Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I have been tagged…...

I thought you might enjoy a break from the trip…..for some fun that came across my desk about six weeks ago.  I didn't have time to answer it then, but I didn't forget….

I enjoy reading Emily Cole's "Blahg", and she enjoys mine.  Before we left on our trip, she 'tagged' me.  Here are the rules:

There are six rules.

1.            Post these rules.
2.            Post 11 random things about yourself.
3.            Answer the questions set for you in the original post (i.e., Emily's for me).
4.            Create 11 new questions and tag people to answer them.
5.            Go to their blog and tell them you've tagged them.
6.            No saying, "If you are reading this, you're tagged."

So here goes:

11 Random things about myself:

1.  I love Blue…. any shade of blue….just love it!

2.  I am a mix of Norwegian, Dane, & Scot (basically, a Northern European Mutt).

3.  I love to draw "dead stuff" (seriously, I love the plants that are a bit static).

4.  I will opt for warm and sunny over cool and rainy, any time. 

5. My favorite treat is lime sherbet!  Oh, yum!

6.  I grew up in Minnesota (brrrr…) and left for sunshine and warmer temperatures of Colorado, and now, the warmer temperatures of Florida, when we can.

7.  I love to read and always have several books going at the same time.  My list on the right of this blog is about half of the books that I actually finish.  

8.  I was Captain of my High School Swimming Team (now, that is an oldie but 'goodie', for you).

9.  I am a 'closet' Interior Decorator - always love fixing up, changing, creating spaces.  Some of the Interior Design blogs are a favorite with me.

10. I love to travel, but I am always happy to get home, too. 

11.  I hope that I always have a shell in my pocket, and sand in my shoes (Or when I am in Colorado... a rock in my pocket and red dirt on my shoes!)

Emily also asked me several Questions, which I will now answer:

1.  Who is your favorite Band/Musician?
Well, hands down it would by my son, Andrew Douglas Rothbard!  Now, I have two daughter in laws that are amazing musicians, but Andy is my favorite.  My other son is the brilliant writer of the group.  Sorry, Mom bias plays really big here.

2. Where does your furthest away relative live?
That is tricky, because when I am in Colorado it would be my Florida Niece, and when I am in Florida, it would be my Nieces, in Washington State.  So, I guess "Niece" would cover it!

3.  Are you a nail biter?
Nope… My nails are always stubs, for some reason, so there is nothing to bite.  

4.  What was your "Major" in College?
My Major was Elementary Education, with a minor in Art.  My father insisted that I either become a Nurse or a Teacher.  I passed out at the sight of blood…so I didn't think that was a very good option.  I love kids, but I am not very good at teaching them, so I never put that major to good use.

5.  What was your favorite vacation as a kid?
Well, back in the day, we did not take a lot of vacations.  The highlight of my childhood was a one month vacation in Daytona Beach, Florida, when I was in first grade.  Our entire family went, and all four kids were taken out of school in February (some Winter month).  We rented a house near the beach. leaving a bitter Minnesota winter behind.  I think that is where the love of sand and surf started.

6.  What gives you the biggest thrill?
Well, again, hands down, any time spent with my kids.  This seems to get harder and harder, as their lives fill up with "life". Getting together as a family is nothing short of a miracle, these days.

7.  Have you ever sold anything on Ebay?
No, but I keep thinking that I should….or else, open a store with all my 'stuff'.  This summer, it will be a garage sale of epic proportions!

8.  What is your favorite TV show of all time?
Ed Sullivan.  That was a Sunday night special time in our house. We would have a giant bowl of popcorn (as the main meal of the day was at noon, on Sunday) and apples.  The show was quite amazing for it's time and any and every kind of entertainment would be shown.  That's where I first saw the Beatles, oh, my!

9.  Have you ever run in a race?
Yes, I ran in many races over the years.  I have two favorites. My favorite was the "Bay to Breakers" in San Francisco.  It was an event!!  Also, for years, I never missed the "Bolder Boulder", which is on Memorial Day.  It holds so many wonderful memories for me.  Recently, we have walked it, but in the last few years, that has not been possible.  My goal is to get back on track and walk it, again.

