Home sweet home!


I can’t believe it’s halfway through March already, this year is already going so fast. So much has happened in the past few months, and I thought I would have so much more time than I have had to write about it. Turns out not working is actually a full time job and it’s been an extremely busy summer. I will provide a quick summary of what’s been happening and then onnnn with the show! (a No Such Thing as a Fish podcast reference, for those who listen) I expect to clear my backlog of adventures, restaurants and recipes over the coming months, and I’ll document these as chronologically as I can!

The biggest change in the past few months is that Andy and I have moved home from Vancouver (sad) and are now living in Auckland (yay). We managed to get MIQ spots and were part of the the lucky group that only had to do 7 days in a hotel followed by 3 days self-isolation at home. We were in the Novotel at Christchurch Airport and we had a great time! I think it was because we knew it was only 7 days, but the forced R&R after the busy period we’d had prior, was a very welcome change! The food was good, the room was modern, and we had a cool view overlooking the runway. We could also exercise about three times a day, which I think made a difference too.

Our last few weeks in Canada were, as expected, amazing. We had both finished up work by early November and did some more travel around Whistler and Squamish before heading across to the interior. We deliberately chose to drive across, because it meant that we wouldn’t have to spend time in airports and on aeroplanes – we were extremely Covid conscious at this stage because we needed a negative test in order to fly home to NZ. It also meant we got to enjoy BC’s wonderful landscape one more time and visit old favourites, such as Revelstoke. We had hoped to ski in Alberta, but alas, the snow didn’t properly arrive until our final few days. Instead, we spent our time touristing around the iconic local spots – even in ‘shoulder season’ it was still insanely busy. Andy did manage to find a quiet spot to propose to me though (!!) which was obviously a massive highlight to the trip (to my life, actually), but that is a story for another day! At some point I hope to backtrack and blog specifically about certain aspects of this trip, but for now a photo or two will suffice.

In typical Nicole and Andy style, a snow storm struck in our final few days in Canmore. It went from being absolutely magical to a bit of stress when we realised that the mountain pass we needed to cross in order to get back to Vancouver was closed. We spent a day monitoring the road cams, plotting our escape, but then we were horrified to learn that the snow storms in Alberta translated to rain in the interior of BC, causing flooding which literally washed away EVERY SINGLE ROAD accessing Vancouver. We were entirely cut off! A bit of panic now, as we had to ditch our rental car at Calgary Airport and catch a fully packed flight (hello Covid) to Vancouver, where we only had a few days to pack up our apartment and say goodbye to the city and our friends. Obviously we did it, and here we are.

Needless to say, NZ summer has been fantastic! I had a cool opportunity to do some work for Lonely Planet, which saw Andy and I visit Wellington (also very convenient for seeing our friends), New Plymouth and spend some decent time in Napier and at home. Christmas was in Taupo with my entire extended family: a very special three days for me! We spent about three weeks in Arrowtown with Andy’s parents, which, as always, was incredible. I hadn’t spent much time in Central Otago during the summer, so there were lots of new adventures and activities for me. Andy moved to Auckland at the end of January to start work, but I had a month longer as I was still finishing off some study that I had started in Canada. Since then, we have managed to squeeze in trips to Hahei, Raglan, Atiamuri, Dunedin and I did some camping in Ohope with Mum. It’s been all go!

2022 is set to be a huge year. I have just started work (always a unique experience in a pandemic), we are renting an apartment in central Auckland but are hopefully going to start looking for a more permanent place to live in the near future. A wedding is on the cards, hopefully a puppy of our own will fit somewhere in there too, and of course, as many adventures as possible – watch this space!

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