30 September 2013

Embracing the Beetroot

We all know beets are good for us, right? They are. And I also really like them, except not so much pickled. In New Zealand, they have totally embraced the beetroot. In the week I have been here, these are the ways I have experienced beetroot.

As a risotto - only mine had a really lovely piece of grouper on top...Pan Fried Market Fish with a basil crust, beetroot & lemon risotto at the Dockside Restaurant.

As an incredibly lovely salad: Wood Roasted Beetroots with Walnuts and a Blue Cheese Sauce at Zibbibo

As an alternative to the tomato on a lamb burger at Mac's Brewbar.

Sorry about the terrible photo of the nearly all eaten Ghetu Masala. It was amazing. Roasted lamb in a tandoori masala sauce with pumpkin and - that's right - beetroot  - at Great India.

I can live like this.

27 September 2013

World of WearableArt - Wellington, NZ

My iPhone photos won't do justice to this incredible display of creativity, artistry and skill, but I had to share it. 

World of WearableArt is an annual event. Artists submit their designs, and they are displayed in a show, judged and awarded. They are not meant to be couture so much as designs made from an amazing range of textiles - the human body as the canvas. 

I looked up tickets. Everything is sold out, with the exception of the VIP table tomorrow night. $4370 NZ. Not really in my budget. So, I went to the museum display at Te Papa. It was mesmerizing. You can watch the trailer from the website if you want to get a feel for the show. Otherwise, please enjoy my poor photos.

 From a series celebrating New Zealand, made completely from shells found on the NZ coast

Yes folks, that's a bra. Looks comfy, doesn't it? It's made from dyed zip ties.

 This blurry image (sorry) is a knitted and felted piece meant to look like a famous statue of Artemis.

What do you think?

100 % zippers. Totally cool.

Finally, a representation of New Zealand's giant carnivorous snail - 
made entirely from woven pine needles.

Hope you enjoyed the tour!

26 September 2013

Some Amazing Things

Ferns - 200 species - 40% of which are unique to New Zealand. Some grow as tall as 10 meters. That's over 30 feet.

 Saw one of these on a walk the other day. The sounds are crazy. They sound like three different birds. Tui are considered to be very intelligent, much like parrots. They also resemble parrots in their ability to clearly imitate human speech, and were trained by Māori to replicate complex speech. Tui are also known for their noisy, unusual call, different for each individual, that combine bellbird-like notes with clicks, cackles, timber-like creaks and groans, and wheezing sounds (Thank you Wikipedia).

We've been traveling a lot by bus. There is a great bus system in Wellington. The best thing? Everyone, and I do mean Everyone, says thank you to the driver when they get off the bus.

25 September 2013

Wellington City - I've Got My Priorities

One of the most amazing library buildings I have ever seen - and the inside - 3 floors just packed with books. I could spend days here - and I feel invited.

We are experiencing all the weather as promised. Rainy and a howling wind today. So glad I brought a coat and my boots! So glad they made it here yesterday, just in time.

24 September 2013

The Perils of International Travel

Pretty much everyone knows that when you are traveling overseas you should plan on your checked luggage going missing. There are various reasons why this happens, but in my case it was due to a delayed flight. My flight from Portland to Los Angeles was supposed to leave at 5:55 pm. It left about 7:30 pm. This is, of course, why I carry knitting and a book wherever I go, and why I packed a change of clothes and my toiletries in my carry-on luggage. Here's the deal though. Every airline has different rules for carry-on luggage. Sometimes the airline changes planes too. My carry-on was too large for the bins on the teensy plane that trundled me from Portland to LAX. Fortunately, the plane wasn't full and my suitcase was allowed to sit on the seat next to me, safely strapped in.

When I arrived at LAX, it transpired that I had 25 minutes until my flight to Auckland (you all figured out where I was going, right?) departed. Naturally, I was 2 miles from the terminal where I needed to be. We ran all the way, and when we hit security we were picked up by a representative of the airline who helped us jump the line and get through very quickly. Thinking we were home free at this point, we arrived at the gate only to have them call for a scale to weigh our carry-on luggage. Nooooo! And indeed, our carry-on luggage was over the weight limit and had to be checked at the gate. Well, at least I had my knitting. Why was my suitcase over the limit? I will blame the 4 lb. bag of Jolly Ranchers I brought for the Wellington Ward seminary teacher.

On arrival in Auckland, it was no surprise to discover that my suitcase hadn't made the flight. We did the paperwork and ran to our connecting flight to Wellington. And here we are. It is what it is. I have 1 change of clothing and my toiletry kit, my knitting and a book, and my laptop. Riches. That said, I think next time I will pack 2 changes of clothing. Just saying.

Wellington is beautiful. We were picked up at the airport and taken on a pocket tour of the city. We hiked to the top of a hill overlooking the city and the bay and it was just breathtaking. The clouds are low over the hills and moving fast. The whole city is bright and clean in the sunshine. The wind is blowing and it's about 60 F. Perfect. I'll figure out the C temperature thing eventually.

I just got the phone call that my luggage will be reunited with me at about 1 pm today (that's Tuesday for me). As they say here, "relax, no worries." And it's true.

21 September 2013

Is Anyone Still Reading This Blog?

If I have any readers left out there - Hey! How's it going?

I am saying hello from Oregon, our current, but temporary, home. I want to talk about what's been going on, but I can't go into much detail for a couple more weeks. After that, I will have tons to say. Mostly about life-changing moments - or years - as it were. 

That's all I've got right now folks. The photo albums are well and truly packed...
Completely over-shadowed by the selling of our home and moving, etc. is the fact that my husband and I celebrated our 20th anniversary this summer. Well, we haven't technically celebrated yet, but we're about to. Guess where?

We leave tomorrow. I can't wait to tell you all about it!