Category Archives: Awesome!

Homecoming!

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!!

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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
x

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.

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See you all  soon!

Chelsea & Theresa
x

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.

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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.

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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.

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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].

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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.

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

Till next time,

Tx

A Blog About Some Things

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Get it?? Ha!

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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! 

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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!!]

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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.

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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)…

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

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

But more on that later.

Tx

 

 

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.

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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!)

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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.

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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.

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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
x

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

New York City Gets A 10 Out of 10!

So here we are. Final night in the Big Apple, this great city of New York. We’ve just arrived home after a day of farewelling this place in the world that hosted our most special Wedding Day and the greatest month of our lives.

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And we began by saying goodbye to our Wedding location, the Ladies Pavilion at Central Park.

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On our way, of course we had to stop at the Halloween store we came across. All of the shops have decorated and are starting to rev up for the holiday. It was so awesome seeing all of the things available to buy. And we would totally have the best Halloween party at our house if we lived here. Really cool lights and decorations and freaky electronic jump-out-at-you fun things!

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Funny that as fate would have it, we actually bumped into our celebrant as we entered Central Park – the gorgeous Rev Annie Lawrence, as we were walking through the park on our way to the pavilion. She was with an Australian couple, having just married them, and we stopped for a photo with her and a hug to say “till next time”.

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We spent some quiet time together at the pavilion, reflecting on our perfect Wedding experience, then headed to what we believe to be THE best burger joint in NYC (the World probably!) – Five Guys Burgers. If you ever visit this city, please, PLEASE, go and get a burger from these guys. Talk about YUM!

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Then after a brief farewell to our friend Jess, we walked to our final destination – 44th Street. 30 shows in 30 days and we decided that number 30 had to be our favourite. From all of the shows that have been gifted to us and that we have been privileged to attend, we chose one very special show that has come to mean so much to us…

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Broadway Show #30: Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Where: Belasco Theatre
Seats: Front Balcony
Favourite Number: Andrew Rannells and Lena Hall in EVERYTHING
Rating: 10/10

Yes, that’s right, HEDWIG. We were so incredibly fortunate to be able to see Andrew Rannells and Lena Hall, once again, in this amazing show. And there’s no words to describe just how amazing it is.

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6 weeks ago when we were in NZ, soon to embark on our journey, we tried listening to the soundtrack of this show and thought it was a bit weird and didn’t really get into it much but thought we should see the show as a part of our Broadway experience. And here we are, completely turned around in our opinion and loving the crap out of this show. Tonight was exciting and emotional and absolutely the perfect ending to our time in New York City. And to top it all off, we got to meet the two stars after the show once again. Both of them are so talented and so gracious in person and both generous enough to have a chat afterwards. We were even more the fan-girls this time, buying the poster for Andrew Rannells and the band to sign, and getting our photos with Lena Hall before she autographed our poster. Might seem silly but it was so fantastic for us and a really special ending to it all.

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Tomorrow we travel onwards as we continue this amazing honeymoon.

T&C xxx

 

The Final Frontier

Yesterday I got home and was feeling like we had the most magical day. And then I realised that I couldn’t choose that Sunday over any other day we’ve had. In fact, they’ve all been magical in their own glorious amazing ways. And here we are, at the beginning of the end. One day before we journey on. It’s a little sombre but mostly we’re just enjoying each and every moment, in the moment, as we live and experience it.

And we began yesterday with such a wonderful show..

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Broadway Show #28: A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder
Where: Walter Kerr Theatre
Seats: Centre Balcony
Favourite Number: I’ve Decided To Marry You
Rating: 8.5/10

Tickets purchased with contributions from: A. Nony. Mouse

This was so incredibly fantastic! (I know we say that about all of the shows but seriously… they are just SO GOOD!) We saw a bit of this earlier in the year when we watched the Tony Awards on tv and then the show won a bunch of awards so we were intrigued enough to see it. And it was most definitely worth it! The best thing about this show, unlike many Broadway musicals, is the density and complexity of the story. You really had to pay attention to not miss anything. It was all very cleverly interwoven and hilarious. Here’s the clip we saw from the Tony’s to give you an idea:

At the beginning of the clip, you can see one man, Jefferson Mays, having a few costume changes. Well he played EIGHT characters in the show! All of whom are murdered in hilarious ways. But the amazing thing watching him on stage was the pace at which he changed between all of his different characters, switching between them numerous times. He also had the biggest role in the show – all of his characters sang and danced. He was working his butt off! And was really funny. Here’s another small clip of him:

The set was amazing. It was a stage within a stage and the changing between scenes was very clever. Although we know a tonne of money would have gone into this budget, it occurred to us that the simplicity of the design and show (outside of the costume design required for Jefferson May’s characters) means that one day, if (when) this show’s performing rights becomes available, it will absolutely be possible for amateur companies to perform which is cool because it is such great writing and the music is wonderful and it inspires the thought that musical theatre can be as interesting in its story and as good as a really great play.

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In the evening, we treated ourselves to enjoying one of our favourite shows a second time:

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Broadway Show #29: Matilda
Where: Shubert Theatre
Seats: Balcony
Favourite Number: Quiet/ When I Grow Up
Rating: 8.5/10

This was, once again, a beautiful show and wonderful experience. We had a different Matilda this time, Eliza Holland Madore, and she was smaller and adorable and so great. It’s incredible to see such a young person carry a massive show on their shoulders. The script is huge and she leads a lot of the singing as well.

It felt a little like a sombre book-end of our trip (although our actual book-end will be tomorrow night but more on that later) because it was the first Broadway show we saw. And it was truly wonderful. We love this show and have every intention of getting the soundtrack to continue our enjoyment of it in future. This one will hold a special place for us always.

Now, we gave you ‘When I Grow Up’ last time. So this time, here’s a clip of one of my other faves – ‘Quiet’:

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There was no lottery win for us today (thanks for those who voted but we’ll have to catch Kinky Boots next time!) so we headed to the High Line instead, arriving just after the sun set. It was great! A disused railway track that has been turned into a public walkway – what’s not to love?

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One day more..

Tx