When the usually sunny and warm Mount Maunganui gets hit with a blustery, windy, cold and very rainy day, what do the two kids from Victoria, Canada do to entertain themselves? Go for a rainy, windy trek to the point closest to the massive rolling waves of course! 

Moturiki Island has been a point of interest for Luke and I since we moved here two months ago, and yet, we had yet to adventure out to it. It is the beautiful"island" just down from Mount Maunganui main beach, a very popular spot for travelers and tourists to explore. I guess we figured since we're now locals, we'd wait for the perfect opportunity to trek out and see what Moturiki has to offer. Clearly we waited until the rainiest and windiest of all days to explore it! 
Moturiki Island from the Mount Maunganui Summit (on a sunny day)
The trek out was lovely, a very easy stroll along a well-kept path with beautiful natural scenery. We were lucky that parts of it were sheltered from the wind, as once we got out to the tip, closest to the big waves, we had to stay low and step very carefully to avoid being blown into the ocean! 
The fantastic scenery on our trek on Moturiki Island
Having a spot of coffee at the tip of the island, a safe distance from the crashing waves
Luke demonstrating the strength of the wind
Mount Maunganui from the tip of Moturiki Island
The best part of the entire trek was, it made us appreciate the weather instead of complain about it! Sometimes the only thing you need when the wind is blowing and the rain is pelting down is to step outside, geared up in appropriate attire, and just experience the weather. You'd be surprised by how much you can laugh while being blown around, laugh while trying to see through a torrential downpour and become awestruck by the colossal power of the waves!
I guess it's time to dive into how, why, when, where and who Sweet Dea and Dukey are. 
Showing Luke my University on our road trip up for Thanksgiving 2011
In August of 2009, I packed up my life in Prince George where I had been living and playing for 4+ years studying at UNBC and took a leap of faith! Joined by my good friend Lyndsey, we set out to create a new life for ourselves on the little island that could.. Vancouver Island. The City of Victoria had always been a bit of a haven for me as I used to visit my aunt on a regular basis as a child, and it was always my space of freedom. Not in the sense that my aunt let me do anything I wanted.. in the sense that, she allowed me to be exactly who I was. It excited me that I could go to the store in my pajamas.. and not run into a single person that I know! And that I could talk to my aunt about any and everything that was running through my mind, and she never treated me as a child. She treated my problems and concerns as though they truly were just that, legit problems and concerns. As a kid, this feels pretty good! 

So as Lyndsey and I packed up everything we owned, packed up the vehicles, packed up the memories, and we set off for our new home and our new lifestyle. We both had family living on the island, which was definitely a nice reassuring feeling when moving to a brand new city where you basically don't know a soul. 

Lucky for me I had Kate. Kate and I had been friends since our fun days of being volunteer co-councillors at Camp Potlatch when we were 15. She was attending UVic at the time and as it turns out, we ended up living in the same neighbourhood, within walking distance from each other! Woohoo!!   
Luke, Tyler and Kate in the early years
Also lucky for me, Kate lived with two boys, both of whom I'd never met.. and both of whom were quite easy on the eyes.. bonus! This is how I met Luke. He was one of the hunky roommates. We all spent many nights playing board games and drinking beers together, just being ridiculous and enjoying life. From day one there was chemistry between Luke and I, we had a lot of fun together and our relationship basically consisted of sharing a love of laughter. We kept it to just friends for quite some time and built a strong base foundation for our friendship. We sure had seen all sides of each other in that time. Which I think is the key to us having a healthy relationship now.  

campfire non-stop laughter
Fast forward to today, we are one of those ridiculously supportive couples that talk to each other all day long about how our days are going and even though I know nothing about electrical, and he knows nothing about whatever it is that I do, we support each other! This is my favourite part. And we laugh. I lied.. that's my favourite part! 

A while ago when I was single and enjoying life on my own in Victoria, I contemplated what it was that I needed from a man to make me happy.. Of course every woman has her list; hunky, dreamy, active, loving, blah blah blah (okay maybe most lists don't include the terms "hunky" or "dreamy", but mine sure does!) But my number one, the one thing that if it wasn't there, it would never last, and I'd never be truly happy, regardless of all the other pieces... is laughter. If you can't make me laugh.. I'm not interested. 

Lucky for me, there have been countless nights when I genuinely have been in an absolute fit of laughter with Luke.. over absolutely nothing.. just him.. being him.. and I love it! so much! it's perfect.  

roadtrippin' eats
As I allow myself to dive further and further into planning every little detail about my trip, I can't help but spend most of my time still thinking of what to bring.  After pretty much months of contemplation.. I opted to purchase my very first pair of Lululemon pants! 

i'm pretty tight with my money.. so near $100 on a pair of pants is a big deal for me!! :D
So, yesterday I set out in the rain for downtown Victoria, gumboots on, money in hand, ready to complete a first! Go me!
I decided on a pair of crop pants, basically a set of really nice, thick tights. My goal with these pants is to get my full monies worth and genuinely wear them nearly every single day on this trip! They are very versatile. If paired with boots and a long sweater.. boom.. dressy. If paired with running shoes and a big shirt.. boom.. exercise gear.. if paired with socks and a cozy sweatshirt.. boom.. lounge-wear.  

They are incredibly comfortable and so far my consumer satisfaction is phenomenal!  Come on travel date! I'm ready!

I'd say the very beginning of our actual trip planning began on a Saturday morning, sipping coffee and silently giggling to ourselves about the prospect of actually embarking on a move across the globe. Luke set out to call his boss and break the news, I browsed every and any New Zealand website I could find and we continuously passed glances of excitement between each other. Life couldn't be more exciting.

Than it dawned on me... to leave the country, one must have a valid...
So, we both enjoyed one more calm sip of delicious weekend morning coffee and *poof* we turned on Extreme Dea and Dukey  mode. I grabbed every piece of identification I could find, we piled into the car, grabbed Luke's information, and then searched and searched and searched for parking downtown Victoria on a Saturday. After finally finding a spot, we literally ran to the mall, searched out the passport office at the top of the building, got told very rudely that we are 'no exception and everyone must wait in line', took a number and *poof* sat down to wait. dum de dum de, tick tick tick... we really began to feel the morning caffeine going to waste at this point. 

So after hours of waiting, filling out the paper work, waiting, re-filling out the paper work, and waiting some more, we finally were able to complete our passport renewal applications. Lucky for us I trusted my intuition that it was worth it to wait all day and hand the application to a person, rather than fill it out, likely wrong, mail it off, and then have it returned a few weeks later learning that you now must do it all over again. This played a crucial time-saving role when it came time to apply for our New Zealand Working Holiday Visas