Love Languages And Connection

We were leaving Auckland last November to begin our tour of North Island when I noticed the man on the motorcycle in front of us. I could see the city reflected in his helmet, but what made me lift my camera was the love message written on the round rearview mirror on the right side of his bike. Do you see it … the heart with two small xx’s underneath?

I have been thinking a great deal lately about the ways in which we communicate and particularly with the people we love. It is a huge topic with endless amounts of information available in bookstores or a quick click or two on our computers. It’s a great source of frustration for many and one most of us will spend hours of our lives discussing at some point.

One of my favorite books on this topic has been around for some time and when I went to the website of Gary Chapman, author of The 5 Love Languages, I found the short assessment that I took a few years ago. Back then it reaffirmed what I already knew about myself but more importantly, it gave me an easy and concise way to share how I interpret love when trying to explain it to others.

There are some additional assessments added that deal with children and a few other topics that you might find a worthwhile use of your time especially if you’ve been feeling disconnected lately from the important people in your life.

Have a look and let me know what you think and I will be back tomorrow to share my assessment and tell you which love language I speak.


Dinner For Two At Lake Tekapo

Okay … so it wasn’t really dinner for two. We had dinner lakeside at Lake Tekapo last night with a large group of folks who all pitched in making a big cookout for about forty people. I made my grandmother’s potato salad with John’s help (tons of chopping) and we had a lot of compliments even though it was missing a couple of ingredients.

Here are a few our dinner companions post meal and cleanup waiting for a little Hokey-Pokey ice cream for dessert. Hokey-Pokey is said to be a favorite flavor of travelers through New Zealand and I have definitely become a fan.


We’ve just arrived in Christchurch where I am posting this now from an outdoor café. This is our last stop before we fly to Auckland to spend a couple of nights before leaving for Christmas with my family in Atlanta. It’s been a wonderful trip and Christchurch looks at first glance as if it has enough charm to continue adding to the memories we’ve been busy making.



Manly Beach – Soft Sanded Surfer Heaven


Elizabeth Harper & John Winchurch - Manly Beach, Australia

I posted the photo above on Facebook, but since not everyone has a FB account I thought I would share it here as well. I snapped this on Manly Beach when we took the ferry over from Circular Quay in Sydney. The wind was blustery that day with a storm approaching and we only had a moment to put our feet on the soft golden sand before the raindrops came to chase us off. Even though a storm was hovering just off shore while we watched, surfers were taking advantage of the waves.

Manly Beach Surfers

John Winchurch - Manly Beach, Australia

Here’s a look at Manly Beach from the other direction. There are huge trees near the beach that look like a type of pine and remind me of trees along the northwest coast of the US, but still are a bit different from any I’ve seen.

I’m typing in a coffee shop called Gloria Jean’s which has free wireless for one hour with a purchase. Free internet access is hard to find in Auckland so I have to keep things short. We’ve been paying for it in our room, but I tend to use it up too quickly as the download is limited and expensive.  Gloria Jean’s has good coffee, friendly staff, and yummy low-fat muffins, but my hour is almost up and it’s time to run off to see more of Auckland.

I will be back later to tell you about an amazing musician I met last night on Victoria Street here in Auckland. His name is Luke Hurley and you can hear and read more about him by clicking here.

His music was so good that after listening only long enough to snap a couple of photos, I paid $20 for a CD. We had a long listen back in our hotel room and loved it! Plus, I found out something very interesting in the minute or so that he paused to meet and speak with me. I’ll tell you next time when I have a minute to post.

Luke Hurley

Amazing Auckland

Auckland, New Zealand

I can’t stop to talk for long this morning as there is so much to see, but I just had to share this photograph from yesterday. We took a short ferry ride that gave me a chance to see the city of Auckland from a distance and it was stunning from every angle. I’ll be back in a bit with more photos hopefully later today.

We’re having a great time here and I wish I could could drop more images into this post, but my online access is limited so I can only leave you with a taste for now and the promise of more to come.