Monday, June 3, 2013

Rugby, Drive In and Penguins

Monday was a public holiday, Queens Birthday.  A bit odd seeing as how A) It's not really the Queen's Birthday and B) England, home of the Queen, doesn't even have a public holiday or celebrate the Queen's Birthday.  But hey, whatevs man, I'll take a day off work!

The weekend fun started with some Rugby!  Coming from North Carolina to New Zealand, I had no idea what rugby was.  Over the years I have not only begun to understand it but LOVE it!  There is just something about big burly (usually dang good lookin') men smashing into each other dripping with not only sweat, but blood!  Yes, a good game of rugby will have men dripping with blood!  Heck in the game this week a player was knocked stone cold out!  He didn't move for 5 minutes and had to be taken off on a stretcher.... and the game played on around him and the medics!

This week The Blues (Auckland Team) came down to play The Highlanders (Dunedin Team), so we (Simon, Jedi (Del, Si's stepdad) and I) had to go!  The game was in the Forsyth Stadium, the only covered stadium in NZ (!  It is a great stadium!  Not a bad seat in the house and since Dunedin is pretty cold, having it covered is fantastic!  I think it gets a lot more people out to events than would normally go if it were outdoors!  We actually had seats on the very back row, but they were awesome seats!  And best of all, since Simon was cheering very loudly for The Blues, no one could throw stuff at him!

Since Dunedin has a very strong Scottish Heritage, the team have a band marching band that plays before the start of the game.  It was way cool, so we made a video!  And I should also note that the half time show did NOT include some awful "cheerleaders" (who are really just a crap dance team that do nothing but grind on the field to clubbing music) as they have in Auckland. There was however, an escapee from "The Zoo" (R18 cheap ticket section) who streaked naked and almost got to the half way mark, before being tackled by a chicken.  True Story!  Unfortunately he was tackled with his bottom up towards us... beans and franks and all... maybe the "cheerleaders" aren't so bad after all?

During our time at the rugby game, Bodie was at a Drive-In movie with his GiGi.  The Dunedin Roller Derby team hold a fundraiser once a month at the Dunedin Ice Stadium.  They play family friendly movies and a car load is $20!  The movie is played on the side of the ice stadium (I think) and the sound can be heard on a radio station.  Although I hear that it was loud enough to hear sitting in the car w/ out the radio on.  The roller derby girls skate along to your car to sell you goodies, but they are all candy and soft drinks.  There may of been a sausage sizzle too.  I think they will be doing this again, but check eventfinda. regularly to be sure.  Be sure to pack jumper cables if you plan on listening to the movie on your radio or if you want to be a good Samaritan! 

Simon's mom saw a Facebook advertisement for watching the Blue Penguins come onto shore at Pilot Beach.  Since penguins come in to shore at nightfall, and it's winter so night fall is early, we decided to go on Sunday night!  It was a wet night, but not windy.  The tour leaves from the Royal Albatross Centre at the Otago Peninsula (approx. 45 minutes from Dunedin).  We go down a walkway stand on a platform over the beach.  You stand there and see nothing but crashing waves then all of a sudden a group of cute little blue penguins pop out onto the shore!  They are adorable!  They waddle and hop over some rocks, walk up the dunes then disappear into the night.  It was really really cool!  I think we saw about 30 penguins come in.  When they have chicks and they HAVE to come back to shore, there can be up to 70 that come in!  I think this is during the summer hours, which means they won't come to shore until around 10pm!  When walking back there are no lights just some glow in the dark stickers on the stairs and a few small red lights to mark the path.  As we were walking back we could hear the penguins calling out to each other.  It was very cool to just stop in complete darkness and listen to them and realise that at that moment I was surrounded by blue penguins!  Afterwards we ate fish and chips and drank hot chocolate.  Bodie proceeded to zonk out in the car on the way home!  Thanks GiGi and Jedi for a great night!

Since it was dark and we weren't allowed to use the flash the pictures didn't show up too well.  Plus my camera was on twilight and I really needed a tripod to hold the camera steady. 

Here's the link if you want to know more or book tickets: and if you want to know more about the royal albatross centre, which I would also highly recommend at the right time of year, you can go to here:

Waiting on the Blue Penguins to come out of the water

Me and Si in the rain waiting for the Blue Penguins
Bodie and GiGi waiting for the Blue Penguins

There they are!!

Climbing over the rocks!

Walking up the path.

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