Punting (boating) on the Avon River in Christchurch.
I can't think of a better place for the USAP to drop us off than Christchurch, NZ. If you get dropped off anywhere from October to late February, it was one of the greenest places around. It is a smaller city so you won't necessarily get swept up in the bustle. The people are friendly. It doesn't hurt that the US dollar does reasonably well so we can make our savings go a little farther too. I love it. I'd love to live here for a season.
Kids playing in the park.
There are tons of outdoor activities near by. It seems to be enough of a urban center that there are good jobs. For ultimate, they have a couple university teams and a club team. Their available field space seems infinite compared to either Pittsburgh or Denver. Don't get me wrong. There is plenty here that people could probably improve on - I just don't know what it is. I know if you get a few blocks out of city center, the greenery disappears and it quickly looks like a suburban strip mall followed by a car dealer followed by a chain store followed by . . . However, I spent most of my time near the city center so I'll just keep my rose colored glasses on. Also, if you keep going farther out of town, it quickly turns into beautiful green pastures and farm land.
The Curator's House restaurant near the Botanical Gardens (what a view!)
Most of my days here have involved eating a big breakfast at the hotel, running a few errands, going for a run, wandering aimlessly until I find other ice people and then being corralled into whatever plans they have. I struggle with the lack of anything to do, but I'm slowly getting used to it. I suppose it is the definition of R&R and how I'll stop being so freaking tired.
By complete chance, my first official meal off the ice was the same as my last meal before going to the ice - Sala Sala sushi. On my way to the ice, Katie, Jon, and D'Sousa took me. On the way out, William T. took me. That man has missed sushi more than anyone on the Ice except maybe B-Nelson. These pictures were for B-Nelson to show him what he had to look forward to, but I didn't get them up in time. He has been here for two days now so I'm assuming that he already got his fix. Last night, we went to a brew pub of sorts. Good, good stuff (yes Katie, the food was good too!).
Sala Sala sushi.
Between jaunts in Christchurch, I've gone hiking twice (blogs coming on those). Between the hikes, I get more gear from the CDC and shift my stuff around. My bag is still too heavy, but I'm getting closer to where it needs to be. I just want to take everything and I can't. It is a learning process.
William T. enjoying being off the Ice and now on his way back to Boulder, CO.