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All posts for the month May, 2014

We had barely been in the UK a month, and I planned to head back to NZ for a few weeks, to attend my brother Tommy’s wedding.   I was going home for a few weeks, to make it worth the trip.

 

Wed 23rd April, 2014

Packed my bag, seems to be half full of clothes and running gear, and half full of presents, and maple syrup.  Delishuz.   A little nervous.  It was looking like around 40 hours of transit time.  I had to catch a bus from Brighton, up to Heathrow, then fly to Auckland, via Dubai, then Melbourne, then would get picked up by family in Auckland, and a 3+ hour drive back to Rotorua.  Eeek!   I had what supplies I thought I would need:  trusty travel pillow, eye mask, noise cancelling headphones, face wipes, moisturiser,  snacks… I planned to get a little toothpaste travel pack from the airplane, as apparently they give them out.

It was the biggest plane I had ever been on, it had 2 floors, a double decker plane!  There was a staircase at the back, to go between floors, though it had a gate at the top, so you couldn’t actually roam around each floor.  I could walk up and down the stairs though, which was good exercise.

Huge!

Huge!

The leg to Dubai I had three seats to myself, so I got to lie down and sleep.  Fantastic.

Amazing views over some of the desert countries while flying, sun just starting to peek over the horizon, the edge of the sky a soft blue and the lights in clusters below, of cities in the desert.  Once the sun was up, there were views out over the cities, but instead of green, the buildings were surrounded by sand.  Sand everywhere.  Dubai airport was sticky and hot.

Flying over desert

Flying over desert

Dubai dates

Dubai dates

Dubai

Dubai

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Walkway tunnel to the lower and upper floors of the plane

Decent tail wind heading to Melbourne, so we will probably arrive a bit early.  Not really relevant for me, just means more sitting around.  I am sitting next to a lady who is also travelling to Auckland, and we have a spare seat so we get to share that for our feet.  Much better than sitting upright.

Quantas has been pretty good to fly with, chairs are relatively comfy, decent food, and tons of snacks over the course of the flight.  I would walk to the end of the plane, and, along with some of the other passengers, do squats, jump on the spot, and walk up and down the stairs, then get a snack and go back to my seat

I had a couple of hours at Auckland airport before my ride arrived, but I was greeted by Craig (Dale’s brother), who, very kindly, bought me Tim Tams, which I happily got into.

 

Rotorua

The week before the wedding was good, went bike riding with dad, ate lots of delishuz NZ only food with Nicky, hung out with Trish, Tommy, Kathi, and Baby Theo, Kathi’s mum Barbara.  Also there was Trish’s family, Jasmine and Ari and new addition Azalea.

Dinners were fun, if very crowded, and quite a mission to prepare for the hordes of people there every night.  Dad and Trish didn’t seem to mind having their house full of people, even though they were just coming and going with work n stuff.

Theodore is a few months old, and he is adorable.  He seems to have a very serious expression most of the time, and will stare at you a lot.

Sorry to those who aren’t immediate family, but most of the pictures I took on the trip were of family people, mostly the young ones :)   Cue hundreds of baby photos.

 

Sleepie Teddy

Sleepie Teddy

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Adorable jumper

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Such serious face

Such serious face

Shanti, asleep on my clothes as soon as I put them out.

Shanti, asleep on my clothes as soon as I put them out.

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Yawny Teddy

Yawny Teddy

Nic and Azalea

Nic and Azalea

Ari

Ari

 

Ari, Myself, Nicky, Azalea

Ari, Myself, Nicky, Azalea

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The wedding went very well, and was a lovely day!  I have made a separate post for the pics of the wedding.

The next week was spent relaxing, eating, spending time with family, and doing the usual Rotorua things.

Nicky and Azalea

Nicky and Azalea

Nicky and Azalea

Nicky and Azalea

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Climbing wall

Climbing wall

Climbing wall

Climbing wall

Climbing wall

Climbing wall

Had to make my way through all the yummy kiwi food

Had to make my way through all the yummy kiwi food

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Tommy, Teddy, Nicky, Me

Tommy, Teddy, Nicky, Me

Mini Golf, serious business

Mini Golf, serious business

Check on Teddy, who would rather sleep than golf.

Check on Teddy, who would rather sleep than golf.

Sleeping soundly

Sleeping soundly

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Some of us like the added challenge of getting our ball out of bushes

Some of us like the added challenge of getting our ball out of bushes

Awake!

Awake!

There seems to be something on the green!

There seems to be something on the green!

Is this one a boy?

Is this one a boy?

Bunnies are distracting

Bunnies are distracting

We went climbing at The Wall, in centre city Rotorua.  Good fun, and I climbed a scary chimney.  Also went mini golfing, near Skyline Skyrides which was cute: they had bunnies and birds all just hanging out on the course – Nicky had to move some bunnies so he could play.

