Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dad comes for a visit

Had a great weekend getting to see my Dad! He's in New Zealand for a couple weeks touring around and stopped over in Wellington for the weekend. It was great to receive a generous care package of American food and Oral B flossers!!! They don't have these in New Zealand and I've been missing them. Also good to swap out some clothes and get a head start on taking things back home because I fear for the impending doom of the luggage weight limit...


We wandered around Wellington Friday night and went to The Flying Buritto Brothers for dinner, the last Mexican place in town that I wanted to try. It was less bad than the others, we were both pleasantly surprised. The feijoa margaritas were delicious too.   

After dinner we wandered around Courtneay place looking for a place that serves Hokey Pokey ice cream (Ironically, Kelly and I had made some hokey pokey earlier in the week. Its a mixture of sugar, sugar syrup, and baking powder heated up and then hardened to make a sweet, crunchy candy.)

Homemade Hokey Pokey

We found ice cream! 

Saturday afternoon we went to the Te Papa museum, a completely history of New Zealand, and walked around for several hours. The wind was pretty gale outside so it was nice to be inside and still doing something fun. We headed out to the botanical gardens and took a trolley ride, but it was still a bit too windy for us so we ended up heading back to Dad's hotel for a bit then got pizza dinner at a wood fire restaurant called Heaven pizzeria. (Just down the street is Hell pizzeria, not kidding) 

flower tree at the botanical gardens

Salmon pizza and Pepperoni pizza

Dad did not like the NZ beer.

We called it an early night since Dad had to be up early to catch the ferry to Picton on Sunday. It was really great to see him though and at least be two out of place Americans with funny accents together. I had to keep reminding him which side of the sidewalk to walk on and which way to look when crossing the street, all backwards, so confusing, haha but it was a good time. 

Sunday afternoon I went out to lunch and for the afternoon with Mesha, Jaz, Ange, and Na. We went to a brunch place called Elements, known apparently for its eggs Benedict. Yes, quite yummy. 

We were all a bit sleepy after lunch but stayed out for a long afternoon, not without stopping for coffee of course. The girls were a little ridiculous, we HAD to listen to Taylor Swifts new album in the car before lunch, and there HAD to be singing along. I did not feel bubbly enough to be in their presence lol. 

Some other weekly photography include:

Wellington street performing playing a mellophone! 

A couple good pics of the Wellington sunset this past Tuesday on my way over to Rosie's for dinner and to write some letters. 

Week 8 Updates!

Week 8, I cannot believe the time has gone this fast already, I have only a few weeks left in this beautiful country before returning to my now-chilly Ohio home and starting hardcore work on my senior capstone project. Trying to soak up every last bit of the country while i'm still here.. I'm up in Porirua this weekend for the assembly, next weekend up to Rotorua to visit some new friends up there and to visit Auckland, and I'm trying to squeeze in another drive up to Lake Taupo with an extra day off I recently learned I had...
Mumford and sons concert next week too!

So here are some updates from work recently,

The communication barrier between all the interns is getting better, We went over English phonics for the "th" sound, I taught them "headed out", which I didn't realize was slang, but i suppose it is. I talk with a lot more slang than I realize. Headed to lunch, Headed to the lab... They got the meaning now.

[my rendering got published as a poster, woo!]

I'm on to my third assignment with work now, [mostly] finished up a truck interior / exterior proposal with the other interns for a New Zealand roadworks project. We had a test day out. Again, not particularly cold, but hiding from the sun. It was worth looking ridiculous, everyone else got sunburnt. Ha.

Now i'm working with a company called LEAP, they do indoor plumbing / heating / design systems. Its very... different. I'm leaning that "industrial design" doesn't mean the same thing to people in different countries, but I'm working on more of a marketing / branding / theory side of this project while the other interns are doing more of the technical research side.

Here is the new office:

We took an [unnecessary] 9 hour car trip yesterday for a site visit, which made a twelve hour work day, but free lunch and dinner along the way. My boss was driving like a crazy person most of he way up. Passing people left and right, well just right actually, I was surprised to not hear the inevitable "buggers" or "bloody this" or that, its not really road rage here in New Zealand, more just he way you drive. Everyone else, clearly the tourists, were the ones who did not know he rules of the backroads. Reminded me of the unspoken walking system on New York.

Not too many notable highlights from the 4 hour car ride up. The conversation in the car tanked quite quickly and soon became,
 "Ah it looks like that lawn there is well kept. With he sheep and the cows...and stuff."
"The cemeteries here seem very well kept
Four hours is a very long time in the car.

The countryside was quite peaceful, lots of sheep and cows and he sun bringing out he true beauty of the native plants. We did pass several playgrounds that looked very much fun but for some odd reason didn't stop...

Rimutaka hills first past unintentional double exposure-e / reflecty in the window photo. Thank you backseat, lol

Pretty mandarin trees at lunch

After a nice lunch stop in Havelock, we were back on he road headed to Waimarama to the site. Its was a very tiny vacation town "off the beaten track", as my boss kept reinterating. The hills were a bit sickening with the speed he was going through them but once we got into town we could all see why they had picked his absurdly far away place to build a home. The sun plus the beautiful beach views from high up on the hill were breathtaking. You felt at ease, captivated, and just stunned in general all at the same time. There was awkwardly a family and small baby vacationing here at he time in their swimsuits so we felt a bit awkward going inside to have a look around. This home was New Zealand's entry into the 2011 solar decatholan. I guess they did pretty well, runner up I think. It was a beautiful home, very good with sustainability and self sufficiency. They had tons of solar pannel tubes on the roof and were actually capturing more heat than they could use. It was a neat use of interior space, many things stored away and 5 extra beds for guests aside from the masters. We all decided it was a place we would like to live and wished we could spend another week relaxing on he beach. We did stop for a hot minute at the beach so I could be rediculous and run into the South Pacific. I mean four hours in a car is a long time, had to make it worth it somehow.

[view from the driveway]

[Jay and Ken hesitant of going inside]

[back patio] 

[outdoor shower / toilet] 

[The drying cabinet we came 4 hours to look at]

[intense 5 minute investigation...] 

[Living area]

[fold away guest beds / storage] 

[Solar panels on the roof] 


From the street

Waimarama Beach!

Bare Island

The car ride home was far less exciting than the ride there. I fell asleep for 45 mins or so, we stopper again for dinner in Masterton and at the peek of the Rimutaka hills for a photo. All in all, home just after 8pm. I was glad my boss, Jay, didn't mind playing tourist to us but a twelve hour day hardly seemed worth it to me.

Te Mata peeks, a great place to hang glide I'm told

Dannevirke, town of the vikings? 

Rimutaka Hills at sunset

Aside from vacation, work has been going well. I keep missing the bus I like to take in the morning, the early bus, by a minute or two so ive been on the crouded and drama filled later bus with two of the other interns that ride up to Petone. I have nothing against the bus, its just usually louder because a group of young people with down syndrome ride it all together and like to talk to each other a lottttt. Doesnt bother me, but it seems to make a lot of other people really uncomfortable and in a bad mood, less polite in general. This is also the bus that's bus card reader keeps breaking and causing delays. So even though its been an interesting week to work, I've got to make an effort to get up earlier  to catch my normal bus of quiet and peace again.