waking at 5 am on sunday meant we had time enjoy early morning quiet and after a hearty cooked breakfast, we drove over to the cutest beach town. i've decided that sumner is the place to be, it all feels so quaint beachy - kind of like ft myers beach, but without a causeway... later we went to church where le boy's friend (the pastor) announced that le boy was back in town, but more importantly, he'd brought a girl with him! he then proceeded to drag us up to the front - yup that's me, the canadian-by-way-of-london, circus show. sunday afternoon we slept, preparing for a family dinner, which was great for providing a little context to le boy's childhood stories (turns out he's only actually the hero about 95% of the time!)
monday the great city of christchurch was calling. christchurch (and indeed all of nz) is relatively young, i'm told that christchurch is much more english in feeling than auckland. the wide streets and mix of early brick and new concrete building. the earthquakes (on boxing day there was another officially deemed earthquake), and aftershocks have clearly taken their toll - whole streets are nearly cordoned off, places where condemned buildings have come down or are scheduled to, right next to open and trading shops and restaurants. i was able to duck into bolt of cloth - a fabric store i was tipped off to by the christchurch city guide found on design*sponge. great fabric was found is most definitely destined to become pillows or the like.
the centre of town is a charming mix of old and new, interesting sculptures dominate the pedestrian areas.
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we wandered into the christchurch museum, which gives a great overview of much of nz history and culture i learned a couple of key things:
the maori had santa claus:
le boy can ride a bike with no hands:
and interior design can be completely sourced from nature:
the last two pictures show a house that had been down on the south coast and moved in its entirety up to christchurch. fred and myrtle covered the whole of their lounge with paua shells - a shell commonly found on nz shorelines, which can be polished to an iridescent shine - and apparently are in vogue for this year's wall coverings. marvellous: take note, this could be your answer for the living room!
about this time a head cold and allergies were fighting for control of my sinuses. i did end up spending the next day in bed sick. but before then i was able to witness two of the most famous nz sights - a glorious sunset and scampering sheep. both brought me great delight.