Sunday, April 9, 2017

Our "home" for a whole month!

We are now in Ruby Bay near Nelson on the north part of the South Island.  We are house sitting at a couple's house from church and it's wonderful!  After so much moving around we were very ready to settle and what a gorgeous place to do so!  We've done a couple small touristy things in the past week but have also just enjoyed being "home" spending our time doing a bit of school work again, baking and cooking and playing.

What a view!

Good morning...

Playing chess before breakfast.  Very serious business!

A delicious dinner made by Tessa and Sophie.  So fun watching them plan in the days before, keeping things as secretive as possible from everyone but me.

Abel Tasman Park begins just a half an hour north-west of here.  We had a few days of rain this week but when the sun came out on Friday we drove to Split Apple Rock to check it out.

The sand was layered with black and yellow/orange - very cool!

Hanmer Springs

We spent 2 nights in Hanmer Springs where there's a huge (commercialized) hot spring and pool area. We had a great time 2 afternoons there and one morning Conrad took the older two kids on a hike up Mt. Isobel.

Such a fun time and a great way to end off our South Island tour!  Just before the end of the day Sebastian bashed his chin on the splash park and it was pretty gaping.  Thankfully the head lifeguard was able to steri-strip it and cover it with a waterproof bandage so he could play a bit more.  They even let him have a ride on the slide with Dad (even though we hadn't paid for them and he was too young) to make him feel better.  He'll have a good scar though I'm sure!

5 nights in Christchurch

We had a good long weekend in Christchurch.  The weather was cloudy and drizzly but we took in the botanical gardens and museum, took the tram on a downtown tour, took in the aviation museum on a rainy day and found a fabulous park that the kids loved.

Bridge of Remembrance

Everything has or is being redone after the earthquake in the downtown area.
Loved the pattern in the stone by the bridge.

This guy was singing and playing a small wind instrument (maybe a piccolo?).  He is almost completely blind but had a lot of talent.

The cathedral downtown is still in ruins since the 2011 earthquake.  They don't know what to do with it yet - whether to try restore it or take it down and build new.

Still so much demolition and construction everywhere!  Unbelievable how much damage was done.  Over 70% of the buildings downtown had to be demolished and rebuilt.  Some buildings had just reopened the week we were there.

The cardboard cathedral.  Built largely of cardboard and corrugated plastic as a temporary place of worship (although it should last a long time and be a secondary cathedral once they decide what to do downtown).

Such a fun looking street :)

 We thought this was the most ironic company name.

Playing twister near the REstart Mall.  The temporary mall made out of shipping containers for all the shops without a "home".  It's a pretty neat place actually.  They hope to all be in permanent buildings by September.

Watching their donuts being made.  Very intriguing!

We've been to some fun parks in New Zealand.  They like their zip lines here!  This one was a brand new one in Christchurch.  So big and fun for the littles and bigs!

Some down time at our "home".  Most places have a few toys which is always fun for this guy!

Fun in the museum :)

Air New Zealand was celebrating 75 years and have an exhibit in the museum.  Sebastian now wants to be a pilot.

Or...maybe be a "worker man" :)

We had a good chuckle over this one!  Not sure this kind of advertising would work today - haha!

Swing dancing, free ice cream and candies on a rainy Saturday from Air New Zealand.

I'm always so amazed by the detail in the clothing from the late 19th/early 20th century.