Monday, December 14, 2009

Home Sweet Home

What is required to make a home?  For that matter what makes it sweet?  Today we picked up the campervan that will be our home for the next month.  To pick up this baby, we took the train from the Britomart near the ferry station in downtown Auckland for a 50 minute ride out to Otahuhu.  Just like at home, the train stations aren’t in the prettiest parts of town.  We walked the 800m to Adventure Vans through an industrial park to the sounds of metal recyclers sorting and crushing aluminum cans.  I don’t remember seeing those pictures in any of the brochures! – Just another adventure for the Peaveys!

We have now acquired a 2/3 berth Toyota diesel with all the basics of home – seating area with a table (that converts into the bed), fridge, microwave, oven, gas cooktop, kitchen accessories (i.e. plates, glasses, etc.) shower, 2 sinks (kitchen and bath), and lots of little storage nooks and crannies.  There is a 12V battery for power that is charged from running the vehicle, plugging it in and from a solar panel on the roof.  There’s also two propane gas bottles for heating the water and the cooktop.

It is an automatic – so we only have to worry about driving on the LEFT side of the road and not be distracted by shifting gears with one’s left hand!  James handled it all well today – but it did start a little rough and he put on his Maori face – see the resemblance???imageimageWhat is home without food???  We immediately went to Foodtown for groceries and wandered for what seemed like forever picking out this and that.  “Will that fit in the fridge?”  “Can we really use all of that in a month???”  “How are we going to store this after it’s opened?”  There were some slight differences, but overall we could navigate through the store well.  The one thing that has stopped me in my tracks twice now is the fact that THE EGGS ARE NOT REFRIGERATED!image I did have a friend that raised chickens for eggs as their one Y2K effort.  I vaguely remember her saying something about eggs staying fresh on the counter as long as they were NOT refrigerated – but once they were, the egg “died” and required refrigeration.  Is that true????   I bought 1/2 a dozen despite the shock, but just wonder what I have done!

Since we now have wheels we decided to go “volcano collecting”.  It’s brilliant to have a GPS system down here.  It’s not perfect – like it doesn’t realize we have to drive on the left side of the road, but it helps greatly.

The first volcano we ascended is Mt. Eden.  You can see the crater from the top of the cone pretty well in this picture.                      imageWandering around the rim, we heard birds calling to one another in ways that really almost sounded like mechanical things.  I’ve noticed almost immediately how I’ve relished hearing the birds here.  Or at least how much I’ve missed them at home.  These today sounded very different and really caught my ear.  Climbing back up the to the summit, there was this flash of red.  Within about 30 seconds we saw 4 parrots diving into the trees or the field.  James was just able to catch this one in flight.  Maybe the mechanical noises were my imagination – or could these parrots have picked up the sounds of the city?  Another question – where do these beauties make their home  in the winter???

imageFrom Mt. Eden we headed to One Tree Hill which is in the middle of Cornwall Park.  Here’s a look back at Rangitoto that we hiked up yesterday – and of course there’s our van!

imageLastly, we didn’t do any decorating for Christmas at home this year, but did pick up reindeer antlers and a red nose to use down here.  So our “home” is now ready for the holidays.  Does that make it sweet???image

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Life Looms Large said...

A whole month!! You're good at celebrating!! (I know - once you've flown so far you need time to enjoy it!!)

The van seems like a great idea! I've never done a trip like that, but I can see the appeal.

The only thing I remember about unrefrigerated eggs is that on some cooking blog I was just reading that for some recipes you need the eggs to be runny....and that as eggs age they get more runny. I think they said something like an hour on the counter is the same as a day in the refrigerator. I don't know what this all means for your non-refrigerated eggs dilemma.

Those parrots are really beautiful.

Have fun!


PS: Thanks for the movie tip about Julie & Julia! I saw it in November in a favorite restored old theater near home. Loved it - blogging and cooking - what a great combo for me!

Theresa said...

Oh my great van! What a good idea too.
It all looks so...summery! ;-) I have no idea where parrots spend the cold weather. Maybe they migrate to a little banana belt area. The antlers and nose...priceless.

Ginny said...

Wowza! What an awesome vacation idea!! Have a fun time...

Anonymous said...

We loving the blog ... we were disappointed yesterday (Sunday here) when we got up to not post. We are really jealous and you are doing a good job of revealing to us your experience.


Mom and Dad

JaneJeff said...

Well ... maybe up to speed on blogger account etc. Last comment was anonymous now it is real. Just want to add that we got your two updates today. Again really enjoying it so much.

Love you both ...

Dad and Mom


I'm loving your blog, a whole month wow I could just see that! I'll keep up with your adventures and live vicariously through them. Hope your days are filled with Awesome Adventures!

charlotte said...

What a great adventure, I'm green with envy! The parrot is so cute. I don't think one needs much to make a home, I love the antlers and the red nose.

Spinning Out of Control said...

Wow...your little Toyota home is way more modern than ours!
I love the antlers and nose :)

Meg in Nelson said...

Good lord, I must look out for the van with the nose! Coming to Nelson by any chance?