25 August, 2009

Home again

Ahh it was a lovely holiday. New Zealand is such a lovely place.

We flew into Christchurch and stayed the night. Then drove to Aoraki Mt Cook and had a night there. Explored the Sir Edmund Hillary Museum and Planetarium, after waking up to a spectacular view of the mountains (this is the view from our balcony).

The next day we drove to Queenstown and spent 5 days there. We did so many touristy things - visited a Kiwi park, went on jet boat rides, horse riding, explored an old gold mining town, took scenic helicopter flights to see glaciers (and landed on top of a mountain!), and of course, we visited the snow fields a couple of times. My knee has been playing up again so the physio recommended I skip the skiing unfortunately but it was fun playing in the snow anyway.

Plus I got to watch Chickie learn to snowboard (that's him in the picture, during his lesson). He's technically a bit young still, we were told. The instructors said kids' muscles don't really develop enough until they're at least 8 years old, but since he's tall for his age and it was fairly quiet they let him take a day long lesson. He did struggle a bit with his balance but we got some shots of him snowboarding on his own (even if it was just for a few seconds heheh). He really enjoyed it though.

After Queenstown we drove on to Dunedin. There we explored Lanarch Castle - apparently the only castle in New Zealand. It was a lovely place with amazing views over the harbour.

From Dunedin we drove back to Christchurch and spent the night and half the last day there looking around. J's mum particularly wanted to see the Cathedral there.

Last but not least was a looooong flight home again. It always seems like such a long trip when you're heading home - whether it actually is or not!! We thought it might end up much much longer when our last flight home was delayed because of the awful weather. So we sat down in the airport for a bite to eat thinking we'd be sitting about for ages but just as we finished eating the announcement came to say they'd been given permission to fly faster to make up the time. I guess it never occurred to me that there'd be speed limits for flights but I suppose there'd have to be.

In the end the landing here at home was a bit hairy. Stormy outside and a lot of turbulence. I will admit to grabbing the armrest a few times - all the while trying to look cheerful for Chickie's sake (he was looking a little nervous).

Travelling with the inlaws can be interesting. I think we get on great but there were a few things that struck me as so different to what I'm used to. One of them is that J's dad is very very organised. On occasion I found myself perplexed at the level of organisation. It made things run very smoothly but it's more regimented than I'm used to.

The other thing I found odd is that J's mum unpacked Chickie's suitcase and put all his clothes into the drawers in his room (we were staying at these apartments for 5 days or so). I probably found this odd because I've never actually done that myself - I can't think of anytime I've ever used the drawers at a holiday destination. I don't think my family's ever done that in the past either. At most I've hung up my jacket but, more often than not, I just live out of a suitcase. It made me wonder how many people do this (I'm wondering if I've been massively lazy all these years lol!) - so a question... when on holidays for more than a day or so, do you unpack your suitcase?

16 August, 2009

Greetings from New Zealand... again!

Yes, we're back in New Zealand. J and I loved it so much last year, we wanted to come back and this time bring the family. So, this year it's Chickie, J and I, as well as J's mum (M) and dad (P).

We arrived a few days ago - into Christchurch like last year. This time though, we've hired a car and we took a leisurely drive to Aoraki Mt Cook. Our hotel room there had a balcony that looked out onto the mountains and waking up to the view of the snow topped mountains, with a bit of low cloud, crowned by a sliver of a crescent moon was just awe-inspiring.

Today we drove to Queenstown. P is a keen skier so will be off to the slopes (probably Coronet Peaks) early in the morning. J wants to do a bit of skiing - and wants Chickie to give it a try (not sure when though). M isn't really into skiing and as for me... well I found out the knee problems I've been having are damage to my cartlege and my physio says I should skip the skiing for now. We're working on getting back into karate safely - hopefully to get my orange belt in September or October. I'm disappointed I won't get to ski this time, but at least my focus this year has always been more sightseeing and relaxing. I'm really hoping that this trip I'll get to see a glacier (would love to do one of the glacier landing tours too). Provided all goes well, that will be my expensive 'thing' this trip.

Unfortunately the trip has had it's downside already. Chickie has been full of beans so far and climbing on everything he's allowed. Yesterday it was a wet rock and (I think you might know where this might be heading...) he slipped. He ended up cutting his lips (top and bottom) and unbelieveably - he chipped that same damn tooth that he chipped last year.

My heart just sunk when he finally stopped crying enough to show me his mouth. A chunk missing from the bottom of his front (adult) tooth. I'm hoping like crazy that he's just lost the cap that fixed up the last mishap - but, for the life of me, I can't recall which corner of the tooth was chipped last time. If I'm honest with myself, I've got a horrible feeling that it's not the same corner. We haven't been able to check with a dentist yet at all - I'm hoping we can talk to one tomorrow. Heaven knows how much it will cost - I hope the travel insurance covers some of it.

Chickie himself seems fine though. He's not in any pain and aside from the chunk missing, the tooth looks like it always has. Amazingly he was wanting to climb stuff again today - this was quietly discouraged...