Last day of our school holidays...I had to go to the office though and nearly fainted at the piles of work sitting on my desk - it didn't look like that when last I was there early January! Nick was out at the church office and the boys were happy to be at home with granny and grandpa (actually granny and grandpa were also happy to be at 'home' - after the last two weeks of country-trotting). We all met up at home for lunch, and then when Nick went back to work the rest of us went grocery shopping - the cupboards were looking decidedly bare (tomato sauce was on the list). We found an array of interesting veggies - cauliflowers in shades of bright purple and orange, as well as yams, kumaras, courgettes and mini sweet capsicums. What a spread for roasting!!
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Very much a day of sleeping in, going to church, meeting new friends, catching up on washing and unpacking and chilling. It was great that Nick wasn't preaching today so could also rest after the hours and hours of driving. We had a speaker from the Gideons' International Society who shared a very encouraging and challenging message from and about the bible - very interesting indeed to hear about the origins of the society who now go about distributing bibles in hotels, motels, hospitals and schools et al. Grant was our preacher in the evening and again, an encouraging word from the Word about our citizenship in heaven. After church and much chatting, we had the Phillipses around for a long-overdue catch-up after their holiday in SA. Fabulous to laugh together over hot chips and peanut sauce, mango sauce, plum sauce and BBQ sauce (only the tomato was missing), cake, and Trevor Noah.
Saturday, January 28, 2012
'Twas the the earliest start of the whole week this morning with a great enthusiasm on the folks' part to be out of the tree house. There was a vintage book shop just around the corner which Nick wanted to see; although the sign outside said 'open', we had to wait a few minutes for the owner to get out of bed and get dressed. Vintage books seem to be very expensive.
Friday, January 27, 2012
Packed up and on the road again just after 9 am, travel coffees safely stashed. Made a quick stop at a souvenir shop in Te Anau for postcards.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
All up early today, by holiday standards - before 7 am! Breakfast eaten, lunches made, nearly all hats found and insect repellent packed, and on the road at 8.40 for Milford Sound - acclaimed as NZ's most famous tourist attraction. Once on our way we realized that it was going to take more time than we thought for travelling so we couldn't stop for pictures on the way, which turned out to be a huge loss as it started raining mid-morning and continued all day, in all parts of our travels. Anyways, arrived at Milford Sound with just enough time to walk the 10 minutes to the huge terminal servicing several water and air cruise companies and their vessels - quite a bustle and the distinct feeling of being a minority European in a sea of Asian faces. Got the parents and boys safely aboard the boat for their cruise which they thoroughly enjoyed - the rain makes the waterfalls all the more grand and they were under cover. Nick and I wandered around the head of Milford until rain and cold forced us back to the car (we're not the hard core-photographers we'd like to think we are) - we played Angry Birds, ate lunch and had coffee in the car until it was time to return to the terminal to retrieve the happy travellers. The rain was terribly disappointing for photos but the scenery between the sounds and Homer Tunnel (which has an interesting history - five men with picks and wheelbarrows started excavations during the Depression) was just incredible. Stopped at Mirror Lake on the way back but only Nick and Dad went to see - nothing but wetness being reflected there today. It continued raining all the way home and for the rest if the day at Te Anau, and turned cold enough that Nick lit a fire.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Packed and out of house by 9.30 am; drove 100m to an historic Chinese Settlement where information boards tell the sad story of early settlers prospecting for gold - apparently they were hard working and kept to themselves but swelling numbers brought resentment from NZ Europeans; a formal apology was issued by NZ government in 2002 for the discrimination and poor treatment of these Chinese men!