December 14, 2012

We have been in New Zealand for less than 48 hours, but none the less have had 2 full days of life here. Its truly amazing how much you can get done when you don’t really have any other choice in the matter.We flew our of San Francisco on Tuesday evening at 7:30. From checking in our baggage to security, everything went super smoothly. I remembered the excellent service provided by Air NZ last time we travelled, so I wasn’t really shocked, but I was really relieved that everything happened as smoothly as I had hoped.

Despite a bumpy ride (for at least 3 of the 12 hours) the flight was pretty painless. Dinner and several glasses of wine were included, and by the time those were enjoyed we settled in to watch our choice of movies and fall asleep. I watched Ted with Mark Wahlberg, which is a great movie for those who watch Family Guy, and probably not for any other single person. Anyways, the flight went great, and amazingly, so did customs in Aukland. From getting our luggage from baggage claim, to finding the domestic terminal, all was a breeze. Auckland also had a ridiculous amount of beautiful New Zealand cultural touches throughout the terminals. I kind of felt like I was in line at Disneyland for a sweet ride.

I mean, live ferns in the airport? Cool!

I guess I do have a slight complaint with the Air NZ domestic flights though: I paid a ridiculous amount of money to fly our luggage from SFO to Christchurch. On the connecting flight from Auckland to Christchurch, the carry on bag size limit is drastically reduced to 7kg and the size of a large briefcase. Being that we were moving and not on a business trip, we had massive carry on bags that were no problem on our main flight. A super rude woman physically grabbed my arm and pulled me out of line while simultaneously reprimanding me for the size of my bag. By the way, there was one sign with these rules posted on it, in the terminal. When we re-checked in our luggage in Auckland, none of the ladies mentioned, “Oh hey, we’re the domestic terminal… you can’t bring that bag on the airplane… I’ll check it for you.” $120 and no explanation later, however, we were on our way!

We arrived in Christchurch at 9:10 yesterday morning. We are staying with a super sweet lady named Annette, and her husband, son, and dog, Sally. She was born and raised in Christchurch, left for a decade or so, met her husband who was a Brit living in South America, and eventually they migrated back to New Zealand.

Annette’s beautiful house

Yesterday we managed to secure our bank accounts and get cell phones. They’re laughable cell phones- so far from iPhones or even the questionably designed HTC Evos that we used to have. We got the severely entry level phones, with a funny plan that only has 100 minutes (yes, 1 hour, 40 minutes) per month of talk time, but has 1000 texts per month, plus 1000 additional texts to your “best mate”. So… Scott and I mated, and we have 2000 texts each to use between each other, since we don’t know another soul on the island. (Everyone texts here because mobile service is so expensive. It’s normal to not use your cellphone at all for talk, as it can cost $0.25/minute, or more.)

After a great night’s sleep we woke up this morning to another beautiful day (more on this in another post), and got back to it. The housing market is a challenge in Christchurch due to the earthquake and subsequent rebuild (ie: influx of workers), so we need to be quick and efficient about things. We spent the whole entire day researching neighborhoods and possible rentals, and have a couple of options now that we’re super excited about. I’ll update about those when one becomes reality. The main conundrum was: close to city center, Kristen’s job, small and expensive? or: 15-30 minute drive to Kristen’s job and city center, more space, less traffic, more for your money. Kind of the usual debate in most house hunts I think. We may not be 100% yet, but we’re both strongly leaning towards having more space. I know many people also wouldn’t even consider 20 minutes to be a commute, so I’ll count myself lucky now that it’s the longest commute I will have ever had.

On tap for tomorrow is hopefully locking down a house that we both feel SUPER good about, and getting closer to getting a car. We are also meeting a friend of a friend in Sumner for dinner, which will be our first particularly social event, so that’s exciting. Tomorrow I promise not to forget to bring my camera everywhere. In other words, I’ll babble less and post beautiful New Zealand more.

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1 Comment

  • Reply deborah gregory December 22, 2012 at 8:21 am

    I am so enjoying your post Kristen. It looks like you are already having a wonderful adventure and I’m sure your stories are only going to get better. I can’t wait to heat about your new job!

    Deb G

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