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Adrienne and James' Excellent Adventure

Finally...We have organised a page to display our pics from our wanderings around the US. Have just added pics from the South west road trip and a few more from Chicago

Diary Entries

Monday, 08 October 2007

Location: Chicago, USA

We have been having a great year with visitors. My Mum and Dad in May, Josh left today, and Anne-Elise is over here on Thursday. Check out James' and Josh's pics from their South-west road trip to Las Vegas, through Arizona, Grand Canyon and the Navajo Nation in a Mustang Convertible. There were a few Thelma and Louise jokes

Friday, 20 April 2007

Location: Puerto Rico

We just got back from Puerto Rico this week and we really enjoyed the laidback and relaxed island culture of the place. All the houses are painted bright colors and of course they have all these gorgeous big bright hibiscus and other tropical flowers everywhere.

I thoroughly recommend living in PR if you want the party lifestyle. You can buy alcohol in the gas station and it is as cheap as chips. These people LOVE to party. In fact, believe it or not, Sunday is the big party day of the week. Kind of a ‘last hurrah’ attitude we were told. We walked through the rainforest feeling all healthy with our big bottles of water and trail mix and the Puerto Ricans are walking through with a six-pack of beer and its about 9:30am. Why not? The rainforest there is like the New Zealand bush with a few boa constrictors thrown in. There was even a tree which looked freakishly similar to a punga tree fern.

Its funny because its an island measuring only 100 miles by 30 miles and it has about the same population size as NZ and absolutely everyone has a car and most people have big SUV’s while the roads in the towns and villages have these itty bitty lanes that can barely fit one car let alone a stinking big SUV. James and I rented a car which allowed us to get off beaten track a bit though the traffic is heavy for all the above reasons.

We just really enjoyed spending time at the beaches dotted around the island. Its was sunny and around 30 celsius/90 fahrenheit everyday. We spent a lot of time at gorgeous beaches with clear blue water and white sand and palm trees.
One key highlight was the old section of the capital, San Juan, with its cobble-stoned lanes made of blue marble. San Juan was settled by Spanish in 1500’s and 1600’s and this is reflected in the architecture. They built a huge fort in the town because PR was strategically placed to help them hold power in the Caribbean over the British and Dutch who also wanted in for the gold. The other interesting aspect of Puerto Rican history were the pirates; frequent visitors back in the day.
Another highlight was kayaking in a lagoon which has enough natural phosphorus in the algae to glow at night when you move your hands through the water. That was pretty awesome. And there was a nun kayaking along with us in her nun habit. I swear I did not make that up.
In fact I would live there alone for the colorful characters. There was a guy on the beach who dressed up like a lifeguard and waved his hands and barked at the ocean.
We had one tour guide who was an American and bit of a self-styled Don Juan thrown in with a touch of Magnum P.I. He told us the weather brought him there, but the woman kept him. Pretty smooth, huh. We loved the Hawaiian shirt and gold chain and hearing about all his girlfriends. He was good fun.

We have both become huge fans of plantains- think a potato crossed with a banana. Sounds weird but all good. It’s a huge part of the diet.

I hope everyone is well and good
Love Adi & James

Sunday, 31 December 2006

Location: Chicago, USA

Happy New Year!

We have been in Chicago about 10 months now and feeling pretty settled. Its taken a while to get used to the extremes here- the really hot summers and then the freezing winters but we feel pretty much prepared for anything now.
So, a few of my favourite and least favourite things...

- Living in a place where donuts are considered breakfast
- Great subway and train system
- Lake Michigan on our doorstep -it's so big it looks like the ocean
- Pickles, jalapenos and every ice cream flavour ever dreamed of (not together of course). Probably would be ribs and steak for James (this is definetely a meat-lover's city!)
- Kitschy Americana - from the palace made of corn to the world's largest manmade bulls head. You think you don't want to see it but you do.

Things that are taking longer to get used to:
- Crowds- (especially around Christmas) with 3.5 million people living in Chicago city, and 9 million if you include the suburbs. Thats almost the whole of population NZ living in Chicago
- Tipping- it can be really hard to know when you do and when you don't sometimes.

We are planning an escape to somewhere warm and sunny for March or April, maybe Mexico or the Caribbean.
Will keep you posted

Photos - Click Below

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Recent Messages

From Mel
Great pics! And your commentary is delightful :) can't wait to see more! Wanna go to Puerto Rico tomorrow?! ;)
From Jen (babs)
Great photos from Puerto Rico! Looks like you had lots of fun!
From Anne-Elise
Hi Ady and James
How's tricks? Am just at work checking out your photos. I think i might like to go to Puerto Rico if not jst for the parties. Auckland gets a bit boring sometimes! Ran over the neighbour's cat the other day. And the same day my car broke down in the middle of the motorway on my way to work! But having fun anyway. Working on a short film with Ghaz. It's a blast. Hope ur well xxx Anne-Elise
From Karl
Hello there James old chap, I asked you a while back for some photos and I have received. I am home again, Adrian arrives in 3 weeks and Michael in 2 weeks. We shall perhaps burn a donut on the braai and tuck into the traditional dop en 'n chop, in your honour of course. Maybe we will shave our heads to.
Tot siens boet.
Karl :)
Only the braai koning can hold the clippers.
From josie
Greetings!! Fab to hear from you guys and with this swanky page you have inspired me to organise my life a bit more. I even just created archive folders in my Hotmail - nerdalert! Im still in Dublin so come stay if you find yourselves there. Josie x
Response: Hey Josie, good to hear from you! Howz Dubz? Where are you working? I work with an Irish guy who keeps asking me where you work as he has heaps of mates working there in MR
From Nadine
Hey nice to see what you guys are doing :)
So nice to hear your voice on the phone call the other week - hope I get to hear more of you.
All the best
Response: Hi Nadine- it was good talking to you too. You both sounded sooooo far away to me. Hope you had an awesome New Years Eve
From Steve
Cool site guys. All the best for the New Year. Flying back to BKK tomorrow.

From Mel
Adrienne and James, I absolutely adore your page. It was really interesting reading your diary. I had no idea that a donut could be anything but breakfast! :) Im thrilled to have met yous (that's Chicago talk) and am looking forward to many adventures in the future!
Response: So much more than a food, they deserve their own food group. Hope you had great holidays, can't wait to catch up with you soon
From Annika
Hey Kids,

Love the photos!

Hope you both had a fantastic Christmas and New Years - thanks so much for the card from your winter wonderland, hope you got all that snow you were after - i swear its been cold enough here in the good old desert that it may as well have been snowing (we had a little bit of snow thanks to some creative snowcan airwork on our backyard windows on Christmas morning!!)

Lots of Love, Arnie & Ed
Response: Still no snow! But I have to say it hasn't been as cold as I know it can be. I've been told it can get to minus 30 celsius. Yikes!
From Johnathan Maltby
Hey guys. Happy Christmas and New Year. I am in Oz now and the weather has finally brightened up. All the best for the new year you crazy kids. Go America F%$k Yeah!!!