer club rents out and all the teams go there to drink and give awards for best game and best player every Saturday night after the games. Kinda cool really, there's nothing to compare it to really because it's just a big room and a bar that gets filled up with only people connected to the club, so everyone knows everyone else, and it's really neat.

Afterwards, we went to Marcia's birthday party at a restaurant called Pepperoni's. It was so good! Cheese pizza, reminds me of home. It was a BYO restaurant. We all brought a bottle of wine with us. I ended up getting sleepy and passed out in Megan's bed while everyone else went to town. Sara ended up back at the Casino and 4AM and won $140. She put her only $50 on a blackjack table and got blackjack. How random and something that only she would do...

This morning everyone woke up and went to see Tracy's game. Sara's mom also plays on the team, and Tracy's mom and dad are coaches. It was hilarous! It's the lower league so everything is a bit bootleg. Tracy's dad was the coach/linesman and was strolling up and down the line smoking a cigarette. HA! Then Sara's mom completely took out this girl right on the line. I don't think she touched the ball that much, but she got a good piece of that girl. So funny. We slept the rest of the day away after eating fish n chips for the first time since we've been here. Really great waste of a day.

This coming week I'm pretty excited. I've got an interview with a Temp agency on Tuesday that seems promising, if that doesn't work out I'm turning to gambling. Sara's friend Renee has something planned for my birthday on Sunday, and I'm starting two-a-days. I kicked a soccer ball today for the first time. Felt good. Everything's looking up.

Missing everyone back home, I'll call sometime this week :)

Caitlin xoxo

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sunny Days!

The last two days have been so nice and sunny it's hard to believe it is winter here! The days are perfect, but the nights do get shivery cold. I had to buy a jacket today because my layering wasn't very sufficient for the evenings around here.

So Monday was really nice. Sara and I (although still unemployed) were very productive. Because of our jetlag and my waking up every morning at 5 AM, we actually have been getting things done. After a run and shower and all that good stuff, we applied for a handful of jobs and then went around and I got an IRD number, which is something that I need to work, and she got her license renewed. Then when she went to training, Tracy (Sara's best friend) picked me up to take me to Quiz night. I wasn't really sure what quiz night was, and it actually didn't sound like fun, but when I got there I realized that it was Trivia, so I was really excited. I was on a team with Trace, Matt (Tracy's bf), Moir (everyone's favorite Maori boy), and Roitter (I know I spelled his name wrong). Although we were horrible, it was fun and I got to meet a few more people. I really liked it a lot, and it helped me to stay awake past 9 PM.

The next day (Tuesday) I still woke up at 5 AM, which sucked, but it was such a good day! I got a call back on one of my applications, but the lady told me that my visa was too short and they were looking for a long term person otherwise they'd hire me, Oh well. After my run (I was a bit faster than the day before), Sara, Ruba, and I went to the Port Hills, which are just to the east of here, to hike. Some of the hills are pretty high, I mean they already have snow on them, so we went up a closer, shorter one that had caves in the top. It was so cool! And was I sore today. Here's a shot from the ground. You can kind of see the cave we hiked to, in the top center left of the photo.

About halfway up we heard some running water and decided to go off the path to find out where it was. We climbed up some rocks that I know my physical therapist woulda killed me for, but it was so worth it. There was this waterfall about a 25 yard climb up, and it leveled off into a bit of a pond, and past the pond was this entire wall of climbing holds and stuff. It was so neat! I'm so glad we went up there...The only thing was that it REALLY made me miss my friends. Stace, you would have loved it! You would have hopped up there and been ten times better than Sara and I feebly trying to hoist ourselves up on these holds. And I could just see Sarah and Bridget prancing around in your Keens...that you all definitely would have worn that day. I really miss you guys! I wish you were here...

Anyways, after that coolness, we started back on our straight up hill hike, that brought us past a few cows and sheep that really excited me, and up to a couple caves. They were neat, like kind of frozen in time bits of nature. I really liked em. I took a bunch of pictures that I will eventually upload for everyone to see. The walk down was almost more difficult than the way up, cause we were practically running. It took us an hour and a half to get up and like twenty minutes to get down!

That night we went to Trace's for dinner, she cooked a stirfry with a special vegetarian pot just for me :) so nice. It was delish. I accidentally ate too much and then passed out on her chair drooling a bit. Quality night. So I called it a night, came back and read. Big night.

Today's been about the same. We hung out with Megan a bit, and saw Sara's friend Scotty. Applied for a few more jobs, but I think I'm going to have to go to a Temp Agency tomorrow. Hopefully I'll be doing something inside though.

Miss you all, and thinking about you all the time!

Sending lots of love!

Ding xxoo

Saturday, May 9, 2009


So the first day of travel was full of ups and downs, highs and lows, hunger and stuffedness, and fun times and really really boring times.

