Place 72 – Day 103: Vancouver, BC – Kim’s Company Summer Picnic

Curtis’ Day & Evening

Curtis got to work and had a security meeting. The meeting was quite short, but he was then able to get on with some work.

He setup a mac for someone and then then setup another laptop for someone else, all whilst doing some tickets.

Curtis’ day was busy and varied again, which was great. He had to remote into some laptops in North Carolina and set them up and that took some time.

In the afternoon, Curtis gave the mac to the person he set it up for and then spent most of the afternoon trying to sort the virtual machine again!

Just before he left, Curtis had to get the approval to give someone access to something that they needed urgently.

Curtis then helped someone that was having issues with their email account and then he walked home.

Curtis just played games in the evening whilst Kim was out. He also tried sushi again and still doesn’t like it!

Kim’s Day & Evening

Today is finally the day of Kims work summer party and she is so excited and ready to start the day. When she got in she arranged stuff for the day and ordered some catering for a summer party in Boston that will be happening tomorrow. She also passed over the front desk to her predecessor who agreed to come back and cover for the day! This was great as it meant Kim did not have to train anyone.

Kim then left to head to the dollar store to meet with her collaegue to pick up a few little things for the party like table cloths, games for kids and supplies for the planned games. They were then met by another colleague and a rental car that they had for the day.

All 3 jumped in the car and headed to Costco to pick up, burgers, hot dogs, buns and other stackable items. Then they went back to work to pick up all of the things they had collected over the past few days and put that in the car before heading to Safeway to pick up a few Gluten Free items, ice and have some lunch. The first thing on the list was lunch, so Kim got a build your own style Chinese food put which was great!

After this everyone got back in the car and went to the party destination, Prospect Point. Just after they arrived and started setting up, one of the rental companies arrive, they then set up the BBQ and generator. The girls unloaded the car of everything and left one girl to prep the food while Kim and the other lady headed back to the office to collect the last few things from the office and but the few things that they had forgotten, like suncream and veggie dogs!

They then went back to the park to finish setting up. When they arrived, the other lady had pretty much finished all of the food and was just chopping the last few onions! Kim helped set out the eating area, by organising the food tables, sorting out the drinks and moving all of the spare stuff out of the way in the small kitchen style room they had available to use. Just as Kim put the last box away the bus turned up with the first group of people. Kim then went about getting balloons blown up and put about the place to decorate.

The evening started with people milling around and soaking up the sun, before the BBQ food was ready to eat! Once the food was flying off the grill people were eating and having a great time. There was a bouncy castle, volleyball net, croquet, tug of war and a few little things like foam swards, soft footballs and hoolahoops for the kids. As it was a family event and Kim was allowed to organise all the fun and games, she knew that she had to get the kids on her side if she had any chance of anyone participating in any of the races. Kim was well prepared with little bubble tubes for every kid.

The first race started a little while after the BBQ and it was the classic 3 legged race. First it was parents and children and then there were 2 heats of the adults playing too. The next game was the egg and spoon race, there was a kids only race and then another 2 rounds of the adults racing, with the final being the 2 winners of each race.

There was a small break before the tug of war! Everyone got involved and it was a child favourite! They had a few rounds and then they had a small inter-departmental competition where one team totally destroyed the rest of the company and were rightfully crowned winners. After this utter destruction from that team the children wanted another go so we arranged for a few goes for them, the best was against their own parents!

The last 2 races of the day was the wheelbarrow race. This was done with parent and child and it was great fun. The final was a sack race! People were starting to dwindle by this point so we just had child participation. Just before they all started heading home, we distributed the foam swords, hoolahoops, bounce balls and remaining bubble amongst the kids for being so much fun.

Kim and her colleague then took 5 minutes as people were leaving to play a little bit of volleyball, this was the first 5 minutes they had to themselves for the whole day! Then it was straight into clearing up and making the place look nice, clean and tidy. Kim had the great idea of asking one of the rental companies if we could use their dolly to make one return trip to the car much easier, and they said yes! It took a lot of time and effort out of the clean up.

