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August 23rd 2010
Published: August 24th 2010
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I am getting slower and slower with my blogging I know - BUT I don't want to give up completely so what follows is a (believe it or not) condensed version of the fantastic time I had with my lovely parents in the long ago.......


In my whole time working at Hawkins Construction not once have I travelled further than Wellington on business BUT as luck would have it (and I still cant quite believe the perfect timing) I had to travel to Sydney for bank presentations and they just happened to be scheduled for the exact time my M&D flew in from the Norther hemisphere!!!

This was the 2nd time we'd all been in Sydney together but it didnt stop the usual rush to the Opera House for photos (not before an emotional mother-daughter hotel lobby reunion and subsequent glass of wine to steady the nerves). We managed to fit in dinner 2 nights in the Rocks and Darling Harbour - weather perfect- meetings not too bad (helped along by the best darn views I ever had at a bank meeting!) and much chatter about how weird it was having Christmas in the summer!!

All in all we had a nice wee (FREE) holiday for me with the folks.


(Friday 11th December)

Not long after we said our goodbyes in Sydney I welcomed M&D to Aoteoroa - land of the long white cloud.

We had a nice wee kiwi supper in my Mission bay pad with New Zealand's finest Cheese, wine and chocolate 😊

We spent the next week locally (I unfortunately had to work) - we bought a Christmas tree, put on some carols, drank lots of wine and endeavoured to get as festive as you can when its hot and sunny and all you can think of is going to the beach!!

We had lots of great meals out in Mission Bay, M&D fell in love with Waiheke Island (& got a bit tiddly at the vineyards). They amused themselves buzzing about on buses & ferries, getting familiar with Auckland and its Huaraki Gulf Islands and we got drunk and full on the balcony more than once or twice!! 😊



Mum's birthday treat from me was a trip up to Northland's Bay of Islands to stay in Bach (Kiwi holiday home) near the lovely little town of Russell.

The drive up was beautiful- usual nice green scenery with beaches most the way. We stopped in Whangarei for brunch and made it to our bach on time to take a trip to look around the town then to catch an amazing sunset form one of the 2 balconies (!) over a barbie.

The next day we went out on a tall sailing ship - The Thomson Tucker. I climbed the rigging, mum steered the boat, we had a wee swim, saw a great big dolphin and agreed - the Bay of Islands is a very nice place indeed.

Other highlights included a trip to waitangi where the (controversial) treaty was signed between the Brits & Maori's and New Zealand was born, a trip to the very north of NZ to Cape Reinga, where the Maori spirits leave to go to Haiwaiki when they die - and where you can see the Tasman Sea and the Pacific collide and drove along 90 mile beach (officially one of NZ's Highways) and enjoyed a trip to KeriKeri and to see NZ's biggest (HUUUGE) Kauri tree.

We were all sorry to have to leave Northland and head back down to auckland so M&D could head off in their jet setting style to Christchurch in the South Island.

TUESDAY 22ND DECEMBER 2009 - The folks enjoyed a day trip to Christchurch - NZ's 'garden City' while I got a few Christmas drinks in with friends. They seemed to enjoy the place - cathedral square and the avon river running through the gardens. They failed, however, to find the Macs Brewery bar - and in my mind missed the highlight of the city 😊


I finished up work for the Summer hols at lunchtime after the obligatory secret santa and consuming more chocolate than is to be recommended during the bikini season and met mum & dad for Moules et frites et mucho vinos at De Fontaine - the Belgian Beer cafe down the road from my pad in mission bay.

Enjoyed sitting in the sun and taking in the views out across the Huaraki Gulf to Rangitoto - and I am not too sure we stopped drinking and eating for more than 2 hour periods until I waved them off home in early January!!! 😊


Spent a lovely Christmas Eve on the beach on Waiheke Island - super sunny and surreal!! Visited Cable Bay and Mudbrick Vineyards (the best of the crop on the island) and got stocked up on some fine wines to have with our Christmas meal the next day. We were all very excited!!!!


