Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sunshine, seaside & snow

After I posted the other day about having no stitching to share I remembered that I had finished my All Our Yesterdays By the Seaside piece a few weeks ago. I have some stripey fabric (to make the mini bunting) and a white frame which might finish it off nicely. Now just to find some time to actually do that!

It's very cold here today. I poked my head out the door before and can see why. I know it's nothing compared to what some of you get (such as a polar vortex), so I'm not complaining. But I am definitely saying, roll on summertime! :-)

Our climate is generally very mild. A few weeks ago we took a walk out at the coast at a place called Makara (where there is a wind farm, some historic World War II bunkers and fantastic views). It was lovely and warm in the sun (a little cool in the shade though) and not like winter at all.

We even let Annabelle have a roll around on a blanket. She ignored the beautiful seascape and spent all her time picking the grass. I guess that's more exciting when you're only one!

I have had to turn comment moderation on, as I'm getting quite a lot of spam at the moment. Thank you to those who leave genuine comments though, it's always great to hear from you.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Lions, cheetahs and giraffes... oh my

On Saturday morning I woke up and I wasn't too excited about going to the zoo. I don't spend much time away from Annabelle, and whenever I do it makes me a little piney. Of course, I went... and what a fantastic experience we had. Even my hubby said he enjoyed my birthday present. (Lucky him. lol)

First up we met the zoos whole pride of lions - 3 lionesses (full sisters) and 2 kings of the jungle (half brothers to each other). I won't lie, as they approached I was feeling a little nervous! They have an imposing presence and the zoo keeper was telling us that the lions like to get a rise out of visitors by making sudden movements, roaring etc. And they did. Cheeky cats!

The zoo keeper was very passionate about lions, gave us lots of information and allowed us to ask all the questions we liked (it was only me and DH on the encounter). All the handling of the lions the visitors are allowed to do (such as holding their tail) is used in the desensitization of the lions for times when they need medication, need to be weighed etc so it's nothing that isn't beneficial for them.

At the end we got to feed them. I have to say I was pretty scared about this part, but despite their huge teeth they were so gentle! It's a pretty odd experience feeling the breath of a lion on your hand and having it lick you. Scarey but exciting.

Don't panic, it isn't my blood trickling down my hand in the next photo. It was the blood from the meat we were feeding them.

We walked away to our next encounter on a bit of a high! Next up was the cheetahs. This was a completely different experience as there are no barriers. We met two 5 year old male cheetahs (full brothers). We sat down and they wandered amongst us (three zookeepers and two other vistiors). One lay down in front of us and rolled on it's back, legs in the air just like your domestic cat likes to do.

I was a little bit nervous at one stage as something caught the eye of one of them and it was walking straight towards Ronnie and I with a very determined look. We moved a little bit away from one another and it sat between us! Phew, it didn't want to eat one of us. lol

Did you know that cheetahs purr? They are the largest of the cats who purr. Another interesting fact we learned was that if a cat can purr it can't roar - and vice versa.

Again, the zookeepers (all women as these two cheetahs don't like male zookeepers) were very passionate and shared lots of information and facts about cheetahs and cheetah conservation. Exciting and enlightening.

Next stop - giraffes. Unfortunately, Saturday was a cold, cold day. The giraffes were hiding out in their heated enclosure and would not come out - not even for food. :-) So, we didn't get to meet them up close and personal but not to worry we have a voucher to do this again in the future. We are going to wait until the summer before rebooking, just to be sure :-) And we'll take Annabelle with us next time. We took her back in March and even at such a young age quite enjoyed small parts of it - including trying to grab this Bolivian squirrel monkey through the glass.

Anyway, it was a super day and if you ever get the chance to do a close encounter you should definitely go for it (at our local zoo some of the fee for the close encounters goes towards local and overseas conservation projects, which is another plus).

I hope your week is off to a great start!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Annabelle turned ONE!

Annabelle turned one on 15 July! The last year has been amazing, the only thing I would change is for it to have gone a little slower. :)

We threw Annabelle a party on Saturday. It was a lovely occasion, but too overwhelming for her at times.

For her actual birthday we headed north to one of our favourite holiday destinations Mt Maunganui. It has quite a different climate than where I live at the bottom end of the North Island. There were actually people on the beach in their swimsuits! (Back home today there is a dusting of snow on the hills).

Unfortunately, on the afternoon of Annabelle's birthday we took a walk around the base track of the Mount, and my Dad took a tumble on the uneven path (basically he face planted into the ground). Oh my, I have never seen so much blood pour out of someone. So off to the medical centre we went. We cut our trip short and came home the next day.

Here are a couple of photos of beautiful Mt Manganui. It sits on a spit, and the other side has beautiful sandy beaches that go on for miles. It is amazing in the winter and the summer time!

I've recently started scrapping my photos of Annabelle with the Project Life system. I have scrapbooked in the past, but hate all the mess - so Project Life helps cut down on that. I'm enjoying it so far! I've been a bit slow with my stitching lately with everything else that has been going on, so don't have any to share this post.

Tomorrow is my birthday, and as a pressie from my husband on Saturday I am going to the zoo for not one, not two, but THREE animal encounters. I'm going to meet cheetahs, lions and the giraffes up close. I love animals, so it's the perfect pressie. The weather forecast is for sun but it won't be very warm, but that's OK I met red pandas at the zoo a few years back in the pouring rain and it was still awesome!

Sorry I didn't get around to replying to those who left comments recently. I do definitely read them all and love hearing from you. Hope you're all having a great week.