Just over two weeks ago now I blogged about my excitement as my family were flying to New Zealand for Christmas! On Saturday 12th December Chris and I flew up to Auckland to surprise them at the airport (something I didn’t blog about for obvious reasons).
We got there early and had to kill time in what felt like the longest 3 hours ever! We had lunch and wandered around a butterfly farm as slowly as we could taking silly pictures on the way.
As we sat in the arrivals lounge time went so slowly I was so excited to see them. After an hour and a half wait I saw a tired looking mother come through the doors followed by my dad, Josh (brother), Amy (Josh’s girlfriend), Auntie Tracy, Cousin Harry and Grandad Roy ( I have a big family). It was amazing to see them I can’t describe it in words and I was that overwhelmed I forgot to take photos! There were a few tears shed and lots of hug and after the initial emotional outbursts we went back to the hotel and had a massive catch up English style (curry and lots of booze).
On the Sunday we didn’t have to fly back to Napier until 7pm so we could spend the whole day with the fam. It started with brunch at a cafe in Auckland harbour and the biggest struggle of the holiday began – getting a table for 9! We decided to go up the Auckland Sky Tower as Chris’ mum had told us a lot of good things about it on her visit here a few months ago. It’s the tallest man made structure in the Southern Hemisphere (328m) and you can see for 80 kilometres in all directions at the top. It was really special it was a sunny clear day and you could see for miles around we had such a laugh up there jumping on glass floors and Josh had a picture with a rather creepy Father Christmas who kept following him around.
After the Sky Tower we went to see a few more bits such as the Mount Eden lookout and then we had to catch our flight. We had one last week at work before Christmas. In this time my family were travelling to us via the famous sites of NZ – Rotorua, Waitomo Caves and Taupo. It was really nice that they were going to all the places me and Chris had told them about and doing lots of the activities we did (including Blackwater Rafting – well done girls and Harry).
On Saturday the 19th December they arrived in Napier. We did so many things in the time they were here I think I might have to tell you day by day what we did so here goes;
Saturday 19th December – Chris and I were allowed a plus one to our works Christmas party so we took my mum and dad (I did try for a plus seven but they thought that was a bit much). It was great for them to meet all my work friends and put faces to names of all the people I always speak about on Skype. We had a great catch up (and drink) and I absolutely loved it!
Sunday 20th December – On this day Poppa Pete, Josh and Chris went on a farm tour which a colleague kindly arranged for them (for those of you who know Josh this was his ideal day he even offered to work for them). The rest of us went to Ocean Spa for a chill everyone was pretty tired from all the travelling so we just sat in jacuzzis overlooking the sea it was lovely!
Monday 21st December – This was the Lucy and Chris tour of Napier town, a trip to Lick This ice cream parlour and lots of souvenir shopping for Amy!
Tuesday 22nd December – This was actually one of my favourite days we went to Splash Planet in Hastings. I am usually a big chicken and really not one for water parks but it was so much fun messing about like big kids on the slides that I had a great time. My favourite moments include my dad falling off a step into the pool, Roy tackling the high speed slide and watching Chris and Harry play total wipeout!
Wednesday 23rd December – This itinerary included a trip to the aquarium, The Filter Room Cider Brewery and the Hastings Farms Market (lots of cakes, olive oils, fruits and fudge was purchased).
Thursday 24th December – Our trip to Cape Kidnappers on the tractor Gannett trip was another one of my favourite days and I think it was a successful day all round with the rest of the family too. We were piled into a tractor trailer which set of down the beach in and out of the sea bumping around over rocks it was really fun! At one point we had to get off the tractor and climb over a massive slip on the beach I think all of us nearly had a serious injury at somepoint climbing over there but it was a laugh. We met out other tractor at the end of the slip and set off to see the Gannets at Cape Kidnappers. As we got to the main area there were a few birds around and an amazing view, to see the main Gannet colony we had to climb to the top of a massive hill in the burning heat. It was well worth it as we got to the top it looked like something out of a David Attenborough documentary there were hundreds of Gannets all on nests with their chicks it was pretty special (even better to have all the family with us too). On the way back Josh rode up front with the driver in true Josh style (I think this was his favourite bit). It was an unusual but refreshing Christmas Eve.
Friday 25th December – So for Christmas Day I had booked us in for a five course meal at the County Hotel! It was 23 degrees outside and clear blue sky such an unreal feeling on Christmas. We had such a great meal (Carrot and Pumpkin soup, prawn salad, turkey dinner, cheesecake and coffee – oh and I forgot the 2 bottles of wine me and Chris shared). We wanted to do something different after this that we wouldn’t do at home so we all went for a swim in the sea, followed by a more traditional cheese, biscuits and drinks back at ours, a very Merry Christmas I would say.
Saturday 26th December -Boxing Day involved a trip up Te Mata peak a big peak that looks out over Napier and Hastings, Waimarama Beach for a chill and I will skip to the good bit which was the wine tasting! We went to Craggy Range winery for a tour and tasting, we had a tour around the cellar and then to taste nine different wines. We got a little tipsy especially me, Poppa Pete and Chris who kept finishing all the ones no one else wanted (really classy).
Sunday 27th December (Today)- Today my family left Napier to carry on their adventure back up to Auckland and then fly home. I don’t want to go into the sad goodbyes too much and put a downer on the amazing time we had in Napier.
I just want to say thank you so much for coming guys and I love and miss you loads! Our Christmas would have been rubbish without you and I hope you have enjoyed New Zealand as much as we have loved having you here.
As we speak Chris and I are in hotel in Wellington as we set off on our three week adventure to the South Island tomorrow- I will keep you posted.
Thank you for reading my emotional and very long blog post.