Flanders in NZ 11 – Happy 4th of July!

I can’t believe we’re already coming up on 3 months, it’s gone by a lot quicker this time around! We’re currently attempting to finalize our schedule for a vacation trip home and figuring out how long we’ll be here.

Just in case you didn’t know…the whole world doesn’t celebrate 4th of July. So I had to work on Friday but planned to stop a bit early for an office BBQ in the parking lot. Keith chose to celebrate by baking up a storm and bringing a homemade apple pie and cupcakes to his office. He signed the treats “Happy 4th of July! – The American.” I’m not sure what got into my husband, but since landing on New Zealand soil he is a baking aficionado.


(left) Homemade strawberry shortcake biscuits by Jen, (center) America!, (right) Apple Pie by Keith

New Zealand (and most commonwealth countries) don’t sell fireworks until around 5 November (Guy Fawkes Night), so poppers from Warehouse had to do for the time being. I attempted to get creative and throw some streamers and tissue paper throughout the office using hard hats as bases… Don’t think I’ll be leaving engineering for interior design anytime soon.


4th of July @ the Office

On Saturday, Keith and I planned our trip to Abel Tasman with one of my coworkers. Hostel, boat, hut…booked – CHECK! More photos of this to come. Afterwards we needed to get out and enjoy the weather so off to the Riccarton Farmers Market we went. Afterwards we continued our walk over to downtown and checked out Cathedral Square (or what’s left of it). After a long battle versus the community, the Cathedral has been slated for demolition. If you overlook the fact that the front gable has collapsed, it is a beautiful church.

Related to this, Keith and I decided to watch the Hope & Wire miniseries that just premiered in New Zealand. I’m not sure if you can watch it in the States, but if so, it can be found here. The miniseries follows fictional families throughout the Christchurch earthquake events and shares their stories and actual news video footage. I’m not going to lie, it was a little tough to watch and I wasn’t even here when the quakes began. The reviews are a little harsh and I can see why. One critic writes “I had to quickly hit pause through blurry eyes as I felt tears running down my face.” However, it does share a bit of what happened here through an easy medium. If you want to learn more about why Keith & I are here on a more personal/community level, I would encourage you to watch.


Present-day Christchurch Cathedral



Light at the end of the tunnel…

On a more fun side, a few of us drove to Waipara Sunday for a fun wine tour! Keith agreed to drive and we had a great time meandering to five different wineries and grabbing lunch. Wineries visited included Torlesse, Waipara Springs, Black Estate, Terrace Edge, and Waipara Hills. We came home with a haul of 9 bottles of wine and a bottle of fresh olive oil! Looking forward to trying some of them again, and (fingers crossed) saving them for 1-2 years down the road.


Waipara Wine Tasting

We’ll be on a fun adventure this weekend, so looking forward to sharing some new photos next week!

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