Monday, 23 February 2015

Home, Sweet Home! Loving Where You Live

15 Things that will make you smile in Christchurch

Ok, so for the second day in a row, I've been thinking about something seemingly unrelated to educational pedagogy; the importance of loving where you live. I guess that's because my love for my hometown is always strong around the anniversary of the quakes; that's what's on top for me at the moment. I promise to blog about something with a less tenuous link to education tomorrow.

But of course you guys are a smart bunch; I'm sure I don't need to point out the connection between being happy in your life to being an effective teacher. Yesterday after attending the River of Flowers, my husband, children and I were feeling sombre and reflective and we ended up in one of our favourite Christchurch cafes eating curly fries.  My eight year old son, probably sensing my sadness, suddenly reached for my hand and said, "I love Christchurch, Mum," which cheered me up no end.
"Me too!" said his big sister. "Its amazing!"
We then dug out my phone and made a family list of things we love about Christchurch. I've left off the things like "playdates" and "the friendly people" because I'm pretty sure your city has those too.

So without further ado, and in no particular order, here's the Compton-Moen family list of 15 things that make us happy in Christchurch. It should be noted that this is just half the list and also, not all members of the whanau agree with every item! ;)

1. The Street Art- amazeballs! Wander the CBD and be blown away by the some of the most incredible and uplifting street art you've seen. The Spectrum Streetart exhibition is really wonderful and was LOVED by each of my family for different reasons.

2. Hagley Oval- seriously, what's not to love? Sitting on the embankment is like being at an English boutique cricket ground. Lovely even if you are not a cricket fan.

3. The Fablab XCHC- this place is just incredible. A real playground for all ages.  If you like making stuff (and who doesn't?) this is the place for you. Take the entire family and spend time tinkering and creating together. Fun!

4. The Beach- Sumner, New Brighton, Taylor's Mistake, Waimairi.....all are fantastic places for fish n chips, an ice cream and a a swim if you're brave! And all are so close to the city.

5. Taking in a Crusader's game at the new AMI Stadium- even if you hate rugby, go for the horses! Just awesome. And you are sooooo close to the players, you could give them a few tips and they'd hear you. And believe me, my son does.

6. The Tannery- this "boutique shopping emporium" is so well done. Even the gorgeous toilets will make your jaw drop.  Great coffee, awesome craft beers, beautiful shops and the most delicious retro cake store. Love it.

7. Biking/ Jogging/ Walking/ Scootering/ Walking the dog in Hagley Park- 165 hectares of pure bliss right in the centre of the city.

8. CBD adventure- A ride on the Tram, punting on the Avon River, visiting New Regent Street and Restart- This is the best way to really see what is happening in our city in transition. I am a huge fan of the tram and always learn something new despite having lived here for 75% of my life! New Regent Street is just gorgeous and Restart is a must-see; a shopping precinct created from shipping containers at a time when containers really were the only option! Very cool and I desperately hope it will always have a place in the New Christchurch.

9. Drink goooooood coffee. Having lived in all of NZ's main centres(Between us) and being somewhat coffee connoisseurs (or perhaps just addicts!), my husband and I know for sure that Christchurch coffee is amongst the best. Try quirky C1 with its curly fries which arrive in pneumatic sliders or Black Betty with its range of different coffee methods such as Coffee Syphon. Brick Farm has amazing coffee and grows its own delicious organic produce right on site.

10. Or perhaps you're after something stronger than coffee! Visit one of the many new bars in Christchurch; Engineers and Merchants has a fantastic roof top bar; Strange's Lane has a collection of great bars including Vespa which I love for its delicious street food inspired menu and its quirky musical offerings. Burt Bacharach anyone?!

11. The Antarctic Centre is an oldie but a goodie- so much fun. Ride the Hagglund (unless like me you get motion sick!) meet Little Blue Penguins and experience the power of the storm. My kids' favourite.

12. Visit Gapfiller Sites- these are changing all the time so check the website. Our family's favourite is The Dance-o-Mat....if its good enough for Charles and Camilla, then its good enough for the C-M family!

13. Mountain Biking at Macleans Island or Bottle Lake- the boys in our family LOVE doing this. The girls are happy with a lazy walk before beaching in the park with a good book. Either way, this is a fun family activity and the tracks really are great for a range of ages and abilities.

14. Christchurch Farmers' Market at Riccarton Bush- this is just such a fantastic and delicious way to spend a Saturday. And what a beautiful setting. The hardest part is deciding what to eat for lunch. YUM.

15. Day trips- one of the most fantastic things about Christchurch is its proximity to a huge variety of locations for amazing day trips. In around 90 minutes, you can be on a ski field at Mt Hutt or in hot pools in Hanmer Springs. You can be whale watching in Kaikoura or dolphin watching in Akaroa. Only got half a day to spare? Lyttelton and bays such as Diamond Harbour or Purau are stunning and a trip to Quail Island on the ferry is a great way to get out on the water.

Hanmer Thermal Resort- Magic

Ok, like I said that's only half our list but creating it was such a mood enhancer I just had to share. What do you love about your hometown?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Bridget, you always make me smile especially on a cold, grey day in Christchurch. Love your positive and passionate views. So good to have such a great list, especially this week. Sending lots of Aroha to you and your family.