Friday, 28 September 2012

Mamma Mia

How is  it already almost October? I tell you the whole seasons being flip flopped really messes with this North American brain. So does the whole driving thing after a month back home. I was surprised I could so easily transition when I came back from the States, but then reality hit day two when I was cruising along and noticed someone in the "wrong" lane coming at me head on. I waited for them to go back to their lane but it wasn't until we came close to colliding that I realized I was on the wrong side of the road. Oops. I love that it took me so long to realize it was my fault not someone else's.

So yes roads and seasons are all different here. We have come out of our Winter and are enjoying our first New Zealand Spring. September brought us our first official visitors. Adam's dad and step mom came over from Atlanta to spend a couple weeks with us and one of the highlights was our trip to the far North. Probably because it looked like this:

It is so raw and rugged up there. We went all the way to Cape Reigna, which is the northernmost part of New Zealand. It was beautiful. The first night we stayed at The Old Oak in Mangonui. It was a great little place. Sometimes I wish I was one of those people who had the mentality of, "it doesn't matter where you stay because it's just a place to put your head." But I'm SO not. I am such a sucker for the adorable B&B or the room that makes you not want to get out of bed because the sheets are so freaking awesome. Yes, thank you, I do want a miniature sized bottle of bergamont scented body wash. Will I ever need to use the phone while I am on the toilet? I hope not but I can still get excited that I have the option.

One of the greatest finds up that way was Puheke Hill on the Karikari Peninsula. Hill is an understatement, try extinct volcano. The views you get are amazing. This picture doesn't really do it justice but trust me it is spectacular:

The white sand beaches were as good as it gets:

After a night in Mongonui and a stop at the incredible Te Paki Sand Dunes:

We made our way down the west coast, staying on 90 Mile Beach in Ahipara the next night. On our way home we hit up the largest living Kauri tree in the world, Tane Mahuta, "Lord of the Forest." This tree was massive (trunk girth - 13.77m or 45.2 ft!) and magical.

It was a great trip even though the road on the way back made me want to throw up. I didn't though so another small victory for mankind, but mostly just for the other car passengers.

On the pregnancy front everything was going well until a couple weeks ago when they turned on me. Everyone said they would. It was all fine until all that extra estrogen and progesterone couldn't help themselves and turned me into a blubbering fool for about two weeks. My hormones went wiggity wiggity wack. So much so that I called a hospital two hours away, hysterical after reading an article and tried to visit someone I had never met. The nurse clearly thought I was crazy and I'm pretty sure wanted to redirect my call to the mental health unit. 

This is same the reaction my midwife gave me when I said I still have the occasional glass of wine with dinner, and she then explained to me that normally given that information she would make a "referral." As in Betty Ford type of referral. Well I had to clear that one up real quick and explain I that I had gotten my continents mixed up and of course those people in Europe were crazy and that Kiwis knew better. Whew. Close call. The good news is your midwife can't dump you so she's stuck with her heathen American client. Thank goodness my hormones have balanced back out and I am back to my normal self , i.e only crying at appropriate things like this:

How beautiful is that pie? This is the best pizza we've had since coming to this country, probably because it's made by an American, sorry Kiwis. Locals check out Epolitos' Pizza in One Tree Hill. Yum!

I'm in my 3rd trimester now and glad to be in the final stretch, despite still having 3 months to go. I'm enjoying the antenatal swimming class I joined, although the first couple sessions I couldn't stop laughing. I was so amused by our instructor in tiny spandex yelling instructions at us from the sidelines, with Abba blaring in the background as we kicked and stretched with our big bellies. It's a nice group of ladies and after class we all go to the cafe and have coffee and muffins together. It's a pretty sweet deal.

I'm almost at my cut off for not being able to fly so we are squeezing two trips in before I'm housebound and have to actually prepare for the child I'm bringing into the world. Next weekend we head to Wellington, the "coolest little capital in the world," according to the Internet so it must be true. Then my real travel dreams come true and we head to FIJI! Yes Fiji, I still kinda can't believe we are going there. I am beside myself with excitement. And to think it is only three hours away, seriously closer then Australia. Here is a sneak peak at what we have to look forward to:

As if Fiji wasn't enough, Ellen is finally back on the air after what has felt like the longest summer break ever. Yay Ellen and to making me laugh every single day.