After the clean up, one colleagueauge dropped the other 2 off at their homes before she and Kim went back to the office to empty the car to allow a quick return to the rental in the morning. Once this was done she kindly dropped Kim off home, which saved Kim so much time!

Late Evening Chill

Kim is up very early tomorrow to get to work for an earlier time, so once she got back around 21:35, there wasn’t much time left before she wanted to sleep.

She got ready for tomorrow and then we watches some videos, did our duolingo and went to bed!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

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Place 72 – Day 101: Vancouver, BC – Lunchtime Dancing!

Curtis’ Day

Curtis arrived at work to a stream of messages from many people about all kinds of things, both incidents, requests and questions.

Curtis spent a while dealing with some of these, followed by some tickets and then got onto setting up a Mac for someone in the Regina office.

Once that was setup, he got the instructions for how to send it out and boxed it all up ready to go.

Curtis tried to continue with the virtual machine thing he was doing last week, but it didn’t download properly so he had to re-do it.

Adter lunch, Curtis was continuing to re-download the file and whilst he was doing that he got some tickets done, helped someone with their monitors, provided a laptop for someone and started setting up a laptop for someone else.

It reached the end of the day and Curtis began to pack away. As he was doing so, someone asked himto sort something urgently for him so Curtis ended up leaving 10 minutes late.

Overall, a busy hut very productive day for Curtis.

Kim’s Day

Kim got into the office and went across to say hello to a colleague that she hadn’t seen since before her First Aid course as she went to the UK office and France! It was so nice to see her again! They had a nice little catch up then Kim had her breakfast.

A little later in the morning the fruit arrived so Kim sorted it all out. She then went back to her desk and continued with her ad hoc tasks until it was time for her 11am meeting.

At 11 Kim went to the Benefits Orientation. Kim learned all about what her company offers and not has a far better understanding of how it all works.

Straight after this meeting Kim went up to the 25th floor as two colleagues had arranged to teach a fusion dance class so Kim thought it would be fun to go along to. The class was so great and relaxed. It consisted of paired dancing but in a far more relaxed way than other more traditional dance styles. The time just zoomed by and it was a great success!

As she was so knackered from concentrating on not falling over Kim decided to take lunch after the class. So she sag and ate and was then joined by a colleague so they had a nice little chat.

Kim refilled the drinks fridge a while after lunch and made a few rearrangements to allow foe the more popular drinks to have a little more space.

For the rest of the afternoon Kim spent some time preparing for the summer party that is coming up during the week!

Our Standard Monday

We had our standard Monday once we got home.

We emptied the recycling, checked the post, completed the laundry and did the vaccuuming.

We had baked potatoes for dinner and watched some Eagles, YouTube videos and Vikings to pass the time.

We ended up sleeping quite early considering how well we slept last night.

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This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 70 – Day 8: Victoria,BC – Fisherman’s Wharf

The day started relaxed but productive.

We got some admin done, such as uploading photos and videos to Facebook. Not important, but needed to be done. We also spoke with Kim’s parents.

We went out to get some fresh air and went for a walk down to Fisherman’s Wharf which is only down the road.

This place is busy during the summer and has a few eateries, ice cream places and experiences.

Some of the floating houses

In the winter, these places are closed, but it is still great to look around. There are houses in the water, known as ‘floating houses’, which are actually privately owned and used, but you can still look around them.

We left here and went to the supermarket to get a couple of things. We got garlic bread, which took ages to find, as well as more cereal and some coffee. The coffee was fun as we selected the bean we wanted and got to grind it ourselves, which was stressful but fun.

We left the supermarket and came back, just in time for Kim to start on the pasta bolognese, which tasted fantastic! The garlic bread we bought was not so good, though.

We sat and watched TV with Linda for the rest of the evening, as well as doing laundry.

