Christchurch Isn’t a Church

Upon telling Natasha that today we were driving to Christchurch, she asked, “Is today Sunday?” “No” I replied, “Today is Tuesday.” She thought on this a moment then asked, “Then why is it called a church?” I hadn’t thought of it that way, since I already knew it was a town. But it was a very natural question from a 4 year old.

So when we got there, we soon realized this was a much larger town than any we’ve been in previously, and the traffic showed it. We made our way somewhat slowly, to the Botanical Gardens and got out to stretch our legs.

I had been wanting a picture with one of these gigantic trees, as they seem to be quite common back in Nelson and surrounding areas. It’s a Mountain Ash.


There weren’t many flowers in bloom yet but I’m sure the Gardens are stunning in summer. We wandered around a bit though and still enjoyed the walk.



Lydia and I did wish we were here when the roses were in bloom though. Can you imagine? A whole garden full of roses.14-052


Natasha snapped this last pictures of the few flower beds that were in full bloom. Tulips in October folks!


We stayed our final night of the road trip here in Christchurch, before heading out the next morning for Nelson. A total of 4 nights and 6 days of travel resulted in us seeing a fair amount of the South Island. The next post will feature one of our absolute favorite parts of the journey. I can’t wait to show you!

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In Which We Receive Visitors

The day had arrived. Daniel’s sister Lydia and her husband and our niece came all the way down to see us and our adopted country. After they were kind-of-sort-of revived from lack of sleep (but not jet lag!) from a crazy journey and multiple flights, we showed them the town of Nelson. We started with some cherry blossoms at Fairfield House08-016




Basically, we just wandered around taking pictures of everything. :)03-006





Afterwards we headed downtown and while the little ones sat nicely in the trailer, the guys bought us hot pies which we had for our supper.


They’re filled with meat mince, and you can get some with steak, mince and cheese, chicken and cranberries, etc… Just take them home (in a slightly frozen state) and heat them in the oven till nicely browned and toasty. It’s a Kiwi thing! 12-043

Theilheim Fall Festival

{September 22, 2013}

For our second biking outing, Doris once again led us to the little village of Theilheim. They were having their 2-day fall festival, and it was just like one of the fall festivals in my hometown, so it was rather fun. Just like at home, they close off Main Street from vehicle traffic and open it up for venders to display homemade crafts, the local dog training school to do demonstrations, a few antique booths, etc…

First off, there was face-painting:



{Photo credit to Doris}

Natasha wanted a princess or a ballerina or something similar painted on her cheek, but I wasn’t so keen on that, and didn’t know how to explain it in German anyways. Fortunately, the kind face-painter gentleman realized we didn’t speak German, but knew enough English to suggest a fish. With glitter. That of course, was perfect, so we went with it. :)



I have fond memories of getting my face painted as a child at summer parks and such, and there’s this magical feeling of a brush swiping your cheek that I wanted Natasha to experience too. Pretty neat that her first time was in Germany!




The rest of the time was spent meandering up and down the street simply soaking up the small-town village scenes of Bavaria.











We finished up by returning to a waiting Sam, carefully guarding the bikes.



{Photo credit to Doris}


Biking back to the apartment through the vineyards, we stopped so Sam could taste a few.


Wurzburg Residence and Gardens Part 1

You don’t mind too much if the following outing is done in a couple parts do you? And you don’t mind if the pictures aren’t really in order, right? Or that I’m terribly behind in Europe updates? Okay, good. See, we are back in the States now, and as things like this always happen, we get back into our old routine and life is pretty “normal” again. But, hopefully we have brought back a wee bit of a European influence and we have no plans to forget Germany anytime soon. Even though I may have forgotten my blog some… *hides face in shame*

Anyway, moving on. Or, back, as you might look at it.

{September 14, 2013}

Würzburg Residence turned out to be one of our most favorite parts of the trip. We took about a 10-15 minute bus ride from Eibelstadt into town one afternoon, and thoroughly enjoyed meandering through the gardens. The history of the Residence is fascinating, and I can’t relay it all here, but Wikipedia does a pretty good job of all the most important details, so you can click on that link above if you feel like it. There are also pictures of the inside of this palace, which we did not see, so we can both enjoy it through pictures.

The palace was built in the 18th century, but was almost completely destroyed in an air raid during World War II. However, they reconstructed it, finishing up around 1987, at a cost of around 20 million euros. Pretty incredible, if you ask me! Thinking back, I’m not sure why we didn’t tour the inside…? Anyway, we loved the gardens.



Maria and I agreed that this was one palace (and gardens) we could totally see ourselves living at.




While we were there, a newly married couple was having a little photo session. And I pretended to be a wedding photographer, even though I had no clue who they were.





This was the first year that I’ve ever dried tomatoes. Still not sure how I’ll use them, but it seemed like a good thing to do since I had lots of cherry tomatoes as well as extra romas that I didn’t feel like canning. PLUS, a dehydrator was easily obtained, by borrowing my sister-in-law’s. She used this recipe, and after trying a sample of hers, I decided that was the way to do dried tomatoes! Even the name makes my mouth water: Rosemary-Basil-Sun-Dried Tomatoes.


So, Natasha helped me do the first batch, but we got side tracked by making faces in the glass lids drying in the dish drainer:





We also harvested our very first spaghetti squash! Earlier in the season, I dug my fingernail into the soft skin of the growing squash so I could create an “N” for Natasha. She thought that was pretty cool, since she had her very own squash with her initial in it.



My best friend Ida taught me how to do that years ago with zucchini and it’s fun to add short messages early in the spring, then forget that you did it till time to harvest. :)