Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Central Christchurch

Yesterday we went into central Christchurch for a look around the city. First the cathedral, the tram, the museum, the botanical gardens and then shopping..... I made the suggestion of getting all present shopping out of the way early to my husband's parents and I am glad we did! For anyone who doesn't know Japan is a country of gifting and therefore when they go on holiday they seem to spend more time going shopping for other people than they do actually seeing what is around them. So now New Zealand is 15 boxes of biscuits less.... we can now enjoy the sights!
In the evening we went to a really good Maori show where we were introduced to the basics of the Maori culture and treated to some song and dance. Emily and I had to get up on stage to do try the poi dancing (sorry no photos were allowed) and my husband got to try the haka.
At night another New Zealand treat... fish and chips! It went down really well with the in-laws and now they are thinking of starting a shop in Japan!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Japanese visitors

Sorry I haven't updated the blog lately... just too lazy!
As always we have been having a great time here in New Zealand - enjoying the good weather with trips to the beach, games of cricket at the park and swims in the pool. For anyone that is reading this in Japan and wonders what cricket is... it is a great game that is actually the origin of baseball. My son is really enjoying learning the game so I can see that we will need to bring a bat or two back with me..... Of course a trip to New Zealand wouldn't be a real trip without a trip to a farmers market too. On Saturday we went to the Lyttelton market where many growers sell their wonderful fruit, vegetables, jams, chocolate, bread, baking etc. The only rule is that the produce is local. Delicious!

Today my husband and his parents arrived from Japan. It is the first time for my in-laws to come to New Zealand (in fact their first time to leave Japan....) so it is great to be able to show them around and see what they find so different from Japan. The biggest impressions today seemed to be the width of the roads - in Japan there is virtually no parking on the side of the roads so our wide streets are pretty unusual. The other difference they keep commenting on is the number of trees and parks around the place. Japan tends to have a lot more concrete in the big cities so all the greenery here in Christchurch (also called the garden city) is a little overwhelming. Tomorrow we will hopefully get all their gift shopping finished so they can relax for the rest of the trip.....

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

More museum and more buskers!

Yesterday the weather turned to custard (now there is a good phrase for anyone in Japan reading this blog and using it to study English.....) so we had a lazy morning and went to an indoor pool in the afternoon.
Today the rain stopped and so we went back into town to see some more of the great museum and also some more amazing buskers. There are so many wonderful acts on at many different locations around Christchurch. Fun, fun, fun!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Active 2 days

We have had a busy couple of days! Yesterday we went to an a"maize"ing maze which was made completely out of corn.... it was in the shape of a dragon and there were 10 different clues that you had to find all around the dragon in order to solve the quiz. The children had a great time getting lost and eventually finding all 10 clues in about 50 minutes. I just followed along for the exercise - having no idea at all where we were....

Today we went to another amazing place - a rock climbing facility where the kids were able to climb many, many different kinds of walls. They used great technology which meant the children just needed to be clipped into the equipment and then they could climb and when they had had enough or had reached the top they just had to jump off the wall and they were brought slowly and safely back to the ground. I was amazed at how confident they were - both children reaching the top of some of the walls which were around 8m high. I encouraged them from the safety of the ground!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

World Buskers Festival

What better way to spend a beautiful Saturday than sitting around watching some amazing buskers. For 15 years now Christchurch has been host to the World Buskers Festival
There are many acts from all around the world who come to perform and as it is all free it is a great chance to see some amazing performances. Click on the link above for full details, but we were fortunate enough yesterday to see The Chipolatas from the UK, Ojarus from Japan (not so wonderful....), Tumble Circus from Ireland and Sweden and Fuse from New Zealand. A huge variety of acts in a wonderful setting. I recommend it to anyone with a few hours (or days... it goes for 10 days) to spare in Christchurch!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Rainy day

Today was our first real day of rain, so what better thing for the kids to do than get wet and wash the car! My father is a model railway enthusiast so part of the afternoon was filled by helping him set up a basic layout and I spent the entire afternoon doing my favourite holiday thing... puzzles!
At dinner mussels took over as a big favourite and the children devoured about their own body weight of them. Yum, yum, yum! Of course there was also ice cream for dessert again....

Thursday, January 17, 2008


One of the things my children really look forward to every time we come to New Zealand is feeding the ducks. In a lot of the rivers and parks there are "wild" ducks that you can feed. Today we went to the Botanical Gardens in Christchurch where there were hundreds of ducks waiting to be fed. They reminded me a lot of the greedy carp in Japan!
After feeding the ducks we went around the Christchurch museum which has a lot of great displays for the children (and adults!) to look at as well as interact with.
Of course another highlight of coming to New Zealand is the ice cream... you can't beat it - as the children are finding out.....
And yes, that's right..... the children went swimming twice again today!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Another lazy day in paradise

I've decided that when we get back to Japan I might need to employ a Nanny. It has been great having so many relatives to entertain the children here in New Zealand and I think I have forgotten how to be a mother!
The last couple of days have been spent baking, taking bus rides, going to coffee shops (New Zealand has a great thing called a "fluffy" for children that my daughter remembers from last time - it is the steamed milk fluff with marshmallows in it and only costs about 50 cents). The children have been swimming twice today and also to the park and the mall. Another great day in paradise!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Today we spent our last morning at Trev and Gill's wandering around a wonderful bush area in central Akaroa. The children found an old horse to ride on and even managed to take Gill for a ride too! All in all our time on the peninsula was a fantastic way to begin our New Zealand holiday. Thank you so much Trev, Gill, Emma, Hannah and Amanda for a great time!
This afternoon we went to Christchurch for the next stage of our trip. We were welcomed with some bagpipes and a dip in the very cool pool with Terry. Thanks mate!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Yet another wonderful, warm day on Banks Peninsula! This morning the boys team went fishing and came home with one small dogfish..... satisfaction for a little boy!
This afternoon we all went into Akaroa to have a wander around the lighthouse and then Gill and I went to an amazing garden that has been made almost completely with mosaics from broken plates and glass bottles. Another really great day in the sun!

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Here are a few more photos from the last couple of days. Again we have had lots of time on the water with a yachting trip out to see the dolphins this morning (only spotted two...), another trip to the beach and a swim after dinner at 8:30pm. We also spent some time at the local A&P show where the children got to see lots of horses, some cows, sheep shearing etc. Unfortunately it was soooooo hot that we had to come home early for an afternoon sleep.
Yesterday we were treated out to a great meal at a local restaurant followed by some great music by Trev with the kids playing along too.