Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Shoe In

We have only been away for two weeks, but somehow we have ended up with the hugest pile of shoes next to the door in our caravan. Rain soacked, dirt covered shoes. So today, being a rainy, indoors day, I decided to draw them.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Skipping Stones on Salt Spring Island

'The voyage of discovery lies not in finding new landscapes, but having new eyes.' - Marcel Proust


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Volunteering - Salt Spring Island

At the start of the week we arrived on Salt Spring Island, a 3 hour ferry ride from Vancouver. This is where we are doing our first stint of volunteer work.

We are staying with a lovely pair of Canadians, Andre and Martin, helping them landscape and build a cottage on their newly purchased piece of land in the forest, overlooking the ocean on the island.
They bake us kiwifruit muffins and stream NZ news over the internet every day just so we feel a little more at home.

We are loving the cool weather, freshly cut firewood, our cosy campervan, all the deer and squirrels running around, the trips into the sleepy seaside village, and their deaf cat called Geek.

Who knows, we may be here for a while...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Twilight Zone - Seattle, Washington

                                                                Image from http://www.wta.org

On Sunday afternoon we tagged along with some friends across the border to Seattle, Washington.
The trip is about 2.5 hours from Vancouver give or take a little, depending on the wait time at the border crossing - an interesting interrogation experience in itself!

Driving through the rural back roads felt a little like being in a movie, with moody skies, naked winter trees, open fields and big red barns with white trim and half hexagonal roofs.
In fact, a little further in and I swear we were in vampire territory in 'Twilight', with shiny wet roads, misty hills, towering trees and layers of thick green moss covering every possible surface.

We spent the afternoon at a designer discount shopping outlet. Two pairs of Levi jeans, a pair of tramping boots, some trackies and a jacket for $150? Yes please! And not to mention drooling through the window of the Michael Kors store!

The scenario for dinner on the way back home was hilarious - Four 'Tawa-ites' eating at an Australian outback style steak house halfway between Seattle and the Washington/BC border. You don't get much stranger then that!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

BC Blossoms

There are beautiful blossoms out all over Vancouver at the moment, I love how the petals get caught in the breeze and whisked off like snow flakes. Spring has arrived in southern BC.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Mighty Cup

America, you really don't do things by halves do you?

I asked for a 'large' sized drink at BK LAX yesterday (which by the way was the most disgusting take away food I have ever tasted, take aways for me have hit a new low, if that's even possible...) and this is what I got.
A cup I could have fit my head inside. In fact, I should have taken a photo with this ON my head just to emphasize that point. The size of this cup is insane! It should be called the Mighty cup. Mighty stupid that anyone would want to drink this much fizzy drink as they would seriously be bouncing off the walls afterwards!

I then happened to order a medium sized drink at Wendy's today (this is starting to sound like I'm a take away freak) and I got what in NZ or Australia would be a large size. Suddenly, all those documentaries and articles I've seen or read about America having obesity issues are starting to make sense... sorry American/Canadian readers, no offence here, I'm just saying...

Va va va Vancouver

I meant to take lots of photos today, our first day in Vancouver, but I didn't. I didn't, because sometimes it's nice to just use your own senses to explore and discover a new place, rather then looking at everything through a lense. I often think that if you're not careful, thinking with the mind of a camera all the time can cause you to miss what's really going on... well at least that's how it seems sometimes. But there will be more photos soon.

This is one of two photos I did take. See the snow? Yup, going from a country with 40 degrees one day, to another country with 2 degrees the next... so strange! But I am loving being rugged up for once. I miss feeling 'snuggly'.

Sun Up on a Wing Tip over L.A.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Recorded in the Rock

Yesterday afternoon I left the boys to their swim in the somewhat cooler Pacific Ocean at Thirroul beach, and wandered towards the rock pools at the sand's southern end.

There, the rock faces are fractured by rusty threads of mineral ore, and between the red and purple streaks are the carved names of beach visitors and sweethearts from long ago. I couldn't help but wonder where these people are now, and whether these romances have lasted as long as their wave-washed imprints in the rock...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hello, Sydney

Yesterday we arrived in our first stop of the big journey which is Sydney, and so once we were off the plane we jumped into a rental car and made our way to the beautiful little town of Thirroul, about one hour south of the city.

We decided to take the Grand Pacific Drive as opposed to going straight up the highway, and wound our way through 40km's of luscious bush scenery. I stuck my head out the window, somewhat dog-like, and was amazed that the air smelt like the New Zealand bush, and I couldn't place my finger on the reason why, until C said that the smell I was recognizing was the mustiness of damp undergrowth, something that Perth has absolutely none of. In such a strange way, that small similarity made us feel a little closer to home, at least for a while.

Gradually, the forests became peppered with sweet little weatherboard bungalows, some with verandahs, some with quaint but wild flowered gardens, some homes lovingly restored, others just as lovingly worn and weathered and 'pre-loved'.

The pacific ocean heaved on the left, and massive bush clad cliffs loomed on the right, with more little cribs and baches dotted between the two. This is where we found the little town of Thirroul where we are staying with some lovely friends, enjoying frisbee at the park, swims in the ocean, beers on the balcony and meanderings through the 'old school' township. A blissful start to the adventure.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Goodbye Perth...

                                                   Image from www.darkroastedblend.com

... it's been great. You've introduced me to new friends, shown me beautiful new places, fed me scrumptious food, and provided many an eye-opening experience. I'll be back...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Friday, March 5, 2010

Cheats Chocolate Croissants

Delicious chocolatey, pastry goodness... all bundled up in sweet little bite size bits!

Step 1: Cut pre-rolled sheets of puff pastry into quarters, and then diagonally cut each quarter to make 8 triangles.

Step 2: Take a piece of chocolate... any chocolate... even some of those chocolate drop things would do. Place your piece of chocolate at centre point of triangle, and roll in the pastry til you reach the other side. Give the ends/other traingle points a twist and scoop around to join the body and wollah!

Step 3: Pop them in the oven til you can't stand waiting any longer, take out and EAT.

Top Tip: Always remember to buy a block of chocolate with more pieces then you need for the croissants. That way you can be fair, and say, 'one for the croissants, one for me...one for the croissants...' You know how it goes!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Doodling Houses

A quiet, old avenue from somewhere in my mind...

A Weekend in Greenhead

Hello lovelies, I'm home from a brilliant long weekend away. I'm back to boxes, and back to packing up this house of ours. Just so I can prolong my holiday buzz a little bit longer, I decided to make a wee video to sum up the sun drenched weekend I had, instead of sharing photos. Enjoy!

The song is 'Through Your Eyes' by Nina Kinert.