Parent saw me off on the bus on Friday morning, 9th May.   A wee bit sad.  Have enjoyed the time with all the family, and not sure when it will happen again.  Headed off for the weekend in Wellington.

Wellington was pretty fun.  Ate most meals out, including all the favs:  Drexels (twice),  Chow, multiple coffee shops, bubble tea, and amazing corn meal porridge at Ti Kouka, with my lovely Helen.  Bought a few essentials that I only know where to get in NZ, and went for a perfect trail run up the hill to the wind turbine in Brooklyn.

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Lovely Wellington

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Wellington

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Trail run

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Wellington

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Wind turbine

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Wellington

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Wellington

Joshie Bear was a wonderful host, with a spare room, and he drove me around on his Doris.  I felt cool, being driven around on a motorbike.  I appreciated that we didn’t crash.

Was fantastic to see all my friends there, I miss them all!   I also visited work, great to see them, and the progress on the new clinic: there are walls and a roof, and the framework inside.  It is going to be very exciting.  I guess I’m more excited than some, as I don’t have to help move in!

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Drexel buddies!

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Drexel waffles, complete with butter, syrup, and apple compote

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Ah, feijoas yum.

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Plane, ready to leave Auckland

I remember the first time I went to Wellington to visit friends – it seemed like such a big city, bright lights, tall buildings, tons of people…noisy, busy and confusing.
After visiting both New York and London within the last month, Wellington seemed small, and kind of quiet.  Shopping on a Saturday, there were no people, no lines for the changing rooms, no lines for the till.  Plenty of room on the sidewalk…  It was weird.

How your view of things changes!    I realised I missed Wellington a little, but more so I missed hanging out with the people, and I am happy to be travelling, and seeing the world.   I can’t imagine not wanting to travel…there is so much more of the world out there, and so many different views.  New Zealand is wonderful, but so small, so few people.  Everything is spread out, and green and bushy.

I am (hopefully) over halfway through my trip back home to Brighton, stopover in Dubai, transit time 28 hours and counting (I think about 40 total, by the time I get back to the UK).

All the travel has been challenging, but I wouldn’t change it.

The point of going home in May 2014 was for Tommy (my brother) and his then fiancee, Katharina’s wedding. Lots of prep leading up to it, cake baking, cake icing, decoration making.  Mostly, it was fun hanging out with all the family, and getting to know little Theodore (aka Teddy), their 2 month old baby, and also Kathi’s mum, Barbara.

The wedding went very well, the only sad part was the fact that the Rotorua marathon was on the same day, and the reception was held at the Arts Centre, which was actually on the running route.  So traffic was a bit of pain.  As in millions of traffic!

The ceremony started late, as it took between half an hour to an hour to get to the ceremony site – a trip that is usually only about 15 minutes.  But the weather was lovely (didn’t rain!), the food was great, the company was great, and Theo didn’t barf on any dresses.   He was super cute, he wore a tiny suit with tails (that Trish made!).  The bridal pair looked amazing, and the reception tables were incredibly pretty.  Her dress was ivory, and her bouquet made of dark red roses, baby’s breath, and green ferns.

Such a lovely place for the ceremony, it was held in the amazing garden of a friend of the family, near the redwoods.  The garden is full of trees, bushes and flowers, and is just a wonderland of secret passageways, hidden seats, and lovely foliage.

The rest of the evening was very lovely, everyone had a wonderful pot luck dinner, and talked and shared and just generally enjoyed themselves.

Nicky piped Barbara and Kathi in

Nicky piped Barbara and Kathi in

A bit nervous..?

A bit nervous..?

Nicky doing a reading

Nicky doing a reading

Reading!

Reading

Dad got to look after Teddy, who was very obliging, and slept quietly throughout the ceremony

Dad got to look after Teddy, who was very obliging, and slept quietly throughout the ceremony

Rings and vows

Rings and vows

Rings and vows

Rings and vows

Signing

Signing

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Father handing over grandon

Father handing over grandson

 

Teddy is awake!

Teddy is awake!

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Siblings

Siblings

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Barbara and Katharina

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Lovely decorations on the tables, each table had pictures from Tommy and Kathi's adventures

Lovely decorations on the tables, each table had pictures from Tommy and Kathi’s adventures

Table decorations

Table decorations

The cake

The cake

Beautiful Bouquet

Beautiful Bouquet

Treats

Treats

Somebody did this to me on my wedding night, so thought I'd return the favour. Nothing like having to strip the bed, and remove rice!

Somebody did this to me on my wedding night, so thought I’d return the favour. Nothing like having to strip the bed, and remove rice!

We did make the bed pretty

We did make the bed pretty