16 August 2010

Christchurch, NZ

I'm staying in the most darling little B&B called the Windsor.  It's only blocks away from the botanical gardens, downtown, art museums, etc.  Plus it comes with a glorious breakfast (although I wasn't completely sold on having spaghetti, baked beans, and creamed corn come with my eggs), a cute old couple that runs it, and their dog Winnie who wanders the hallways.
The seasons are just beginning to shift from winter to spring down here, and it is damn chilly.  It's only in the 40's, but I just came from the middle of summer, and it is a deep, wet cold.  Especially since it's constantly misting... I walked home with my teeth chattering last night.
And yet, there are flowers, and leaves on other plants.  There are even palm trees.  There are some strange juxtapositions going on right now... budding flowers, trees without leaves, seeing your breath, glimpsing a parrot in a palm tree.  It's quite strange, especially knowing that it was in the 80s back home today and my brother went to a water park.  But the strangest thing at all is that I am going to a place that is almost 100 degrees colder tomorrow.  Yikes.
There is a big, glorious art museum just around the corner from the Windsor, and I spent some time strolling around this afternoon to get out of the cold.  There was some modern Maori pieces, some electrical pieces that made me think of torture devices, and some really fabulous displays about flight.  Plus there was this Warhol of Mao... I took this for you, GO4, and totally got scolded for it.
Even though I fell asleep in my room at 4pm, and could have stayed asleep, I made myself go out once more for an evening stroll through the botanical gardens.  They're supposed to be spectacular, and at this time of the year it wasn't at its best, but it was still lovely to walk around, savoring the bits of green while I can.
This tree was wearing a sweater.  Don't ask me why.  But I liked it.
A second after taking this picture of myself, I almost got run over by a pack of running men.  It's very hard to remember that traffic goes on the left here, including pedestrians.  Not only have I almost stepped out into oncoming cars several times, but I've had a number of near misses with people too.
Enjoying walking through grass before 7 months without it.
I'm not sure why, but there were also a number of men running with pink wigs.  Happy.
I kind of split off from the group today, which was just what I needed.  Jet lag really seems to have gotten to me, as I've already taken two naps today, I'm planning on being asleep before 9pm, and I've felt like I'm floating all day.  Christchurch is awesome, and I'm really excited to come back and explore it during the summertime after my stint on the ice.  I've had more than a couple moments today where I stopped and thought, "Whoa.  I'm in New Zealand.  I'm really freakin' far from home."  Very cool.
Tomorrow at an undisclosed time (rumors are 10am, noon, 2pm... I still need to get to the bottom of it), I will be heading to the CDC, getting suited up in my ECW (extreme cold weather gear), and boarding a military cargo plane, headed to Antarctica.  Hoooly crap.


  1. I love your view of Christchurch and all the details you see. Brr! I forgot to tell you about the opposite traffic - Scott has had to pull my arm more than once to keep me from harm's way down there. Your new sneaks look adorable! Love the Mao and tree-sweater pics! Oh, and I'm sending the blond wig in your package today :)

  2. Yah! ECW gear! Until then, enjoy the jogging men in pink wigs. Keep us posted.

  3. LIZ. You have the COOLEST and BEST adventures ever. Seriously in the history of the world (now including the history of Antarctica. You'll be seeing me soon! (WHAT?!?! WHAT COULD THAT MEAN?!?!??!)

    -Fallon <3

  4. The wait is killing me! I find myself obsessively checking in, waiting... Hoping, you have posted again.

  5. i really appreciate the forbidden mao picture <3<3<3<3


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