Monday, August 15, 2011

Snow?!?!

It is snowing in Auckland.  I kid you not.  It is very patchy and isn't accumulating, but it's real, actual snow.

Friday, August 12, 2011

New Zealand Wintertime

Compared to Minnesota, winter in Auckland is barely even a blip.  The temps are cooler, but daily highs are still around 60F (15C).  One can expect the occasional rain shower on probably 5 of 7 days in a given week, but there is a lot of sun in there, too.  Everything is still green and going out and about simply means a jacket and/or umbrella just in case.  Do I think that's pretty awesome?  Yes I do.

It is still cool enough to make me eager for summer where temps will be more like 75F (21C) everyday with long days and lots of sun.  So that's still fun, too.

Winter, though, still has some oddities.  The biggest one is probably that many people celebrate a "Mid Winter Christmas" in July.  And why not?  The days are shorter, the weather is colder, and it's more the time of year when you feel like having a good roast or casserole.  In the summer for "real" Christmas, people go to the beach, have barbecues, and do lots of travelling right after because the kids have off school through January.

We've joined the winter tradition as well, lighting candles and sitting in our chairs in front of the big picture windows overlooking the water with our iPad "fireplace" roaring and our space heater keeping us toasty. (Very few houses have central heating in NZ.)  Having some wine and cheese, listening to Christmas music.  In July!  Crazy.  But it feels right, so we do it.

Although it was supposed to happen earlier we are going to join some friends for a big Mid Winter Christmas feast later in August.  At least two of the kiwis there have never had a baked ham or pumpkin pie.  I know, right?!?  So that is what we're bringing to the mix.  And there will also be roast lamb for a bit a kiwi tradition as well.  Yum as!

Now we'll just work on getting used to another winter oddity, and that is how people love to leave the door open after coming into a restaurant.  "Oi!  It's not THAT warm out!"