Christmas certainly has a different flavor in New Zealand. But it is still Christmas, there are friends/family gatherings, exchanges of gifts, Christmas shopping and holiday baking. And Santa will definitely be out and about in his singlet, stubbies and gumboots. We were most fortunate to have one of the hottest Christmas's on record this year. It was 30 degrees C on Christmas Eve and the same on Christmas Day. My splurge for the week was buying ice. It was so hot outside all we could think about was a tall glass of water with ice. It is rare to have a refrigerator that makes ice, and ice is usually not served in cafe's, and our freezer is so small, a bag of ice takes up half the space. So we cleared out the freezer, bought a bag of ice and felt so flash drinking our lemonade with ice cubes. Most kiwi homes do not have AC, nor heat as we all know from my previous posts, so the only way too cool off is to head to the beach for a swim in the the Tasman Sea. We found ourselves down there twice on Christmas Day just to cool off, and instead of cooking in the oven that day as it would of heated up the house, we ended up grilling out some salmon and steaks for our Christmas dinner. It was a lovely way to spend the holidays and once again we feel very blessed and lucky to have another kiwi Christmas. However our heart does lie back in the states where we usually had a white Christmas, some skiing or sledding, warm fires in the fireplace and plenty of hot chocolate. We missed not having family around to help share in the holiday cheer.
|Cutting down our Christmas tree on a hot day, which was a new experience for us.|
|Decorating our Christmas tree with the help of some friends.|
|Christmas breakfast on our deck.|
|Having fun with our water proof camera.|
|The popular kiwi dessert- Pavlova|
|Making our Gingerbread house and planting flowers on the same day just did not feel right.|
|Skyler and one of her best friends, Arianna. These two would surf morning, noon, and night if they could. I love it that they have each other to surf with and most of all have fun together.|
The weather has been so fantastic that we have headed to the beach for bonfires with good friends. We found some American marshmallows in a local store, they are huge marshmallows, bigger than any I have ever seen in the states. They are perfect for roasting. Since NZ does not sell graham crackers we are not able to make smores. But we have told all our international friends about the delicious American pastime and hope to make some next month after our family brings some out to us.
This is the Kiwi ice cream truck, Mr. Kool. They sell soft serve ice cream, not Popsicles. The ice cream can be dipped into what they call sherbet, which is flavored sugar.
We discovered a local berry farm, which is only a 20 minute drive from our house. The kids picked strawberries, raspberries and boysenberries. They were delicious, the strawberries were so sweet and juicy.
|Homemade ice cream with fresh fruit added!!|
|The Surf lifesaving New Year's Day Carnival. It was the perfect way to bring in the new year.|
|The Miss. Taranaki Beauty Pageant|
|Lindsey and her buddies enjoying the carnival.|
|The kids would strap on these "hamster balls" and run full steam ahead and knock each other over. It was hysterical to watch the kids clobber each other and try and get back up.|
|Skyler stuck upside down after her brother knocked her over. She was like a turtle stuck on her back, she couldnt' do anything until someone came and knocked her upright. |
|This is the National IRB competition that took place at our beach this weekend. They had 3m swells to deal with so it made for some good entertainment.|