Well, folks for those of you who were wondering; yes I am home.Â It’s summer in the US and it’s warm averaging about 28C to 30C.Â I have to say I have missed warm days while in NZ so I am glad that I return for a nice summer instead of our normal frigid winter in December.
Last week, I met up with some of my friends.Â They have a little boy aged 4.Â We were picking “tomatoes” from her back yard.Â I was corrected by the kid for saying to-mah-toes instead of to-may-toes. Â Ah such is life, just can’t win! ;-).Â Once in a while I still turn on the windshield wipers instead of the signal indicator but I’ve kept on the right side of the road instead of left. Â Â I signed off my emails with “Later” instead of “Cheers”. Â I wonder what I should do when I meet a bunch of europeans/ english and american at the same place….Â give the american a hug and the european/english a kiss on both cheeks??…Â I think I’ll stick to a hand shake just in case I mistook a european for an american or vice versa.Â Don’t want to start unnecessary confusion!.
E noho ra
Well, today is the day. I had my fish and chips,Â coffees, sushi, and savories (at Copenhagen Cafe) .Â I saved my last Friday’s meal for pizza from Pizza Carto but Pizza Carto was on “Winter break”Â oh well, Ciao pizza carto.
Jim and I visited the ocean yesterday.Â Just to have a look before returning to the midwest.Â Yeah Peoria is not “the” town, but I must say that I missed it a lot while I was in NZ.Â So I look forward to returning home and getting back to my gardening, work and some daily routine.
Tessa, Deb, Annette, and the ladies thank you for always making me feel welcome.Â It was really nice working around you.Â I’ll try and post pictures of my backyard under development.Â Â Â Ngaira, Keith, Fiona and John; I am so glad we got to share Thanksgiving dinner 06.Â Chris, Min and the girls thanks for being frequent life savers. Â Â Mum, Jen and Lena thanks for visiting me in NZ and Australia.
Well, the blog is beginning to sound as though I just won an award ;-).Â LOL
Jim and I had a wonderful time traveling around NZ.Â We now have renewed interest to travel around the USA.
Every few months I read another story about how people in the US are geographically ignorant. 20% think the Sun orbits the Earth, half can’t find the Pacific ocean, none can name all of the States capitals after they graduate 5th grade, etc… But watching the UK version of “Millionaire” after work has shown me that the Brits aren’t much better and can’t name half the capitals in Europe (those countries ending in ‘ia’ are particularly pesky). I’ve always thought I was pretty good at geography, but some recent memory lapses have scared me, driving me back to an excellent quiz site:
This is an oldie but goody, and one that ignorance-fearing folk should visit every so often for a tune up. I gained some false confidence on the USA test, scoring 147/150. Off to Europe! Hmmm…96/117…not fantastic (thanks mainly to those ‘ia’ ones). But we now live in Oceania, so surely I must ace that test, right? Nope. That’s where things fell over so badly I dare not post my score. Africa, the Carribean, China, India… all testing disasters!
So, this little site has knocked me down about 23 pegs where I rightfully belong: with the rest of the geographically impaired. Study hard, Grasshopper.
It’s amazing how fast time flies.Â Jim and I have been in New Zealand for 1 year andÂ 6 months.Â I will be heading home to Peoria in a few more days.Â This profersional OE has been a challenging one (of course until I started my career break in March 07) but most rewarding at the end.
Last week, I joined the ladies at the Trimble office for tea.Â Kay brought in a fantastic “Tim Tam Cheesecake” and savouries.Â For those who are unfamiliar, “Tim Tam”Â are chocolate biscuits covered with more chocolate :-).Â I’m going to have to pack some home.Â Â Savouries are sausage rolls and mince pies.Â Savouries are very typical snack food, quite fattening but delicious. I’m definitely going to miss teatime and of course the ladies at work (it’s not all about mince pies is it now? ;-)).
The ladies at Ronald McDonald house where I volunteered made an Orange Almond cake on my last day.Â It was a gluten free cake which in my book means diet cake.Â So I had two huge slices !!!!!.Â Hmmmmm … that was yummy.Â I’ve got recipes from Christine on Pavlova and Lemon Meringue Pie too.Â Volunteering was a really good experience for me.Â I actually enjoyed cleaning for a change…. unbelievable isn’t it.Â In practice though I do realized that I prefer cleaning together with other people helping than on my own (eg: I cleaned my oven at home,…. not as fun trust me!).Â I also enjoyed bringing in bake goods to the house for the guest.Â All and all I am so glad that I spent my Thurs and Fridays there for the past 2-3 months.
Jim and I are slowly checking off the things that we enjoy doing in New Zealand.Â We really like the abundance of restaurant selections.Â Thai Rendezvous on Barrington is always one of our favourite.Â I cycled to Countdown and Funky Pumpkin for a quick stop to pick up some groceries.Â It is winter so that’s probably my last time cycling in NZ.Â I also walk from my house to the Cashmere hills and back again.Â It took me about 2 hours.Â We’ve been to the Riccarton market two weeks ago and I will probably go back again this weekend.
to be continued…..
Update: Never mind the title. It’s over.
It’s judgment day for Team New Zealand. The America’s Cup pursuit had been going quite well for them through the Louis Vuitton round-robin, right up to the 4th race of the finals against Alinghi. The first of the best-of-nine regatta went to the Swiss, but NZ came back to take next two races. This was a bit of a shock to many, since Alinghi had been heavily favored and these were legitimate NZ wins, not major Alinghi mistakes. But races 4, 5 and 6 have gone badly for NZ. Though race 5’s loss was dramatic due to a sail tearing apart and falling into the sea, at least there was some hope in the thought of, “what if the equipment hadn’t failed?” But in race 6 they were simply out smarted and made some real blunders.Alinghi can win the regatta and retain the Cup later today. I’ll try to stay up, but with the race starting at 1am here (3pm in Spain), work will be hell in the morning. On the other hand, if it ends up a dramatic win, I’ll kick myself for being lazy. TBD.