Tuesday, October 24, 2006

hello texas!
I have arrived! well I arrived 2 days ago to be more accurate. my flights out went fine - christchurch to auckland 1 hour 20, auckland to LA 11 hours 30 and then LA to austin 2 hours 20 - 20 hours total travelling time! I was meant to get 2 connecting flights from LA because I didn't want the pressure of a short changover, but I took my time getting through customs, security and changing my clothes to find the austin flight still available and they just switched my tickets at check in meaning I landed 4 hours earlier than expected - at 6pm on saturday, barely ' 2 hours after' leaving new zealand, phew!

austin diner.

on sunday night after some food at home we went out for coffee/dessert in amy's convertible VW beatle - I felt arrived in balmy austin. on sunday morning we went for breakfast at austin diner and met teresa there. there was way too much choice, but I got well fed!

derek & amy with the beautiful old volvo.

later on we had a planning meeting with shannon and teresa which ended up at a BBQ place out in the hills. I so love BBQ - such nice flavours and tasty meat. after putting at least half of my meal in a doggy bag (!) we sat outside and chatted. amy & teresa did a little dancing on the boardwalk...

amy & teresa practise some moves

today is amy's birthday so we had a day off, having coffee, going shopping in funky boutiques, eating amy's ice cream (a texas instition - choose your ice cream, your fillings, your toppings and your sauce) and later we're out for desserts with shannon & teresa and maybe some austin others.

you may have noticed so far activities have involved quite a lot of eating out... this will change from tomorrowe as we get busy preparing things for the weekend - food, art supplies, accomodation etc. we gonna be busy, and mainly eating in, although cakes/cookies/brownies will be supplied!

it's balmy and nice to be here. strange to be so far away from fran but that feels like a good thing for both of us and we'll both learn new things through time apart. besides which, technology rocks now so keeping in touch isn't nearly so hard. god's gonna do stuff.

Friday, October 20, 2006

cheerio queenstown!

so on wednesday I left queenstown on the start of a 2 and a half week trip. 7 hours of driving got me up to methven where I saw all the lovely ladies I used to hang out with for thai curry on weds night and coffe at the funky 2nd hand shop/cafe primo on thursday morning.

coffee at primo with a zebra stripe bike on a windy day

I've decided to do a blogathon on my travels and see how many blogs I can get onto - first start is pol & evelien's blog. I met them the last night we were in methven and have kept in contact since, and tonight they had me round for tea - luvley mate!

pol & evelien

tomorrow I start flying at 4pm and land in austin at 10pm the 'same' day... wierd. anyhoo, I'll update you with photos and blogs soon. xxx

Monday, October 09, 2006

all change

in the last few days we've gone from this...

enjoying some sun in the park

and this...

tss earnslaw cruises into queenstown quay

to this...

brand new white stuff!

we had a week of wet at the start of spring, but since then the sun's been out most days encouraging the freckles and making afternoons pretty balmy. locals assured us there's always a late snowfall, but we didn't really believe them. then on sunday we went for coffee in one of our favorite cafe's, vudu, which serves the best french toast, bacon & grilled banana breakfast ever...

cafe vudu complete with fairy lights and local artworks

we parked our car in town, and came back to a small pond...

lulu gets a bit soppy

then I open the curtains this morning to sleet and zero visibility, and all this snow! almost all of winter's snow had melted and I'm quite happy to have some more around. the mountains here are starting to perk up with spring colour but they still have an overall dull brownness to them and the new snow's a good facelift. more snow again tonight and the snow fields will be wishing they didn't just close on sunday!

I've been doing as much temping as possible so I have at least a few bucks to buy a coffee on my trip to texas, which is swiftly approaching. it's a little worrying that I'll be so far away from fran for almost 2 weeks, but with the wonders of skype we'll be able to talk & see each other which will be great.

so still pootling along, getting a little more sorted and I've made a few more friends recently which is really nice - tomorrow we're going for coffee together so they can meet each other. getting settled into a new place is a trick I think I'll be learning as this town, whilst great in many ways, just doesn't feel like home.