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December 30th 2010
Published: December 30th 2010
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OK so I’m still a bit behind on this whole blogging thing but again, you haven’t missed much. The next few days after Christmas were mainly spent just hanging out with my family. We did a little driving around and a lot of hanging around. I believe I even got to see some of National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, the Schweaty Balls sketch from Saturday Night Live and my cousin Michael attempted to figure out the game of cricket. We did learn that it has the most ridiculous names of plays. Like the silly cross leg, the pondivit wally wash, the stanky leg Britannica, and a bunch of other nonsense I cant remember. Unfortunately, I am unable to retrieve the 3 hours of my life spent attempting to understand that strange game.

We did spend a day with the five of us crammed into a tiny Mazda driving north of Auckland to see the house my aunt and uncle have put an offer on in the tiny beach town of Mangawhai Heads. The town is adorable but the drive was anything but. If you can picture a clown car, that’s about what we looked like. Regardless, the country is beautiful and I can be relatively easy going ( I promise, I really can be, especially when I’m on vacation!)

Anyways, finally my cousin Whitney’s beau flew in and Michael’s girlfriend Monique, who I have met before and adore, came over from Aus and we all left for Waihi beach. We spent the afternoon lounging around in the sun (with plenty of sunscreen on I assure you) and then had some wine and a bbq at the apartment we are staying in. This is how life was meant to be. The kids all stay up drinking and I attempted to play King Mao with them but it was quickly apparent to me (if no one else) that I was too drunk to remember all the rules (which apparently change each time you play as I was taught that the rules are “the ones you can remember“ from the last time you played). Luckily, the first rule of the game is that you cant tell anyone else the rules, so no one else seems to notice. I will have to be sure to write them down somewhere. When I’m sober.

I wake up the next morning, eat breakfast and promptly go right back to bed. I eventually roll out of bed for good around 12:30, put on my suit, grab my working iPod (as I have a faulty iTouch that is now barren) and head out for a walk on the beach. I can’t begin to describe how stunning the coast line is here. My super fair skin has kept me from becoming the beachgoer I have always wanted to be but I have still spent a good amount of time in the sand. Nothing compares to the coast here. Sandy beaches and crashing waves butt up to cliffs that drop straight into the water which are covered in lush New Zealand bush. Gorgeous. I am completely content. I find a bit of somewhat secluded rocky coast and immediately wish that I had my camera on me. I will have to return tomorrow, it’s just too pretty not to get pictures of.

When I get back to the house, the cousins are getting ready to go to lunch and then hike around the coast for a bit. Am I in? Well, hell yeah I’m in!!! Food and hiking and beaches and gorgeous views? Vamanos putas! I have failed to mention up until this point that New Zealand (as well as Australia and a lot of European countries from what I hear) are much more advanced in their gluten free-ness. Again, we are the slow ones in the states. So just about everywhere I got there is a gluten free option available. And I don’t mean, you-can-have-a-salad with no dressing or a waiter who says “you can’t have glucose?” I mean, I don’t have to ask for a separate menu, I don’t have to search to see if there is anything I can eat, I don’t get blank stares from waiters as I try desperately to find something I can eat that is more than just steamed veggies. Almost every menu I look at has their GF options marked in giant bold, neon glowing letters. Ok, I might be exaggerating a little, but I‘m excited. There is GOOD GF bread in the grocers and almost every restaurant I go to not only has their menu marked but carries GF breads for sandwiches and burgers as well. If you have ever been out to eat with me then you know what a big deal this is and why I have just written 5 sentences more than planned about NZ’s gluten free-ness. Anyways, I have a bacon, lettuce, tomato avocado sandwich on GF bread. Score!

We then head off to this amazing coastal walk to a bay outside of Waihi beach that makes me wonder why this country is not completely overrun with tourists. I just cant even tell you how beautiful it is. I have remembered my camera this time and have some great photos. I am surrounded by some amazing people. I am in a magnificent country. I have no cell phone, no iPod, no emails, no Facebook. I am looking at crashing waves, sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, lush vegetation and misty skies all at the same time. My heart is happy.


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