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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Music and Talent

I love it when Jordan gets to sing stuff.  I love it when it's good stuff......like this.....

His singing buddy, Kathryn, arranged this little number and Caileigh is accompanying them.  There's just so much talent here.  So happy to know them all!!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Moroni's Quest 2013

Yet another, "Thought I posted this stuff" episode for me.

We dress up in biblical time clothing

It's a few days of camping in this environment

We see re-enactments from this

We get to hear talent like this

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Ginger Beer Wars

I like Ginger Beer.  I like it a lot.  But the Ginger Beer you get in Canada sucks.  I don't know how you can get it so wrong.  

The cool thing about spending time in New Zealand is I tried a different brand of Ginger Beer each day.  The sad thing about that is it's obvious I didn't spend as much time there as one should when travelling that far. Alas, some days I tried two.


At the Auckland Museum

With my tasty, best EVER steak

At the Waitomo Caves
At Hobbiton.  I don't know if it came out of one of these kegs, but we had it in Hobbit mugs in the Hobbit pub. So that alone is super cool.  
In Rotorura

At the Auckland Airport.  It was damn tasty and the Hokey Pokey ice cream was pretty awesome too.

So, Canada, one day I would like to go to the grocery store and discover a Ginger Beer that is awesome because I won't be goin' back ever.  More than likely.

Well, I did find some recipes online.  Brew my own??

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Better Late Than Never......New Zealand/Australia 2013

So I DO NOT know how I missed this.  Well, actually I do know how I missed this.  It's been a crazy year and I THINK about blogging and then I don't and then I forget, and then I think I did when I really didn't and so it goes.

Once upon a time, I lived with my family in New Zealand.  I was just little.  I started school there.  I had a kiwi accent.  I didn't wear shoes.  I sang Maori songs.  Life was good.  At least good for a little girl. Obviously things weren't perfect.  My parents moved us back to Canada.  Shoes.  Canadian accent.  Periodic snow.  Halloween.

It had been 36 years since we lived in Auckland and my parents and sibs went and spent a few days on the North Island and a couple in Sydney, Australia.  Call it a nostalgia trip.  It was mostly new to me all over again.
First of all may I just say this is the best barf bag ever!!
Second of all, this was the best steak I have ever eaten in my whole life.  No comparison. 

 It's even windy there. 

My parents came by cruise ship from Sydney.  Chris and I flew in from Canada.  Diane flew in from Singapore or from somewhere else on the way from Singapore.  She does that kind of thing.
Fruitvale Primary School.  One of my childhood schools.
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New Zealand Temple - Hamilton
I remember thinking it floated in the air when lit up at night.

Piha - black sand

    Hobbiton was a highlight.  Yes, the actual movie stuff.

The Sydney Harbor Bridge. We spent WAY too much money and climbed this.

Sydney Opera House

Outdoor market.  

This is my Bruce.  

Bridgeclimb.  Expensive, but must be done.

I will need to write about my Ginger Beer next time.  So yummy!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Road Trip

There were two things I wanted to do as soon James left for his mission.....

1.     Spend time with Jordan
2.     Not sit around the house and cry

So Jordan and I decided on a road trip to Washington State followed by a quick stop over in Victoria, BC to visit some family.  Goal:  Outlet mall shopping AND a little Cash and Carry trip for Torani Syrup.  I'm sure there's a  post somewhere on this blog about my obsession with Torani.  

We started out before first light to start our 11 hour drive to Bellevue, WA with shopping breaks.  I'm a hardcore driver and I HATE staying in motels.  Jordan was my driving buddy.  His job was to keep me awake.  
As you can see, he probably did a great job.......

Alas, unless we were shopping, this was his positioning for the first day.  Good thing for Life Savers (Peppermint), Coke, and my shear awesomeness.  We made all our destinations in one piece and bought cool stuff along the way.  

We stopped by the Seattle Temple and walked the grounds the next morning.  It was nice to be back there and I realized that Jordan had never been there before.  
Sometimes I forget how beautiful all the flowers and shrubbery is on the West Coast even though I spent most of my life there.  I don't think I want to tolerate all the rain it takes to get all that beautiful stuff again, but it's certainly nice to visit now and then.

Shopping was a definite success and though we didn't cram the car with loot, you could say we were discriminating shoppers and just got the good stuff.  We had fun.  We spent some cash.  I finally found a couple of dresses after a decade of looking.  Total score.  

Border crossing at Peace Arch = 90 minutes.  Oh yeah.  That's something I DON"T miss.  I'll take Coutts any day.
I am not a "selfie" girl, but with this handsome boy, I think anyone can look good.  It was a beautiful day for a ferry ride.  Sailing through Active Pass in this shot.
Less good, but I don't think Jordan was concerned about how I looked.  Victoria Inner Harbor.  I want to say it never changes, but it kind of did.....just a bit.  I think Jordan's big score of the trip was here.  We went into a Jade store on Government Street.  I had to laugh seeing the Maori style necklaces, which I did see last year before my trip to New Zealand (did I blog about that?  must check).  Anyhow, Jordan found a necklace he really liked and I was a little stressed at the $99.99 price tag.  But it was his cash and our vacation right?????  Well he found a clearance section and found one that looked almost the same at 25% off.  He sometimes knows the value of a dollar and did the right thing.  What a deal.  

We spent the remainder of the time with friends and family then drove all night to get home on Jared's birthday.  4pm ferry off the Island, got to Revelstoke by 1am, napped for a couple of hours, gassed up in Golden, napped for an hour just west of Calgary, and home by about 11am.  Night time driving through the Rockies.....stupid.  Am I determined?  You bet.  Don't tell me I can't do something.  I'd probably risk killing myself to prove you wrong.  

It was a great trip with a great young man.  I loved spending some one on one time with him.  It's a tough thing to do when schedules and activities take you in opposite directions.  I really feel time slipping through my fingers and I am glad we had the time to do this.  

Love this boy.  

Monday, August 4, 2014

And The First Leaves the Nest......

Almost three weeks ago, James left to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Up to this point, I haven't really known what to say or write.  I spent the first part of the year crying about it. Then he got his mission call and things became busy and exciting.  Now he's left and, while I weep at times, I realize it's hard to be sad when he's excited to go.

This is July 16th at 5am.  We've already been up 90 minutes.  

When I get my act together, this is where you can follow his experiences.  He may kill me for this but right now he's almost 5000 miles away in the Jamaica Kingston Mission.  


I love this boy.  See you in two.  I'm already counting the days.