Number 100

Wow, my 100th blog post. How much waffle? Well it seems kind of appropriate then, as I started this blog to chronicle my move to New Zealand and let people know what I've been up too, that todays post is for people coming to visit us this year. Yep, having been here for nearly three years we have our first visitors (did no-one think I was going to stay!). As usual though I'm late,  the first visitors arrived a couple of days ago so these tips are wasted on them, but we'd have thousands of phone calls in the lead up and I think they're prepared!! It was wonderful meeting them at the airport and Adam is well chuffed to show his parents around.

I do have a friend and her family visiting later in the year so here you go, tip tips for travelling to New Zealand.

Firstly - sun protection. I thought I was OK in the sun, usually tanned well with no burning, how wrong was I over here. Sunburnt in the first couple of weeks, really not a good look and a wee bit sore - and I'd put some sun cream on! The second summer I got burnt on my back after getting into the snorkelling stuff and Adam had terrible sunburn this year. So what I'm saying is; the sun really is stronger here and you really need to be aware. I wear a SPF 30 on my face year round, and recently ran out so had to resort to my SPF 15 and boy did I know it, and it wasn't a full on sunny day. So good sun protection cream then plus a hat. I look stupid in a hat but I wear them a lot here and it really does the job. That and cool, long sleeved tops etc so that you can cover up if you need to. Then it's really just the sensible advice of keeping out of the sun at the hottest part of the day, drinking plenty of water etc. We have a sun shade tent we take to the beach for a bit of shade and a marquee type thingy in the garden to give some shade out there.

Drawing on my early experience of New Zealand my second point would be insects!! I had such a bad reaction to a mozzie bite I was on antibiotics, now I know not everyone is as juicy and tasty as me, but it's a warning. They bite, they itch, they swell and I won't even go into sandflies - they are well covered in all guide books to NZ!! So add an insect repellent to your list and a soother of your preference for when they get you (and if they don't bite you I will be very very jealous and maybe a little bitter).

Sticking with the nature theme, I think the weather deserves a mention. It's true, you really can have four seasons in one day. So be prepared. Rain is really wet, seriously the english think they do weather but the Kiwis have it covered I'm afraid. I did try planning activities around the weather forecast. Nah, forget it, just do it, but have a raincoat and warm top etc for any great change. Don't worry about getting wet. The place looks great even in the rain and wind. Then ten minutes later it will be baking hot, humid and sticky. There are seasons, and up here in Auckland we get a touch of frost in winter, but head a bit further south and you notice the change in temperatures, so the time of year makes a difference to the the temps but really it can be all over the place. I'm descending into waffle so I think I'm just trying to say bring a selection of clothes to cover all eventualities and if you're heading to the south island that means snow as well.

Am I selling the place, maybe not, but I haven't moved on yet have I so it must have something!

We're based in Auckland at the moment and while we've travelled around a great deal, there are certainly a great number of places to see and things to do in our immediate area, so here's a taster for your trip.....

Maritime Museum and do the harbour tour

Auckland Museum great for kids

Devonport gives a great view of the city, great beach and the tunnels to explore

Mission Bay for the atmosphere and ice cream

Sky Tower for afternoon tea, but the kids might want to go to

Auckland Zoo is a good day out

The Waitakere Ranges are a must

Auckland Regional Parks are all fab for walking, exploring and enjoying the outdoors

Mt Eden is a usual tourist visit and has wonderful places for coffee

Cornwall Park is our local and a fantastic place to visit

Goat Island isn't too far a drive and a great spot for snorkelling

Rainbows End is the theme park, but I haven't been yet

There is an Auckland Explorer Bus

Kelly Tarlton's is pretty cool

A drive north will take you to Sheep World

That's all for now folks!!

The last list (Cinema Trips 2010)

Figuring that not all share my love of lists, I will do one more! We love the movies, we have a ridiculous amount of DVDs and we love a trip to the movies. Going to the cinema in New Zealand is actually a bit lovely. Lots of space, lots of choice, great big screens or little independent places, a glass of wine or a great coffee or if you fancy a whole meal served for you during the meal. I love it. So here are our cinema trips of last year. Not very high brow, clever or that sort of thing. But I love it anyway (I am very easy to please when it comes to movies).

