Published: April 14th 2012April 8th 2012
Not the greatest idea to get the tube to Heathrow on a Friday night at 5pm, pretty much standing the entire way there. However our fortunes changed when our upgrade to Hong Kong came through, sweeeeet! The flight was rather painless, well apart from the shock of moving back into economy from Hong Kong to Auckland. On arrival we went straight to Nic & Quentin’s new place in Onehanga to meet our new niece Tui and catch-up with Hugo – whom we had not seen since he was around Tui’s age. It was great to hang with the whole Reade clan. While in Auckland we had a lot of park, cafe and zoo time with the kids and Nic which was excellent fun. The trip back to NZ really was focused on catching up with family and friends. With Mum & Dad we visited the new Wynyard Wharf and Britomart areas in the city, and also visited some of the vineyards in and around Kumeu. I had a wonderful time meeting and catching up with heaps of new baby boys; Josh, Jack, Zach, Austin & Beau, plus some new born girls; Miriam and Sophie. We were lucky enough to enjoy one of the best weather weeks in Auckland, so it was fantastic catching up with all the girls and enjoying some park, BBQ, vino and cafe time. Especially Little on Fridays, this became my firm favourite in the short time back home. We also managed a few evenings out and hit the CBD! Scott and I stayed at the Sky City Grand, and set-out visiting the newly re-opened Auckland Art Gallery, popping up the sky tower and walking past some of the old haunts from university days (Papa-Jacks, etc). We went down to the Fort Lane area and Everybody’s for a great New Zealand meal. I do love the food in NZ, highlights being all the cheese, dips, fresh seafood and savoury muffins – yum-bo! The one weekend we were back we had a few drinks (bubbles) with friends to celebrate our recent marriage, loads of fun down at Racket in Britomart. The central Auckland restaurants and bars have improved dramatically since we were last back, suppose you have to thank the Rugby World Cup for that. Next stop ... Fiji.
Alison had decided to take the family on holiday after her mother (Margie) past away last year, which was a wonderful idea. However, there was quiet the decision leading up to departing for Fiji. Terrible weather hit the Pacific causing the worst flooding in some time in the Nadi area, plus a cyclone was bearing down on Fiji. Lucky for Fiji and us, the cyclone past by so after much deliberation we decided to head over as the area we were staying, Denarau, was not affected. But then there was another near disaster. Nic and Quentin had a flat on the way to the airport. Although tense they made it with about 15mins to spare. The entire 3 days there was superb. The sun was out, bright blue skies and a beautiful pool to lie around – lovely! We enjoyed hanging with the kids, cocktails, massages and lots of laughter over delicious pacific inspired meals each evening under the stars seaside. It was a long road home to the UK via LA after such a wonderful two weeks in NZ & Fiji with family and friends.