All Blacks for the WIN!!!

I had mentioned to my Kiwi Momma that I really wanted to attend an All Blacks game and that  it was on my New Zealand bucket list.  For my “Going Away Celebration” my generous Kiwi family treated me to a family night out at Eden Park! The Rugby game was All Blacks vs France and the first game of the 2013 season. The family along with friends all donned All Blacks gear and happily ate dinner before departing for the evening’s event.

It was definitely an honour to be among the enthusiastic crowd cheering on their Kiwis. I am proud to say I saw the team dance The Haka! The fans cheered so loudly! Here is a really short (and shaky) video of the end of The Haka: I wish that it lasted a LOT longer. OR that they performed it twice!! I felt like it was over in seconds! At times the game was a nail biter. We weren’t able to secure an early lead so there was always a bit of fear….thankfully New Zealand claimed a 23-13 win. After the game we were able to successfully weave through the traffic to arrive safely home. The game was being broadcasted on cable and we watched it on TV. It was a great reminder of how much more exciting and atmospheric experiencing sporting events live really is!

I know that I am very fortunate that one of the only rugby games I have been to was an ALL BLACKS game in New Zealand. I am so appreciative for my Kiwi family and all the experiences we have shared together!

Thanks for reading!
xoxo Amanda Sumalee

Warriors Game at Eden Park

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Another weekend came and went in the blink of an eye! I had really been looking forward to the weekend after such a busy week.
Quick rundown  of the kid’s schedule:
Monday:soccer practice and babysitting, a succcessful skype date with Dom in the evening xo  IMG_5441
Wednesday: a sick boy home from school and swimming practice after school
Thursday: a beach day with the neighbours followed by an impromptu outdoor dinner at our house
Friday: we finally arrive at out first free day of the week!!! Also the day I felt like the referee between two overly energized boys who couldn’t keep their hands OFF each other. I texted Em early in the morning to tell her how my day started so she came over for a bit in the morning. While we hung out she treated me to a sugary surprise. I LURVE me some cupcakes and I love that it had a friendly elephant on it!
Emzie and I bought Rugby tickets online last week and were really excited to attend the game Saturday evening. We didn’t have the best weather this weekend still had lots of fun.

Early Saturday morning, I woke up to the beautiful sound of rain and wanted to sleep the day away. Instead I forced myself to shower and drove over to Em’s house so we could go to Hineoma St. Market that runs from 9:00am-1:00pm every Saturday. We have learned to go to markets with low expectations.  We found it to be held in a pretty small area. The stalls were close together with not much room to move around in. We were impressed how many young vendors there were but could not find any of their merchandise appealing.

IMG_5451IMG_5452We went for breakfast at Tongue and Groove Cafe and both go spoiled with the large portions of our meals. Em ordered the pancakes which came with a generous portion of fresh blueberries, whip cream and bacon. I ordered the mushroom and bacon omelette that could have fed at least 2 people. We have been there before and have never been disappointed with the friendly quick service.  After a delicious meal we headed home to organize our tickets and outfits for the evening. Originally, when ordering our tickets online we thought that we had to print out our tickets but quickly realized we only needed to scan our iphones  (which had the ticket barcode in our emails) at the gate. OH isn’t technology a wonderful thing?!!

We took our times preparing ourselves for the game and organized the addresses on the gps. We were seated under the sheltered section of the stadium but weren’t sure how much that would protect us if it was windy and rainy at night. We really did not want to be wet, cold and sitting in plastic chairs all night! We dressed sensibly and packed ponchos! We planned to eat dinner at St. Luke’s Mall which would make it a close drive to Eden Park. We chose the Restaurant Bar in the Mall which we thought would have fast service since it was pretty empty in the early evening. We were NOT impressed with the slow service or the bartenders mixing skills. We know he felt badly for the slow service as he brought us over a girly blue cocktail drink as his form of apology…unfortunately that too wasn’t as tasty as we’ve experienced before.

