Flanders in NZ 9 – The 40hour Birthday

Who else has been following the World Cup? All of us down here get to wake up to early-morning matches. Occasionally, if we’re lucky, there’s a game on around lunchtime. Between 5 brackets through my home, DC, office and a yahoo pick em league with my brother I have a lot of winner options, but always tend to back Argentina…not sure why, maybe it’s because I have found memories of my family coming up with an “Argentina!” chant during one of the World Cups long ago.

Despite us celebrating the shortest day of the year last week, the flowers have started blooming in our backyard! I can’t really describe how lovely it is to have grass and plants and a backyard. I don’t think I’ll be able to go back to the States and live in a high-rise apartment again!


Winter Peonies?

Last time I was here I blogged about the Lyttleton Festival of Lights. The annual event occurred this past Friday so a few of us headed out to enjoy the fireworks, craft beer, food, and of course, CHURROS!!


Fireworks over the Port

Keith and I didn’t have anything particular planned for this weekend, but we woke up to a BEAUTIFUL day so eventually headed out to the tiny french-settled town of Akaroa. We were originally planning to do a hike along Pigeon Bay but it was so windy it didn’t seem like an enjoyable time. We took the scenic road around the ridge line instead — summit road — and ended up in Akaroa for a late lunch.


Akaroa harbour & Akaroa Summit Road view

We stumbled upon Ma Maison which was a great little restaurant right on the water. Perfect spot for an outdoor lunch and coffee. I had the seafood chowder (anything seafood in Akaroa is fabulous) and Keith got a chicken sandwich.


Ma Maison flat white



Akaroa Harbour



You can tell a lot about someone’s personality…

We sped back to Christchurch and drove up to Queen Victoria Park to catch the sunset. So worth it–


Queen Victoria Park Sunset

Sunday was time for another trail run. Keith & I went to the Opawa farmers market to pick up some veggies (or “vege” in kiwi-speak) and then up to the hills for a 50-minute up-and-down run. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get over the views along the port hills surrounding Christchurch–


Sunday Run – Crater Rim Walkway

Afterwards we were able to skype with our great friends Ev & Chris! We talked about them potentially visiting so that was pretty exciting–we love visitors! 🙂

Tuesday was my birthday. The fun thing about NZ birthdays from someone who was born on the east coast of the States, is that they last about 40 hours–have fun with that math. Collected some fun cards, gifts (american ketchup!), and CAKE over the past few days. Thanks to Ashley for those pictured below! Looks like we did manage to continue our birthday cupcake tradition.

birthday gifts

Birthday goodies!

Keith got me a hiking pack for my birthday which I am PUMPED to use on our upcoming hike in Abel Tasman national park (and many more). All geared up!


photo 3_rev

Office Birthday Cake

Off to find another adventure for this weekend…oh, and Happy half-Christmas!


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