A Travellerspoint blog

New Zealand - Day Twelve

Thursday 15th April 2010

sunny 19 °C
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Our last day in Welly and still so much to do. We woke up to another gorgeous day feeling slightly fragile and then I got a pass to go meet Rachel to do some shopping. Strolling round Welly and catching up was magic but as usual I bought most things for Andy and the boys!! A souvenir plate with a paua shell pattern to remember our trip and my time was up. I met the boys in Cuba st for a mince and cheese pie (another NZ delicacy!) and then it was off to Te Papa Museum.

Kate had kindly volunteered her two girls Hazel, 4 and Sadie, 2 to show us around. We met them in the foyer and the boys were instantly smitten. Ollie insisted on holding Hazel’s hand all the way round the museum….amazing as he will never hold either Andy’s or mine! I had forgotten how good Te Papa was, we looked at the colossal squid, had a go in the earthquake house and visited the Maori meeting house. A trek round the outside ‘bear hunt’ and it was time to say our goodbyes. It has been so lovely seeing everyone this trip and saying good bye again has been just as hard. Hopefully it won’t be another seven years until we see them again.

It was time to go visit my old work place, Ward 19, and I must admit I was a bit nervous. Unfortunately when I got there a lot of the people I still knew weren’t working (there aren‘t many left I know!). It was nice to see the old place again and see that it hadn’t changed a bit…spooky! Ruth was working so it was great to say a proper goodbye. Lots of blowing kisses later and we were back in the car on our way up to Mount Vic. Andy had a list and god dammit we were gonna tick it all off!!!!

Mount Vic is a fabulous lookout point to view the whole of Welly from a great height. The boys were very impressed and as we climbed the steps to the top there were lots of whoooaaa’s and waaaah’s at the height. After the stunning scenery and bracing wind we headed back down for a petrol fill up and Maccy D’s for the boys.

Lots of late night packing and car clearing later and Andy and I collapsed into bed exhausted and sad to be leaving Welly so soon.

Posted by thedeanies 17:00 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

New Zealand - Day Eleven

Tuesday 14th April 2010

sunny 19 °C
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After an extremely windy night where the bins were blown down the road the weather was glorious so we headed for the Civic Centre area to show the boys the silver fern ball that is suspended in the sky and a place Fin had seen in one of our books.

“How do they do that Daddy?”, “Magic Son”

We had arranged to meet Ruth and Rachel for Lunch. Rachel was another good friend we had made and who Hazel had worked with at the hospital.

Rachel was from England and had settled down in NZ and since seeing her briefly on a return trip to the UK had got married and given birth to a beautiful little baby girl Emily. Ollie took an instant shine to the “Baby”.

After huge burgers/paninis and fat chips we headed back out before the small ones got restless. We strolled across the road to a small park on the beach front. Perfect for the children whilst we tried to continue catching up. Sadly Ruth had to leave us but Rachel stayed with us as we moved on to the next park!

Then as Rachel stopped for coffee and a tour of the children’s book section at Borders we headed up on the cable car. Everyone who came to visit us in Welly will be very aware of the cable car as we took everyone on it!! Ollie was a bit cautious at first but Fin was right into it. We headed straight for the front and waited nervously to see if we would crash into the descending cable car…..phew, near miss but we were safe.

At the top it was a quick look round the cable car museum, a go on the human sun dial and then ice lollies for the boys before we boarded a cable car for the descent. Fin was straight up to the front again and joined other children there. We heard snippets of the conversation that followed, a lot of it involving the cable car turning into a rocket and blasting off the track!!

We found Rachel in Borders and then had to drag the boys (literally) away from the books. We said our goodbyes to Rach before heading home. Kate (another old friend) had kindly offered to babysit so Andy and I were a slick team as we fed, bathed and got the boys in bed. Luckily they were shattered from the busy day.

Kate turned up with her friend Philly and it was so nice to see them both we then spent an hour catching up. I worked with Kate on Ward 19, Kate and her husband Stu were lovely kiwis who took us under their wing and showed us the best Welly had to offer including where to get the best fish and chips!

Kate finally shoved us out the door and Andy and I were like kids in a toy shop……where do we go first!! We visited a few old haunts like the Cambridge Hotel and Mollys. We also had a wonderful meal at Monsoon Poon and remembered what it was like to have time to chat over a meal! A martini for me in a swanky bar and it was time to go home. A fabulous night after a fabulous day. Thank you Kate and Philly.

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New Zealand - Day Ten

Tuesday 13th April 2010

rain 16 °C
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We all had a great nights sleep.

I went down to get the milk for the boys and out of the kitchen window was a fantastic view of the fields and mountains.

Ruth’s Dad was up as you would be being an dairy farmer.

“Boy rubbish view” or words to that effect I said.

“Are yeah suppose so, you get complacence I guess”

In the field from the kitchen window were the pregnant cows. A calf had been born the night before, fantastic.

After coffee and breakfast we went to Ruth’s house just around the corner. Designed to her own specification and gorgeous.

Time to hit the road and the long awaited drive into Welly our home all those years ago.

With a stop at Lindale on the way to have a Kapiti Ice cream and stock up on locally produced cheese. We soon emerged from the mountains to the familiar site of the natural vast harbour that is Wellington. 7 years? What 7 years.

