May 2014 – Visit to New Zealand

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
IMG_1105
Adorable jumper

IMG_1104

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.

IMG_1116

Yawny Teddy
Yawny Teddy
Nic and Azalea
Nic and Azalea
Ari
Ari

 

Ari, Myself, Nicky, Azalea
Ari, Myself, Nicky, Azalea

IMG_1124 IMG_1128 IMG_1130 IMG_1131 P1250031 IMG_1132 IMG_1138 IMG_1139 IMG_1148

 

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

IMG_1188

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

P1250212

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

P1250222 P1250223

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.

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