The Misadventures of Kai and Pixel »

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Yes, my sister lives here

Kai and I arrived in New Zealand on the weekend.  I’ve been here several times before, but it has been a while.  Long enough for me to forget that my sister lives in paradise.  Seriously.  (For those of you who don’t know, my sister lives in the Bay of Islands which is about three hours north of Auckland.  It is a resort area.  For a reason.)

Paradise is even more paradisiacal now thanks to the presence of two boy cousins who have completely entertained and distracted my child since we have arrived. I’ve been able to catch up on work, read, drink wine with Rachel, and stare into space…

The photos so far  

The first set show us on Paihia beach.   We had arrived that morning so I guess it wasn’t all that surprising that Kai fell asleep on the beach after romping in the waves.  Yesterday, we did a quick tour of Rachel and Shonty’s property (there will be a house there some day, but for now there are just cows and a waterfall).  In the afternoon,  we took the ferry across the bay to Russell where the boys got thrown in the stockade for mentioning Minecraft too often.  Once they were released and playing on the beach, we sat in the pub on the shore and drank wine and beer.  Today, Kai and I took a dolphin discovery tour around the bay where we got to see a pod of dolphins with two calves.  It is hard to take photos of dolphins — boats are easier!  Oh, and look, Kai fell asleep on the boat here too…



News from down under

At the end of November, Andreas headed to the southern hemisphere to talk trees and climate change with an old friend from his UBC days, Milos.  Although he has been staying in Canberra for the bulk of his time there, they did have the opportunity to travel to Tasmania to talk science and do some exploring.  Below are the Tasmania photos.

Although there hasn’t been too much time for sightseeing in Canberra, Andreas, Milos and his family did a hike to Gibraltar Park yesterday.  The dead black insect is a cicada. According to Andreas:

They made an incredible noise. This species can do 120 decibel leading to permanent hearing loss next to your ear (eardrum rupture is at 150 decibel). They were in mating season, so every once in a while we’d pass by a tree with thousands of them chirping away. You had to hold your ears closed, and there was no talking possible. Some of them fell out of the tree while mating, like this pair. They were quickly overrun by ants. Pretty cruel display of nature.

In the meantime, Kai and I flew to New Zealand on the weekend.  Andreas will join us here in a week, but until then Kai and I are having a blast hanging out with my sister and her family.


Exploring more of San Francisco and — you guessed it — another beach

Andreas was in Vancouver for several days for a conference so Kai and I used the time to explore a bit more of what San Francisco has to offer.  We looked at the Aquarium (disappointing after Monterey) and the Exploratorium.  The Exploratorium is basically a large science museum.  Huge hit with Kai. So huge that he went back with Andreas.

We also decided to explore the Sonoma Coast more.  The photos are from Shell Beach and from the Kortum Trail.  The beach was alright (see we can be picky now), but the trail was fantastic.