We have been home a little over a week and things have been a wee bit hectic!

When we got off the plane, back on the home turf we were greeted by two of the best people in the world! Scott & Teresa met us and took us to our wonderfully decorated car – we got so many toots on the motorway!!


Theresa went back to work and together we prepared for our welcome home party on Saturday!

Hosted by Theresa’s Scottish parents Susan and Donny, we had a beautiful day of sunshine and happiness! We had family travel from far and wide and had such an amazing day with everyone and when we got to the end of the night found that we only took three pictures, so as family members are sending us images or posting them on the old facebook we are adding them to our Auckland Page

What we were lucky enough to have on the day to share with our loved ones was this beautiful highlights video from the amazing team at 15 Minutes of Frame:

When we arrived home that night we had a wonderful surprise, our wedding photos had come through!! Kelly Prizel is an incredible photographer, here are a mere few of literally hundreds and every shot is fantastic – hiring Kelly was one of the best decisions we have ever made!

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From here we continue on to our next adventure – married life! This just happens to include another overseas adventure… Maybe we should start a new blog 😉

Lots of love,

Chelsea & Theresa

The final day!

So these last couple of days have been amazing, a truly wonderful way to get over jetlag. Basically we have been swimming, snorkelling and playing a LOT of pool. It has been a lovely time to quietly regroup after the HUGE adventure we have been on. Here are some fishies and one very shaky video (it is SO hard to snorkel and film at the same time – so I’m sorry for the Blair Witch Project effect!)

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Aside from the local aquatic life the thing we have enjoyed the most have been the sunsets. We are heading home with hundreds and hundreds of beautiful sunset photos!

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So tomorrow we are up well before dawn to travel two hours by van then 3 hours by plane where we will once again be on home turf! It isn’t the last of our updates though, we still have a few wedding related things to share before we sign off for good.


See you all  soon!

Chelsea & Theresa

Surprise Detour #2!

A couple of years ago, we were sitting in the car one hot sticky summer afternoon, stuck in Auckland traffic, and Chelsea said to me “If I could be anywhere right now, it would be Fiji, sitting on a beach with a book”. For the past two years I have been scrimping and saving from my opera contracts and squirreled my per diems from touring and managed to save some extra money without Chelsea’s knowledge so that I could surprise her with a couple of additions to our honeymoon. And this week I brought her to Nadi in Fiji, finally able to fulfil that wish of being on a tropical island.

So Sunday night, the evening of our six year anniversary, we bid a fond farewell to America and departed Los Angeles for Fiji.



Our first day had rainy weather but we weren’t going to let that stop us from enjoying the island so we decided to try out some snorkelling as the water was still deliciously warm.



We saw a couple of fish that are super cute and were very confident around us, I guess because they are so used to snorkelling humans  being around here. We reckon there will be even more fish once the weather clears up a bit.


Despite the rainy day, our first evening turned into a beautiful sunset. And then jetlag hit us and we slept a full 12 hours! Not a bad place to get over jetlag though!IMG_20141029_213246

Yesterday we spent the morning reviewing all of our incredible wedding vendors. We basically just added to their 5 star reviews with more 5 star reviews because they are all 5 star people! [Below is our wedding planner, Michelle, with us on the day].


Then with the weather still a little gray, we spent the rest of the day playing pool and ended the afternoon with the locals and other resort folk playing ‘Bula Bula Bingo’ where I won our money back and Chelsea won the jackpot! We treated ourselves to a couple of mocktails from our winnings and saved the rest for the next round of Bingo!

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This morning we woke up to the most beautiful sunrise and the sun shining warm on the sand. So we’re off to snorkel some more with the fish in the clear blue water.


Not a bad final week of our honeymoon at all. So blessed.

Till next time,


The LA Detour before our Final Detour

So Friday we spent the day travelling to Los Angeles, arriving fairly late by the time we got to Santa Monica! We explored the promenade and as we were still in East Coast time we were early to bed – and early to bed means early to rise!


These photos were taken pre-dawn while we were waiting for our 7.45am shuttle to Universal Hollywood! Yay East Coast time!


Universal was great! We had already done the rides in Orlando but in Hollywood we got the shows, which were what Theresa was excited about. We did the studio tour and the animal shows twice. There was also a stunt show and a special effects show (we may have also done the minion and the mummy rides again because we loved them) –  it was a fun day! The studio tour we got to see all sorts but my favourite was the post-plane crash set from War of the Worlds. Super cool.



