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!