Some of our friends here, Sue and Marty, gave us the incredible idea of “ABC Dating.” It is a simple concept that forces us to be creative in our dates and gives us an excuse to see the different things in and around Christchurch. Here is how it works:

Each week, we go on a date. During the first week, Evan was in charge of planning a date that had to do with the letter “A.” During week 2, Morgan was in charge of planning a date around the letter “B.” Then on week 3, Evan will plan one around “C,” and the cycle continues. Pretty cool right?

The Letter A:

Since we haven’t established a good date night yet, we decided to try Tuesday. Unfortunately, most fun things are closed Tuesday night. My co-worker, however, brought some strawberry plants to work and offered them to anyone who wanted them.

Bingo, I had something: Agriculture. We started the date off by buying a massive pot and some soil so we could plant strawberries. It’s pretty small time, but this is our first plant that we plan on eating from:

Our plant is growing!

I also managed to find a Tapas restaurant called AlmeidasĀ (where we would eat Appetizers). It was a solid 30 minute drive away in a suburb called Sumner. It is right on the ocean and there are some incredible views. It was already night time, but we drove through one of the best lighting storms Christchurch has seen in years. The flashes of great views was incredible. Naturally, we listened to the Avett Brothers the whole way.

Unfortunately, we arrived at the restaurant to find they were closed on Tuesday nights in the winter! Major bummer. But, just around the corner we found The Headless Mexican restaurant and ate dinner there. Thankfully, there was an Adolescent band performing live music that night (no joke – no one in the band was over 13), so we still covered our A.

The Letter B:

Morgan was in charge of B, and with wisdom went on a Saturday so things would actually be open. She started by making some biscuits (which were a little burnt), and the drove out to the Banks Peninsula. Our final destination was a little French town called Akaroa, where we would eat the biscuits by the Bay.

Map of Christchurch and Akaroa

But before we reached Akaroa, we stopped at an incredible restaurant at the top of the hills and looked down over the water. We also stopped by the Barry’s Bay cheese factory. If you know Evan, you know this was like a trip to Disney World for him:

Evan loves his cheese

It was a very sunny and warm day, so we just took it easy. The town is right on the waterfront, so we walked on the beach and took some pictures of the birds. There were several shops we wandered in and enjoyed some time just sitting and resting. After a crazy week of work for Morgan, it was wonderful to simply slow down.

Sea Gull Flying with blue sky

Bird!

On our drive home, we stopped and took a few pictures of sheep with their lambs. You can see those pics, along with the rest of our day at Akaroa below (click on an image to bring up a nifty gallery):