New Zealand · 123 Days · 89 Moments · February 2016

A Rhode-Block Trip to New Zealand

8 June 2016

Classes are over!! Jeremy and I are spending a well deserved break in Wellington before finals week starts.

5 June 2016

Had a wonderful night filled with dinner and friends. We decided to go to an Afghan restaurant for the first time. When we arrived the chef told us to sit down and "no menus!" Of course we obeyed and sat down. About 45 minutes later a GIANT platter of food arrive filled with rice, chicken and beef kebabs. A few minutes later some spicy salad and curry chicken showed up. We then befriended the owners cousin who taught us some Afghan words and phrases. He then gave us some smoked chicken that tasted DELICIOUS!!! FOR FREE!!! the cousin just ran the Christchurch airport half marathon and he kindly gave a "finishers" medal to all of the ladies in the group. After we stuffed ourselves till we couldn't eat anymore, we went back to our apartment and watched Narnia: the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

31 May 2016

To celebrate our last Latin Lecture my professor, brought in a bunch on snacks and games. Here she is reading The Cat in The Hat-in Latin (which surprisingly enough still rhymes really well) and a good old game of Latin Scrabble! Our team didn't win, but it was still a wonderful time!

28 May 2016

On a rainy Saturday evening, we went to see the Canterbury Brass choir, to see our percussionist friend Aaron in his last performance in NZ. Beautiful tunes and powerful pieces. The concert featured barbershop quartets, mixed voice choirs, and bag pipes. The former mayor of Christchurch, Mr. Garry Moore, spoke briefly about how Christchurch is at the point when it is ready to make its mark on the world again. Following the speech, the piece performed, composed by the conductor, was named 7.1 and featured 10 bass drums that simulated the earthquake that struck Christchurch 5 years ago. Performed in the dark and with a slideshow of the devastation, this piece was a standout amongst the 29 other songs performed this evening. A really momentous, and frightening experience to behold. Alrhough, even though it was frightening, I believe someone mentioned the noise we made only registered as a 3.2! Thanks again for the invite Aaron!

25 May 2016

Thant's a wrap! Finished all the shooting for our internship with the international department!

6 May 2016

What an amazing surprise! Met the Dutch ambassador in NZ today, and won the opportunity to shadow him in Wellington later in June. What an amazing surprise to find after my Geology Lecture. As You can tell I was a little unprepared for the occasion! Absolutely wonderful moment! Can't wait to spend the day with you, Mr. Zaagman

2 May 2016

Ah, the autumnal colors of the southern hemisphere...

23 April 2016

Back to the airport and off to Aukland before our trip to Rarotonga!

16 April 2016

Just about an hour and a half north of Christchurch is the little village of Hanmer Springs. A natural upwelling of natural gasses, and hot mantel that have sprung up this little tourist town. But we didn't come here just for the spa, there's also some tramping trails! Sam and I went with her parents up into the near bush, and climbed our way out to the ridge line of Mt. Isabel. The views were nice and the clouds were just wishing by. The trail itself (the waterfall track) was in pretty good condition, and there were lots of young family's who we passed on the way. One family of 4, (whose two kids ironically looked like Sam and I used to) let us meet their dog Molly! After a steep climb like that we stopped by the natural hot springs and soaked in the mineral rich waters! It was marvelous after a hike like that! Then a quick bite from the bar across the street, and ready for a quiet, and sleepy ride back down to Christchurch.

12 April 2016

Today, we leisurely woke up and got ready for an exciting new day of adventuring. Had breakfast at a lovely cafe on Vulcan street, but unfortunately we couldn't find Mr. Spock. Breakfast was a gem and after we all had our fill of buttered toast and bacon we took a boat to Waiheke Island. We tried to do as much as we could including 2 mini hikes, Sam made a few new doggy friends, a winery, little walks on Blackpool and Onetangi beach, fish and chips (for Sam's Dad making him a very happy camper) and even sunset on Palm beach.

10 April 2016

Woke up before sunrise to drive out to HOBBITON!!!! We were among the first people on set. There were 44 different hobbit holes and they all had cute little scenes, like a baker and a potter or just little old hobbit grannies house. We even got to see Bag End and Samwise's hole. After an hour tour of the set we were had a complimentary beer/ cider at the Green Dragon as well as a complimentary breakfast or at the time probably second breakfast ;)

9 April 2016

On our way to Aukland! Time to meet the parents!

8 April 2016

The term is complete! Now we just need to pack!

1 April 2016

I've done it!! After almost 3 months of cooking on electric heat, I have done the unimaginable! I have made an omelet! #breakfastofchampions

28 March 2016

Crossed the widest braided river in New Zealand on the way to, and from Dunedin. Interesting to note: braided rivers are a unique geological formation that is almost only found in the New Zealand plains. Because of the lack of grasses along the river banks, a braided River flows similar to water over a cheese grater, where it gets stopped by boulders and winds back and forth along the basin. The more common cousin, the meandering stream, develops rounded bends because vegetation adds resistance to the banks of the river.