Last night we explored the Santa Monica Pier and went for a spin on the ferris wheel before retiring for the night.


This morning we were up again and ventured into Hollywood for the star walk. The stars were cool but the people weren’t great. Lots of yelling, swearing and accosting of tourists and kids, including us – kind of a culture shock after coming from the super tourist friendly Orlando. Needless to stay, we didn’t last there long.


We returned to Santa Monica for one final beautiful sunset over the Pacific Ocean. Beautiful.


Now I am writing this sitting on the floor of a terminal at LAX waiting to leave America and heading to… well that’s a surprise. It is Theresa’s second surprise detour! Can’t wait!


PS – Today Theresa and I celebrated our 6 year anniversary. I feel so blessed and amazed that I found her and feel so blessed to be spending the rest of my life with her xx

A Blog About Some Things


Get it?? Ha!

When we left last time we were heading to my first Cirque show…


Show #31: La Nouba
Where: Downtown Disney
Seats: Centre Orchestra
Rating: 9/10

Tickets purchased with contributions from: Natalie Braid

This was exactly as I’d hoped it to be. Daring stunts with flying trapeze (always makes my stomach drop!), tight-rope walking (Chelsea’s favourite), amazing trampoline acrobatics, juggling (he was so good he could juggle with bouncing balls off the ground as well as various numbers of things in the air), then juggling while standing on balancing cylinders, etc, etc, etc! This circus just gets bigger and crazier with each act. It was really amazing. We didn’t know that it’s actually Cirque’s 30th anniversary year either, so that was pretty cool too. Funnily enough, although it was awesome seeing all of the circus acts, I think my favourite characters were the two main clowns who just did funny clowning around to get the audience charged and going. Oh, and did I mention the bmx bikers who did incredible stunts?! Yeah.. pretty much can’t choose between any of the amazing things we saw in this show. Have I said amazing enough? Very cool.


Wednesday was Day Two at Universal Orlando and this time we dedicated the day to checking out all of the other rides outside of Harry Potter World (although of course we did revisit HP World for some more butterbeer while we had lunch at the Hog’s Head and we went on the Gringott’s ride again and visited Hogmeade again… you get the idea). We had great fun with the minions and Shrek and one of our favourite indoor rides was definitely the Simpson’s ride. They spend a lot of time working on the production design (which for some areas is freakin incredible!) and we really enjoyed a lot of the signage around.


We continued our Great American Carousel Tour – this time on #8, the Caro-seussical Ride! Pretty much the most uncomfortable creatures we’ve had the pleasure of sitting on but the theme was cool!


After more butterbeer, a ride on a Flying Hippogriff and going on the Forbidden Journey in Hogsmeade again (I think this is an equal first fave ride for me, with the Gringott’s ride – they’re both so cool!) we headed up to Jurassic Park and went on the craziest log flume ride I’ve ever been on! (more like a big raft boat thing). It climbed the highest rake I’ve ever been on in a ride (outside of a rollarcoaster) and then dropped us down as big a shute  just as a T-rex tried to eat us! As our stomachs came back to earth, we were drenched at the base of the drop. So we followed the experience with visiting Dudley Do-Rights water ride which dropped us even further and soaked us to the bone! 


When we arrived back at what we’ve decided is the best hotel in the world (definitely from this whole trip so far!) we received a lovely surprise from the woman at the front desk who checked us in. She had sent us chocolate dipped strawberries (like the cute tuxedos you see below) with a chocolate hotel themed frame and a bottle of wine. Super lovely and a great perk of being on our honeymoon! [We actually received another follow up to this on our final night from another staff member who Chelsea befriended – Earl from Thailand. We were feeling extremely spoilt from receiving two lots of honeymoon treats!!]


Thursday was our last day in Universal so we decided to take advantage of our one hour early admission (another perk of staying at our lovely hotel) and headed off while it was still dark at 6.30am. The 7am start at the park gets you into HP World an hour before it opens to the general public. It was super cool and we once again lined up for easily the most popular ride in the whole park – the Gringott’s ride! It was really cool seeing Diagon Alley all quiet and empty before it fills up with tonnes of people. And we followed up our lovely morning with lunch in the Leaky Cauldron, which was awesome. It’s kind of crazy being inside all of the places from the books/movies but super awesome and of course an incredible time for Chels.


Below are the final glimpses we took of Diagon Alley (after watching all of the themed shows including Celestina Warbeck and The Tale of Beedle the Bard)…


…before we bid a fond farewell to Universal Orlando and headed back to our wonderful hotel on the water taxi.


