unfortunately, the cathedral won't be ringing anytime soon as the whole tower has crumbled in the earthquake this afternoon. even worse, 65 people confirmed dead and the number is sure to rise. follow the news on stuff.
the few days of hot weather made my one broccoli plant that was doing so well go straight into flowering. a little disappointing but the flowers are very cute little yellow things that go really well with the pale purple oregano flowers. it's been nice to have fresh cut flowers on the table all week straight out of my own garden.
/ noli and my new basil planter /
my black heels finally bit the dust, so tried turning them into something useful. didn't turn out quite as cute as i wanted, but at least it'll be functional. i hope!
yesterday we spent the morning and afternoon in and around napier looking at wedding cars and accommodation and other little wedding details. it was a perfectly summery day in the bay topped off with lunch overlooking the turquoise sea.
/ looking over the beach at perfume point /
the whole town was buzzing and nearly everyone was dressed up in tassles and feathers as there was an art deco festival on yesterday as well. some of the streets in downtown napier were closed off and when we were driving through, the warbird planes were putting on a display. had we known about it being on, we might have stayed to do some activities.
reuben and i are headed out to dinner tomorrow night for valentine's day. we're pretending it's because of valentine's day, but really we got a nero gift certificate for christmas that we want to use :)
/ reindeer in the animal print shop by sharon montrose /
yep, still catching up on blogging about our christmas/new years trip to the states! i believe i left off at christmas day.
/ smiling even in the sub-zero temperatures /
the first christmas with both reuben's family and my family was possibly one of the most memorable. it started with hot chocolate in line at the rock cafe at the rockefeller centre while we waited to be seated and finished with pumpkin pie martinis overlooking the ice skating rink! the drinks were good, the food was fantastic and the company was great :) we even got to witness a christmas day marriage proposal in the middle the rink!
/ roof top bar at the peninsula hotel /
after dinner we were all still buzzing and looking to continue our christmas partying, so we decided to get some cocktails on the roof top bar at the peninsula hotel on 5th avenue. someone had recommended it to reuben's dad and this seemed like a great opportunity - even in the middle of winter! luckily they had big heaters and tasty cocktails to keep us warm until we finally called it a night.
it's been a few weeks since i left te manawa - a few very busy weeks at ross with the restart of the school year! i have a lot more front office responsibilities this year, which means dealing with a lot of parents and lot of kids. now most people know i am not a big fan of kids, but so far everything's going well. i even have my own fan club of girls who always compliment what i'm wearing and tell me how much they love my accent. cute. now that i man the front desk in the afternoons, i am also almost constantly doubling as school nurse cleaning up cuts, icing down bumps and bruises, pulling out splinters and yesterday was my first vomit incident. wayne and i seemed to be the only people who had the stomach to be able to clean it up - lucky us!
/finding a spot for a giraffe weevil in the insect drawers /
only a little over two months now before the the river exhibit opens at te manawa - i'm quite excited to see how it turns out! while i miss doing science work, i like being an unofficial office manager. i like the fast pace and i like the responsibility and i like the feeling of being able to get things done without having a dozen meetings first. fingers crossed i'll still be this positive by the middle of the year, where things tend to get a bit sluggish.
on christmas eve day, we were planning on taking the ferry out to liberty and ellis islands, but we got there a bit later than anticipated and lines were miles long. we found out that tickets to the crown of the statue of liberty sell out something like 3 months in advance as well.
/ reuben and miss liberty in the background /
so we decided to flag the islands for the day and see wall street instead. we were lucky to have a beautiful, sunny day for wandering around downtown. so we started by strolling down water street to the south street seaport so we could get a good view of the brooklyn bridge.
/ reuben at the seaport /
it turned out to be a great stop - first we had some chocolate covered strawberries at the godiva shop, then i had a waffle on a stick from wafels & dinges (the only food truck i managed to visit the whole trip!), and then we all stopped for some afternoon snacks and christmas cocktails at unos.
/ sunny view of brooklyn bridge /
after our food stop, we walked up wall street so reuben could drool over the place where he wants to work so badly!
/ reuben at the stock exchange /
it was a bit odd to wander around in this area because despite living on water street for a whole year, i feel like i never explored it. it's certainly different from the rest of manhattan in that there are no shops and little flair, but it has a pretty rich sense of history. i started reading edward rutherford's novel 'new york' right before i left on this trip and i was surprised to learn how much of new york's early history occurred in the lower manhattan area.
/ reuben touched by the hand of gw /
next order of business once we saw the stock exchange was to find the bull! as we didn't have a map, we asked one of the security officers to point us in the right direction - big mistake! we were on a wild bull chase for nearly half an hour until finally someone in a deli put on the right path. we got there only to find it SWAMPED by asian tourists. luckily reuben isn't shy so he just pushed right in to get a picture.
/ reuben making everyone give him a turn /
we sat at bowling green for a little while in the sun and contemplated where to go next. we decided to go up to see the flat iron building.
/ flat iron building /
unfortunately i don't know much about this area of town (other than the museum of sex and one or two theatres where nitya used to perform), so this was pretty much all we saw here.
/ our best photo the whole trip /
after picking up tickets in the theatre district, we head down to reuben's parents' hotel (in possibly the coldest part of all manhattan) to join them for happy hour and wait for gina and gerald, the two family friends who would join us on our adventures from australia. when they arrived, we decided to go up to central park for a carriage ride. it was incredibly frosty, but it was a great experience, even though our horse farted through the first 10 minutes of the ride.
/ our driver, his companion stuffed penguin and our horse /
/ yep, that's reuben carrying all of our macy's deals :) /
our christmas eve eve day started out with macy's!! we were both scouring the store for deals and styles we can't find in nz. it wasn't that difficult to do, actually, and we both ended up leaving with bags full! after macy's we ended up in times square. i'm pretty sure on this visit alone i went to times square more than the entire 4 years i lived in the city.
/ choice seats at the rangers game /
AD was lucky enough to score some rangers seats that night for me, reuben and reuben's parents so that i could show them what huge events american sports games are. i think they enjoyed game. i enjoyed the cheese fries.
and after the game - surprise, surprise - we ended up back in times square so we could take some pictures at night. i'd never been up the bright red steps on the uptown end before, so we went up for the view.
AD sent me a link to irregular choice shoes - a site i have browsed before and loved and this time was no different. they even had a wedding collection, but this was the only one. would i wear it? heck yes!
this weekend i attended a chinese new year celebration with miriam and her friend jill at the regent and while some of it was small-town awkward performances, the highlight of the show was the very end where two of the royal new zealand ballet members danced a pas de deux from don quixote. i'm very much looking forward to the rnzb season this year, starting with tutus on tour in march!
i've been doing some serious searching on all sorts of wedding blogs and wedding dress designers websites in order to kick start ideas for the wedding. i'm surprised i still haven't found the type of dress i'm looking for, but i guess i'm just picky :) i'm still thinking i'll go to a dressmaker so i can get what i want! i think we're deciding on grey bridesmaid dresses, which sounds boring, but i intend to spice it up a bit with colourful, glam accessories :)