Steph and Cathy
Justin and Nate
On the inside of that plane (or at least two of the planes they were on) was the handsome and multi-talented Chris Pine, who you may recall from such block-buster films like Star Trek, This Means War, Unstoppable, or Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. He recently shot another film in NZ. He also stood trial for 'Drink' driving charges following an arrest after a wrap-party for that film. The bar-staff at the local pub where the party was held maintain that he was well-behaved and they were all shocked by the charges. He was apparently a gentleman throughout the whole ugly event. Anyhow, they actually hung out with him at the airport in Auckland since they shared a second flight with him too. One of our friends from home initially thought that I was him, but had just changed a lot, so we decided to recreate their photo with me in his spot.
The re-make. They're never quite as good as the original : )
Luckily, the weather mostly cooperated for their visit, so they got to see Otautau at its finest:
Along with the good weather, we had a lot of good food. We got to expose them to a lot of NZ delicacies - paua, mussels, whitebait, red deer and roasted veggies, smoked blue cod, and shark. the cod, shark, and paua we actually caught, so stay tuned for how all that went down. We did a lot of family style dinners, and had a good time cooking with eachother. Having 8 cooks in the kitchen was never too many!
We turned these beautiful creatures into these tasty whitebait fritters:
Whipping up the whitebait fritters!
Waiting for the blue cod.
Checking on the cod...
Ready! Smoked Blue Cod coming right up - fresh out the ocean!
Paua Time! Pounding out the paua to slice and fry.
We actually made Paua Two Ways, so here's Dan busting up some crackers for our paua patties.
And here they are getting fried up!
Final products. Paua patty and fried paua strips. Pulled directly off the ocean floor!
Putting the finishing touches on something that was undoubtedly delicious.
We cooked mussels that we gathered!
And the ladies whipped up some fish/shark tacos after the guys had a big day out fishing.
And after all that eating, we tended to have a lot of couch time before bed. True sign of friendship is if you can have fun doing nothing with someone. Turns out, yes, we can have fun doing nothing, but we also had a lot of fun doing lots of other exciting things. So here are the last few pics before I start posting about the adventures. Thanks for coming to visit, guys! Had such a good time!!!