Saturday, January 15, 2011

And Back Again

I'm not sure if anyone noticed, but...... Ike and I have been away.  We had a good visit to see some friends in New Zealand and got to see lots of interesting things.  It's always a positive experience to see what life is like in other counties, and New Zealand did not disappoint us.  It was different enough from Canada to be interesting yet similar enough not to be intimidating.  And it is the differences in life that make everything more interesting.....don't you think?  Ike had a very difficult time understanding that it was Christmas time during the New Zealand summer.  Here in the Northern Hemisphere.......Christmas and Christmas traditions are heavily tied to the winter season. 
Our usual Christmas meal of roast turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie was instead lamb on the BBQ.  It seams that lamb and ham are the two more traditional Christmas meals and I was perfectly content to enjoy a very nice piece of lamb with some delicious mint sauce.  Which was very good...... and for me a real treat since my husband is not a fan of lamb.....I usually only get to make it for company.  It's funny how something which is so common place in one area might not catch on else where.  A Christmas pumpkin pie is nearly a given New doesn't appear that anyone makes them.......and I certainly didn't see any in the stores.......all the more surprising in a land overrun with pumpkins.  Oh well, more for of the best pies out doubt about that.  
I was hoping to be able to try some feijoa fruit while I was there....but missed out on the season and was unsuccessful in finding any Feijoa jam to bring home.  I did eventually find some in the Auckland airport but worried that I'd not be able to bring in my carry on baggage after clearing customs in Vancouver.  That was another interesting difference.  There seemed to be absolutely no security at all in the airport for domestic New Zealand flights......this was kind of nice actually:)
While I knew that cars would be driving on the other side of the road, this practice took much more getting used to than I had imagined.   It took me no less than three days of riding as a passenger in the front to stop shrinking back in the seat every time I glanced out the window and saw cars coming towards us on the right side of the road.  I had been warned to use extreme caution while crossing the streets as pedestrians do not have the right of way, so cars would not stop for you.  While I find if difficult to believe that a car would not stop for you rather than hit you......I did not put this to the test.
Ike and I had some really nice time visiting......we got to go to some hot pools, see Rotorua, have delicious New Zealand ice cream, go to the beach, do a hike, saw Pohutukawa, Pukecos........and did a lot of shopping:)  Now we are back at home.....back to work....back to school and back to the snow........It's always good to be back home....isn't it??
Now we have lots of catching up to do.................


Alison said...

Hmmm, feijoa flavours . . . I'll see what I can do . . . miss you! xx

Felicity said...

Lucky lady! That sounds like a fabulous trip!! I spent the holidays in Mexico once and it was so surreal to be wearing a t shirt on Christmas day. So true about Winter weather being intertwined with the holidays. : )

carole brungar said...

Glad you had such a fab time over here! Sorry we didn't get to meet up!

Jeannie said...

What a great trip! Love the pics!