Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Some Midweek Poetry

I think I mentioned that I'm taking a poetry class through my college back in Arizona? Here's a little gem I wrote for my friend from a couple of weeks ago:

A Lady Named Kate

There was a fine lady named Kate
Who wanted a nice tinder date
So she stalked a hot guy
And they shared a mai tai
But it turned out he wasn’t straight

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Catching Up

Oh, life has a way from getting away from us at times, doesn't it! I've been taking some online classes this semester through my community college back home so it feels like I'm doing something towards my career at some stage. (Even if those classes happen to be Art History and Poetry...) I took a trip to Samoa for a wedding, I moved house a few weeks ago... Things have been busy.

So much to catch y'all up on, so little time...

In the mean time, enjoy some mediocre quality pictures (all of which were taken on a good ol' iPhone) of my hometown's wonderful sunsets:

You'd almost think I was starting to miss the Dirty T. 

And maybe I am. Just a little bit. 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Broad Bay China Shop & Stuff

Winter has officially reached that point in the Southern Hemisphere where t-shirts and flipflops (Kiwis call them jandals -- weird, huh??) suddenly become acceptable apparel. The high is still barely in the mid 50's, but if you close your eyes and try really really hard, it starts to feel almost like summer. Just almost. After a record breaking cold winter, we're a desperate bunch.

I'm starting to think this "warm weather" thing is a hoax. Pretty sure everyone just keeps telling me it'll get warmer so I don't leave.

(Although, to be honest, I don't really want to leave ever.)

I was going through my pictures from my little trip to Dunedin and I found a bunch from my adventures with my surrogate nana. On our way down Portobello Road to visit the albatrosses, we stopped in a china shop. (It actually belongs to my boss's old high school teacher... Typical Dunedin to have connections like that!) #oldlady status. I love these kinds of places because they always have a super random selection of knick knacks alongside the china.

So, obviously, I took a bunch of pictures to share with all of you.

Enjoy. x

Some random sheep from across the road for good measure.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Dunedin Farmers' Market

One of my favorite things to do on weekends is head down to the farmers' market. When I was in Dunedin this past weekend, I popped over with my surrogate nana. It was blimmin' cold as it had snowed the night before throughout the hills. There was a frigid breeze blowing in from the harbor that chilled us to the bone. It had been on and off drizzling, but we braved the cold along with half the city! Needless to say they were wearing their woolies that day! 

We stocked up on some fresh veggies and picked up some veggie and kumara (one of my favorite things about NZ!) soup. There were a few musicians out there braving the cold and I wanted to go up to them and give them my whole wallet just so they could go back to their homes and be warm again! The market is right next to the train station, which is arguable one of the coolest buildings in Dunedin. Its architecture gets an A+ rating from me. I've heard the inside is pretty grand, but after a half hour at the market, we were borderline hypothermic and ready to scurry home! 

I'll definitely head back next time I'm in Dunedin. Hopefully it'll be a little bit warmer then! 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Blogging from my Deathbed

Can I just tell you what really sucks? It was just getting into summer in the good ol' Northern Hemisphere. Then I had the brilliant idea to jump on a plane and head somewhere that was in the dead of winter. Brilliant, brilliant idea, I tell ya.

But no. It's not the ice on the ground or the wind gusts coming up from Antarctica (worst thing in the world). It's not the frostbitten toes no matter the shoe choice or the general feeling of being half-hypothermic all of the time. No. It's not even the fact that Starbucks doesn't have pumpkin spice down here (with is simply TRAGIC). No, ma'am.

This is where my family is right now and I hate them. /// via Daniel Oines

The worst -- and I mean absolute worst -- part of winter is the sickness. Before I continue, I should let you know I am the QUEEN of hand sanitizer. It's not really that germs freak me out... but, yeah, they freak me out. I hate being sick. Any time I touch anything with the remote possibility of thousands of colonies of little nasties living upon that surface, I whip out my hand sanitizer. But here's the problem y'all: I currently co-habitate (is that a word?) with two monkeys aged two and five. These creatures would probably like the window of a subway car if they had the chance. *shudder*

If  you have ever spent time around kids -- or as I affectionately call them: children of the corn -- you understand that they are constantly within two inches of your face at all times. Why? I am not sure. Maybe they just want to show you their undying love by being close to you. Maybe they want to infect the whole world with their deadly infectious pathogens. Who knows? I sure as hell don't. I feel like it's pretty 50/50, actually.

Inevitably, as I write this, I have fallen ill. Oh, we ain't talkin' about a case of the sniffles. No no no. Heavens no. I seem to have caught the sickness, whatever it is. I have been lying on my deathbed (aka the couch) for the past few days struggling through my last supper (aka soup and honey/lemon tea) and distracting myself from my desperate strife with stories from happier times (aka chick flicks on Netflix). My fever has been gliding me in and out of consciousness (or is it the Tylenol 3 w/ Codeine I've been popping like candy?) only to we awoken by an unrelenting cough as I race to grab tissues to catch the blood ricocheting off my insides. (Blood? Phlegm? Meh, same thing.) Only then am I reminded of the excruciating pain in my abdominal muscles from being forced outwards during my coughing fits as I slowly curl up into a fetal ball on the floor (or just hug my heating pad tighter because getting onto the floor would actually require ENERGY).

