Tag Archives: new zealand

Learning Curve: The Road Less Traveled.

Wizard's Gulch

Full disclosure: I have been skiing for a long, long time. Well, I’m 28 and I’ve been skiing since I was 3. Okay, here comes the disclosure part. I’m still not that good at it. I mean, I suppose “good” is all relative, but I can’t ski the way a lot of my friends do, flying between moguls or dropping cliffs with seemingly small effort.

I grew up skiing the East Coast, exclusively, where groomers rule and rules abound. My parents also happen to be strictly on-pisters. Last year, I skied New Zealand, which is what I like to call a lawless land.

Deterrents. Cardrona.
Deterrents. Cardrona.

While it may not truly be “lawless,” New Zealanders are definitely a lot more blasé about what actually constitute boundaries and who may ski within (or outside of) them. Continue reading

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The year is new.

Oh, so it is. I’m usually much more on top of my New Year’s posts, but 2013 was one heck of a year and I wasn’t really sure where to start. Then I thought, I’ll just begin with what’s always closest to my heart: the food. (And drink.) And I’m gonna preemptively put a few dollars in the proverbial jar, because I’m about to sound like a… well, maybe just don’t read this if you’re prone to fits of jealous rage. Right, the food…  Continue reading

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Sap Sap Sappy Thanksgiving 2oThirteen.

This Thanksgiving Eve finds me sitting at an Ikea kitchen table that I shared with an ex, once upon a time. It’s now in my bedroom. In my parents’ house. There’s only one chair. (The other one was lost in a flood.) It’s also from Ikea. This visual gets more depressing with every passing detail. There’s even a candle. Unlit. And an opened box of Entenmann’s “donuts.” And a feline reposing in my lap. Just kidding… about those last two things, anyway.

The floor behind me is, literally, covered with books and laundry and 10 pairs of shoes and five pieces of luggage and 37 pieces of cameras and a statue of Ganesha.

So, at 28, this probably isn’t exactly where most people would want to be. But I am thankful to be here.

This has been one crazy year (so far). I didn’t realise until my mum brought it to my attention, but I set foot on five continents in eight months. That’s, like, the definition of a crazy year. But also the definition of a remarkable year.

Continue reading

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“Yoga shmoga.”

Go with the flow.

The thing with tequila is, deciding that it’s the proper course of action is always preceded by consuming copious amounts of other, less rambunctious spirits. And the other thing with tequila is, it’s never, actually, the proper course of action. But leave it to 18-year-old guys from California to convince you otherwise.

Thus, I find myself at Anomali with the biggest and most delicious iced coffee that they’ve probably ever served, feeling like a criminal in a town full of temple bodies. And actual temples.

This story really begins with clean eating. And “detoxifying.” A loosely laid plan that was swiftly abandoned at the utterance of “balcony with pillows.” Or maybe it was “wine.” It was Sunday, after all. And I reasoned that the most enlightened humans in history surely reached that state under the watch of some Bacchus variant. No?  Continue reading

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#LivingTheDream / “Risky Biscuits” . #Singapore .

Singapore.

Tuesday, 27 August. 9:09 p.m..

Dinner time. Again.

I’ve been in Singapore for 3.5 hours and it would be incredibly easy, if not for the fact that everything seems to require cash. money. dolla’ dolla’ bills, yo.

As a freelance journalist and gypsy, I probably rely [a little too heavily] upon worldwide acceptance of Visa cards in moments when bills that need to be paid eclipse invoices that have been paid. This is one of those moments.

Upon disembarking after my 11-hour flight from Auckland, I sent an email to the madre that stated, “I’m here! Got a new stamp in the ol’ passport, just waiting for my bag then heading to the city. Love you!” I collected said bag and discovered that I needed cash to buy a ride on the city shuttle. I needed SGD $9. With fear in my heart, I headed to the nearest ATM and my fears were realised when I saw that TD Bank had withdrawn its malevolent maintenance fee with laughably poor timing. Also, I hadn’t been paid in the previous 11 hours. In short, I was penniless. Literally. And I was stuck in the airport.

