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There was a 5.7 magnitude earthquake today in Christchurch, New Zealand (1:13 pm) with aftershocks a few hours later. Just wanted to say that we are fine. We didn’t feel anything in the north island and are glad that there aren’t any casualties in the south island. Kind of scary.

On another note, cheers to two holidays in New Zealand. Today we’re celebrating Chinese New Year (the monkey) and Valentine’s Day.

We started the day hiking up Mt. Victoria (see pics) super early this morning.

Jim climbing Mount Victoria

Jim climbing Mount Victoria

Atop Mount Victoria, looking down on Wellington

Atop Mount Victoria, looking down on Wellington

Overlooking the bay

Overlooking the bay

A cool totem pool atop Mount Victoria

A cool totem pool atop Mount Victoria

On the way back, we hit a city market for some yummy paella.

Homemade seafood paella

Homemade seafood paella

Super yummy paella

Super yummy paella

After the city market, JTB thought it would be fun to take a ferry ride over to Days Bay and Eastbourne. 20 minutes later, we were there. We visited Katherine Mansfield’s summer cottage.

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It was really hard to find since it wasn’t marked. We got lost (shocker!), so we had to ask for directions at a local gas station. Turns out that the owner used to live in the cottage so he knew exactly where it was. He told us that a few years ago there was a huge storm and it washed away the original cottage, so it was sold and built up, but the sentiments are still the same. “At The Bay” was written there and am looking forward to reading it when back in the states. After KM’s cottage, we walked over to Eastbourne, where we grabbed a couple of local suds and then headed back to Wellington via the ferry. A nice meal and conversations later, we’re glad to be looking forward to tomorrow. Martinborough, here we come!

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