Happy New Year! Summer is in full swing in New Zealand, and I've enjoyed a few trips to the ocean. Christmas day I hiked a big hill with my husband, sister, and her husband to White's beach, which is north of Piha and south of Anawhata. The tide was up and the surf was big, so we just waded in the water and enjoyed the soft black sand massaging our feet. There were only a few other people there. We had some wine and a picnic lunch.
It was hard to see the pups go. The pups have all found homes except for one, Lime girl (now known as Valkyrie, "chooser of the slain" in old Norse). She is really cute, smart, and playful. I would really like to find a great home for her. In the meantime, she is getting a great puppyhood here with Ruby, Fargo, and her brother, Zeus.
Zeus, AKA Pink Boy, is shown below at 12 weeks.
Our Toyota Hilux Surf diesel wouldn't start after Dogsport training one night, and my mobile phone battery was dead. Another club member let me use his phone to call AA (Auto Assoc, not Alcoholics Anonymous), but they told me my membership expired- yesterday. They let me renew this with a credit card over the phone- whew!- and sent someone out to try to start it. He tried a variety of things but couldn't get it going, so called me a tow truck. AA covered part of the cost, so it was only about $40 for a flatbed truck tow from Mangere to Swanson (about a 45 min drive). The first garage we took it to had it for a couple days but couldn't fix it. We then had it towed to Western Diesel, where they took 1.5 weeks to figure out what was wrong and fix it. Basicallly they took the engine apart and put it back together. It cost us a whopping $1700- ouch!
My husband gave me a new smart phone before Xmas, and on New Year's Day, I lost it. I am GUTTED! I put it in an unsecured pocket in a new backpack, and it must have fallen out without my notice at the beach with Ruby. It was a spectacular location, with lots of people and dogs, so I suspect someone picked it up and kept it.
We saw some good movies over the holidays: Megamind, Four Lions, and Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale. We saw the Social Network a few months ago, and that was really good.
I've also had some excellent hikes and walks, including to Waiheke, below.