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 beach...it'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 more...so 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!