This time last year!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 68 – Day 5: Kerikeri – Weeding Complete, Cleaning The House & BirdBox

We were up at the usual time of 08:00 and had some Weet-Bix for breakfast.

We got outside with the goal of finishing the weeding! It started difficult as the part we were on had a lot of tough weeds, but we eventually got it all sorted, which was a relief!

We then moved on to cleaning the outside of the house. To do this, we had a little process which was to brush everything down first, too remice the cobwebs, use the brush with a hose attachment to soap up the house and scrub it down, followed by hosing it down. Then, Curtis cleaned the windows.

We spent a couple of hours doing this and then we got showered and had some lunch.

We had leftover couscous from dinner yesterday as well as sandwiches. Kim then made coffees with the barista coffee machine…delicious!

Once we had those and chilled out for a bit, Kim did some more visa things and then we got ready and went out for dinner.

We walked a bit down from where we parked and there was a bar/restaurant which didn’t seem great from the outside, but we thought we’d give it a go.

Curtis ordered a salmon fillet with green beans, mashed potato & hollandaise sauce and Kim had a medium rare steak with mushroom sauce, salad and potato gratin.

We ate our incredible food and then wandered around the centre of Kerikeri, but there isn’t really anything there.

We then went to countdown to get some ice cream and headed back home.

Once we got back, we had a fun time trying to find the Apple TV remote and once we eventually found it, watched the film Bird Box to see what all the fuss was about. It was an alright film, but we don’t get much of what the fuss is about.

After we watched this, we had ourice cream and watched Brooklyn Nine-Nine before going to bed.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 49 – Day 381: Auckland – Fancy Affogato & ‘1000 Doors’

We did absolutely nothing until and 16:15 when we took the 35 minute walk to the city.

We wanted to go to an ice cream and waffle shop to get an affogato as it had been recommended to Kim multiple times. The place was called OKO and is in the centre of Auckland, in Aotea Square.

We each got an affogato, Curtis’ was with chocolate and stracciatella ice cream and Kim’s was with caramel and chocolate. There were double shots of coffee too, so they were certainly strong!

After our coffee, there was something called ‘1000 doors’ next to us which we just had to check out.

We paid $10 each to enter. This was a maze type thing in which there were all different rooms with different films and different things to look at and touch. A lot of the rooms smelled bad, too, but we aren’t sure if that was part of it, though.

We left this area and walked towards the water for a stroll around.

We got to KFC and decided to have dinner here, which was OK.

We walked from here back to the hostel which took about 20 minutes.

We got back and we got everything booked for the rest of our time in New Zealand which was useful!

We then watched some TV and that was that. We also packed our stuff up as we have a new place to go tomorrow…jumping back into HelpX!

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 49 – Day 380: Auckland – Fresh New Locks, Damn Cars & Arcade Games

We were up at 07:45 so Kim could go out for breakfast with Kelsey & Liz as a ‘goodbye’ meetup. They chatted for a while and then Kim walked back to the hostel, stopping to get Curtis some breakfast on the way.

We watched some TV whilst Curtis ate his croissant and drank his coffee.

Post breakfast, Curtis went for a shower and got ready to go out.

Kim had an appointment to go to in Birkenhead, so we drove out to there, which surprisingly to us only took us 15 minutes!

We took a bag of clothes that we no longer want as well as some other stuff and the first port of call was to drop that at a charity shop. The first place we went to wasn’t taking donations but the second was, so we left it there and that is one less thing to do.

We then walked towards where Kim needed to go and Curtis spotted a barber that seemed nice so he went in there to get a haircut. After a short wait, Curtis was seen as got a fresh new look, exactly how he likes it.

Kim was not finished with her appointment, so Curtis wandered around Birkenhead to kill some time.

