Tag Archives: Beer

At work Pre Sevens

19 Feb

Jono Entwistle himself showing how good it feels to be a Gangsta.

Foggy

Wellington Sevens

15 Feb

People inWellingtonhave to put up with a lot living in this city. The constant wind capable of thwarting any sunny day, the hipster scene growing far too out of control and the price of a beer costing the majority of your pay cheque, but all is forgotten on one weekend during the summer. For one weekendWellingtonplays host to the biggest party inNew Zealandand possibly one of the biggest ones I have ever attended. The Wellington Sevens tournament drawing all top rugby sevens teams from across the globe. This is no regular sporting event though; everyone dresses up in their best costumes and heads down to the two day event. New Zealand not being into Halloween(one of my favourite days of the year) I felt a little cheated when I did not get to dress up back in October but this weekend well made up for it. The boys herded together in their cow costumes and went off to the venue. The whole walk to the stadium is a party within itself checking out everyone’s getups. Once inside not a second of rugby is watched and the mayhem really begins. You do not get out of your costume for two full days which of course makes the walk of shame that much better. In the endNew Zealandwon the tournament in the one game people actually decided to turn around and watch. The weekend was just another event on the growing list of amazing things this country has to offer and I can’t wait for the next one to creep up.

Foggy

Wellington Sevens

Australian Open

24 Jan

Got off the plane in Melbourne and headed straight for Burley and Kate’s place to enjoy some beers and watch the tennis for the night. Early the next morning I kitted up in my shorts and singlet and caught the tram to the grounds of the Australian Open. This was the number one thing I wanted to do on this trip as the Australian Open is my favourite tennis tournament ever since my buddy Chris opened up his restaurant to watch the finals late into the night a couple of years ago. Sitting there enjoying beers in the dark restaurant I promised myself I would go to the tourney. Two years later I found myself outside the gates with no ticket in hand. The tickets were all sold out and after asking around, everybody seemed to be in the same situation I was. I decided to make a sign that read “1 ticket needed please”. A whole hour passed and I was verging the point of giving up when a group of three approached me and asked if I needed a ticket. I asked how much they wanted for it and they refused any money and told me I would just have to behave because I was sitting with them. I thanked them and entered the grounds with them and then on into Rod Laver Arena. We took our seats and watched the rest of Maria Sharapova (4) vs. Angelique Kerber (30) and then watched Novak Djokovic (1) vs. Nicolas Mahut.  After the games I hit the beer gardens for the night sessions before catching the tram back to the house. They were having a party so I joined in on the festivities until the early hours of the morning.

Australian Open

I woke up on Sunday with the bright sun shining in on me, I was too hot to sleep any longer so I set out for another day at the Open. I actually had tickets for Sunday so I did not have to repeat my pan handler technique of the previous day. I made my way to my seats and found them directly in the sun. I watched the first match between Agnieszka Radwanska (8) and Julia Goerges (22) and could not take the heat any longer as I was dripping with sweat. I made my way to the gift shop to buy a hat and then got some cold beers before hitting my seats again for Tomas Berdych (7) vs. Nicolas Almagro (10). Luckily the shade line was creeping towards me and it engulfed my seats before I had to bail out again. After the game I was cruising around when a gorgeous Australian girl caught my eye, I was stuck staring as my jandal* caught a lip and tore it right off. My momentary lapse left me walking on the hot ground with bare feet the rest of the day. Hoping from different shadowy grounds I finally made it to the Heineken tent. I saw a group of girls and went and joined them for some drinks. We watched the Federer game together and then they invited me out for the night. I told them about the footwear problem and they quickly offered up a hair elastic to temporarily fix the problem. I threw on my change of clothes and we hit the town of Melbourne for some drinks. It was a perfect way to end the weekend before I took the flight back to New Zealand the next day. It wasn’t a cheap weekend and I will be living off the bare minimum until next pay day but completely worth it to cross off one of the highest ranking events on my bucket list.

