The first time my wife and I traveled on a long trip together, our bags were packed by the door, we were ready to go, and I reached for the door handle. She grabbed my arm and led me to the couch. “Let’s sit.”Continue reading Sit before You Go: A Russian Travel Tradition
Davy Crockett once said, “First, be sure your right and go ahead.” It’s a motto I’ve tried to live by. Make a (good or right) decision and move toward it as quickly as possible. Don’t let anything stand in the way. It’s gotten me into some dangerous situations, but everything worked out – and I have some great stories to tell. However, barging ahead doesn’t work when you have other people to consider. Now the question I face is “Do we move to the U.S., or do we stay in Russia?”Continue reading Returning to the U.S.? What to Do?
In Sep. 2018, we applied for my wife’s green card to live in the U.S. We thought we would go about it the right way, so we sent in our money and waited. Then we waited some more. Then we waited some more. In between all the waiting, we spent time in the U.S. with her tourist visa. By Sep. 2019, we still hadn’t heard anything, and we decided to book a trip to New Zealand. It would be easier to get to than if we flew from the U.S.Continue reading Coronavirus Delays Our Journey to the U.S.
With its single-family homes on small plots of land intermixed with office buildings, Christchurch reminds me of Campbell, CA, without the air pollution, cars, and litter. It’s a flat, walkable town with more green areas and bird song than Campbell. Christchurch Botanic Garden is huge and offers a unique dining experience among the birds of the garden. I highly recommend stopping for a bite to eat at the ilex café and sitting outside if the weather permits.
The town itself sprawls, as do all New Zealand cities. Devastated in the 2011 earthquake, Christchurch is still recovering. The city got rid of the organically built container mall that sprouted up after the quake in an effort on business’ parts to keep the economy rolling. While a tentative agreement has been reached to rebuild the Anglican Cathedral, it doesn’t look like much movement has been made in the construction.
Mother Nature has claimed some parts of the city as her own. One lot contains Black-billed gulls roosting in the ruins of a missing building. There are plenty of things to do in Christchurch, but perhaps the best is just walking through the city renewal projects and enjoying the gardens and what nature has to offer.
If you change your definition , you might be able to eat cheaply in New Zealand. Unfortunately, it will require some sacrifice on your part and a change in expectations, most likely. While you may be able to eat cheaply, the other question you have to ask yourself is if you really want to.Continue reading New Zealand: Is It Possible to Eat Cheaply in New Zealand?