On February 4th we got on an airplane to Auckland New Zealand. We arrived on the 6th! So right there we lost a day? I guess we got the day back when we came home.
This was our first trip back to New Zealand since we moved to California and got married back in 2011. This was also the first time we ever took both children on a long international trip, and this was the first time they got to meet their uncle Adam and see New Zealand.
Before we left I had this vision of what the trip would be like and how I would feel going back and I was reminded once again that I should never do that. What we envision and our expectations normally never match up with reality. I thought we would be spending all our days at the beach swimming in the warm water, getting tan, and relaxing as well as sightseeing and visiting with family and friends. We were only there for two weeks and we had a one year old and a four year old with us, so you can imagine that is not how the trip went. To do everything I had in my mind would take about 3 to 6 months, not two weeks.
It is summer in NZ, but that means there can be lots of warm tropical weather and there was! It rained most of the days we were there. Almost everyone I talked to said this exact statement “we have had the best dry warm sunny summer till right before you got here” ha ha. I actually didn’t mind the rain because living in southern CA it never rains and we still did what I thought was most important and that was visiting with family and friends and having a few action-packed days that were sprinkled between days where we relaxed with family.
After living in NZ for 3 straight years I felt like it was my home until we moved and made CA our home. So I thought when going back that I would arrive and feel like I was home again or at least very familiar, but it was the opposite. I think Grant and I have been away long enough that we both felt like we were on vacation in a different country, not our home country. So much has changed since being away and I don’t think either one of us thought that we would feel that way. Of course, by the end of the trip, everything felt much more familiar again, but definitely when we arrived back to California we both felt like we were home from a vacation. That can only mean one thing and that is, we need to go more often!
At the Airport!
Ready for take off
Out our bedroom window.
The backyard in a sunny moment
Looking for surf
At the park with Grandad
Visiting with Nana
Hanging out with Sybilla and the Family
Meeting Nana Jo and Col for Coffee
Grant and his best friends!
Meeting friends for coffee (thank goodness there was a kid area)
Out to lunch with all the family
My friend Alina and her little girl Sasha
Second Half of NZ Trip
Half way through our trip we decided to go to Rotorua for one night. I was really surprised at how much there is to see and do there. We only had 2 days so we packed a lot of action into each day. When we arrived we checked into our hotel and headed straight for the Redwoods Tree walk. All the grandparents were in one car and us “kids” were in the other car. The grandparents hauled out of there and left us driving in circles not knowing where we were even meant to go. It turned out to be a communication break down, but once that was sorted out we walked in the redwoods.
This tree walk is really worth doing! There were bridges attached to all the trees and we were able to walk from tree to tree! It would have been cool to just sit up there and hang out for a while, maybe have a picnic? (but with kids this was not an option lol). Also they have a night walk where all the bridges are lit up, we debated going back for the night walk, but decided to have a picnic dinner at a park. At this free park there are natural hot springs that you can play and swim in.
On our way to Rotorua we stopped in Hobbit Town. We did not do the tour, but I heard it is really awesome if you are into the movies.
The funny story about this night was when I was trying to get ready! It was 100% humidity (and I am not joking) and I took a hot shower! Why did I do this? I got out of the shower and I could not stop sweating. It took me forever to get ready because its impossible to put makeup on when your face is wet with sweat. This actually made us late to the party we were going to.
We had the best time out!