The end of Day 3

(My titles keep getting more and more creative)

Phew! We’ve been going since my parents landed! I felt like a kid of Christmas morning…I woke up at 12:00, 3:30 and 6 am on Saturday waiting for my parents to arrive. We have already made a lot of memories in the 3 days that they have been here. We headed out on our South Island road trip yesterday and had a memorable first night. Right after we checked into our placewe saw a family roll up with two bikes, two parents and three toddlers. This couple thought it would be a great idea to haul a 1, 4 and 5 year old across the country ON A BIKE…for 2 months. What!? We are all still amazed and we can’t stop talking about it. My dad even stalked them and took pictures of their gear to prove to our other friends of what we witnessed. To make it more extreme, they were camping out in a tent after a long day of cycling while we were sleeping in beds after a long day of driving. And I thought it would be tricky hauling 3 kids to Target one day when I’m a mom – sheesh! Besides our obsession with this family we’ve been stopping left and right taking beautiful pictures and exploring cute little towns. I’m already really impressed with the South Island. Now I know what people are talking about when they go on and on about how insanely beautiful it is. Pictures do a much better job of describing things than my small vocabulary does so here a few pictures to give you an idea of what we have already seen!







The time is officially FLYING by! My parents come in 5 days, woohoo!! Dustin and I left for Napier last Thursday and we didn’t stop going until 10:00 last night. Napier was amazing!! Here’s a quick re-cap of why we went to Napier. Basically there was a big earthquake in 1931 that ruined most of the downtown area so they re-built the whole town in this Art Deco architecture and they have a big festival every year celebrating that time period.

Dustin did an awesome job of planning the trip and I was in charge of getting our itinerary together for the actual weekend. There were things going on hour to hour from Thursday until Sunday so we had to strategically pick out what we wanted to do. It was a little tricky since we had never been so we asked some locals for advice on what we should do. I will post pictures so you get an idea of what the weekend was like but basically about 30,000 people come in for the festival and a majority of the people go all out with their costumes! We saw a few people that weren’t dressed up but most everyone was decked out. During our time there we went to a NZ navy band concert, saw an air show, went to a car parade, ate yummy foods like ice cream, gf pizza and thai food, went to a concert where we danced in the street, took Charleston dance lessons, had a picnic by the beach among many other things.

One of the more funny moments was when we went to a murder mystery magic show on Friday night. It included dinner and entertainment and let’s just say the tickets weren’t exactly cheap. When Dustin saw the dinner was buffet style, he decided he was going to “get his money’s worth.” Let me say that one of my favorite things about Dustin is his ability to invest/handle/save money. I love when I get on the computer and he’s been reading articles about the stock market or he uses the stock market as an analogy in a really serious conversation. But sometimes the penny pinching endearing qualities can go a little too far! We were sitting at a table of sophisticated Brits when Dustin comes back with a MOUND of food on his plate. Like, stuff dripping off the side of his plate. I’m laughing between every bite out of nerves/embarrassment and Dustin even went as far as to announce to the table that he was trying to get his money’s worth. It was the same feeling I had when Dustin loudly voiced his opinion in Anthropologie that he liked when I shopped at Ross/Marshall’s better b/c it was cheaper. Things you don’t necessarily say out loud, ya know? haha But I love him for it and now it’s a really funny story to laugh about because we are never going to see those people again and it’s always good to have a husband to keep you humble!!

The highlight of the weekend was the car show – if you know my family you know that the majority of us love vintage cars. It’s in our Hines DNA. One of my life long dreams is to own a restored vintage car so I was drooling the whole weekend. (not really, that would be weird). My favorite part of the cars being there was when the owner would drive by on the street in their full 1920’s gear – it looked so realistic. Here are some pictures from the weekend – I will post all of them on facebook but this will give you a good idea of our weekend. Enjoy!


Downtown Napier




Yes, please.


We loved seeing people go ALL out!


