Wednesday, March 5, 2008


First, the Bodhi Tree last night, the Burmese restaurant: it seems to be very popular with locals, has great authentic food (I guess, having never been to Myanmar, the modern Burma), and we enjoyed it immensely. We had a papya salad, and a shredded chicken mixed greens salad; then, pork dumplings (pot stickers) and lamb kebabs; then a piece of semolina/coconut cake. None of it was really spicey, just enough. It's a great place for a different kind of meal. We took our own bottle of sauvignon blanc with us and paid a small corkage fee, so the whole meal was about $55.00, which is pretty cheap for NZ. The food here is more expensive than at home, especially eating out.

Today, we went to breakfast in the cafe at the cathedral and then over to Town Hall (just half a block from our hotel) to meet Ken Oxford who is Larry and Mary Jo's friend here in Christchurch. He gave us a VIP tour around the huge performing arts center he manages, and we are meeting him and Steph for a drink at the Warner Hotel, a historic place next to the cathedral.

We then walked through the Art Gallery (all free) and the huge arts center which is housed in the old buildings of the University of Canterbury. Since it is cloudy and cool, you can imagine you are in England as the buildings look like those at Cambridge or Oxford, only smaller. The arts center has a collection of galleries, artists' studios, and shops. It is reminiscent of Biltmore Village in Asheville. Had lunch there at a great wine bar called Annie's. Soup and salad was delicious. It was a short walk from there to the botanical gardens where we strolled along the River Avon, saw the incredible exhibit of begonias, the fern house and the formal rose gardens. It is lovely.

Tomorrow, the car is to be delivered at 8:30 a.m., and we are off to Blenheim.

Cheminne is the winner of the "bingo wings" contest. Clever girl!

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