The cool thing about Wellington is that It is a small city and the roads have not changed that much. We went straight to the accommodation no worries. It was just down the road from where we used to live, and a stones throw from all the main areas. Perfect.

We had gone for a two bed apartment so we could catch up on washing etc and to give the boys there own room for once.

Man this place was great. Good old Hotels.com another bargain find. Talk about luxury in our serviced apartment. Dishwasher, massive bath, great balcony etc etc…I think you get it.

After unpacking and getting some washing on, as we were all running out of clothes, we took a walk into town.

As we headed out we were greeted by a typical Wellington high wind and shower… I think our good weather had left us, but you never know in Wellington as we had experienced all four seasons in one day on many occasion.

The boys were tired today so we headed straight for Red Dog for gourmet pizza and an old favourite of ours. The best thing about NZ is all the restaurants cater for kids so even though the boys were a bit restless we did not feel uneasy.

After the meal it was a quick trip to the supermarket. We headed for New World which was our local supermarket when we lived here. We did a quick shop because everything was in exactly the same place as it was seven years previous and it seemed we had not been away!

Back to the apartment bath and bed for the boys, quick catch up with the blog with a glass of wine and Hazel actually got to read one of her magazines!! Nice.

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New Zealand - Day Nine

Monday 12th April 2010

sunny 23 °C
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Time to say goodbye to Rotorua. We could have stayed longer. A great place and not as stinky as we remember it.

Would you believe it the one day we have to be up and at them the boys decide to sleep in!!!!

Down to the pool for a last swim and back to the room to pack an overnight bag for our stop off at Ruth’s, (an old friend from our time here before), family farm in Otaki on the Kapiti coast.

We set off and we had arranged to meet with Erica, James and the Boys for coffee in Taupo as Erica had been undertaking a 100Km walk for charity.

Just outside Taupo is a place called Huka Falls which we called in at. Well worth a visit to experience nature at its best.

We met Erica, James and the park by the lake. The boys were really happy to see each other for one last play.

We said our goodbyes and with Zach who is 8 I think saying see you when I’m 13.…not sure if he will be backpacking Europe then, we set off for Wilson farm.

Now the drive from Taupo has some fantastic scenery but the roads are not so fast. The motorways in NZ are simply the same as country roads in the UK.

Luckily we had packed the DVD players so Fin was amused for the journey and Ollie slept as usual. Ollie is the most acclimatised to the time difference out of all of us.

With our estimated time of arrival totally blow out of the water we finally arrived at Wilson Farm 3 hours late and darkness falling.

With most of the family waiting for us including Ruth’s nephews who were eagerly awaiting to meet Fin and Ollie we made our apologies.

We were generously fed and watered and after a catch up it was time for bed.

I would like to add at this point with all the driving and the glorious weather my trucker arm is looking really tanned. In layman’s terms my right arm has caught the sun on the drivers side but the other one has not!!

Ps. Apologies to my mother-in-law, who is an English teacher, for my grammar. However after an exhausting day and half a bottle of NZ wine its hard to keep the brain working!!!!

Posted by thedeanies 17:00 Archived in New Zealand Comments (1)

New Zealand - Day Eight

Sunday 8th April 2010

sunny 22 °C
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With the Japanese Olympians departed we all had a good nights sleep however with the usual early morning rise with the boys.

Back to Fat Dogs for pancakes and French toast. We had learnt the lesson the day before and shared this between us. Still to much food!

We headed for the Skyline Gondola and luge. Confronted with a thousand and one combinations of deals…right $85.….. we got to the pay kiosk. As only kiwis do the lady sorted us out $65.Nice one never looking to rip you off.

The trip up the hillside was great with fantastic views of Rotorua. The weather was awesome as it had been throughout our trip so far. Sun and blue skies.

Fin was pretending to be in a James Bond movie and Ollie would have bungy jump out if he could. Don’t worry Grandparents we made sure the rope was long enough!!

Once to the top it was time to luge. For those who have not done or heard of this its basically a concrete road down the hill on which you sit on a tea tray with wheels with go and brake. With Fin with me and Ollie with ‘H’ we set off down the scenic route. Scenic, yeah right, I had forgotten how fast these things go.

Fin and me (more weight of course) soon caught H and Ollie up. As we pulled along side the smile on Ollie’s face was massive.

At the bottom the boys adrenalin was pumping. Back to the top was a ski lift ride back. Oh dear the Ollie. With my arm firmly around him we set off …grandparents’ don’t worry he was an angel so much I was able to take photo of H and Fin behind us.

By the time we got to the top we were all hungry we had lunch. A quick nappy change later we were back on the Mario carts as Fin liked to call them.

This time it was down the intermediate run. Sweet as.

Fin by this time was exhausted so we headed back. As we pulled out of the car park Fin was asleep so we headed for the Zorbing.

Zorbing is best described as a hamster ball for humans rolled down a steep hill. H and I had done this previously with Claire and Lee but it was good to go and see it again. Ollie thought it was brilliant…”ball ball”. Unfortunately we had forgotten our trunks and some how doing a dry zorb was not as appealing. It brought back great memories though.

We headed back to the hotel and after a quick shower we were back in Eat Streat for Italian.

With one hundred and one things to do we settled the boys down and yes you guessed it we all passed out!!! Another great day.

Posted by thedeanies 17:00 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

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