Socializing in Christchurch

We have spent the last few days in Christchurch doing a bit of socializing and some more sightseeing. If we hadn’t had the colds when we first arrived here, we had intended to meet up with some friends of ours who live here in Christchurch. They are someone we met through my writings on the Google Earth Blog.

Norm is one of the volunteer moderators of the Google Earth Community. It’s a large collection of forums, with as many as 1 million subscribers around the world, on a wide range of topics related directly or indirectly to Google Earth. Sometimes, Google organizes a meeting of the moderators in different parts of the world (for example, London and Washington DC). That’s how Karen and I got to meet Norm and his wife Coleen. They told us if we ever get to Christchurch we should visit.

Frank, Karen, Coleen, and Norm at Lone Star ChristchurchWell, we finally felt we are over the cold this week, so we set up for dinner the other night. We had dinner at a local favorite called “Lone Star Restaurant”. While also modeled on a western theme, this is different from the chain of restaurants by the same name in the US. We had a great night out with Norm and Coleen, and it was nice catching up with them and getting some local advice on attractions.

Also this week, our friends Steve and Helen from s/v Dignity showed up in Christchurch. They had been camping on the west side of the island, but the weather turned bad. I contacted them, and we set up to go out for dinner and a movie last night. We went to see “The King’s Speech” – which was quite entertaining. Afterward, we ended up going to a bar nearby – which happened to be in another Lone Star at the mall. We spent a couple of hours catching up, sharing sailing stories, and sharing experiences about our kids. Steve and Helen also have college age kids. Steve is also a tech geek and they both like Scifi like Karen and I. So, we have a lot in common. It was a great time! The only problem is that I must have been a bit absent minded and managed to leave my phone. Thankfully, after getting back to the apartment and realizing it was missing, I went back and they had held on to the phone for my return. Whew!

We’ve been to the museum in town, and went to a special exhibition of photographs and equipment from the Scott and Shackleton antarctic expeditions. The museum is quite extensive, and we plan to return to delve into it a bit deeper. Mark and Dana’s apartment is only a short walk away from the museum. We really like the apartment and its location.

This weekend we’re planning to do some camping to try out our new gear. We’re planning to go to Hanmer Springs about 70 km north of here which is at the base of the mountain range. It is famous for its hot springs, but is also a nice looking mountain town with hiking and biking opportunities.

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