10.  If you could live anywhere but where you currently live, for one year, where would it be?
Maui… so dear to my heart.  I love the people first, the land and ocean second and the lifestyle!  It is just the best place ever.  

11.  What is your favorite thing in Life?
My husband and kids (in law) are my favorite thing, but after them, it's Nature.  A favorite thing would be to take a hike in Colorado, with the kids, and just enjoy the beauty all around us.  It just couldn't ever get much better than that (well, being with the kids out doors and exploring nature any where, would pretty much do it for me).

Thanks, Emily, for all the great questions.  It took me forever to think about this and to get it answered.  I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about me.  

Next week, when I get home, I will 'tag' a fellow blogger, and have some fun questions for them, as well.  Stay tuned!

Over the Mountains and through the woods…

We headed West toward the Tasman Sea
and a small town, Westport.
The roads were always a challenge, but
I think someone on a Motorcycle or sports car,
would be in their element.
For me, they were too narrow and curvy (and I
was not even doing the driving!)

One lane bridges meant stopping to assess
just WHO had the right of way,
and then proceeding slowly.
However, I thought they were
charming and practical.

Sometimes, other countries just have better
ideas.  It's hard to miss what this road
construction light was telling us, and it
might just save the life of some person
out there holding a 'slow/stop' sign.
(However, we did see plenty of workers,
who were holding signs…
just liked this idea a lot!).

Tomorrow, I will share a personal post.  I was tagged by Emily over at "BLAG" and she did this about two months ago.  Since we will be on the road again…. I thought you might enjoy reading some random thoughts about me, and some questions that Emily posed for me, as well. It took me a while to come up with some of the answers!   I am going to tag someone else, as well,
so, hopefully, they will be reading this next blog.  

We have had quite a Winter of traveling.  It is time to settle down for a while in Colorado.  I will be grateful to be in one place for a bit.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

This one is for my sister

Making our way to the South Island of New Zealand meant taking the ferry and getting off at Picton…then driving two hours over to the town of Nelson, tucked away in the wine country.  We wandered the town and realized that the Anglican Church was at the end of Main Street and about 500 steps up the hill.  There is quite a story to the Church, which I promised to share with my sister, an Anglican Priest.  It's a bittersweet story, in a way.

We arrived late in the afternoon and started our
drive to Nelson, winding our way through the hills
and valleys, passing wineries along the way.

The Anglican Church is the cornerstone
of the town…. but more importantly,
this church has become the Diocese for the South Island,
because Christchurch was the Diocese, until the
earthquake a year ago, destroyed the foundation
of one of the most beautiful churches in NZ.
Sadly, the structure is so compromised that it was
decided that Nelson should take over until
some solution could be made.

Here is a photo, taken in
front of the bell tower,
looking out over the town,
and the harbor, beyond.
(If you look closely, you can see the Nurses Strike
at the base of the stairs).

I sure hope they got the pay raise they were
requesting.  I love nurses…. they are the best!

Walking around to the front of the church,
we enjoyed beautiful flowers.  Now, remember
that at the back of the church is a large
bell tower….
but the front has a little different look!

Here is the front.  No steeple!!
Do you want to know why?  Well, I guess they
built the steeple, but cracks appeared (and since
earthquakes are a problem through out the north and
south islands…) they opted for no steeple.
So, there you have it….
Nelson is now the Diocese
for the Anglican Church,
all because they never built
a steeple.
(Well, that is the way I am writing this tale)
I am praying that Christchurch finds good solutions
for their church, and the city can come back
to it's former, beloved self.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Crossing to the South Island

Here is our Ferry
We were able to drive our car onto the Ferry
for the crossing to Picton, on the South Island.
We marveled at the huge Semi's that drove onto
the boat and then made a U-turn, so they would be
ready to drive off, as soon as we docked in Picton.

After the Semi's were parked, the horse trailers
made their way on to the boat….then the campers,
and finally, the rest of us in our cars.

There is a bit of open sea,
and then we made our way between outer islands,
much like the Norwegian fiord's.
It was amazingly beautiful - a fun choice of travel.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

On to Wellington….

