Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Taco Tuesday

By Conrad

Today we had tacos for dinner! And it was Tuesday too, so that means it was Taco Tuesday.

The tacos were very good, and Mark and I had three. They were very filling, but I wanted a fourth one! Then we moved on to fruit. We had a quarter of a kiwi (fruit) and and apple. The people in New Zealand are sometimes called kiwis, so if you said 'I had a kiwi for lunch' then someone might think you ate their brother or something. Then we had some chocolate frostingish stuff for desert.
It was very good!

We had a lot of time to play because we ate early. I am writing the blog post now before bed. Hope next Tuesday you have yummy tacos!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

A field trip to the Rotoiti navy ship

By Conrad

Yesterday we went to the Rotoiti New Zealand Navy ship! It was so cool!

We waited for a while, and then finally got on the ship.
The Rotoiti navy ship

As soon as we got on the ship, Mark asked "Where are the machine guns? I don't see any guns." But then he saw a locker that said DANGER EXPLOSIVES and was very satisfied.

We waited a few minutes more to get inside and we made it to the bridge of the ship. There were lots of buttons, levers, and high tech stuff that I did not touch. If I did, I'd send the ship out to sea at twenty knots firing the machine guns. I did not want that happening.

Then we saw the machine guns. I was very nervous, I do not like guns but we took pictures of me and Mark 'firing' the gun. It was a 50-caliber machine gun.
Mark and I fighting over the gun
Mark 'firing' the gun
Then we headed to the back of the ship and saw the humongous dinghies for the navy, and they made our new dinghy look puny. Soon we headed off the boat. Mark liked the guns, and he said that was one of the only good things on the ship. We went back to the boat and wrote about the boat and had lunch. In fact most of this is from my diary. It was really fun!
Our new dinghy

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Well, that looks like a nice cake

By Conrad

We are having a lot of fun right now. Mom and Dad too. They don't have to do as much work because we did not have to ice Perry ourselves! I bet you're wondering what 'icing Perry' means. Yesterday and the day before that, we were filling in pockmarks on our boat. Those pockmarks were caused from water seeping through the fiberglass, which made blisters in the fiberglass. We had to break open the blisters, which left holes.

Just after we were hauled out of the water, we started sandblasting the boat to get the layers of paint off and then discovered the blisters.

That is what we did yesterday and the day before that: fill the holes. The name of the post? The mixture that the filling people used looks like chocolate frosting. The chocolate frosting is an epoxy based liquid mixed with low-density filling powder.

Back to what's going on. Today we are fairing them. Then we have to repeat the process in case we missed anything and then we have more work to do. The one that I cannot wait for is the Coppercoat. I have no idea what it is, but that is why I want to find out. I know that it has something to do with paint.

Perry the cake looked nice but he is sanded down now (sad face). Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures. But anyways, have cake for dessert, but don't have an extremely hard, fiberglass boat cake with epoxy based frosting filling.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Stuff that puffs

By Conrad

Yesterday, we had some fun with 'stuff that puffs.' That's what I call it anyways. But it is actually expanding foam, and we used it on the keel. We had to fill in the keel because it had a little cavity in it.
Working on keel number one.

One keel went fine. The other one, on the other hand, was already filled in and we decided to put in a bit more. Dad only put in a little bit. It was only a little bit overflowed (that means it made a huge mess).

So anyways we filled the hull with a little (big) mess and it was very interesting.

You can take half an inch of the liquid and it will go up to four to five inches.
Puffed up 'stuff that puffs.'

Stuff that puffs expands out a lot.

The stuff that puffs is very cool! I had a lot of fun watching it puff up. The stuff that puffs has puffed. Try to say that three times fast.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Things that I skipped

By Conrad

I skipped a few things that we did like Christmas and camping.

Christmas in New Zealand 

(Yes, I know Christmas and 2015 are long gone.) We had a very fun Christmas in New Zealand.  The day before Christmas, we made a cool gingerbread house.
Our gingerbread house.

The next morning, Mark and I woke up very early in the morning and waited for a while. We could not open presents until Mom and Dad woke up. But then they woke up and we raced up stair asking, "Can we open presents now? Can we open presents now?"

Finally everybody was up and Mark and I opened our presents. First we reached into our stockings. We pulled out candy canes. Then we reached back in and pulled out some cake erasers, toy crystals, and chocolate coins. If there was anything else, I don't remember what they were or even if I still have them.

Mom and dad looked in their stockings and Dad pulled out a tiki magnet, and Mom pulled out a glass crystal necklace.

Then we opened real presents. I got a bow and arrow, and a device called a Huawei Mediapad T17.0. Mark got a stuffed bunny and the same device as mine. We both got money from Uncle Andrew, Grandma and Grandpa, and Nana and Grandpa. It was really fun!

Camping in New Zealand
We went camping in New Zealand, two or three months after Christmas. The first day I was so excited! That is, until I found out that we were going to be driving the whole day from Whangerei to Wellington. Then we waited in the middle of the night for the ferry. I literally only got a minute of sleep before the check-in guy came. Then I tried to get some sleep. No luck.

The next morning, I had a meat pie for breakfast (I think they made it to the top back of my list then, because when you are camping meat pies are a delicacy--for me anyway) and I got excited because I thought we were not driving anymore. Oh, how I was wrong. We drove for six hours, and I thought we were never going to stop.

But then we made it to camp, set up our tent (which proved to protect us from Dad's fatal snoring) and got bitten a million times by mosquitos. We had dinner and went to bed.

Ok, let's fast-forward a little bit to the cool parts. We went to the Franz Joseph Glacier, and it was a lot of fun except that the glacier had receded quite a bit and it was a far walk. But it was very cool! We stopped in town and got ice cream and I got some cool kiwi bird key chains/bottle openers.
Mark and I at the Franz Joseph Glacier.

