To Our Kiwi Friends

By: leelefever on February 8, 2006 - 2:44pm

By itself, New Zealand has been amazing – as expected. But it has been the people, especially the ones that have opened their homes and hearts to us that have made it truly special.  We had a wonderful time with everyone.

Rachel and Regan, you were our introduction to New Zealand and showed us Auckland and got us started on the right foot with the Kiwi lingo and L&P. We’ll always remember “sweet as” and “yeah nah yeah”. Thanks for the bbq dinner too (and the wifi)!

Robin, our guide to Devonsport… thanks so much dinner and teaching us all about Auckland, including politics.  The folk music concert was a great time- sorry we had to run to the ferry so abruptly!

Hal and Trish, our personal guides to Hawkes Bay wineries.  Thanks so much for the tours, salmon dinner and a great night outside the campervan with great company and nice broadband! J

Maitland, we had such a blast with you man!  Peka Peka beach is such a special place- you’re lucky to be able to hang out there.  We loved Wellington too and hope we can hang out sometime, maybe in another galaxy at least.  Thanks too for the wifi love.

Dan, a perfect Christchurch host, from whom we learned about things such as kiwiana (like Americana) and the social history of NZ.  Thanks for the food, lodging, wifi, hospitality and introducing us to your friends.  Go well!

You all have a place to stay in Seattle ANY TIME and we hope we’ll see you there.  Just remember we’ll be there in 2007. Cheers!

Vodafone X*Air in Wellington New Zealand

By: leelefever on January 20, 2006 - 9:23pm
A couple of weeks ago, as soon as we arrived in NZ, we saw an ad for an event in Wellington that featured extremed sports.  We planned to be in Wellington for the event that, last year, was the biggest event in the country.  It featured, skateboarding, bicycles, motorbikes, brewakdancing, etc. and was called Vodafone X*Air.
Before going on this with story, it's important to know something about Wellington.  They don't call it "Windy Welly" for nothin'. The wind blows and blows... and what happens when the wind blows?  Things blow around unpredictably.  This is certainly the case for motorcycles, who were supposed to take flight, contingent upon the lack of wind -- in Windy Welly.  As you likely guessed- some of the most anticipated events were cancelled due to wind -- in Windy Welly.
Regardless, it was a helluva fun way to spend an afternoon. Great people watching, good beer, lots of sun and a few fairly extreme things, including an extremely long belly flop contest that hoped to fill the gaps as events were cancelled. 
What was extreme you might ask?  The crowd, the sun, the beer lines, the belly flops and  this guy-- very extreme.

We did hang out for a final gratifying and fun event that featured people hurling themselves into The Edge Lagoon on bikes and skateboards...

Apollo Campervan Rental - Our own Squeak (New Zealand)

By: sachilefever on January 20, 2006 - 2:05pm

We have mentioned Squeak a few times, and Mark reminded me that we haven’t included any interior pictures for those who have not chosen to live in a van down by the river.  So here goes...

Squeak is an Apollo brand campervan 2-berth (sleeps 2 adults) that is about 3 meters (9 ft) high and 5.5 meters (17ft) long. No Mickey D’s drive through’s! It fits almost exactly end to end in a normal parking space.


This is the back of the van with a bench-like set up including a swivel table. The tabletop is placed between the benches and with two other similar boards, a solid platform is created for a bed. It’s pretty wide and Lee – at 6’3” – doesn’t hang off the end…Though he is too tall for the ceiling, unless he stands under the top vent.



Further up is a gas stove, sink, mini fridge, and mini oven on the left and a closet and toilet/shower on the right. The microwave and air conditioner are also tucked high in the corners. There are cabinets everywhere and they hold the linens and kitchen pots and utensils that come with the van.


What we didn’t expect was the cabinets to squeak at every turn and with every swaying movement of the vehicle. Think squeaking plastic rubbing together.

The other noise is an inevitable closet door spilling open or bananas falling on the floor at the first turn of every drive. We try to remember to close all the knobs to lock the drawers in place and be sure to close the windows and the overhead vent, and then be sure everything on the sink or table has been put away…but we have almost always forgotten something. Then we start the engine and boom – this morning it was Lee’s clothes cabinet door that spilled the stack. Two days ago the entire utensil drawer littered the floor (Lee opened that one).  Is there a trend here?

The cabinet doors squeak even louder when they are flying open. Good thing we’re now in the Wellington area where there are radio stations to turn up and loud for the ride.
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