Our holiday in New Zealand has just recently come to an end. It was a wonderful five weeks of time with family and friends, great weather, good food and coffee and generally a time to relax and enjoy everything that is briallant about life.
My parents have retired to the land of the long white cloud and have an amazing small section of land outside Tauranga on the North Island. It comes complete with cows, sheep, chooks, rabbits (before an injection of lead), a dog, a massive vegetable garden plus it over looks the convergence of two rivers into a massive water fall!
We spent most of the time just hanging out a home. For one week my parents had a pre planned trip down south so we had the run of the house which also meant having to hand milk the cow twice a day which is always interesting fun.
On the odd occasion that we did venture out if was either to visit friends, go to church or head to the beach or a restaurant or coffee shop. We did one three day road trip down south to show the kids snow for the first time but I will blog about that separately.
The best part of our time in New Zealand for me was seeing a strong bond being formed between my two eldest kids and their grandparents. Due to us all being separated by the oceans you can only hope but not expect a great relationship between your own parents and your kids. With the kids being older, us staying at home more and my parents showing greater interest (due to the kids being older) this time was different. I know for a fact that my kids miss their Grandma and Grumpy (a name bestowed on himself) a lot and I suspect that they are not enjoying the empty house as much as they used to!
We were blessed with perfect weather for about 75% of the time which considering it was only Novemeber we were very lucky. 22 degrees and sunny skies = a lot of time outside. The kids loved heading out to the garden with a bucket to fill it up with strawberries although a lot of the time they came back with an empty bucket and suspicious looking bloated stomachs!
I remembered blogging about a previous trip to NZ so dug out a similar photo of Ariya and Marisah in the same strawberry patch.
Since our last trip Grumpy had picked up a go kart from somewhere so after a few modifications we were ready to hit the driveway slopes. Fun was had until Marisah didn’t break hard enough and hit the garden wall. After a few tears though she was ready to go again.
Ariya has started to learn the piano so we brought her lesson book with her so that she could practise on her Grandmas baby grand.
Jacob continued to be the happy baby that he always is and seemed to enjoy the cooler weather. He started sitting up around the time we arrived in New Zealand and seems to appreciate the time by himself without being held, well for a little while anyway!
During a few rainy days I introduced card games to the girls. It started with memory but then my Mum went and brought a pack of Uno. It was an instant hit. Sorry for the poor quality of this photo but I just love it as Jacob was proud as punch when he worked out that he could ‘play’ also!
Whenever we visit Tauranga we always make a visit at least once to McLaren Falls Park. It is just beautiful and convienently located only a few kilometres away. We always end up at this particular lake that has a small bridge with many ducks for the kids to feed.
On one of the many fine days we were lucky to have we packed a picnic lunch and went to a park on the shore line at Omokoroa Beach which is about 40 minutes drive away. After filling the bellies the kids went hunting for shells along the beach.
This is just a few snap shots of our time in New Zealand. My next entry will be about our road trip to show the kids some snow. In the mean time I will leave you with my favourite photo from our entire New Zealand collection.