2015 Reflections & Highlights from a Year in New Zealand, Pt. 1

2015:  What a year. It’s startling to think back to last January and realize how much has changed, and how quickly. If you’ll indulge me, then, on a trip down memory lane featuring some photos of New Zealand that for one reason or another never made it to the blog.

I’ve had to split up this post into two parts, simply because there was so much I wanted to share! Part 1 will cover our travels in New Zealand from January through August. Part 2, to come in a day or so, will include photos from Australia and more thoughts on our move to Portland. I hope you enjoy!

Wellington Botanic Gardens
Wellington Botanic Garden

We begin in windy Wellington, New Zealand’s capital, in high summer. The hydrangeas were blooming gloriously in a riot of colors this day in the Botanic Gardens. We stayed in cheerful, blustery Wellington in a dilapidated rental house until January 16th, when, bidding goodbye to our feisty South African friend and chef extraordinaire, we drove our unreliable Honda Accord onto the Interislander Ferry and sailed south across the Cook Strait. Continue reading “2015 Reflections & Highlights from a Year in New Zealand, Pt. 1”

An 8-to-5 Pace

There’s a reason I never set a schedule here on my blog. It’s because I inevitably get caught up in whatever I’m doing at the time, whether that’s spending two months driving through the backroads in New Zealand or simply pondering the purpose and pace of the blog itself. And now, sure enough, I’ve been sufficiently preoccupied by my new life in Portland — and wondering, too, about the direction my sporadic musings should take — that, as is becoming habitual, I’ve pushed Literary Vittles to a dusty folder in the back of my mind.

I’ve settled into an 8-to-5 pace that forces me to wake up on time and do workout videos on the IKEA rug in the living room/dining room/kitchen if I have any hope of exercise. I limit myself to buying lunch once a week and make sure to eat a hearty breakfast each morning. After showing up at work looking like a sheep one day, I reluctantly admitted that it was time to start fixing my hair again. And I downloaded an app to keep track of which outfits I wear, and how often, which sounds ridiculous but is also ridiculously helpful. I hardly recognize the reliable person I’ve become in the short space of just one month, and it’s jarring to think about the other ways in which I’ll continue to adapt without question. Continue reading “An 8-to-5 Pace”

Greetings from Portlandia

Portland - Sellwood Park 2

Portland - squirrel munch

Portland - park path

Portland - bocks at dock

There’s an irritating ticker in the upper-right corner of my Facebook homepage that continuously quantifies how inactive I’ve been — “Your page this week: It’s been 72 days since fans of Literary Vittles have heard from you!” After passing the 100 days mark, even Facebook gave up on me. Languish for too long, and you pass into the realm of the forgotten.

The past three months, though, have been anything but inactive. Continue reading “Greetings from Portlandia”

Odorous Rotorua

We smelled Rotorua before we saw it. Driving up the Thermal Explorer Highway, plumes of yellow-gray vapor intermittently bubbling up from either side of the road, we had no idea, even then, of the sulphuric assault that was soon to overwhelm our senses. Sulphur Bay, Rotorua Continue reading “Odorous Rotorua”