Friday, September 24, 2010

Finally have a bed to sleep on . . .

We landed in Christchurch 3 days before the largest earthquake in the last 80 years--7.1 on the richter scale to be exact.  It happened at 4:30 in the morning. We jolted out of bed to grab the kids while the earth beneath our feet (the walls, floor, and ceiling to be exact) rippled tossing us into walls while throwing plates and dishes and picture frames to the floor.  The house and the family all came through unscathed, but there is quite a bit of damage to buildings and homes around town.

There have been over 800 aftershocks since-
We have suffered a little bit of blame since we left CA and arrived 3 days prior.  Some people have said we may have brought it with us.

At the time, we were staying at the home of some very wonderful people, Rick and Lynn Vandertie, and Katie Hess, friends of friends who graciously opened their home to us having never met us before.  Many thanks Rick and Lynn and Katie for their generosity.   You saved us from our 1 room sleeping quarters at the NOLS branch.

Fast forward two and a half weeks-
We've rented a home in the coastal town of Sumner--just 2 km from the beach.  We can hear sheep bleeting from our backyard (apparently not too uncommon in New Zealand).    Ella  has graduated to a big girl bed,  and to this point has only fallen out once!   We slept on the floor for the first four days but finally scored a mattress off of trademe (New Zealands version of ebay and craigslist rolled into one) yesterday.

We went for a nice tramp (NZ for hike) on a track (NZ for trail)- this is a 5 minute drive from our place, reminiscent of the Marin Headlands:

We leave for an overnight in Kaikoura tomorrow morning with some NOLS students.  We will be visiting a working Marae and staying in a sacred Maori temple.  Kaikoura means crayfish and the seafood is supposed to be great.  Time to go to bed.


  1. YAY! pictures! the hike looks amazing. are you sure that's not the coastal trail in Marin? Ella looks adorable as always. what are the bands on her wrist? she seems very proud of them! how often will she go to preschool? does she know she has to share there? How is Gillian? Post pictures! she must be getting so much bigger. so many questions...glad you are settled. can't wait to possibly see your place! love you all! xo kate

  2. Wow, you guys are in NZ, what are you doing there?
    Sounds like a whole lotta fun and adventure to me.xxxxx vic

  3. looks sweet man, thanks for are the waves there brah? the tunes? do they need any bluegrass at upcoming festivals? i know a few americans who can do a good impersonation of bluegrass...they wear western shirts and

  4. So great to see what you guys are up to :) Erin we will will you at the page street girls night out on wednesday :( I'll raise a glass to you all though!! :)

  5. Looks wonderful! But yikes, what a scary welcome to New Z! Glad you were unscathed.

  6. Hey you guys!
    Glad to know there's a way to stay in touch whilst you are way down there. Good on ya for taking the leap. It'll be an awesome adventure I'm sure. Keep posting pics with a few words from time to time.
    Especially those girls!

  7. Hey cuties. Miss you so much! So great to hear your voice yesterday, Erin, and see the pics from today's post. Ella and the Gil are delish. Any advice on good airline ticket prices most welcome... my searches on kayak show the holiday week and early Jan they're about 2grand. I'm not saying I'm out, cuz you're worth it for sure, just saying owwie :)