Jasmine and I finally moved into a new house in Auckland and we are very excited about it. It is a large home with 3 bedrooms and a pretty serious kitchen and living room downstairs. We are sharing with a nice couple and having flatmates has been quite pleasant so far. We just need to work up some furniture as the place came only partially furnished. So checkout the pictures below and tomorrow I’ll add in some information about the backyard garden and brewery.
At my new job, there is a coffee maker that is free for the staff to use. I was pretty excited about this (although more excited about the free tea) and went and got myself a mason jar to use as a mug. However, since glass gets pretty hot, I also knit myself a coozie to insulate my hand from the heat. I used some of the yarn from the sweater I’m knitting and a pattern from Vogue Stitchionary. I chose the lace rib pattern because it reminded me a bit of vines. The ribbing also provides a bit of stretch so I can get a snug fit on the jar. It took me about half an hour to knit, but I’m pretty happy with the result.
However, I don’t think using mason jars as glasses is very common here. People seem a bit confused by this mug. Maybe it’s the coozie. It doesn’t do a very good job keeping drinks warm, but it does do a good job keeping my hands unburnt.
Jasmine and I finally got out into the woods for real this weekend with a hike a bit to the southwest of Auckland in the Waitakere Ranges. We still don’t have a car so it was a bit of an interesting trip. We took the train out of Auckland as close as we could get to the forest, then walked through town for 4 km and then through the countryside for another 5 km before we made the park proper. Then, of course, we went hiking all over the place so we ended up with a solid ~35 km that day in around 8 hours; we were a bit tired and hungry by the end.
But it was a very beautiful hike, through mountains pretty similar to the Cascades or the middle of the Appalachians and through some forests full of Kauri, a tree native to New Zealand. We also got a little bit of water in with a reservoir at the peak of the hike and rain on and off throughout the day. I think there is every reason to believe we will be back to the range to try to get a good grasp of our closest bit of wilderness.
Below are a couple of pictures of the trip. Some are a little hazy due to the mist and drizzle.
This is actually a project I did before we left California but, with the move, we got a bit distracted and forgot to take a picture of Lloyd wearing the shorts until recently. So a slightly delayed post.
The pattern for the shorts is the same as the pattern I’ve been using to make Lloyd’s cargo pants. This is the first time I’ve used the pattern to make shorts, but all of Lloyd’s shorts were getting a bit ratty and it was time for a new pair. For the shorts, I applied some of the lessons learned about clothing construction in general and clothing construction for Lloyd specifically. Here are the highlights:
Now Lloyd has a pair of nice shorts. Just in time to get put away for winter in New Zealand. At least they’ll be ready when the weather warms up!
On Sunday, we decided to walk on up to the high point in Auckland: Mt. Eden. As it turns out, it was not that long of a hike, and cars can drive right up to the top, so it was a bit silly to think that it would be our entire afternoon activity, but that is what happens when you don’t really plan anything.
It turns out that it was quite the tourist trap at the peak with about 100 people up there all of the time, but it was a quite nice place to see the city so it was worth the small walk in any case.
As new Aucklanders, we decided we had to go watch a SuperRugby match while they were still in season. The local team is the Blues and they are quite bad this year; as of Friday, they were in the gutter of the league, going a solid 2-10.
The game was played on a rainy, windy day against the Bulls, who are from South Africa. It was an ugly game, partially because the teams didn’t play well and partially because of the rain making fumbles happen all of the time. But on the plus side, the Blues won, so we must be good luck. Now if they win out, they might make it up to 6-10 and still miss out on the playoffs quite badly.
I have been keeping up with my sketching in NZ and, lacking other things that I am building, I thought I would share the sketches. I can’t wait to get moved into a house so I have access to crafts and building again.
Now that Jasmine and I have a place to stay, we can actually get to some real exploring! The first step was where pretty much everyone suggested: the Island of Rangitoto. It is a volcanic island in the Auckland bay and, as it formed about 600 years ago, it is still pretty volcanic looking. There were tons of igneous rocks on the less traveled trails; I am glad I had some sturdy boots as those rocks are sharp.
For being only about 600 years old, the forests are pretty thick if a little weird looking, probably because it is full of only native NZ plants which are mostly ferns with some random trees. Also, they appear to be very serious about biosecurity here to the point of asking you to wipe off your shoes before getting on the boat to the island. As they just killed off all of the non native animals (read possums, rats, stoats, etc), I guess that is quite understandable.
All in all, we had a very fun hike and a nice dunking my head in the ocean afterwards as it was a little cold to get all of the way in. I hope we enjoy all of our hikes down here as much as this one.
Jasmine and I just moved to New Zealand! And now that we have been here for almost a week, I thought I should catch up with the blogosphere and do a post on the new town. Bottom line is we don’t know much about it yet other than we walked 3 ways from tomorrow trying to find a place to live.
Also the food here is really good – well for the most part. Awesome coffee, super tasty pastries, and amazing fish and chips are the highlights so far. The worst of the lowlights – pizza. It was so bad I wanted to cry and then go to the back to show the man how to make pizza. The only plus side is that I do know how to make pizza so when we are out of the hotel and into a house that is on the docket.
So all you get now is a quick photodump; we should go somewhere exciting this weekend and have a nice post from that. Cheers!
So one final post from our East Coast road trip. We stopped back in North Carolina for a couple of days before our flight overseas and it was a nice and relaxing weekend. The neighbors probably think that we are crazy though since we were swimming in the lake when it was only 65-68 degrees in the water. But since we are used to low 60’s in the warmest part of the year for the ocean by San Francisco, it was quite balmy for us. Here are a couple final pictures to see the US out.