We left Kennesaw (as most of you know) straight after my last final at about 7 PM to go home to Kentucky. That ride seemed so long...I was tired. Then we spent a nice day with mom and Matt and Alex in Lexington on Thursday. I got my immunization shots for the Cook Islands, and my teeth cleaned, and then bought a few last minute items. Mom made a delish pound cake and we grilled out on the back porch. It was BEAUTIFUL. A good last day that I can remember while I'm here in the cold winter!

Friday, we left Lexington at 5 AM. Holy early. It was raining and we drove to the airport with our enormous bags (that we didn't end up having to pay for them being overweight because they honored the international flight rules we were on). On to Dallas for a layover then San Francisco for the day.

We got into SFO around 10:30 AM, and it was such a nice day. We planned to have a really long layover so we could tour the city a bit, and it was a great decision. Once we found a place to store our bags (it cost $60, but we figured it was making up for us not having to pay in Lexington), we then hopped a BART train into downtown San Francisco around Powell St. It was so cool!

We bought a day pass for the cable cars and while we were waiting in line two guys jumped on the platform and started tap dancing away. Behind them was a one man band with a banjo, a drum on one foot, and a tambourine on the other foot. He was actually good. The cable cars took us pretty much all through the city. It's just like the movies, the long windy roads with the steep hills and the fire exit ladders leading up to each of the rooms.

We took the cable cars all the way to Fisherman's Wharf, where we snapped photos of the bridge and Alcatraz, and the sea lions at pier 39. We even ate at the famous sourdough bread factory right on the water. We were total tourists. There were a couple shows we stopped to watch on the side of the road. The breakdancing boys and the rapping tin men were my favorite. Sara liked the spray-paint artist and a horrendous violinist. After our Fisherman's Wharf tour we didn't have much time so we took the cable car and BART train back to the airport.

The flight was SOOOOOO boring. 12 and a half hours. It was overnight though, and I slept most of the way, but I got a sore neck from the awkward position I was holding for so long.

Once we got to Auckland the drama began. First, we went the wrong way through the airport so we passed through customs too early (we were supposed to go through customs in Christchurch once we got there) and they wouldn't let us go back, so we couldn't get to our gate cause it was in a different terminal before customs. So they had to go and find our bags, show us where to go, and get us on a new flight because by that time we had missed our flight. Might I note we were dealing with grouchy people working at 5AM.

Once we got to the ticket counter at the domestic terminal, the lady asked us for our identification and Sara realized that she had lost her purse containing everything from money to her passport, and didn't remember when she had lost it. It could have been anywhere...from the bus we took in between the terminals to still sitting at the customs desk, or maybe even in the bathroom where we stopped to wash our faces. Panic ensued, and she ran off while I sad and waited with our still over-sized bags.

Two policemen somehow found her bag and brought it over, so there was no harm done and we made our flight that was only an hour later than the one we were initially supposed to be on, so long story short, we got to Christchurch today, Sunday the 10th around 10AM, safe and sound. Her mom and dad met us there.

It's almost 7PM now and I've managed to stay awake all day. I'm pretty proud of that. We showered, ate, unpacked, and met up with a couple friends. Good day. I'm tired.

The weather here is rainy today, but not as cold as I thought.

I've written a novel now, but I felt the first day experiences to be necessary.

Much love to my homies,

Ding xoxo


So here's my blog. It's for family, friends, randos, and anyone else who'd like to know about my three months in New Zealand. I decided after visiting for a month in December that I'd like to see what it's like to live here, for real. Not just a vacation, but a living working playing soccer three months (with a few vacations in the mix).

I got a work visa for a holiday- which took about one email and one day- I booked a flight ($740), I passed my classes for the semester, I said my goodbyes, and I booked it out of the country.

While I'm here in Christchurch (the majority of my stay and where I will be trying to find a job) I will be staying with a few (responsible and trustworthy-love you mom) people. First, my good friend Sara and her dad. He's great and he is so nice and accommodating. We'll also have short stints of stays with people such as Tracy, Sara's best friend who lives about two streets away from Sara's pops, Curls, another very good friend who has a spare bedroom in her apartment closer to the city, and possibly in a couple other random places of Christchurch. In Auckland, I'll hope to visit and stay with my lovely lil Pip, a friend from the team.

I'm also hoping (once I get a job) to plan a trip to the Cook Islands (Fiji, Rarotonga, etc.) and to Australia (Brisbane and Gold Coast/maybe Sydney). But that is still pending. No plane tickets yet.

I miss all of you back at home. I'm going to update this as much as possible (ie, the nights that I'm still wide awake cause it's almost impossible for me to stay up in the day and get accustomed to the time change). I can have limited texting and calling, but I'm suspecting after the first month mom and dad will see the phone bill and probably limit me even now's the time :)

Okay, love you miss you and thinking of all of you while I'm having the time of my life (as always).

Caitlin (aka Ding)