Fantastic Mr Fox
Charlie and Boots
Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Alice in Wonderland
Crazy Heart
Clash of the Titans
The Men who Stare at Goats
It's Complicated
Iron Man 2
The Hurt Locker
The Book of Eli
Robin Hood
The Blind Side
The A Team
The Prince of Persia
Shrek Ever After
Knight and Day
The Girl who Played with Fire
The Expendables
The Sorcerers Apprentice
Eat, Pray, Love
The Ghost Writer
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
The Girl who kicked the Hornets Nest

So there you go, and as of yet, we haven't been to the cinema once this year, better get a move on!

The year of Clive Cussler. (Books read 2010).

So I promised lists and January is speeding along, so here is a list: books read 2010! I do like a list.

The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo
My list of 39 things included 'join a bookclub', well I formed one and this is the book we started with.

To Kill A mockingbird
A re-read of one of my favourites, still can't get my mum to read it, mind you also watched the movie for the first time this year

Murder in the Dark
Now this one is part of a series by Kerry Greenwood (book 16 to be precise) the character Phryne Fisher really does have style!

Eat, Pray, Love
Part of a lovely parcel from my wonderful friend Emma, thought the book was rather good

The Spare Room
A quick read for a trip away, but thought provoking and well written (I thought)

Spartan Gold
The magic that is Clive Cussler

Cold Blood
Picked up from a library sale in Coromandel Town when I had exhausted my holiday reading (didn't think Clive Cussler was going to be that good)

The Quiet American
Picked up from a second hand bookshop in Kerikeri, the shop owner told me I had the finest Graham Greene, will have to take his word for it, as this is my first and only (at this point).

The Life of Pi
On all the lists and a conversation at work made me think 'gotta read this' so I did. 

The Girl who played with Fire
On a side note, our bookclub went on a field trip to watch the movie of the first book 0 I do rather like my bookclub

Dear Fatty
Love her, so had to read it (plus it was in the 3 for 2 offer)

Bon Appetit
Can't believe I had not picked up on these books sooner. Read 'Year in Provance' back in 2009 and now love it when I tumble upon them, usually in a book fair as this one was!

The Gurnsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society
A bookclub read suggested my my mother (I didn't finish the one suggested by the bookmarked she sent) we all enjoyed it and it provoked a fair bit of discussion

A Thousand Splendid Suns
Another one on all the lists, and I think mentioned at a bookclub. Read while on holiday in the South Island in a lot of rain!

The magic that is Clive Cussler

Rachels Holiday
Picked up from a bookclub meeting at Heathers - why not I thought!

The Boy in the Stripped Pyamas
A borrow from Pauline in the bookclub oh oh my! Not going to watch the movie!

The End of the Alphabet
An odd little book in the sale!

The Childrens Book
A bookclub book, we had a lot to say about this one!

The Olive Route
Thought I'd love it - but it was hard work and an effort to read!

The Girl who kicked the Hornets Nest
They are all right - the last one is the best

Flood Tide
The magic that is Clive Cussler 

A bookclub read, that was very interesting (apart from the recipes that I skipped)

Cordory Mansions
At last out in paperback - hurrah - fantastic

Raise the Titanic
The magic that is Clive Cussler - actually read for the booclub. We all read a different book, part of a challenge to try Clive Cussler!

Valhalla Rising
The magic that is Clive Cussler

Down Under
A library re-read while on my way to Oz

Cat Among the Pigeons
Following the success of all reading a different Clive Cussler, the bookclub move to Agatha and we all read a different book and feedback!!

Sophies World
A re-read to focus the non Clive Cussler part of my brain

Shock Wave
Clive Cussler taking over again

Death at the Priory
A bookclub read suggested by Vanessa, in the mood for murder after Agatha. A true story this one and aren't we all glad we're not Victorian women.

A huge book that has always looked intriging, it was a rather quick read and I kind of liked it.

Lost Empire
That'll be Clive Cussler

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
A borrow from bookclub member Heather, quite amazing, and makes me very grateful for life

Highlights of 2010

Highlights of 2010, originally uploaded by KTandCoffee.

I have lists, lots of lists, but a photo will start the year very nicely. It makes me smile when I actually look at all we've done over the past year and makes me think...'must do more of that...' So lets see.
It seems I didn't take or upload much in the way of baking photos during 2010, I really should remedy that. However, 2010 seems to have been the year we took the van out. We had loads of camping trips and that was our aim, so isn't that great. Australia was a big big highlight and a wonderful time, we want a bit more Oz in 2011. We have a good life that we appreciate, enjoy and make all we can of. Happy New Year all


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