Saturday, January 31, 2009

Surf's Up!

Our surfing lesson through Raglan Surf School was definitely a highlight of the weekend. We all got up…

And then fell...

But then continued to get up again...

(Lowell and Marc sychro-surfing!)

And can I just make a special note that JACK JOHNSON and BEN HARPER surf at Raglan beach? I didn’t find this out until AFTER our little holiday, so I didn’t scan the beach every 3 seconds hoping for a celebrity sighting. Next time they won’t be so lucky.

Although our controlled, pleasing surfing form is so similar that it may be confusing, the following picture is NOT me. It is Jack Johnson. And I did not take this picture (unfortunately). I stole it from google images (Thank you google. And thank you Jack).

Hopefully our surfing pictures will eventually be of the "Jack" quality (but I wouldn't count on it).

Friday, January 30, 2009

Parachute 09

On Sunday morning, after an imperative coffee (made with the boiling water from the brilliant hot water boxes that are everywhere in this country), we toddled into town to check out the food and wine market that was going on.

It was super festive…and also extremely HOT. Thank heavens for sunscreen, hats, and SPF 50!

After wandering and sampling little treats, we purchased a random little supply of goods and devoured them under the shade of a big ol' tree.

We also purchased a delicious little Mexican treat (that's a pile of black beans on the left- not a mound of steaming cow dung)...

(Marc & Kylie have these subtle Canadian shirts....unlike Lowell and I who generally wear bright red and white shirts that scream "CANADA! WE'RE FROM CANADA! THAT MAKES US CANADIAN! OUR NATIONAL SYMBOL IS A MAPLE LEAF AND OUR COLOURS ARE RED & WHITE!!!")

Then it was time to head to the beach AGAIN! We spent time boogying on our boards and (unintentionally) gnawing on sand (as it was particularly windy that day). After showering up from that beach experience, we had a power nap, then Lowell and I headed to Parachute Music Festival.

Parachute is a Christian music festival held near Hamilton which is about an hour away from Raglan. People (?25,000) camp there for the entire long weekend.

Here's Lowell eagerly awaiting the main events...

Introducing DAVID CROWDER and his funky runky hair which changed colour depending on the colour of the lights...

As a little entertainment between musicians, dudes in sumo suits lay on the front of the 'Parachute buggy" and were hurled down a slip 'n slide to knock down human bowling pins.

And now ladies and gents, the band that I was SO EXCITED to see...


They put on an amaaaaazing show, and I sang along the entire time (as did everyone else)...

The drummer was a hoot and incredibly talented & entertaining...

We had the privilege of rocking with other bands as well, but DC and CC were particularly noteworthy as we are big giant fans.

By 1am Monday morning, we had finally returned to our Raglan campsite, and we were ready for some shut-eye. The slumber didn’t last long, however, as we had our first surf lesson through Raglan Surf School at 9am!

Hmmm.... were we successful surfers? Are we now pros? Did we spend the morning falling on every single part of our bodies? Did we get attacked by sharks?!??!?

You'll just have to wait and see.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Raglan 09

On Saturday morning (January 24th), Lowell and I trucked it to Raglan (popular surf beach/town) to meet Marc & Kylie for the long weekend.

When Marc called us on Friday to indicate their whereabouts, he said, “I have bad news and I have good news. The bad news is that there isn’t a single camp site available in Raglan. The good news is that the owners of this campground like us and offered us their personal spot… at a discount to boot.”

Sweet as!

After scarfing down some lunch, we rushed to the beach to BOOGY BOARD and generally just bum around and have a good time.

Time for the ever graceful handstand series. C'est moi...

Aaaaaand Kylie...

Mmmmmm... tasty dead jelly fish.

Allow me to zoom in on that for you...

(We have no boogy boarding pictures because we were having way to much fun catching the waves to plod back to our stuff to get a camera.)

4.5 hours later, we returned to our campsite, rinsed the caked mud off our bodies, and trekked into town to relieve our hunger pains.

Kylie took this opportunity to take close-up pictures of Marc and my faces as we both had an obscene amount of sun-induced freckles.

After dinner, we took a little bit of a detour en route to our campsite and enjoyed the lovely evening weather and the beautiful view.

We also played a little bit (while Marc tried different camera settings on his flashy new camera)...

(The blurry blueish blob is none other than Marcus).

(Kylie is evidently part turquoise ghost).

AND I WENT CROSS-EYED! I’ve only been able to cross my eyes for a year or two, and I’m only able to do it with my finger directly in front of my nose. I always envy people who can spontaneously pull off ridiculous cross-eyed faces. Crossed eyes gives goofy looks so much more PUNCH.

Let’s take Marc and Kylie for example…

Soooooo classy.

Upon returning to Gus, we ended the evening off right… with Tim Tam Slams. I know that people in North America revel in Tim Tams slams as well, but they're just DIFFERENT here. Firstly, Tim Tams ORIGINATED somewhere down under, and secondly, there is such a CRAZY selection of Tim Tams here in NZ that no slam is quite the same. What will it be…extra chocolatey? Super caramely? Fruity? Nutty? Filled with mustard??!

I personally prefer the mustard ones. Dipped in molasses.