Once Kim was done, we went to the car and noticed that the engine warning light was on, which was typical when we’re just about to sell it! After checking the oil, it seems we were a little low, so we drove to a shop and bought some more to put in. We put enough in but it was still showing the light. The resident mechanic at the parts shop said we can get the ECU checked to see what the error codes are, but they can’t do it at their store at the moment, so we’d need to drive to the other end of town to get it done. We called ahead and it was Ok to go, so we drove across town for 25/30 minutes to get this done.

The staff had trouble finding our car model on the system for some reason, but eventually found it and scanned the ECU. The first attempt crashed the tablet and the 2nd attempt said there were 3 errors but showed no codes or descriptions! The recommendation was to take it to a mechanic, so we will need to, but none are open until Monday!

After this news, we met up with Josh and Danielle very local to where we were to get some food and watch a movie.

The restaurant Josh wanted to go to, as his birthday celebration, was no longer there, so we had to choose something else.

We found a pretty new chicken & ribs place. We both shared 1/4 chicken with hot sauce and 1/2 pound of ribs with some kumara fries whilst Josh had ribs and tatertots and Danielle ate a cheeseburger and curly fries. It was all pretty good food, but didn’t blow us away. Probably a 6.5/10.

We finished up and went to the cinema, about an hour early! We spent some time in the arcade just playing some games. Kim and Danielle played against each other in the basketball and then Josh wiped the floor with Curtis at it.

After basketball, we played against each other in a hard fought battle of bubble hockey! It went to overtime with Curtis winning with a lucky goal.

Josh and Danielle then raced each other on the racing game and the winner gets a free game, which was awesome! Josh then played about 6 free races and people kept coming and going and he kept winning! This kept us entertained until the film.

We watched the film ‘instant family’ which was meant to a comedy but was pretty sad/heartwarming. A very good film, actually!

We left the cinema quite late, came back to the hostel and now here we are. Looking forward to sleeping!

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 49 – Day 379: Auckland – Biometrics & Back in The Hostel Life

Waking at 05:45, we all hopped in the car with Kim’s family’s bags and drove to the airport. There was no traffic, but we did need to stop for some fuel on the way.

We got to the airport and it was pretty busy! We walked all the way to the correct check in location and left Tom & Maggie there. It was pretty emotional for Kim!

We deove back and we were very tired. We had a late checkout from the hotel, so we didn’t have to leave until 12:00.

We slept when we got back until around 09:45. Curtis then had a coffee and we got packed and did a bit of admin.

We eventually checked out at 12:00 and moved all of our baggage to the car. We walked to a coffee shop in the centre of town, got a ham and cheese croissant each and a coffee for breakfast.

We left the coffee shop and Kim did a bit of shopping around the city centre. Once Kim had finished, we walked up to the Visa Application Centre for Curtis to get his biometrics for his visa completed. We turned up 15 minutes early but were seen anyway and had it completed just after the original planned time, which was a result.

Once we finished there, we went to get Curtis’ hair cut. We went to his usual place and were told it would be 20 minutes. We waited for 45 and were then told it’s another 30 minutes and the were 2 people ahead. We didn’t want to wait any longer so we left and went back to the hotel.

We picked up the car and drove to our next accommodation.

We are officially back in hostel life! At least for the moment. We got to the place and no-one was there to check us in. We called and they said we cannot check in until 16:00. We spoke with them and asked which room we are in and we were allowed in. We went to the room and it was disgusting with bugs everywhere and also a lot of mould, so we asked to move to another room we had seen which looks nicer.

Once we were in the new room, we waited to get our key at 16:00 and then had fun with them regarding payment…we went to the shop to get some drinks as we were very thirsty!

Once we got back, we moved all of our bags in and Curtis started to feel a bit unwell so we relaxed for a bit until he felt better.

We went out for a late dinner at a cheap Italian place which was OK but nothing special.

What was special was the sky after our dinner during our walk around!

We got back and did more admin as well as catch up on some TV.

It’s weird, and certainly not as nice, to be in a hostel again, even if it is a private room (shared bathroom)!

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale