Sooo… it’s been awhile. We’ve been busy.
Last time I updated it was late fall, cold weather settling in, winter looming. Now it’s summer and 100+ degrees, and yes, we’re in Fahrenheit now, because we are back in the U.S. of A.!
Scott and I decided to take advantage of my profession and come back to the States for a working holiday. I accepted a travel nurse job near our hometown in Northern California. We have nothing against New Zealand winter at all, we’re just prejudiced against winter in general.
On our way back we were lucky enough to stop in Hawaii for a short holiday. Remember my yammering about wanting to go to Bali for my 30th? Well, I still want to go to Bali, but birthday-Bali just wasn’t coming to fruition. Birthday-Hawaii however, came right on time, with Air New Zealand posting phenomenal prices which actually saved us hundreds on airfare to CA (well, until we invested that money into the Hawaii economy. Nevermind.).
We spent 5 nights on Oahu and it was amazing. If you are a hiker, this place is seriously for you. A car is pretty necessary to get out of the hustle of Waikiki, but once you are out… oh man. Adventure awaits. I recommend checking out the website Unreal Hawaii. I don’t know how this guy doesn’t get shut down by the government, but he’s got dozens of amazing hikes, legal and not-so, posted for your pursuing pleasure. We found two that kept us well exercised and entertained. (And I only took photos from one… sorry!):
Lots of the hiking in Hawaii is on crazy narrow ridge lines. These hikes aren’t for the timid or the dumb- but if you have your wits and balance about you, they aren’t insanely technical either. They provide the most spectacular views! Part of our hike went along the ridge line pictured below, and you can see the trail snaking up the far point on the left:
Working up a thirst for mai tais:
After our all to short Hawaiian adventure, we spent a few weeks in the bay area with our parents, and a few nights in Tahoe for my actual 30th birthday. I also got to experience a chocolate making class with my mom (amazing) and The Book of Mormon with my parents and Scott (even more amazing). Being 30 has really panned out. We even got dolled up one night for some reason, and allowed Scott’s mom to take a photo:
After nearly 3 weeks in the SF bay area, we finally made our way back home to Northern California. My job will start in a few days and Scott will work as well. Our goal this summer is to explore our “backyard” here: the swimming holes, backroads, mountains and bike tracks that we never discovered in Northern CA.
For the last few days though we’ve enjoyed getting reacquainted with Chico (which will be 106 degrees tomorrow… welcome home indeed). We’ve ridden bikes every day and had a Sierra Nevada most of them. Living the summer to summer life… yes, we are spoiled!
More on expat culture shock and all that stuff later. For now, me ripping down my favorite track (right now) in Bidwell Park:
Christchurch, we know you’re sitting around -5 C every day. We’re thinking of you, but I can’t say we’re missing ya!