Aerogers' Guestbook



1st October 2010
h25

Why ducks don't sink!
It used to be something of a local joke/truism in certain rural areas that the reason geese/ducks don't sink is because they have very tight rubberbands around their rear-ends to ensure against leaks developing. In this case, by the looks of that water and its probable temperature, I'd have to say that they are darned near frozen shut instead. That looks a lot like typical Seattle country cold weather.
21st September 2010

Nucleur fissicks
I, for one, will never understand the passion for spices, especially when they melt your tongue and have the same effect on your sinuses as napalm. Mind you, you must have looked quite fetching with steam coming out of your ears. (Maybe there's another reason for the split ends on your hair - assuming you have split ends on your hair, that is.) However, to each, their own, I guess. These spicy drinks and food are one oddity that we can't blame on the Americans, that's for sure. I'm really sorry that your New Zealand experience is coming to an end. Your photos have been marvelous and I've loved your sense of humour. I presume you missed the big quake in Christchurch. That must have been an experience to live through!!! I hope that you do head for a year in Oz. If your NZ experience is anything to go by, your time in Oz should be just as entertaining, provided you go someplace interesting and off the beaten track while there. God bless you kids and please keep in touch. Joe
2nd September 2010

Beautiful Photos!!
Love the pictures!! Thanks for sharing. Glad you guys are good.
2nd September 2010

I get so excited every time I get an email from you guys!! Sounds (and looks) like you're having a blast! Those barstools are AWESOME!!!! Xoxo, Christina
20th August 2010

Having Fun
This is time of a lifetime! You guys seems to be having so much fun you make my life seems boring. nyway I am so happy for you guys. This is the best time to do what you are doing. Take care of yourselves, and God bless! Bill and Donna.
17th August 2010

Response to Teresita
Hi!! Good to hear from you too!! Nope, we have not heard from Seth yet...not that I'm aware of anyway...hope all is well with you, will see you in December!!
17th August 2010

ello--ello
Dearies, it has been awhile, miss and love youse. I can truly say i am enjoying being a blog part of your life.haha. Nice to know all is better with you both. Alot has happened in the past yr. whoosh. Hey by the way has the Bro. Seth Swanson? contacted you guys yet. Jei-lin has turned 1yr.and is sooooo delish. may Jah keep you and all of us in His Mighty Arms and LOVE xoxoxo mamacita
10th August 2010

Pacific Northwest
Hi Amy and Jeremy: Colorado and Wyoming WILL be cold and unpleasantly so. That's what makes the difference from those places and the PNW. Seattle gets a bit of snow, but very seldom -10 Celsius or lower. Lots of rain ... it's damp, but I think you'd find the climate a LOT like NZ where you've been on the South Island. Portland is a bit drier and a bit cooler, but still MUCH warmer than inland points. The major difference from NZ is that in the PNW, wherever you go, the houses will be properly heated, no matter how old they are. More to follow in a few days. We are moving out the valley in a couple of days to a place called Chilliwack, BC., so will catch you up again in a week or so. Stay safe on the slopes in the meantime. hugs, Joe
9th August 2010

Hi Joe
We're sorry our adventure is coming to an end too! Still plenty to see and do yet, though, not to worry. To answer your question about society here, no, there does not appear to the class distinction and visible gaps that you'd see back home, at least not here in Queenstown. I think that the people here are content and appreciative for what they have, materially and in the way of the natural beauty of the place. There is an incredibly strong sense of community here, too, that is non-existent in a big city back home - everyone actually knows their neighbors here, and if you go into town, you see dozens of people that you know all over the place. That is a huge change and quite refreshing, actually! It will be strange to return to a big city and get "lost in the crowd" again. And yes, when it comes to snow, these guys are sissies (sorry). Living in a "ski" town, you'd think they'd be a little better equipped to handle such conditions!! And thanks for the tips on the NW. To be honest, I still think that year-round, those regions would just be too cold for me personally (though I'm sure they have central heating - something I'm dreaming about as I shiver in my 8C house!)...I think we'll stay farther south so we still get the nice warm spring, summer, and fall, but within driving proximity to some ski areas. Everyone keeps recommending Colorado or Wyoming, which are equally beautiful but definitely too cold for me!! And as far as the snow chains, that was on a friend's car, and he put them on, although we did one time back in June put ours on (with some assistance, of course). What a pain in the neck!! :-)
9th August 2010

