Sunday, December 23, 2012

Getting ready for Christmas

I love Christmas.  Getting the lights up, the tree all decorated...and the almost innumberable holiday treats!  I made ginger snaps for a cookie exchange and ended up making A LOT!  So took some into work.  Everyone loved them.
Then there is the traditional carmel popcorn balls.  I've been kind of busy so I didn't get them done very early.  I gave some away today at church and decided to try something different.  This year I added white and dark chocolate on top.  So yummy!
You can see the part where some is missing...because I COULDN'T resist! :-)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Kaitoke Regional Park

We ended up leaving town later than planned, so we didn't get to the park until 10...only to find out that the gate closes at 9 pm! :-(  So we grabbed a few of the things that we'd need for the night and started walking.  We found a decent spot (in the dark! haha) and put up the tent.  Maggie had never put up a tent before so it was a fun adventure. :-)
Here is Maggie and Gillian the next morning.  We realized that we were at the wrong part of the park!  So we took down the tent and drove to the right entrance.  To find out that gate closes at 8 pm, good to know for the next time!  Haha...

So Maggie and I drove back to town (it is only about 30 minutes away) grabbed the bigger tent, my other shoes (because the grass was wet and my shoes got soaked!) and bug repellent and headed back out.  Here is a picture of Maggie putting in a stake.

After we got everything set-up and had some lunch, we went for a walk.  We camped right next to the river, behind some trees, it is the best spot there!  My friend Jamie showed me where it was.  :-)

The three of us on the bridge over the water.  Don't look down!  Lol, actually this one isn't as high as Waihine Gorge, so it's not too bad.

This is where they filmed "Rivendell" in the Lord of the Rings triology.  So they put up some markers and we took our photos. :-)

This was cool, it showed the heights of the various characters in the books.  As you can see, I'm jsut shorter than a wizard...I'll take that! :-)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Going camping this weekend :-)

Some friends and I are going camping this weekend.  Pray for sunshine!  Lol.  My friends Maggie, Gillian and JC are coming with me camping this weekend.  We will be camping in the place where they filmed Rivendell in the Lord of the Rings trilogies.  Although it has been returned to it's natural look, it is still cool to think that I'll be camping in such a cool and beautiful place.
But we will have fun regardless of the weather!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Let the Christmas Holiday commence! :D
The inside of my house is decorated for one of the best holidays of the year.  The celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord, Savior and Redeemer.

I have much less decorations that I remember...perhaps because I gave all of them away! Lol...oh, well.  Just makes me appreciate the ones I do have. 

It also brings to mind the blessing that the gift of the birth of Jesus Christ brings to all our lives.  My religion is quite amazing.  We know that the Savior's redeeming sacrifice is infinite.  This has many implications, among the most important is that his atonement applies to all God's children, no matter what.  This has come to mean a lot to me recently, as in my travels I've gotten to know some who do not believe in Christ, or they allow Satan to cover their eyes to the truth.  The fact that the Savior's atonement is infinite means that it covers them too.  And they will have a chance to hear the gospel in all it's truth and be given the opportunity to accept it. 

Not only that, but it can cover the mistakes that I make.  I do my best and try to live my life the best that I can, but I do make mistakes too.  So the fact that the atonement covers my mistakes, if I repent, that is the greatest gift possible.  I love my Savior, I love my family, I love all the friends I've made in my life, and I love my country.  May the Lord continue to bless her as we strive through these difficult and challenging times. 

Merry Christmas and may the love of the Savior and our Heavenly Father bless each and every one of us this year.

All my love,

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Hobbit Premiere

So everyone who knows me, knows that I'm a big Lord of the Rings fan.  So imagine my excitement when I found out that I would be in Wellington for the world premiere of the Hobbit! :-)
They tried to go all out.  Here is Gandalf and Bag End on the top of the Embassy Theatre where they will show the movie.

Some of the people trying to get a view of the red-carpet. You can see that they made a Hobbit hole that covered a big part of the street.

Peopel were standing on top of everything!  Even these poles to try and get a better view.

The red carpet check-in tent.  The movie was shown in two theatres so the people attending, would check-in here and either head south down Courtney Place or north to their perspective theatres.

A few of the people in line to attend the premiere.  Here were two guys that were dressed up like guards of Minus Tireth.

More of the statues put up around the street.  I'm going to try and go back to tomorrow when there aren't so many people and take phots of the trolls and other statues.

The entrance to the Reading Cinema where some of the people were watching the premiere.

Air New Zealand has various characters of the movie painted on their planes.  The crowds would cheer when the various planes would fly over the street.  As you can see the airport isn't that far from the city to see that the painting on the airplanes.


Making the traditional noodles.

Maggie, Vinita, and I went on a walk before dinner.  I ended up walking over 15km (or over over 9 miles).

Part of the harbour.  Its weird to think I'm on an island.

Percy Cameron Reserve

One weekend I went up to Kaitoke, I was going to camp, but I forgot my tent poles so I came back to Wellington, and on my way, I stopped off at the Percy Cameron Reserve.

Me in the preserve.

These are some native plants.

Marine Ball

When there is a Marine detachment at an embassy, around November 10th, there is Marine Ball.  I wasn't going to go, but then I decided that I should.  My friend Maggie and I were each other's date.
Here we are with the Marines.

Maggie looked stunning in silver and I though I looked pretty good in pink and black.

Got my nails manicured and lash extensions.  They were interesting to get put on, but they look incredible!  And I'll go back in 3-4 weeks to get a fill-in to continue looking lash-i-licious! hehe...

Guy Fawke's Day

So Guy Fawke's Day is an interesting holiday.  We don't get it off, but they set off fireworks to celebrate.  Guy Fawkes tried to blow up Parliament in the UK but was foiled in his attempt. 
So the only time you can buy fireworks is the couple of days before Guy Fawke's Day and the day of.  Kiwis were setting off fireworks all week.  Which is kind of funny because it doesn't get dark here until late.

We braved the crowds and went down to the harbour.  Next year we plan on chartering a boat and going out in the harbour for a picnic and to watch the fireworks as they are shot overhead. :-)


I had a Halloween party at my house.  I made a lot of themed food and my friend Tara made Halloween themed drinks.

This is my friend Gina (who I meet on the tramping trip) posing in the tub!

And my friend Gillian posing in my bedroom.

Labour Day Weekend

Working for the US Embassy, I get both American and New Zealand holidays off. So for the NZ Labour Day weekend, I went tramping with some of my Kiwi friends.

Here I am at the begining of the tramp.  Tramp means hiking with all your stuff on your back!  It was heavy!  Lol.
Us on our way up!

Sleeping in the bunks.  Man, was it cold! But I was prepared, so it was all good. :-)

Then we went for a hike across Waihine Gorge.

SO many beautiful places in this country!

Kaitoke Regional Park

Driving up the Rimataku Mountains on my way to Cape Palliser, I stopped at a lookout.  This is over the Kaitoke Regional Park.  This is where Rivendell was filmed in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Me. :-)

Another view of the beautiful park.

Cape Palliser

One Saturday I drove out to Cape Palliser.  There is a lighthouse (which I took pictures of with my other camera) but it's such a beautiful place!
Just behind those rocks are a colony of sea lions.  I got really close to a baby one, but it's not recommended.  They are fast and very dangerous! (again photos on my other camera)

What a beautiful place, no?
The lighthouse in Cape Palliser.
One of the sea lions...or there a difference?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Lyall Bay

On a Saturday I drove around the bay and ended up finding myself in Lyall Bay.

So pretty, huh?  It's so interesting to remember that I am living on an island!

Isn't it beautiful?

Some statue in the bay.