Today we have spent the day flying to LA and tomorrow brings more adventures!

But more on that later.




Harry FREAKING Potter World!

Originally when we were trying (unsuccessfully) to plan a wedding at home, Theresa wanted to come to the States for our honeymoon and the way she pitched it to me was “Dooooo you want to go to America for our honeymoon? Because-we-could-go-to-Harry-Potter-world!” I immediately responded with yes and 4 years later the dream has come true.

If you know me at all, even a little bit, you will know that I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan. I grew up with the books and they make me so happy. So when Harry Potter world was created I treated it with the awe and reverence most people give to Disneyworld.


So Monday morning we were up before the sun for a quick boat ride from our awesome hotel to Universal – in particular Diagon Alley. Now I’m not going to post all of my thousands of photos – just some awesome highlights without giving away too many spoilers for those friends that plan to make it one day ( which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND!)



We were so early we beat all of the crowds! We jumped on the Hogwarts Express (!) over to Hogsmeade and to visit the Hogwarts Castle, had a great lunch at the Three Broomsticks and back to Diagon Alley to go on the brand new Gringotts ride – which was brilliant.



We have formed an addiction to Butterbeer, sold at both parks – frothy, caramelly, creaming sodary goodness. Served cold or frozen and both equally delicious and addictive.



Now in that above photo you’ll notice my badge. That badge is like magic. We got them given to us at the ticket office and from then on EVERY single employee at the park has been congratulating us (including the Jamaican shrunken head in the Knight bus!). It also has gained us all sorts of awesome stuff (express passes, free Butterbeer, upgrades and so on). So cool. Apparently there are a couple of other honeymooners at the park and Universal likes to celebrate with us!

Now if they could only make a Doctor Who World…

Love (a very happy) Chelsea

PS – Tonight we are heading to see Theresa’s first proper Cirque du Soleil show! Review in the next blog!

Science and Turtles and Carousels, Oh My!

Friday we visited Dr Kirsty at work and Chelsea stole a lab coat to pretend she was a scientist… but then Dr Kirsty actually did real science and showed us some cells under a microscope. It was awesome being in the lab and seeing what the Doctor gets up to.


When we got home that night, Chels decided to spend some time with Ronnie and Reggie, Kirsty’s pet turtles. They are super cute and surprisingly fun to play with! PhotoGrid_1413645497612PhotoGrid_1413645763191

Friday night, Kirsty invited a group of her Boston local friends around and we shared a real American pot luck together including the big red cups for drinking and American flag plates for our dins.


Saturday we spent the day with Kirsty doing a bit of touristing around. We headed to the Mapparium first which is a really cool 30ft globe made of stained glass. You stand in the middle of the globe on a bridge so that you’re inside the world. The only catch is that the globe was built in the 1930s so the map was a little different to now. But we found NZ!


Then we headed to Carousel #7 of the Great American Carousel Tour! This one is the most unique we’ve come across because each of the creatures were designed from drawings that local school children drew. And the animals all had the name of the child carved into them. So we had birds and butterflies and bugs and all sorts! Theresa rode on a butterfly, Kirsty on an owl and Chelsea took a fox. Super cool! This was also the most unique music we heard – it was playing 90’s pop music (which seems to be a popular choice for locals around Boston) – instead of the traditional carnival music.


Last night we wrapped our stay in Boston with a delicious dinner at the lovely Bridget & Khaushik’s house to end what has been the most wonderful time spent catching up with Kirsty and her friends.


This morning Dr Kirst delivered us to the airport to begin our next adventure to…

[who gets the above reference?!]

This is how excited (and silly and tired) we were on the plane! PhotoGrid_1413730579726

And tomorrow begins Chelsea’s dream come true…

T&C xx

Beautiful, Beautiful Boston!

So Tuesday we dropped off the rental car and Kirsty directed us to Chinatown for an amazing and HUGE meal. We then went on a digestive walk through Boston Common & Park.


And got to see the chubbiest squirrel yet!


From there we got to experience the ‘Kirsty Danielson Walking Tour of Boston’ which included the Boston Legal building and the gorgeous library which is the oldest in America… maybe… the tour facts got a little vague at times (most of the old guy statues were identified as Dumbledore’s long lost cousin or brother. Hmm).



