It feels like we spent the whole week in shopping centres, buying last-minute essentials for our outfits for Anne’s sixtieth birthday party. Otherwise, it’s been a social time, spending time with the Greenbergs on Monday and with Anne and Norrie’s friends throughout the weekend.
24/1 Monday After a coffee at Katherine’s and a trip out to Careys Bay for sushi and for a beer, we said farewell to the Greenbergs and started the trip back to Christchurch. Our favourite cafe in Moeraki, Fleur’s, is apparently closed on Mondays, so we paid too much for coffee from a kiosk near the water and drank it at an outdoor table overlooking the bay.
25/1 Tuesday Craig spent most of the day preparing for the launch of Chris Guillebeau’s Travel Hacking Cartel, and we had dinner at home with Norrie and Anne.
26/1 Wednesday The Travel Hacking Cartel launched at 5am our time so Craig woke up early to check that everything was under control, which it was. Later on, when the day actually started, we headed out to Allways Rentals to meet Merav, who we’ve known for a while on Twitter. We had a great coffee and a chat with her, then had lunch back at home before driving into the city to meet Jason from Seeya for a couple of beers beside the Avon.
27/1 Thursday Another day of shopping. Parking was awful in Christchurch city, but we eventually found a space for the car and spent a couple of hours wandering around the shops (and paid for our ticket to South America, yay!). It was crazy to see how many buildings have been destroyed by the September earthquake; a lot of shops on Cashel Street were locked up with red warning notices pasted all over the windows. On the way out of town we also saw a couple of churches whose steeples had been removed and were squatting oddly beside the church buildings.
28/1 Friday Norrie and Anne got up early and went to the airport to collect their friends Alison, Harry and Evelyn, who came down from Auckland for Anne’s sixtieth birthday party, and we spent the day with them – Craig went out with Harry and Norrie while us girls drove to Cust for a lovely lunch.
29/1 Saturday The weather wasn’t playing nicely in the morning, and Anne was concerned it would rain for her big party. Luckily, though, the showers passed over and the skies were clear in the evening, and the party went well. The theme was “bling” so we were all shiny and glittery – for some reason I let myself be convinced to wear fairy wings. Actually though, my starry eyelashes garnered more attention.
It was a great party, everyone looked awesome and I’m pretty sure Anne had a good time – and that’s the most important thing.
30/1 Sunday After a pleasant sleep-in, I chatted to Julian and then my mum on Skype before heading out to lunch with a group of Anne and Norrie’s friends at the Mud House. The food was pleasant, as was the company, though the service left a fair bit to be desired.
We had a relaxing afternoon, during which I caught up with Luis de Chile and Craig got some work done. In the evening Anne and Norrie’s friends came over for a washed-out barbecue, after which we checked out the party video and photos before settling in to watch the tennis final.