Response to Anonymous
Funny, you are the second person today to mention Jackson Hole. Even funnier is that I've set my last two novels there! Maybe everybody is right...
9th August 2010

As usual.
Amy and Jeremy: As usual, great photos and a great story. To tell you the truth, I'm a little bummed that your stay in NZ is coming to a close. You have absolutely no idea how thoroughly I've enjoyed your blogs and seeing your photos. In your last blog, you answered many of my questions and thank you for that, but one last one remains: you state that the standard of living is lower - which doesn't come as a complete surprise to me - in terms of material comforts and goods, but what about equity in society? Do you see the howling gaps between the comfortable and the less well-off to the extent that is so apparent in the United States? Do you think the people are happier or less happy there than the society you lived amongst in Florida? From what little I've seen through your photos and comments, it looks to me that a case could be made for a less consumer-oriented society if fresh air and beauty is the end result. In spite of the costs and the inconveniences, I can well imagine that you will leave Queenstown with more than a little twinge of regret. How wonderful you have had this experience. I highly recommend that you folks have a look at the American Pacific northwest if snow-boarding is going to have a permanent place in your life. You might want to have a look at the Wenatchee or Spokane areas of Washington State. This is much drier country, not so much rain like Seattle, but good ski areas are easily accessed from those places. Portland, Oregon, is a particularly beautiful area, but it gets more rain. Still, skiing is not far away. Leavenworth, WA., is a really neat little tourist town on the east side of the Cascades where folks with your experience might not have much trouble finding work. This is about three hours east of Seattle. hugs, Joe
9th August 2010
Whiteout Conditions...Not Fun!

Whiteout, you say??
Whiteout, phooey! :>) Them Kiwis are big sissies!! When you can't see the closest cars from where you are standing when you took the photo - that's more like white-out conditions that northern mid-westerners and Canadian prairie folks consider a white-out. Or likewise for folks in the coastal mountains. Still, I'd agree that you wouldn't want to lose your bearings out there in those conditions, most especially if you didn't know the terrain. Joe
9th August 2010
Snow Chains

Aha!
Amy and Jeremy: I have kind of wondered about tires and traction down there. This image shows equipment every true Canadian living outside of the lower coastal area of British Columbia knows about. Did you have to put these ones on yourselves? Joe
8th August 2010

Amy, you guys should move o Jackson Hole, Wyoming.... You are gonna love it there!!!! I think it will remind you of Queenstown:>
29th July 2010

Love your 40's outfit
Hi Amy and Jeremy: I continue to love your blogs and stories and pictures. I will be anxious to see the video of you dancing. I love your outfit!!! That is definitely me!! I want one!! Did you rent them or buy it? Anyway, you looked darling and I am sure that you both did a good job dancing. You will have to teach us when you come back. We miss you and always ask the folks about you. Love to you both from me and Don. Will catch you up on a private e-mail.
12th July 2010

Love it!
You guys looked so cute in your dance outfits!! Love the hitchhiking stories...reminds me of my time in S. America...we hitchhike there too! You definitely get used to it, but it's a bit of a culture shock.
12th July 2010

