Published: December 29th 2008December 29th 2008
As much as I was dreading Christmas as I thought id be in the way a bit at Esthers family and thought id be homesick, it was actually really nice and we had a really good time together! Esthers dad picked Steve, Esther, Esthers sister Ria and me up on the morning of the 23rd - the drive took about 4 hours and was really lovely as the scenery was really pretty but unfortunately it started pouring after an hour or so and we couldn’t see anything anymore! Esthers parents live up north in Mangonui, near Doubtless bay and the Bay of Islands!
The first day there was a bit weird as I didn’t really know anyone but by the next day I felt at home! Esthers cousin was there with her husband and their 3 children, Esthers dads older sister was also there and on the 24th Esthers cousin (who is 22 and pregnant with twins!!) and her boyfriend arrived and on the 26th Esthers cousin and daughter arrived so we were quite a big group! Esther, Steve, Ria, Tinui (Esthers brother) and I slept on huge blowup mattresses in their new massive garage which was really
cool and very comfy! :o)
It rained most of the day on the 24th so we didn’t really do much apart from go to the famous local fish and chip shop for lunch, read and watch films! That evening we played the most hilarious card game, called Werewolves, that I have ever played which Ria had brought back from Taiwan (shes a teacher there!) and had a few drinks!
On Christmas day the kids woke us up at about 6:30am as they were too excited to wait (I remember those days hehe!), we opened presents - I got chocolates and a really lovely traditional NZ necklace from Esther and her family and then had a big brunch! That morning we just lazed around and then went to the beach in the afternoon when the weather cleared up! That evening we had a big roast and ate on the terrace outside, watched a film and then went to bed!
Boxing day was lots of fun….Esthers cousin has a big boat and wakeboards, waterskis and a big biscuit (a big ring thing you sit in!) so we did 2 runs (because there were so many of us!) to a
little bay they found the day before! We spent the day on the beach, having a picnic, sunbathing, reading and wakeboarding! I actually spent most of my time on the boat because I was really excited about trying wakeboarding for the first time! It was amaaaaazing!! I loved it! Phil (the cousin) was a really good teacher and i managed to get up on my first attempt and by my third attempt I could stay up for ages and was doing turns as well, think I may have even done a little jump (think it was accidental though hehe!)! But I quickly had to stop because my arms and hands were killing me and I physically couldn’t hold on any longer! Esther and I then went “biscuiting” with the girls (who are 9 and 7 and so lovely!) which was really fun although it was quite embarrassing as we were like 2 beached whales, could barely drag ourselves on to the biscuit because our arms hurt so much and we kept falling off whenever we went round fast corners! We then had lunch on the beach and then I stupidly went wakeboarding again in the afternoon which was again really
fun but ive subsequently barely been able to move my arms or legs since (3 days!!)! But id definitely do it again! :o)
On the 27th Esther, her pregnant cousin Sam, her boyfriend Shane and I drove to 90mile beach in the north (which is actually 90km long!) is a continuous stretch of beach, lined with sand dunes and goes all the way to the tip of the north island - although the last part is a river (which you have to drive up which is really fun!) and a road! Maori consider Cape Reinga (the tip of the north island) the jumping-off point for souls as they depart on their way to their spiritual homeland! At the Cape Reinga lighthouse you really do have the feeling that you are standing at the end of the world! This is where the waters of the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean meet, breaking together in waves up to 10m high in stormy weather.
Yesterday I got a lift back to Auckland with Shane and Sam and tomorrow I am off on my Stray bus tour tomorrow and am really looking forward to it, especially to leaving Auckland as ive
been here way to long! I really hope the people on my tour are nice… im sure they will be! :o)
Hope you are all good and had a lovely Christmas!! And as I probably wont be able to write beforehand… Happy New Year, hope you get everything you wish for in 2009!! :o) Cant wait to see you all in the Summer! :o)
Lots and lots of love and hugs, lisa xxxxxxxx
There are more photos below