Christchurch, New Zealand

 I woke up somewhere over the depths of the Pacific Ocean, then I rode a bike in a different country, and explored a city both thriving with culture and devastated by earthquakes. I walked through a garden full of plants I’d never seen, and ate gelato on a pastel street.

I have caught the travel bug. I really have. And I know now that in the future I will say it all started with New Zealand. 
Katie and Justin, our adventurous friends and native Oregonians, moved to New Zealand about a year ago. Over Christmas Break we took a trip to visit them and had an absolutely amazing time. We spent several days in their city of residence, Christchurch. 
Christchurch is an eclectic and beautiful city.  Tudor style schools are next door to sleek modern homes. A shipping container mall can be found downtown, alongside a turf couch. Bars and restaurants thrive next door to a cathedral crumbling from a catastrophic earthquake. 
We wandered Hagley Park, one of the top three largest city parks in the world. 
We kayaked in this river. Daniel flipped his kayak and killed his phone (way cooler way to ruin your phone than dropping it in the toilet). 
One of my favorite dining spots were The Little High Eatery, where we shared small plates from a variety of cuisines with Katie and Justin and their Kiwi friends. 
On our first evening while I was still on a jet-lagged daze, we had amazing ceviche, guacamole, and happy hour mojitos at a Spanish restaurant. 
We had decadent chocolate treats at the chocolate lounge at Theobrama Chocolate Lounge. 
We visited the Canterbury Museum and got an education in New Zealand's Maori heritage and English settlement, along with a moving display of National Geographic's 50 Greatest Photographs. 
We spent Christmas day on the beach at Taylor's Mistake. Windy, steep roads lead to the bluest shore of the Pacific Ocean that I've seen with my own eyes. We went on a hike winding through the hilly cliffs and then went swimming. I am someone who goes up to my hips on the Oregon Coast despite it's frigid temperatures, so I cannot tell you how much joy I got out of swimming in the warm ocean. 
While we jumped waves we yelled "Merry Christmas!". People on the beach wore Santa hats with bikinis. It was 85 degrees and I got a terrible sunburn on my chest. 
Christchurch is a city I will never forget. 
This is the first of several posts I will be sharing on our New Zealand adventure. Stay tuned for our coast-to-coast tiki trip (that's the Kiwi term for road trip)!

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  1. Wow, you got some amazing pictures. It looks like you had fun. I regret that when I lived on the North Island for a semester abroad I never made it down to check out the South Island but heard it's so beautiful. It looks like the weather was nice for you and I'm sure visiting friends must have made it even more fun.

  2. What a fantastic travel experience! I haven't been to New Zealand yet, but it's on my list! Love that they call road trips tiki trips :)

  3. So lovely to see someone enjoying my city! I love Christchurch and am so excited to see it blooming into a city so unique. Keep spreading it's praises so we can keep rebuilding! Thank you!

  4. Christchurch looks lovely! My best friend in 7th grade was from there, but regrettably I never got to visit her. And welcome to catching the travel bug—it's the best!

  5. Wow!!! What an amazing place to visit. I would love to make it to New Zealand.

  6. It looks like you had a wonderful trip! I am looking forward to going to New Zealand someday :)

  7. It looks like you had an awesome time! I love that you got to experience and share about christmas there! How fun!

  8. The travel bug is the best possible bug to catch. May you have it your whole life. This trip looks like it was magical.


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