Tuesday night we had a great catch up with friends old and new – reuniting with the lovely Bridget and meeting her husband and Kirsty’s flatmates… House mates? Roommates? We digress. Wednesday we slept in (SLEPT IN!!) and decided to have a chilled out day. We ended up taking up residence in Boston Common on our Yankees blanket (a dangerous thing in the Red Sox zone) under some beautiful trees and chilled – took photos, leaf peeped and read. It was so lovely to just stop for a couple of hours.


We came home and met Kirsty as she finished work, had a lovely meal, watched a movie and ended the night with tea. Fabulous.


Yesterday it was raining and stormy so we flagged all the touristy plans and went to the movies and what an experience that was – the place was HUGE, the snacks list was insane and the seats reclined. Brilliant. And then Kirsty took us to an amazing Italian restaurant for dinner to celebrate our wedding – SO good.


We like Boston.



PS – We want to send a big shout out to the beautiful Hanaray sisters (well actually Karen Dodd and Ruth Evans, both married) who both have birthdays this month – Karen on the 14th and Ruth on the 24th. We thought we’d post in the middle of both of your days so sending HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you guys from Boston! Love you lots and hope you get spoilt rotten xxx =



Puppies, Pumpkins & Leaf Peeping

So! Monday started with a photo shoot with one of the most characteristic dogs I’ve ever met. He was afraid of the sound of the camera clicking (but loves the lawn mower – go figure right?) so Theresa distracted him with a super long game of fetch.


I love taking photos of animals as much as I like doing small human shoots. I have yet to do both combined (… I’m looking at you Trieu family…)


Last night I was actually offered a job in Nashua as a photographer of an event through a friend of Steph’s who saw Remy’s photos on Facebook – although unfortunately we aren’t in New Hampshire on the date! Following puppy playtime we went to a place that I was VERY excited about visiting – a pumpkin patch!


There were so many different types of pumpkins and the best kettle corn we have ever had.


Following the great pumpkin adventure Steph graciously drove me around a bunch of back roads just to let me take photos of trees – the colours are so vibrant and beautiful and I love watching the leaves fall (I was informed last night that this is called Leaf Peeping. I am a Leaf Peeper. Theresa is also a Leaf Peeper but often is a dangerous Leaf Peeper as she Peeps Leaves while driving.) These photos are a mere few of hundreds – seriously, you want pictures of leaves? Come to me!


New Hampshire is so incredibly pretty. We had a wonderful time with Steph, Doug and Remy and looking forward to our next catch up!


Yesterday we were up early and drove down to Provincetown, Rhode Island, for a quick visit to HP Lovecraft’s house and headstone for our wonderful Scott which was incredibly interesting – we made friends with the cemetery security guard and he told us about all sorts of strange going ons – looking forward to a debriefing beer Dr Scott!


After a quick stroll around Brown University we arrived in Boston to see the fabulous Kirsty! So much awesome has happened already – Boston week is going to be amazing!


There is so much more to come!


New to New Hampshire!

On Friday we left Niagara falls (via an amazing pancake house – yum) and took our car Bernadette and our GPS Cynthia (names we bestowed on them) towards our next destination.


We travelled to Waterloo to see the wonderful Katie and Dave for a quick lunch visit! We got to see their adorable apartment and town and Chelsea forgot to take photos, except for this one!


From there we drove to Toronto through peak hour/ long weekend traffic (it’s a public holiday today) and made our way to the wonderful and awesomely named Chelsea Hotel for the night. Then we were up early the next morning to travel from sunny Canada to rainy Boston and pick up our new Car  – Nancy and our GPS – Helen.



We travelled through to Nashua in New Hampshire to meet an old friend of Theresa’s, Steph, her lovely husband Doug and this little guy – Remington!


Isn’t he cute?! Adorable. Yesterday we travelled through beautiful Massachusetts to Salem to explore the area and its history – we checked out the local psychic and witchcraft fair (apparently things go kind of crazy around Halloween) and we went on a bus tour with a guide giving us all the facts of the region before grabbing a bite to eat – fun day!


Tonight we returned to Nashua and Doug built a fire pit solely so that Theresa and I could make proper American smores with GIANT marshmellows. Yum.


Steph and Doug have also introduced Theresa to something that has the potential to be gross but is actually amazing – pumpkin spice beer! Served in a beer glass with the rim covered in caramel and dipped in cinnamon sugar = YUM! Apparently it’s only around for Fall – does anyone know an equivalent in NZ? If not we should start a new trend.


It has been so cool seeing all the pumpkins on the doorsteps and the Fall wreaths on doors. Fall is a cool time of year! Happy Columbus Day everyone!