We went to Queenstown and went to the Skyline luge, and got the Jelly Belly ride, which means you got free Jelly Bellies. We looked at some jellybean art and left back to camp. Then we headed towards Mt. Aspiring.
The Skyline 'Luge.'

On our way there, we stopped at a place called Arrowtown, an old gold mining town from the gold rush in New Zealand. We panned for gold and got some (!) Only a little bit though.
Panning for gold in Arrowtown. 

Then we saw Mt. Aspiring and it was huge. We set up camp, and went on a little walk. The next day we needed to go back home, so we packed up, and set off north.
Mt. Aspiring.
We went zorbing on the way back: rolling down a hill in a rubber ball filled with water!

The zorb.

Sooner than I thought we stopped at the store, got dinner, and drove over to the ferry. We got on the ferry, and headed off to Northland. All too soon we were back on the boat working. Well, it was fun well it lasted.

Hope you liked the things that I skipped on other posts!

Friday, April 15, 2016

An apple a day keeps the doctor (or dentist) away, but not today

By Conrad

The other day, Mark and I went on a trip to the dentist! My teeth are so clean now! So anyways, we had our teeth cleaned, and I thought it was fun (I don't know why I thought it was fun. Maybe it was the super comfy rising chair). Mom said most people don't like to go to the dentist. Well, we do! Then we raced back to the boat to do some work. Mark and I spent the rest of the day on the boat playing animals an looking at our seemed-so-new teeth, while Mom and Dad worked on the boat. Our first trip to the dentist in three years! I guess Mark went in Grenada. But first time in a long time for me!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Magnum bars--some good ice cream

By Conrad
Magnum ice cream bars are very popular throughout the South Pacific. There are a lot of flavors: peppermint, double ego caramel, of course the original, salted caramel, and a lot of others.

My favorite type of bar is called 'Americana Chocolate Cookie Crumble' with a white chocolate outside and chocolate ice cream inside.

My goal right now is to try every flavor of Magnum bar, but I just can't bring myself to try cappuccino, even though I like the taste of coffee. I guess it could taste different in ice cream.
I made a whole Magnum bar section in my scrap book.

The other day, I just tried one that is called 'chocolate toffee.'

Yummy yummy, Magnum bars in my tummy.

Magnum bars.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Healing Perry

By Conrad

So now that we are back from Chicago we have to keep fixing the boat (aka healing Perry), and Dad has to work every day. And it is unfair because I only help sometimes, and when I help it is only for a few hours at most, plus I go to the park a lot.
So anyways, I like to help but sometimes I just do other things that are 'more important' than healing Perry. 
This is Dad's work table.

Having a boat is fun but hard work (I should not be saying this because I do about 0% of the work except for getting tools and occasionally turning off machines but otherwise Mom and Dad do all the work. 
This is the machine I turned off: I call it 'the big sucky machine.' 
We are on the hard in a boatyard and I do not like it. I feel like a fish out of water. 
Hard work every day.
It will be a few more weeks until we splash (means going back into the water) and then we will quickly be going to Fiji again.

Chicago is cool (I mean both ways)

By Conrad

Mark and I were going to Chicago! We very quickly packed our bags and then turned on hyper mode. Hyper mode means trouble. Mark and I got into the car (still very hyper) and that did not go well with the four hour drive to Auckland, NZ. Then before the airport, we went to One Tree Hill and fell down the hill. Finally we went to the airport! We went through security and then... we had to wait more.

At least we had the largest type of plane in the world for company at the next gate. I hoped we were flying on it, but we got an itty wee one. Soon enough, it was boarding time and then--goodbye New Zealand. We lifted off. A voice said over the intercom: "You are flying Air New Zealand." I stayed up the whole night because of unlimited movies.

I will skip the connecting flight, because it was utterly boring. So that night we touched down in Chicago (brr) and then said hi to everybody and went to a Chinese restaurant (I love them because they serve all the soup in the world) for dinner. Then we went to bed in the bunk bed that our grandparents got for us and slept in late the next morning due to jet lag.

The day went by quickly and then in the afternoon I got to play with Nolan, an old friend. Then we went to one of my favorite restaurants called Sweet Tomatoes with him. Soon we had our first karate class that Nana signed us up for. It was fun, but hard work. Mark was very nervous. Later we went to the Botanic Gardens with Grandma and Grandpa. After that we got a new cactus. My cactus is named Thornsley and Mark's is Prickly, and Grandma's is Flowersly, which was the only flowering cactus in the store.

Soon after that our Uncle Andrew came to see us with his husband, Art, or for us Uncle Art. Together we saw the dyeing of the river before St. Pats day. In the parade we saw the Vienna Wiener mobile! We also went to the Field Museum to see the Terracotta warriors Exhibit and other cool things.

A bit later, we went downtown to see our old house and go to Dinkel's Bakery and get donuts.
We did some more  karate lessons and near the end of our stay I got to sleep over at Nolan's house. We played on the trampoline, played a gross Jelly Belly game, played a game called Pie Face, and did an Easter egg hunt.

Then too soon we had to go. We were back in the boatyard, very sad and bored. But nothing can stay forever and that means we can't stay in Chicago forever. But one day we will be back.

Thornsley in his first large pot.
I was sent this picture of Thornsley shortly after we left Chicago. This is re-potted Thornsley.
Sue from the Field Museum

Finally I got him off! Wait... where did that block come from? 

Does this go higher?

*Whew* So much hard work.
Our class.

Wee! So high!
Me and Nolan. 
Me in my karate gi.

Me and Mark with Dad, Uncle Art, and Uncle Andrew. 

Oooh... the river is oh so green.
An Easter egg hunt for before we left Chicago.