Carving wood and weaving Flax into intricate
shapes and patterns is an art that is worth
keeping in the culture….. and here is an example
of one of the classrooms for carving in Rotorua.
I was mesmerized by the intricacy of the carving.
Abalone shell is used to accentuate the wood
(usually to create eyes)

This is an advanced carver,
working on a very intricate Maori

After leaving Rotorua,
we headed to Wellington
(where we would put our car
on a ferry to the South Island)
We had the opportunity to visit the Te Papa
Museum which is filled with Maori history and art

The Te Papa Museum sits next to the Wellington Harbor
where we just happened
to see some Dragon Boat races.

Don't forget to do your taxes !
There is still time, but hopefully, you have already sent yours in to Uncle Sam!

Hope you get a refund!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Leaving Auckland for Rotorua (North Island)

We wanted to know much more about the Maori.
so we headed to Rotorua, for our first opportunity
to learn more.  These joyful people are related to
the Native Hawaiians and you can tell.  The "Ohana" spirit
is everywhere (that is the love of family).  We smiled
at the similarities and envied the spirit in which they live.
They are also artisans in carving and weaving.
I fell in love with their skilled hands, which
created amazing art.

We decided to spend an evening, learning more
about the Maori Culture and customs.
They shared games, dancing, singing
and a feast with us.  A delightful and inspiring
evening of joy and laughter.

Rotorua is filled with geothermal
activity.  There are small and large
geysers, as well as mud pots, and hot springs
through out the area.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Leaving Australia…..on to New Zealand

We flew to New Zealand and who should be on our plane,but the "All Blacks" (New Zealand Rugby Team).  They won the World Cup last year, beating France.  They are more than beloved by the Kiwi's….they are AWESOME!  I wish that I had known how famous they all were, as they ran up and down the aisles of the plane.
I missed some great autographs.

The next really big thing, was learning to drive on the left, with these narrow two lane highways.  You heard correctly…. this is as big as most of the roads we drove (notice the wide ..ha,ha..shoulder  NOT!!).  It took the two of us to navigate, each and every day….and some of the mountain roads were crazy!!

yes,  oh, yum…… that is what they are called.
Every morning, I had a 'flat white' and David had a
long black (just another name for great coffee)
Honestly, this is the best coffee that I have ever had,
and it was consistent through out the country.
I will miss this so very much.

Monday, April 9, 2012

A busy two days in Sydney

The Harbour is a busy place,
energized by visitors and locals alike!
I loved the ferry
(if you blow up this photo
you can see people
climbing on the bridge!...
just not me!)

It surprised me to see Palm trees
all over the city.
These were at a Vietnam Veterans
War Memorial.

Another surprise was finding out
that there was a Picasso exhibit
at the Art Museum.
It was a delightful way
to spend the afternoon!

You might have to click on this to read it,
but the sign delighted me.
Gardens are loved through out the city.

This was the Queen Victoria Mall
in the center of the city.
Old buildings are being recycled
into beautiful shops & cafes.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Fernery

We were astonished at the numbers and
types of ferns all over Sydney and New Zealand

Here is one example of the delicacy
of this beautiful greenery.
I will have lots more to share through out our journey.

The Opera House was an Architectural masterpiece.
We were able to get a tour on Sunday
but were not able to see a performance there.

A view from across the harbour
gives you an idea of how much went into
the building, itself.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Botanical wanderings

We have spent the last month
wandering 'down under'.
We started in Sydney...virtually,
at the Botanic Gardens.
A beautiful place to start one's journey!

Our first day was spent in the gardens,
recovering from jet lag.
We have spent the last month exploring,
but our wandering is not done.
We head back to Florida soon to fetch our car,
and then we shall do more wandering
back to Colorado.
I will spend the Summer sharing my journey!

The Botanical Garden had bats everywhere.
They were so loud, you could hardly talk,
when you were under the trees,
where they lived.

Tropical plants were in abundance
through out the city, not just in
the Botanical Gardens.

Happy Easter!
Happy Passover!