What a fantastic out of this world Christmas day we had!!!!

The sun came out in full force- hottest Christmas day in decades!!!

The day started with bubbles on the balcony after some present opening and skyping missed ones at home.

My friend Lisa popped round for mince pies (which cooked themselves in the sun) and then off to the beach we went!!!I can't tell you how excited I was to be going to the beach on Christmas day!!!!

My god it was BUSY!!!! And lots of fun!

Christmas dinner was outstanding (if we do say so ourselves)- tasty NZ lamb cooked to perfection with mint sauce and the usual crackers with bad jokes and hats (there's no getting away from it) and party poppers being aimed into next door's garden! It was very novel to be outside in the heat well into the night knowing our nearest and dearest were at home in Scotland just wakening up and most probably freezing their asses off tee hee (much smugness 😊 xxx


Off to the airport, Queenstown bound - a bit different from the usual PJs & terrys chocolate orange day I usually have planned!!!

We stayed that night in Te Anau which was on the way on the drive to Milford Sound, Fiordland. We went for a walk around the lake in the rain and then a chinese and wished we hadnt perhaps left sunny auckland behind for rainy Fiordland!!!


Up early for breathtaking drive to Milford Sound. Little windy mountain roads opening up to snow capped mountain peaks - a little unexpected in the middle of summer!!!

Thoroughly enjoyed cruising milford sound - really one of the world's mowt beautiful places!!! Wanted to see dolphins but was dissapointed on that count - not on any other!!

Drove all the way back to Queenstown that night and fell in love with there too - beautiful setting on Lake Tekapo and had a buzz about it!!

Went up in Gondola for great views of the lake & to race mum down the luge 😊 Couldn't quite convince her to bungy though............


Next day I flew back to Auckland for more festive fun with friends and M&D drove to Mount Cook (Aoraki) and told me the Mount was stunning and they saw the Tasman Glacier. It sounded like the trip was one of their favourites- some great photos and they convinced me that it should be not just added to my list of things to see but put up at the top!!!


Picked them up on Hogmanay with nat and Lindsay's dog Lochy who I was babysitting and went to sit in the sun in the Macs Bar in Kingsland for lunch and a drink. I think it might actully have been Lochy's first visit to the pub - sorry Nathalie!!!!

At night we had a great New Year celebration down in Santa Lucia in Mission Bay - lots of booze and dancing and we were dead chuffed (and a little drunkenly emotional) when the band started up Auld Lang Syne. The night ended with a walk/ dance/ prance along the beach - WELCOME 2010!!!!!!!


May all New Years start as good as this one did......

Took a wee walk over on the North Shore, had a coffee in Devonport and Climbed up North head for some city and sea views.

Then went to waterfront Bar in the viaduct to fill up and absorb some of last night's alcohol. (Am I painting a bad picture of my family here....?)

Spent the night watching Billy Connolly's World Tour of New Zealand shouting...."been there!!" "been there!!!".

SAT 2ND JAnuary 2010

Last wee quick trip down to Rotorua and Lake Taupo today to see some smelly bubbly stuff and a big big lake. Again, mum couldnt be drawn to Zorb or bungy but we did have a nice day nonetheless. (And despite it being my 3rd trip here this year!!!)


Oh my god where did the days go!!!!!

Last day - we went up the sky tower and I wanted to jump of it bungy style but dad begged me not to......his nerves couldnt stand it apparently - some time I will and I'll send him the DVD!!! 😊

Nice lunch in sun down viaduct again and our last supper was Feesh and Cheeps from Mission Bay onthe balcony and lots of wine of course to distract ourselves from the imminent farewell.

then before we knew it - it was bags ready, taxi here, tears and hugs, ackward moments for the poor taxi driver who wondered what the heck was going on then it was Cheerio and Haere Mai!!!!!!!

It really was a fantastic time and I feel so lucky to have shared such good times and been able to show New Zealand to my Mum & Dad!!!!



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