Day 378 of Traveling the World, Christchurch, Canterbury, South Island, New Zealand. February 14, 2019.

Meet Cupid and the Love Angel in the first photo (real names, Darcy and Natasha). So fun! They are friendly, funny, outgoing, and the best thing we found this Valentine’s Day. They were in the Westfield Mall, greeting patrons, chatting, pretending to strike with Cupid’s arrows, and dispensing….what else?…..Hershey’s kisses from Jan’s home state. They happily posed for us, and when they found out they would appear in our blog, they gave us two free movie passes. So what else could we do but head to the theater and relax for a few hours? Thank you, Natasha and Darcy!

Christchurch was heavily damaged in a 2011 earthquake that killed 185 people and collapsed or severely damaged thousands of buildings. The city has been slowly rebuilding, and today it is hard to tell that it was ever damaged, except that the city’s namesake cathedral has not yet been repaired or rebuilt.

We spent a most delightful afternoon yesterday having coffee with the dear friend (Susie) of a dear friend (Sue) who lives in Christchurch. She is now our dear friend! She gave us tips and travel suggestions for New Zealand and shared her life story with us, from her years living in the US to her many travels now that she has returned home to Christchurch. She is lovely and so knowledgeable. Thanks, Susie!

The 1908 Isaac Theatre Royal is the only remaining Edwardian theater left in New Zealand. We did not have a chance to go inside, but we understand it is ornate and quite beautiful. Following that are three photos of our fabulous hotel. We have remarked that, walking around the grounds, it feels like the gardens were there first and a hotel was dropped into them…more garden than hotel! Just beautiful.

The last two photos are fun. One is a sign from the food court in the mall. A Chinese restaurant had a buffet that was rather unique. It provides a one-time-only serving, and you can buy a small plate or a larger plate. But you cannot pile your food high on the plate…the limit is 80 millimeters (3 inches)! And if you are getting takeout, the lid must close! We love that you are warned not to breach these conditions. The last photo is from a sushi restaurant with prepackaged sushi rolls for sale. The Kids Combo is just over $4.00 US, and the rice mounds make a happy panda. We thought it was very clever!