Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Helicopter rides, Free Concerts, Gillian, and Flat Stanley

This entry is a mess because I cannot figure out how to put pictures where I want them to go, but I am posting it anyway because it is late and I am giving in to the tech gods....basically- we are enjoying NZ, I went for a heli flight for work, the girls are adorable, and we don't get much sleep. Here are a bunch of photos and a little commentary...miss everyone!I finally learned how to upload videos: click on these links:Ella talking to dolphins video...
Gillian talking/laughing....

Ella, Dave, and Gillian at low tide.

Gil-Gil, so cute- snoozing....

I only have two teeth, but I can eat metal

Erin and Ella running down the beach

Ella- sharing the water with herself

heading into the arrowsmith range via heli

keep your hands off the controls, Yankee....

Cameron River valley in the heli

dropping lots of food and fuel to some hungry NOLS students

My ride for the morning
 Today I had the opportunity to re-supply one of our NOLS mountaineering groups in the southern Alps of New Zealand. Here is a video.  The lowlight of this was getting out of bed at 4 AM, the highlight was taking an amazing helicopter ride into a beautiful cirque  and dropping off food and fuel for some very hungry (and somewhat sick) mountaineers. Another highlight was informing one of our instructors,  who is a rabid Philadelphia Phillies fan, that the Giants were victorious in their series last week.   The helicopter was  more like an amusement park ride-   after my hot-air balloon ride this summer with my Mom for her 70th birthday (which ended in a minor crash with both of us getting thrown but ultimately being fine) I was mildly trepidatious about getting in another small flying object,  but my fear was eased as soon as we left the ground. Ironically, there was a hot air balloon taking off about a mile away from where we were landing on the return.  I thought about spitting in that direction, but the window was closed.

 I also briefly thought of the remote control helicopter I got for Christmas which I proceeded to crash in the neighbor's yard  and render  useless within minutes.   I was glad that the pilot only gave me a headset.

  I asked him how young you had to be to go in his helicopter and he said 2 to 3 months old, so we might go back and bring Ella as she was quite annoyed that she didn't get to go this time.

 Band Together!
Ella and Dave and the other 27 people at the concert at 11 am 
"Mommy, don't kiss me in public!"
Band Together  was a free concert to celebrate the resilience of Canterbury/Christchurch in the aftermath of the earthquake-I was told that the closing act was the Springsteen of New Zealand. Unfortunately, we went for the first hour and a half and saw the Vanilla Ice of New Zealand-  it was actually quite fun, and Ella really enjoyed all of the free balloons and the ice cream cone that she got to rub all over her face on the way home.

Summer is coming...
 Sunday was an amazing day which had temperatures in the low 70s,  or 23°C.   We went to the beach and had fun walking along and playing in the sand (although Ella did not want to share any of the sand with anyone else on the beach).   I managed to fit in another  amazing mountain bike ride without killing myself, a surf session, and Erin took  a beautiful jog along a secluded coastline and sent pictures over her phone while I was stuck inside with the kids who were napping.

Ella's feet have grown very fast.

Flat Stanley
 Flat Stanley is a 14 mm laminated person that was sent to me from my niece. Supposedly you are supposed to take pictures of Flat Stanley and send them back to their elementary school, and then send  a postcard to the elementary school address to said Stanley-  we then have to mail him back to the US.    We plan to bring Stanley to see the donkeys, go surfing, to Ella's preschool,  visit some earthquake rubble, etc.   It will be very difficult/impossible not to pose Stanley in some inappropriate and off-color photos.


  1. Great pix and stories! Yep, downtown SF is going to be crazy today!

  2. great pictures! Glad the heli ride was a little easier on your back than the hot air balloon! Scenery a little more spectacular too. Those girls are so huggable! Good luck with the Giants - I'm cheering for them!

  3. Looks beautiful! My vote would be to leave Ella's cute little feet on the ground and not go in the helicopter! Behave yourself with Flat Stanley, be aware that he also is afraid of sharks so the surfboard should stay on dry land (never mind that he has other trips to take during the 3rd grade year!) Kisses to the girls.xoxo