26 March 2016

Lunch time in the botanical garden, Sam may be a little hungry :)
Stopping for breakfast before we go to the farmers market at the Vogel St. Kitchen. We'll let you know how it tastes!

25 March 2016

Great first day in Dunedin! Staying the night in the manor house, and the people here are quite friendly! Had a chance to go through at least half of the amazing (and free) Settlers museum. Learned about how Dunedin grew, thanks especially to all the gold in the mountains. Found one of the few Restaurants open on good Friday, wonderful Asian fusion! Then we explored the city some, completing about half of the city street art trail before the sun set. Gorgeous little town!
So far, a fantastic trip with atomic shuttle, fantastic deal, and friendly driver. Great people on board too. Highly recommended and cheaper tickets than any other company , and we even beat the other busses that left before us from the station. Did I mention they also stopped 6 times to pick up other passengers ?
On our 6 hour bus ride to Dunedin for Easter holiday!

22 March 2016

Discussing our trip to Rarotonga with IES tonight! :D
Funky halo around the moon in the clouds tonight. So I thought I'd take another picture or two. Easter break is right around the corner!

20 March 2016

Field trip with Geol 111 at Halswell Quarry and Sumner Beach, identifying lava flows and columnar jointing from the Littleton eruption 11 millions years ago.

19 March 2016

Beautiful New Brighton pier.
Had a wonderful day cleaning up Wilding Pines near South New Brighton Beach.
Stopping for some very creamy icecream after copping down wilding pines with the Student Volunteer Army near the New Brighten Bridge! Great little shop right by the water! Yummy flavors to!

17 March 2016

Finally made it to the highest point on campus! Great view for the treasure hunting society's first meeting.

11 March 2016

21st birthday party kiwi style! Big surprise party for my flatmate! Happy birthday Steven!

10 March 2016

So what began as a cloudy day has completely blown away, and now it's so windy,I'm actually getting blown about!
Super odd weather this morning, really warm but extremely windy. This cloud cover is foreboding, and I think I feel a storm coming on

7 March 2016

Got a GORGEOUS care package from my parents!!! I love the meaningful socks and hilarious card!! My parents are the cutest and funniest!! <3 Love and miss you lots!!!

6 March 2016

Sometimes we just stare into each others eyes. I'm so glad that sam was able to fix my macro lens, I've been at a loss without it!

5 March 2016

Stopped by the set of Narnia after our walk through the cave stream
On top of the world

2 March 2016

Identifying minerals for my first geology lab! This is through my magnifying glass because the minerals we're testing are so tiny! I think what we have here is an igneous amalgam of alkali feldspar, plagioclase, pyroxene, and Quartz! Talk about being between a rock and a hard place!

26 February 2016

NEW FLAVOR TO TRY! When you make yourself a sandwich try putting a small amount of jam on your bread. The light sweetness balances well with what ever meats you choose. Almost every sandwich I've purchased here does this delicious combination!

22 February 2016

Beautiful gift received today from the cutest "mom" in the IES program! Olivia is such a sweetheart that she made these little snacks with a little note for each member of the program! Thank you so much! Anyone want a TimTam?

20 February 2016

We made it to the pacific! I think I can see the states from here!
Amazing mountains all over NZ! It's so wonderful to just go traveling through the countryside!
Off on a trip to Kiakoura!

19 February 2016

Listening to a convocation speech given by the student who started the SVA (Student Volunteer Army). Really casual guy who asked us to listen to the opportunities and seize the day!

17 February 2016

Guess what I got! Officially enrolled! Finally after a bunch of confusion and walking all over campus, I've made it! Basically I had everything I needed, but my classes had not been approved yet, so I had to go to the school of sciences and have them tell me that I just slipped through the cracks, and approved me on the spot. Then I only had one more course to approve, and went to go talk to the professor. He said no problem, and I went back to the registration table, and the system had failed to update yet. So then I had to wait a few more hours before I could come back. Then they got me all registered, and when I went to get my card they told me I wasn't actually registered. So I went to the registration office, and they told me everything was perfect! They gave me a confirmation form and I ran back to the card table, and they were closed. So I had to come back this morning, and they said I still wasn't in the system, but this time they texted the IT people (so I didn't have to ru

12 February 2016

Taylor's Mistake!!
Sumner beach!!
I just wanted to prove that the eggs here are actually never refrigerated. They are so good, and are shelved the "old fashioned" way! I can't get enough of these guys! Nom nom nom