Foggy

*Jandal- The terrible kiwi word for flip flops

Australian Open

Australian Open

Australian Open

Summer Vacation…

9 Jan

Surfboards on the roof, camping gear in the back, Tom, his brother James, his girlfriend Bridget and myself started our drive up North to the Coromadel. We drove to a friend Mitch’s holiday park and picked up a buddy Redo on the way. We set up camp and went to go watch the India vs. Australia test cricket at Mitch’s cabin. For dinner we had fresh fish and chips that Mitch’s family had caught that day. We had a great night full of beers and cricket and then headed off to bed. That night the sky’s opened up and our trip got thrown for a big loop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With our tent soaked in the morning and more rain coming down, we decided to pull the plug on camping in that spot. We loaded the car and drove back to Thames, to head to the east coast of the Coromadel. We then found out there were severe weather warnings on that side so our trip was diverted back south to Waihi Beach. We got there and the weather was the same so we all decided to drive back to Taraunga and rethink a plan. After being back in doors for a night we packed up Mitch’s van and were heading for Lake Rotorua, the only problem was that we found one of the hoses for the radiator was loose. 4 hours later the problem was fixed and we drove down to the lake to meet a friends family in their cabin on the lake. We had a big dinner waiting for us and then were shown to our own cabin.

The next day we went out on the boat and then the rain started coming down, Tom and Redo were in the back of the boat and had to block their faces from the onslaught of rain pelting them. We drove to a great cliff jumping spot and then went to warm up in some natural hot springs on the lake. Night came and we jumped into the hot tub, and all we could do was laugh on how hard the rain was falling on us. The countdown to New Years came and we exchanged kisses before hitting the water slide naked. It was such a simple night but we all had an awesome time playing in the downpour. We stayed a couple of more nights and then went back to Tom’s house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next morning I caught a bus up to Auckland to meet up with my friend Meghan. Meghan is one of the girls I stayed with in Dubai and she was in Auckland for the night as she is cabin crew for Emirates. It is always great to see somebody from home and we went out for dinner and beers. The next day we said our farewells and I boarded my bus for Wellington. A long 12 hours later I arrived back home to start work the very next day.

Foggy

A Foreign Christmas

5 Jan

Will, Tom and I piled into the car on a perfectly sunny day and hit the road to drive up North. We had the windows open and I felt that summer had finally arrived in the South Pacific. A few hours into the drive Tom announced we should go bungee jumping, and my heart sank immediately. Bungee jumping is definitely on the bucket list, but I thought I would have more time to work up the courage. We stop in the next town to grab some of that courage in liquid format and continue on our voyage. We arrive at Lake Taupo and get kited up for the jump. Will jumps first and hits the water. Then it is my turn, my heart racing I stand at the ledge and look down and heave myself off the ledge. Tom went next in his waist harness (Tom had dislocated his hip years ago in rugby and was talked into not doing it from the ankles) and then we were back on the road as fast as he had gotten off of it. We dropped Will off with his Dad and then drove the rest of the way to Tauranga.

I woke up at Tom’s and his Mom came in with a little cupcake and candle on it for my birthday. It was another beautiful day so we went for a hike up Mt. Manganui for a view up and down the coast. Next up was a swim at the beach and then continued on to Simi’s house. We picked him up and went for a drive in the sunshine and stopped by at a local pub for lunch. This was special for me as it is a tradition to do this back home on my birthday with my friends. We went back for a swim in Simi’s pool before heading into town for a night at the bar.

Taraunga

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I woke up at Simi’s for Christmas and his mom had made us a great breakfast. The champagne was opened and we gathered around the tree for presents. I opened all the ones from my family, and then to my surprise the Simister’s had gotten me a few things as well. It was pretty amazing to feel a part of the family so far away from mine. We then carried some food next door to grandma’s and set up for Christmas lunch. It was quite the spread with turkey, chicken, beef, ham, lots of different salads and veggies. After lunch I skyped the family and we chatted for a while. It was great to get them all together at the same time and talk to them (even though my mom couldn’t hold up the ipad without crying), after a few numbers from my nieces which included a brush up of my ABC’s I left them back in the snow of Whistler. We then went and grabbed Tom from his place where I had a few more presents waiting for me from his family. We drove back to Simi’s and started to play a little BYC* with the boys. Christmas ended with us lounged out on the couch watching movies with stomachs to full to do much else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This will definitely be a Christmas that always stands out for me. I thought my first Christmas away from home was going to be tough but it turned out to be an amazing experience. The Simisters and Culleys went well out of their way to make me feel like part of the family and I greatly appreciate that. I know I have said it a lot but the way New Zealander’s make you feel welcome is out of this world and that is something I will take with me the rest of my days. A huge Thank You to both families and I hope to one day pass on the kindness they showed me.