IMG_5453We walked around the mall for a bit before heading off in search of free parking. The drive to Eden Park from St. Luke’s was only about 10-15 minutes away. We knew the earlier we arrived the closer we would be able to get parking. Our plan worked as we got decently close! We passed up all the people offering their driveways and lawns for a flat rate of $10. Not thanks we prefer FREE! Once we parked it was super easy to find our way to the stadium as there were roads blocked off and swarms of people wearing jerseys or walking all in the same direction 🙂

It rained a few times during the game but it didn’t affect us too much. We were enough under cover that it just felt like mist and the ponchos never needed to make an appearance. The New Zealand Warriors lost to the Sidney Roosters :/ The final score was 14-16. Here are some game stats for anyone who follows the sport…
















IMG_5456IMG_5460I will not lie –there were moments where I had no idea what was happening. You could definitely feel the energy when things were going well for the Warriors. We picked really good seats because there was a very animated/enthusiastic Warrior’s fan who loved hooting and hollering. He provided us with helpful insight in the game; I particularly liked when he would yell tips to the referees! Eden Park had plenty of food stalls and ample amounts of staff to aid everyone. Prices were decent and my hot pretzel was delicious!! Em really enjoyed her mini donut service too! We lost, but I did love that LARGE flames would go off when a point was scored.  The heat the flames gave off were always appreciated and welcomed by Em and myself!! The game started at 7:30 and I was able to drop Em off and be home by 10:30. I enjoyed myself at the Rugby game and am looking forward to going to an All Blacks game with my Kiwi-Dad as their season begins after Emzie has returned to her homeland of Canada.

IMG_5461 IMG_5471 IMG_5483 IMG_5469

It was raining again Sunday morning so we nixed our plans to go to the Parnell French Market. It was supposed to be raining all day so we chose to go to Silver Lining Playbook (with the yummy Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence). Em drove over to pick me up and we struggled to find parking. The mall was humming with people but the movie theater wasn’t too crowded. We were disappointed to find out our movie was PLAYING but only in the Gold Class theater where tickets are $35.00. Unless they were offering us leather massage chairs and getting a pedicure while eating popcorn I was not dishing out that much money to see a movie! We opted instead to see another movie called Beautiful Creatures. I’m not a fan of the sci-fi fantasy genre but the movie was okay. Emmy Rossum was great!

After the movie the rain had left so we drove to New Market to eat at Wagamamas. I dined on salted edamame beans that made me nostalgic for Azumas or Costco’s bags of them! After a delicious dinner we finished off the day of walking through the heavy rain to get gelato. I captured some adorable pictures of Emzie rocking her poncho but was informed I would be murdered if I shared them with the public! Her threat was acknowledged…for now!

I AM glad it rained since we have been going through a drought…but I do hope we have lots more summer days to come. The sun makes me happy and the rain makes me sleepy! I didn’t do any beach walks last week but I did begin working out again to Jillian Michael’s workout dvds (that I have found online). I have been pretty motivated to exercising daily so I hope I can keep it up! When I got home my family asked if I had felt the earthquakes today…I am not positive but I think we were probably driving around the time they happened.

  • Map showing earthquake location.
  • NZDT: Sunday, March 17 2013 at 4:01:06 pm
  • Intensity: light
  • Depth: 4 km
  • Magnitude: 3.1
  • Location: 15 km north-east of Auckland
  • NZDT: Sunday, March 17 2013 at 4:05:42 pm
  • Intensity: moderate
  • Depth: 6 km
  • Magnitude: 3.9
  • Location: 15 km north-east of Auckland

On a very HAPPY NOTE one of my best friends got engaged this week. I could not be more ecstatic for the cute couple and hear there may be a summer 2014 wedding! I might just have to fly back to Victoria so I can be a part of this incredible day!!! I love weddings and can’t wait for their special day to arrive! xox

Lots of Love and Buddha Blessings,