11 February 2016

I wish the rail road signs looked this cute in the states!
After a lovely lunch, we went on a scavenger hunt all over Christchurch. Pictured: the famous Christchurch cathedral, a floating steel monument, and the quake city museum to commemorate the 2010 and 2011 quakes.
Day 1 in Christchurch, NZ!!!
A pair of paradise shelduck who are considered love birds of NZ. These guys mate for life, and stay by each others side even after death. Highly romantic pair, and can be found all over the botanical gardens.
After lunch it was time to take a kayak up the Avon. The Avon winds throughout the Botanical Gardens, so it gives a whole different perspective on all the trees and plants. Really awesome trip.
Stopped at the boat yard grill for some lovely sandwiches right on the Avon River. Wonderful colors and taste! Pictured here, a vegetarian sushi roll, a cranberry chicken panini, and fresh salad with tomato sauce, and salad cream!
After our stop in Riccarton Bush we continued our trip over the train tracks into the Botanical Gardens. What an amazing place full of some of the oldest trees in the area. Really amazing indeed
Along the trail in Hagley park, I look up to see these brilliant greens, and I was keen enough to take a picture!
I always loved the way train tracks go on for miles. If you look closely, you can see part of the dot herb alps from here!
One of the first stops on our first day. This is Riccarton Bush, one of the oldest protected natural areas in New Zealand. This forest of 600 year old Kahikatea, Totara, Matai, Kowhai, Hinau, and other species is a reminder of what Christchurch would have looked like before human settlement! Due especially to the introduction of rabbits (because the Europeans love hunting wabits) and then the introduction of cats, dogs, possums, weasel, rats and others to control the rabbit population, many of the native birds (i.e. Kiwi) who had adapted for millions of years to live on the ground and avoid bigger birds of prey were killed by all these invasive species. For this reason, Riccarton bush has a huge 9' tall (really impressive) anti-predictor fence, and the plan is to re introduce Kiwi here
Even though I don't know how to use induction heat, and I don't have any pepper, for the first meal in NZ, I've got to say these eggs are naturally delicious (even though they were a little burned) they flavor is powerful, and there's no need to leave them in the fridge!

10 February 2016

The luggage has arrived! We were able to arrange some transportation to get Sam and I to the airport to pick them up before the day was over! Thank goodness the planes fly between the cities so commonly!
She's a cutie!
Making the most of orientation (regardless of having our bags) These students are really amazing, and Eunice made an interesting point about how we were all just a series of numbers and spreadsheets that just suddenly came to life. My goodness, there are a number of great people here!
My goodness these cicadas are loud. They are everywhere in this area, and the funniest thing is that around 5 o clock they just suddenly stop. There are moments where you walk by a tree, and you have to cover your ears they're so loud. It's almost like a fire alarm!
Unfortunately, we forgot to pick up our bags in Aukland...we were supposed to bring them through customs our selves. We waited at the turnstiles, but I got too anxious and bailed (we had less than an hour lay over, and we still needed to get through customs, change terminals, and go back through security!) so we thought the baggage claim stickers Said to pick up in Christchurch, but it was for both Christchurch and Aukland. The people at the airport said they'll try to identify them and send them down on the next flight, but for now, we only have a few days clothes...
Beautiful little nook that I get to spend the next 5 months in! I love this bright green cover, especially the fast that the reverse side is the color of the towel! Super cool, and lovely place!
We're here!! Kia Ora!
Look how cute this little cookie is! It's eating itself! Thank you Air New Zealand
Did we mention that Air New Zealand was wonderful? Here's one of the first views we had in Aukland!
Holy Pudding, that is a big plane!
"I am the walrus" I think it might be time to get off the flight. At least he is putting the silverware to good use.

9 February 2016

Last flight!!!
Professional meals airplane style! You should check out the cutlery...
And so is the plane...
I think that wing may just be...HUGE!
On board and ready for takeoff
We're on board!
Comfy Pants acquired!
Just a few shots from atop the clouds. Landed in LAX, and it's about time to get some dinner!
Quick stop for something to eat before we board our next 13 HOUR flight!
LA airport international terminal has very pretty decorations.
Finally in LAX, so glad to be standing again!
Let's hope that truck isn't too "flammable" cause she seems to know something I don't know!!
I can see my house from here!
Slight delay as we wait for an extra stewardess, but should be able to board now!
Last goodbyes before TSA and Take off!
One last wave goodbye before we head off on our big adventure!
Finally in each others arms ❤️ now we can finally relax!
Arriving at terminal C! It's go time!
At 8:45 EST I embark on an amazing #Journi

8 February 2016

They say we are going to arrive 50 minutes early!?!?
Finally, all the bags are packed, and ready to fly!!

6 February 2016

Fancy dinner at #petersrestaurant before I leave for New Zealand! Fantastic meal, and wonderful atmosphere! It's a family favorite for sure. Turns out the host had traveled to NZ in 2014, and he showed me lots of his pictures and told me about how much fun he had on the Kiwi Experience! He stayed for a while in Queenstown, and did some really amazing things. (He highly recommends the bungee jump, the luge and the seal breeding in the jungle!) can't wait to be there on Wednesday!