Tuesday, December 30, 2014


We just got home from 10 days in Arizona, where we spent Christmas with my family. We stayed with my parents in the house in which I grew up. So I just got home from... home.

We had a great visit, and I decided that I'm going to do a proper trip story about it this time. I'll do that soon. I'm not up to that much effort tonight!

The drive between my parents' house in Mesa and San Diego is roughly 6 hours without stopping. We stopped twice- once for a snack in Gila Bend, and once for lunch and some park time in Yuma. I am the only family member capable of staying awake in the car on a long drive after lunch, so I drove the Yuma to San Diego leg. The kids were asleep for a large portion of that, leaving me free to listen to the grown up CDs that were loaded into the car. Mr. Snarky forgot to pack extra CDs for this trip, so I had exactly three grown up CDs to choose from, and they all happened to be New Zealand music. I had both discs of Nature's Best New Zealand's Top 30 Songs Of All Time and the first disc of Pacific Reggae Volume 1.

I wasn't really in the mood for reggae, although I recommend checking out Pacific reggae at least once- it has a different vibe from Caribbean reggae. While you're at it check out some NZ hip hop. Chains by DLT featuring Che Fu would be a good start. So I listened to the Nature's Best CDs. Although many people would probably recognize the Crowded House and Split Enz songs in this compilation, most of the other songs have a definite "world famous in New Zealand" feel to them. There were several Dave Dobbyn songs. Beside You is my favorite of the ones on the CD;

But if you've ever watched a rugby game held in New Zealand, you've probably heard Slice of Heaven:

(Hard to believe that the two videos feature the same man, but they do- just many, many years apart. Dave Dobbyn had a very long career! Mr. Snarky explains that the backing band in the second video are The Herbs, a well known NZ reggae band, and that the animated portions of this video are from the movie Footrot Flats- "a classic.")

But the song that really takes me back to New Zealand is Dominion Road, by the Mutton Birds:

When I first visited Mr. Snarky in New Zealand, he lived just off Dominion Road, and I remember him playing me this song in the beat up old car we rented to drive around New Zealand for three weeks. That trip was our "trial run," to see if it was worth him moving to the US to give our relationship a shot. We had a great trip, he moved to the US, and the rest is history.

I've written before about how Auckland (the city in which Dominion Road is located) feels like another home to me.

So I was driving from my original home to my current home, listening to music that made me think of the place I consider another home. It made me think a bit about the nature of "home," and I decided that to me, home is a place where I feel a special kind of comfortable. I don't know what exactly gives me that feeling. It isn't just time spent living there. I've really liked living in other places that never felt like home, and I've never actually lived in Auckland. Regardless, I am happy to have three homes. I wonder if I'll accumulate any more.


  1. Zenmoo9:00 PM

    Snap once more - the first time I went to NZ (to see if this Kiwi guy I'd met...) he lived in a flat off Dominion Rd. We road tripped down to Wellington via Taupo & Rotorua in a car named 'the silver bullet' & decided we were going to try to make a relationship work. That was 14 years ago.

    My favourite Muttonbirds song is Anchor Me. One of the cuzzies put it on the playlist at our wedding reception so I always feel very romantic when I hear it. Also our first dance was to the classic NZ reggae 'Something so true' by the Black Seeds. I went through a funny phase for about 3 weeks in NZ when I kept hearing it - in the supermarket & caf├ęs

  2. Jennifer12:23 PM

    New Zealand is definitely on our travel bucket list - your posts about the country don't hurt! But I'm amazed to realize I've been reading regularly for a while (I think roughly since about the end of my maternity leave 2+ years ago) and never realized you grew up in the next town from me, at about the same time! (We lived about a block from the Tempe/Mesa line, and I think we're roughly the same age.) I don't get to go "home" anymore as my parents retired to the East Coast, though. (In the big picture it works better because they're 2 hours from me, which is just about perfect.)

  3. Hey, we were just very close to there too (Sun City West) visiting my family! If we're ever there at the same time again we should meet up :D

    Happy new year to you and your family!


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