Yeah, basically I feel like shit.

And it's weird because I actually think this is the first time that I have been 100% alone while I've been sick. I've always had a family member or a roommate to commiserate with. (Misery loves company!) The people I live with high tailed it off to Hawaii this week so it's just me. I was so excited to have a mini vacation to see a bit of the North Island in my time off... but no such luck.

Where I originally planned on going this week. *sigh* /// via Graeme Churchard

And I think the worst part about it is that I can't really see the doctor. I mean, I can, but it's $150 to go see the doctor and then full price for whatever medications they prescribe because I'm not a citizen here. (Is this what it feels like to not have insurance in the U.S.??) I guess I just feel like I have to be pretty damn sick to warrant spending that much money and I'm not sure if I'm at that point. Yet.

So in the mean time, I'm just going to stick it out and hope for the best (even though Google has diagnosed me with acute bronchitis or pneumonia but YOLO) because I'd rather spend $200 on clothes or makeup or a new pair of shoes. (How sad is that?)

Please excuse me while I pop another pill and finish off the bottle of this cough syrup.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A Week of iPhone Pictures

I've been out and about this past week and haven't really had much time to write... You know how things start to fall into routine and you unintentionally totally neglect something like flossing or calling your mother? This blog is turning into one of those things.

It's reeeaaallyy hard to believe that I've been here for a whole month already. Yet, I've only written a post a few times. Tsk, tsk, McKenna Lee. 

Don't worry, guys. Nothing much has happened on the home front. (Well, except for getting two flat tires in the span of a couple of days, but yeah.) It's the middle of winter here and I've felt really unmotivated to go on any kind of adventures that involve the outdoors. I have been spending a good chunk of my paycheck on checking out new cafes, so hey, at least there's that. (AllPress coffee is to die for, by the way. Just thought you should know.)

Here's a little peek into the life of McKenna Lee this past week or so:

The view from my room is PER-FECT.

While y'all are getting summer tans, I have to scrape ice off my car in the mornings.

When you find a chocolate bar... :):):):):):):):):)

*a million angry face emojis plus a few sobbing ones thrown in for good measure*

homemade pizza + a glass of Rose = one happy McKenna Lee

This plant is growing in the backyard... SO. WEIRD.

Welp. That's about it. Basically: it's cold.  I drink a lot of coffee. (And probably too much wine.) The plants here are weird.

There ya have it, folks.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Adventures in Rotorua

Rotorua, New Zealand is one of the craziest/coolest/weirdest places I have ever been in my entire life.

That being said, prepare yourselves for one picture-heavy post!

When I first came to New Zealand, my dad tagged along with me. (He may have been a tiny bit worried I may be living with a serial killer, but mostly I think he came along because NZ has always been on his bucket list...) Before I started my new job, we did a good ol' "tikki tour" as the Kiwis call it. We rented a campervan and headed south towards Rotorua. Originally, we had planned on making a big loop around the North Island, but actually Rotorua was just so cool we stayed there the entire time. Funny how that happens, huh?

The whole area around Rotorua is famous because of its geothermal activity. Unfortunately, that also means the entire area reeks of sulphur, yet I digress... The actual town of Rotorua really markets off the geothermal activity. It wouldn't surprise me if every hotel, hostel, campsite etc. had their own hot springs thermal pool. A fair share of families actually have their own hot spring pool in their backyard which happens to be pretty damn cool if ye ask me.

The place we started off at was actually situated on Lake Rotorua and was surrounded by all kinds of natural hot springs. We got there just as the sun was setting so we really didn't have a chance to explore. The next morning I awoke to one of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen. The sun was just beginning to climb over the horizon. The steam from the springs caught the light in the most magical way you can imagine as the sun rays shone through the mist.

While we were there, we did some pretty impressive things including: mountain biking, visiting Lake Taupo, canopy tour of the forest, Wai-o-Tapu (aka geothermal wonderland/different planet), and canoeing in a lake in the middle of no where with a stranger to find glow worms. (That last one really deserves its own post.)

None of these pictures really  do these places justice, but hey, I tried.

Cuz nothing says "AMERICAN" like baseball caps and North Face jackets.

Lake Taupo's waters were to blue I'm sure you could see the lake bottom from that boat. 


This place is pretty damn cool, huh?

I mean, damn.

If you had told me a year ago that I would be moving to New Zealand, I would have laughed. It still feels so magical to be here and I keep pinching myself to make sure that I'm not dreaming. Every day here is an adventure and I'm soaking as much up as I can. 

And I absolutely cannot wait to share them all with you.