Missed Questions
As far as the swing dancing, we took 6 weeks' worth of lessons with our friends here to put together a 3-minute routine. It was so much fun! And as far as standard of living, I would have to say that although the air is cleaner and there are far fewer people, overall we have found the standard of living to be much lower than we're used to or expected. Things such as central air/heating barely even exist here, unless you are very wealthy or have a brand-new home. Electricity bills are double or triple what they are back home, and that's with hardly any appliances to run (very few people have dryers, for example, because of the costs; they hang clothes on a clothesline). Groceries are an absolute fortune - can't leave the supermarket without spending at least $100 - on nothing, really! And overall the food has been one of the biggest disappointments. We've had some good meals here and there, but overall, the good products get shipped overseas, and what's leftover isn't that great. Anything imported costs more than you could ever imagine ($30 for a pack of Budweiser, for example!). So definitely a lot of surprises, but it doesn't at all detract from the beauty of the place and the friendliness of the Kiwis.
12th July 2010

Response to Joe
Hi Joe, I'll try to get through all these questions! We have had MANY a stray farm animal jump in front of our vehicle; nearly hit a cow coming down off the ski fields last week. The big snow we had (pathetic by Canadian standards I'm sure!) actually lasted close to 2 weeks, which I'm told is highly unusual. We've now had very little or no snow since. For sure, there are advantages and disadvantages of life in both places. Life is much more laid-back and low-stress here; they get 6 weeks' paid vacation a year, for crying out loud! But cost of living is atrocious here; the "average" guy back home is going to be much more comfortable than here, I would have to say. Neither Jeremy nor I have ever worked so hard for so little pay. But, we didn't come here to get rich, we came for the experience, and it's certainly that! As far as I know, no winter tires. They grit the roads very well and everyone carries chains, but we have yet to use ours. And as far as the blizzard...hey, it looked like a blizzard to us!! :-)
12th July 2010

Up to the usual standard!!
Amy: Again, what wonderful photos. Where did you learn to dance like that? If I tried that, it would soon look like a scene out of Miami CSI. I don't suppose you've had any problems with stray cows or sheep jumping out in front of you on the ski hill??? :>) I continue to be fascinated by your depictions of life in NZ. Because I have lived astride both the English and the American cultures, it is doubly fascinating to see how things resonate on you. (I've said this before, I think.) Your photos of the snow in Queenstown ... does it melt quickly or stay for days at a time? On the whole, now that you've been around the country and in Queenstown for awhile, how would you describe the general standard of living down there? On the whole, would you say the average (non-university educated) bloke has a better deal at home in Florida or NZ? Would I be correct in my suspicion that if you were completely honest and objective, you'd have to say that both America and NZ have their advantages over the other? In short, a lot depends upon what you're used to? Anyway, been waiting for this report. Do be careful on those boards. I get chill-blaines just looking at 'em. cheers and hugs, Joe
12th July 2010
Why We're Always Late to Work Now

Winter driving.
What about winter tires, Amy? Do you not have them or are they just not available? What is common?
12th July 2010
Blizzard...Outside Our Front Door!!

Blizzard?
Where exactly is the blizzard??
24th June 2010

Sweating your socks off
Yes, that is what is happening to us for the last three weeks. Temperatures in the mid 90's with a heat index of well over 100. That is Farenheit for you Kiwis. I wish I was snowboarding!
23rd June 2010

You rock Joe!!
Joe, we have just decided that if we ever make it to your area, we're coming to visit. Thanks so much for all your fun comments and advice!! We are resisting the urge to lick cold metal, I promise. Ha!!!
22nd June 2010

Another winter trick.
Hi Amy and Jeremy: Another handy little trick ... you probably haven't yet had to deal with the phenomenon of snow soaked shoes/boots. Wet shoes left to dry in a warm place overnight can be helped along with newspaper or paper towel stuffed inside them. Helps to absorb moisture faster. (Also ... not a good idea to lick cold metal. You'd be surprised how many people do - once!) Hugs, Joe
21st June 2010

Cute cottage! Stay warm. It was 97 degrees here the other day in the ministry. Yeah, lots of beads of sweat!

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