Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Warm Welcome

As we've been in New Zealand for almost 3 months now, it's probably high time I fill you in with what's been going on. Despite a few hiccups, and feelings of surreality with things feeling so very normal and not at all normal at the same time, it has been really good being home. 

Our initial plan had been to move down to Christchurch after visiting friends and family, but as I'm sure most of you know a major earthquake hit the city in late February, devastating much of the city and was pretty much centred right in the little town of Lyttelton that we were hoping to move to. Thankfully our friends down there were ok, but many people weren't and it has been heart wrenching watching it all unfold from afar. We debated still going down, but with the need for work and accommodation amongst the people of Christchurch so great it just didn't feel right. We still hope to get there in the future (and in the near future for a visit, for sure) but for now we've decided to stay put in Auckland for the rest of the year. I must admit I was pretty anti -Auckland at first, I'm not sure why, going back to the too familiar perhaps? And living in the expensive city that it is while looking for work and an apartment hasn't been done the best job of endearing it to me (three months with no pay cheque!). But being here with Richard has made me see the city with new eyes, and despite being fairly broke we've been out exploring it's many diverse little pockets, visiting friends, cuddling new babies and driving along winding roads to wild west coast beaches which has given me the chance to fall back in love with this place a little (a lot). 

Also, good news is that I now have a job! Starting next week, I'll be teaching again making me both nervous and excited. It's been a good few years since I've been in the classroom, and this time 'round I'll be teaching high school which is new for me. I plan on channeling a bit of this lady (joking.....only half) and being thankful that high school works in blocks of time not full days. My best friend works at the same school, and having her there is going to be pretty great as she is easily one of the funniest people I know - perfect for post crazy class debriefs. I am actually looking forward to it, and the stationary shopping. Natch. We also have a house to move into this Friday! We've been very lucky to have had the use of my Dad's vacation rental property while we've been getting ourselves sorted, but I am looking forward to setting up house and really feeling like we're settling in here. The 'all coming together' feeling is very much welcomed by us both at the moment!

That feeling also means I intend to start posting here a bit more regularly again, and also keeping our Facebook page up to date so you can be sure you'll be hearing from me again soon. Sorry for all the radio silence lately!  Hope you're well friends. I'd love to hear how you're doing. xo

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Fond Farewell

I had always intended to write this post before we left Vancouver, but it just never quite felt like the right time. I'm not sure if there ever really is one right time to do things, but after my first real bout of missing Vancouver yesterday and sprucing up the blog a bit I figured now was as good as ever. So, Hello! Good to be back.

We were really lucky to be able to do a few trips around B.C. before we left Canada, and looking through my photos of the Gulf Islands and moody Francois Lake mountains has both made my heart ache and made me feel really, really lucky that I got to call that spectacular country home for awhile. There is something special about the Pacific Northwest, with it's thick forests and mossy, damp smell that lingers even into the summer months. It gets under your skin.

I love that our last couple of months in and around Vancouver were full of exploring, spending time with friends and a whole lot of joy. Leaving was always in the back of my mind, but I never felt really sad because each place we went was so beautiful, and each meal shared so full of laughs. It wasn't until flying out of Vancouver airport and peering out the window, mesmerized once again by the Coast Mountains that it really hit me, and I cried and cried. I think I found myself in Vancouver in just that perfect time in my life that made not just my growing up but the city itself have a really strong impact on the person I am. Does that sound a bit dramatic? In some ways I don't feel like I've changed hugely in the last 5 years, but in so many ways I have and whenever I catch a glimpse of those dang mountains I'm reminded of a place where I really felt free to be and grow into the person I wanted to be. Vancouver, with your crazy weather, hippies, large amount of active-wear and pot smell, you still have my heart.

So, it has been a bit of a tough transition. There have been a few hiccups along the way which I'll go into in a later post, but we have been lucky enough to come home to a New Zealand summer, which is just about one of the best things in the world. Watching the sun set over Lake Taupo with my Dad on our first night home, eating fish (really, potato fritter) and chips out of newspaper with a cold beer, helped me feel like we had made a good decision. Spending time with family, catching up with old friends and dipping my toes into the ocean at wild, west coast, black sand beach was pretty great, too.

I'm really happy to be back in this space, to share with you what we've been up to and to hear how you all are. Kia ora, from our new (old) home.