Finishing Up in Quebec

It’s time to complete blogging about our Canada trip from way back in October 2016 before another trip comes and I’m even more behind than ever. I tell you, it truly is easier to blog while in the moment. As soon as I’m home again I have more things to distract me and blogging takes a back burner.

During the last week in Quebec, we spent one very wet and rainy day at the Les Galeries de la Capitale.  It is a huge mall, complete with an indoor amusement park and a hockey rink. Natasha and I rode the roller coaster, which goes all around the upper level, and Natasha also rode the carousel and climbed around in the obstacle course climbing section. It’s really a great thing to have when winters are so long up north and you can’t do outside playgrounds very easily. It’s such an ingenious idea.
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We also admired the chocolates, but eventually had some sushi and gelato, before wandering around in the bookstore. Most everything was in French, but that’s okay. Bookstores are always lovely.18-323

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I have one more post coming with pictures of the Old City in Quebec, and I think you’ll like the conclusion of our time in Canada. :)

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Kiwi Food and Playground Fun

After returning from our road trip, we basically stuck close to home and did some fun stuff in Nelson. One of those things was trying Hokey Pokey ice cream, which is a Kiwi classic. Lydia says it tastes like Lucky Charms, when in fact, it’s “gold nuggets” of honeycomb stirred into vanilla ice cream. Note the picture of Pancake Rocks on the front:02-033
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Wes specifically looked up which grocer might have a dairy-free option, and I simply loved the container of what he found. Plus, the contents were mighty tasty too.

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I had this funny hankering for peanut butter and I think it might have stemmed from us passing the Pic’s factory a few times coming in and out of Nelson. Indeed, this hit the spot. No need to only enjoy it here though, they ship to the USA!03-030

Another popular Kiwi thing is L & P carbonated beverage. It’s a lemon flavored pop, similar to Sprite or something, but I think it tastes more lemony and “real”. I like how the website describes it as, “World famous in New Zealand.” :) We paired it with some fish and chips at the Nelson beach, before heading to the playground for some playing.06-001
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It might look like Natasha is doing the sole job of holding Myah up, but Lydia was literally about a foot away with her arm out to grab Myah. Neither girl was very stable and specifically when slightly “attached” as in a hug, any secure feelings quickly leave.
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Daniel and Wes had some fun too…
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In Which We Order Our First Takeaway

Nelson Beach.

We had heard of it, and one Sunday morning we decided to skip church and enjoy God’s creation by heading to the beach. We started at the playground, where we promptly found a family with a couple little girls (one Natasha’s age) and we hung around the ever-expanding playground for the entire morning. I say “expanding” because it just kept going and going! Fun climbing apparatuses, a castle, a caterpillar to ride, mushrooms to sit upon, things to spin on, and on and on.

Of course, we walked along the sandy beach and wrote in the sand before deciding we were hungry and headed back to the bikes to go home for lunch. However, on a whim, Daniel decided to walk across the street to the Fish and Chips restaurant to see what the prices were. So far, upon every investigation of this type, the prices scare us right back home. It’s rather expensive, this eating out business Down Under.

Natasha and I played on the stumps while we waited for the verdict. Either he’d come back empty-handed and we’d proceed home as planned, or he’d return carrying something. (I hoped for the latter.)

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Cheerily, it was the latter! It was the restaurant’s birthday. And prices were 50% off. :) So we enjoyed gluten-free whiting with chips and even tomato sauce (ketchup) for dipping. Oh, and even a fresh lemon to squeeze over it all. Cost: $7.90 NZD. Hurray for takeaway in the sunshine.

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A little more exploring and climbing was done before we properly were worn out and ever so slightly sunned, and we biked back home.

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We did stop to watch a bowling match on the way home though. It was curious to watch for a little while although I wasn’t making much sense of it. It seemed to be a sport for the older generation. A quiet, easy-going, not rushed type of sport.