Foggy

*BYC – Back yard cricket

Small World

28 Nov

It is amazing sometimes how small the world really is, the more you travel the greater this realization becomes. I moved to Wellington here knowing no one, and through Tom he mentioned a fellow Canadian living here. We went out for drinks a few times and it turns out he went to UBC as well and ran the same Blue Crew program I did a few years before me. An even stranger twist is that his Dad trained with my Uncle Brent in track in Victoria. So here we are two Canadians in New Zealand causing a ruckus. Will has made the transition down here great the only problem is we both love then same women and her name is cold beer. We have arms made of rubber and whenever the weekend rolls around they always seemed to be twisted. I can certainly think of worse things in life so this one’s for you Mr. Stewart!

Foggy

My New Digs

15 Nov

I packed up my travel bag and walked 3 blocks to my new place. I found a 7 bedroom house that had 2 bedrooms available for my friend Tom and I. Tom and I met back at UBC in 2010 when he was doing a year exchange up there and is one of the main reasons I moved down to New Zealand. We got two rooms in the West Wing of the house. There are 8 of us living in the house with 4 guys and 4 girls, should be interesting at the least. I am just a 25 minute walk to work and more importantly a 5 minute walk to many drinking establishments on Cuba Street (for those in Vancouver think Commercial). The kitchen is pretty small and we don’t have much of a yard but it holds up in the Wellington wind so that is more than I can ask for.

Foggy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rugby World Cup Final

25 Oct

The boys decided that if The All Blacks made the World Cup Final we would drive up to Auckland. Once the semi-final was won the road trip was set in stone. Saturday morning we got into the car and drove the 7 hours until Taraunga where my buddy lives. We had a night of home cooking until we continued the next day up to Auckland. We stopped and got some beers for the drive (which is legal in New Zealand) and smashed it out. We got to our home base and took in the warm sun which we haven’t felt it a while.

We walked to Eden Park to try and score some scalpers but there were none to be seen so we cabbed downtown. Our driver just happened to be a Calgary Flames fan so there was some great banter in the car. The streets were packed but we eventually found a bar that would let us in. The game started and New Zealand went silent, you could feel the collective nerves of a whole country riding on the next 80 minutes. After the final kick went out the liveliness came back to the streets and New Zealand was again World Champs. We all poured out into the street and threw high fives to anyone we passed. It definitely brought me back to the Olympics in Vancouver but not on the same scale. 24 years after they won their only World Cup The All Blacks finally got their hands on it again. The long wait was worth it as the party that night was on another level.

Foggy

Rugby World Cup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rugby World Cup

Scoring a Job

17 Oct

I was sitting in Munich washing down some delicious chicken with a massive stein of beer when I met Johnny a Kiwi from Wellington. We had some good days of drinking together and he told me to get a hold of him when I got to Wellington.

Three weeks later after a brisk trip home to Vancouver to catch up with some people I found myself in Wellington. I called up Johnny and asked if he knew anyone looking for a flatmate. I was in luck he had a friend who was looking to fill a room in her house. He put me in touch with Sarah and we went out for a beer to see if we could actually coexist in the same house without killing each other. After a pint and talking about what we were up to she decided that I was no good to live with. BUT she had a job opening that might just fit my description.

Another week and two interviews later I landed a job for the New Zealand Government. I was pretty pumped to get the job and do something actually productive down here. Just goes to show Mom that good things DO come from drinking!

Foggy

Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest

26 Sep

My friend Franzi picked me up and we drove down to Munich together. We met up with his 2 buddies from Australia Paulo and Keeno and a friend from Austria Lisa. The 5 of us piled into a tiny hotel room for two and the debauchery began.

We chose the Hoffen Brau tent to set up shop and settled in with a large table of Aussie’s that Paulo and Keeno knew. The huge beers started flowing and we thought it would be a good idea to do a big cheers photo. We all wound up and smashed our glasses but one of them exploded and cut Franzi’s knuckle, he was then whisked away to the medical tent. People would get up on the table and thousands of people would be cheering you on to down your whole 1 litre of beer, but if you messed up be prepared for boos and half eaten chicken carcasses to be flown at you. I eventually met up with Franzi and we went to go purchase Lederhosen, we spent way too much money but at least now we fit in.

The next day was filled with more of the same except now that I was wearing the lederhosen I was being grabbed in every direction by ladies in the tent. It was a wild day that ended in me having to take my bags and head to the train station. An overnight train to Frankfurt followed by a plane back to Vancouver, all the time wearing my lederhosen. I feel bad for the people sitting next to me on those rides as I must have stunk of meat and beer the whole way home.

Foggy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oktoberfest