I happened to have some random international currency in my wallet and I pathetically exchanged five Aussie dollars and five U.S. dollars for a little more than 11 Singaporean bucks and slunk onto the shuttle. When I arrived at Pillows & Toast Heritage, I was reminded that I’d only booked the room with a deposit and–guess what! This hostel only accepts cash payments. Feck.

I was reduced to asking for a mini loan from my mum, which, I can tell you, does not feel good.

On the bright side, I can eat with chopsticks…

Someone recently told me that living this way is “risky biscuits.” I was like, “Yeah, heh.” And I merely thought, I’m gonna steal that turn of phrase. Today, as I contemplated purchasing strangers’ overpriced Frappuccinos in exchange for cold, hard cash, in order to escape the aeropuerto, I saw cookies in an utterly unappetising light. For the first time in the history of me.

Come on, lifestyle sponsor, where are you?

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More New Zealand Beers.

Getting myself from Auckland to New Plymouth last year was a hellish mission. Think road works and foul weather and hairpin turns and four-cylinder engines and utter lack of cell signal. On the left-hand side of the road. Under the cover of night. I’m not sure whether I mined some value from the experience, or if the return journey was so fantastic that it masked the horror I felt while making that drive alone, but I thought it wise to once again hire an automobile this year. AND decided to shake things up by flying into Wellington in Auckland’s stead, a route that turned out to be nearly as lengthy, but a lot less nerve-racking.

Anyway, down to beer business. I added a few new Kiwi beers to the list while hanging ’round New Plymouth. Unfortunately, I still haven’t made it to Mike’s Organic Brewery. (I’m determined to go next year.) I did have amazing eggs florentine at Lahar in Okato, though, so it’s all good. When I arrived back in Wellington, the beer situation got really interesting. My friend Tully (of #TullysWellington Instagram fame) sent me to beer heaven, also known as Malthouse on Courtenay Place. I walked in, grabbed a stool, and said, “I would like a New Zealand beer that I’ve never had before.” Then this happened:

Tasters

The guy behind the bar, Van, was ah-mazingly knowledgable and keen to serve up all kinds of wonderful beers of which I’d never heard. My favorite was definitely Yeastie Boys Pot Kettle Black. The Yeastie Boys’ name didn’t hurt their case, but their beer was pretty much the best beer I’ve had in… well, a long time. This is what they say about Pot Kettle Black:

“Pot Kettle Black is our multi-award winning ‘Black IPA’ (that some call a ‘Hoppy Porter’). The different names convey the fact that this beer is a contradiction of styles: fresh and hoppy, yet dark and rich. Most importantly it is mindbendingly delicious and a complete original.”

Check the freshly alphabetized KIWI BEER LIST here.

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The Definitive (Maybe) KIWI Beer List

Malthouse in Wellington.

Malthouse in Wellington.

  1. Boundary Road Brewery The Chosen One
  2. Boundary Road Brewery Flying Fortress
  3. Boundary Road Brewery Jack The Sipper
  4. Dead, Twisted, and Good Black Forest Bitter
  5. Emerson’s London Porter
  6. Lion Red
  7. Mac’s Black Mac Dark Beer
  8. Mac’s Hop Rocker Pilsener
  9. Mac’s Sassy Red Best Bitter
  10. Mac’s Gold All Malt Lager
  11. Mac’s Shady Pale Pale Ale
  12. Mac’s Cascade Parade IPA
  13. Mac’s Ginger Brew
  14. Mike’s Organic Pilsner
  15. Monteith’s Pilsner
  16. Monteith’s Celtic Red
  17. Monteith’s Doppelbock Winter Ale
  18. ParrotDog Bitter Bitch
  19. Queenstown Brewers Steam Brew
  20. Speight’s Summit Lager
  21. Speight’s Gold Medal Ale
  22. Speight’s 5 Malt Old Dark
  23. Speight’s Chocolate Ale
  24. Speight’s Distinction Ale
  25. Steinlager
  26. Stoke Lager
  27. Tui East India Pale Ale
  28. Tui Dark
  29. Winnie’s Ale
  30. Wild Buck
  31. Yeastie Boys Pot Kettle Black. (Best beer in history? Probably.)
  32. Yeastie Boys Gunnamatta Tea Leaf IPA
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