Murder Mystery Dinner Date


Dustin got a little camera happy!


Mr. Camera Happy! hehe I love this picture!

Dominoe's Pizza Est. 1931

Dominoe’s Pizza Est. 1931



Fun, fun weekend!

Fun, fun weekend!


Unexpected Things I’ve Missed

Do you like my clever title?

There have been the most random items that I have dearly missed and will be excited to have back in my possession. Let me preface this post first by saying that these are all vain things and I understand that my life would be completely fine without them but I can’t help but miss them! And let me also say that this post makes me look/sound very, very American and I’m 100% ok with it. =) Oh and one more thing – this list doesn’t include friends or family, solely materialism so please don’t think I’m only missing my things. Cue “you’re so vain…”

1. Jewelry – especially my engagement ring


2. Perfume


3. Curling Iron/Flat iron – one can only sport the pony tail for so long!


4. Wardrobe – Specifically my white jeans because it reminds me of Texas summers =)


5. Summer Wedges/non flat shoes


6. My big purse – right now I’m just using a little wallet which doesn’t allow me to carry half of my things around.


7. Target – need I say more? I miss Target but my wallet and husband are ok with it being across the ocean.




Some of the friends that we have made from my work invited us out for a few days of camping by the beach. It was awesome! Great company and an amazing setting…definitely my new favorite beach. It was a little over 2 hours away from Nelson but worth the drive. We are so spoiled to be so close to everything in town. 2 hours in Texas doesn’t get you too far but here it’s considered far away. We felt like true kiwi’s seeing as how the campsite we went to was not packed with tourists. In fact, it was mostly NZ families on their summer break. There were probably 16 different bays all filled with campervans and these massive tents. Apparently we didn’t get the tent castle memo – these tents were huge! It makes sense because families will go out for days with 4-5 people in one spot so you would want the big multi-room tents to walk around in. The first day we tramped up to a different, more isolated beach. We forgot our camera and the iphone doesn’t do it justice but here’s the photo we happened to get. There are these massive cliffs that you can barely sea (pun intended).


When we got back from the beach, one of the families that we knew had a boat and they offered to take us fishing. I have only been fishing once so I didn’t know what to expect. Needless to say it was so fun and exciting! We were mad that we didn’t bring the go pro camera to capture the excitement. We literally went out for 30 minutes and caught 6 fish. They accidentally forgot the net so we had to sling the fish up and into the boat so the man could grab the fish and gut it (in 90 seconds – Dustin was impressed). One time someone slung the fish up and without going into too much detail the fish was bleeding and flopping all over the boat! I was squealing and everyone else was laughing – haha – a memorable experience! We couldn’t believe how many bites we got. We took back the 3 Dustin caught and smoked them right up for dinner. I had never eaten fish that fresh so that was a really cool experience. The next morning, 2 of our friends went out again and we had cod, snapper and shark fried up for lunch again. Yum!


Dustin got a bite so he jumped up on the boat!


The “I have no idea what I’m doing but I’ll smile” face.

My boss, Kat

My German boss, Kat















We are getting closer and closer to start our traveling once again! We have been busy wrapping up a lot of things here so I haven’t been diligent about writing on our blog. Our schedule is jam packed until we get back home on April 1st. (not a joke, we’re really coming home) Tonight we are driving out to meet my boss and her “partner” (aka bf) to camp out for a few days and then next week we will leave for Napier for 4 days. A few days after we get back from Napier my parents arrive (yeehaw!). I’m hosting a baby shower for our flatmate a few days after my parents leave and then we will travel the south island and meet back up with our friends one last time before taking the ferry back to the north island. Whew! It’s going to be a crazy 2 months but we are ready for all the fun to begin!!

Napier – 9 days

Hines arrival(!!!!!)- 18 days

Baby Shower – 32 days

Arrive back in the states – 56 days

Here’s a little taste of where we will be going with my parents when they arrive.