How Daniel Spent Father’s Day in NZ

Daniel got two Father’s Days this year; one in June in the States, and a second here in New Zealand on September 7th. The church we’ve visited a few times had planned a full schedule of events for the day and we enjoyed it all.

Before the sermon, they actually had a bench press competition up on the stage. Two fellas were arranged to partake beforehand and the third was “randomly selected from the audience” ;) They each tried for their highest press, and one even went for his new PB. That’s the abbreviation for “personal best” which is the same as our PR, “personal record”. The heaviest lift of the three -from the audience member- was 160 kilos. (That’s 352 lbs.) The other two guys did very well too, each lifting 100 kilos (220 lbs).

Following the sermon, we all headed outside for grilled sausages with bacon piled on top, all nestled in a slice of bread. Toppings were available too, like tomato sauce (ketchup) and BBQ sauce, etc…

Then the real fun began. A Grass Karna was set up outside on the grassy lot right beside the church’s car park. (Parking lot. Are you catching all these Kiwisms?) Anyone who wanted could line up with their own car or the old beater car which was provided, and take a turn round the cones competing for the best time completing the course. There were lots of cars, a dirt bike, jeeps, a lawnmower, and the old beater car had several rounds with different drivers. It was so beat up, on the final lap of the day, the front fender fell off. It was already missing all the seats except the driver’s seat, and all the windows except the front windshield. Here’s a fun example of the variety, with a video of the mail delivery van. The voice in the background is from a lady standing behind me, and of course, it’s fun to listen to a Kiwi accent. They say we have one, but I’m sure it’s not as fun of one.

The week before Father’s day, we had been invited to a church member’s home for lunch following the service (they taught us about eating kiwi fruit) and this Sunday, Steve generously let Daniel drive his car (a Subaru WRX Sti) for the event. Below, you’ll find a couple of Daniel’s rounds. They changed the course pattern and moved the cones for each round, and it got a little confusing.

I have to brag a little for my husband. There were three rounds, and on each round Daniel’s times were in the 2nd place position. Ultimately, he didn’t qualify for one of the top three winning positions since he got the course pattern confused for the 2nd round. However, I know he had a blast. Of course, you would have never guessed it by his calm, non-expressive demeanor, but I know this was the best Fathers day he’s ever had. :)

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While the cars were doing donuts on the grass and flipping mud, the kids were busy over on the other grassy lot at the Bouncy Village.

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That’s why I missed recording Daniel’s second round, but we made it back for his last one. Now, it might not look like Daniel right off below, and that’s because that’s not him. He was the driver, on the other side of the car. :) Steve’s son, Troy, is in the passenger seat and in the back seat, Natasha rode along with Steve’s wife, Sharon.

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We waited till the very end when the winners were announced, and it was most definitely a fun, out-of-the-ordinary Father’s Day. Daniel not only did his first ever racing in New Zealand, but also drove his first right hand drive stick-shift. Fun memories!14-037

In Which We Play Hobbit

Last week was the first we rented a car and did some proper driving on the left side of the road. For the first day, we headed over the hills, to the Picton area. Daniel did a fabulous job maneuvering the hairpin curves, steep bends and slopes of the road, all while sitting where I normally sit when we go on car rides. ;) The only continual mishap is the mistake of turning on the windshield wipers instead of the turn signals.

I was rather unprepared for the amount of pine trees along the drive. There are plenty covering the hills (these aren’t mountains, according to locals) and logging can make some hilltops looks like a man’s shaved head. Wherever they stop logging, the pine trees suddenly spring up and look like a mohawk.

The first stop of the day was at Pelorus River, right at the bridge where the recent Hobbit movie filmed the “dwarves in barrels” scene.

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There were no barrels handy to amuse ourselves with, so we skipped rocks instead. Since I’m the manager of this blog, I get to select which pictures make the cut for each post, and the ones of me skipping rocks did not make it. Daniel by far, won the best-skipping-rocks-award for the day. And Natasha, the best plunk-a-rock-and-make-it-splash award. I came somewhere in the middle.

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