On a suitably hot and sticky (read, typical) Brisbane morning, we all (just barely) boarded our flight to New Zealand. Seriously, we got there 5 minutes before the check-in counter SHOULD have closed, waited 10 minutes in the line NEXT to where we should have been, then discovered they had closed our line early! They weren't going to let us on, except that we were travelling on NZ passports. The Asian lady behind us was turned away.
Anyway, 4 hours later, we arrived into a cold South-westerly (yes, that's the COLD wind in our part of the world!), rain and 16 degrees C. Samara burst into tears as soon as we walked out of the airport! She had never been cold before LOL.
Michael's brother had arranged a van for us to hire, and met us at Christchurch airport. We headed straight for Timaru, via the Golden Arches (which is definately more expensive in NZ than Australia). Personally, I was only interested in finding a decent ice-cream shop! Australia's icecream is nowhere near as good, is more expensive, and is not as readily available, or in as many flavours!
It was really nice to see our family and friends again. But it was pretty hard to see what once was our house, levelled to the ground:( Quite a few businesses had closed down. The first time I really saw any evidence of the financial crisis. We didn't actually get out much while we were there. Samara was sick for a week of our trip, and with the cold weather, I wasn't too keen on taking her out.
The weekend after we got there, we went down to Central Otago to help our oldest daughter, Alicia, move from Omarama to Christchurch for Uni. It was nice to see her, but it wasn't for nearly long enough! I wish we had the time (well, I wish SHE had the time) to just hang out, but I guess part of growing up is getting your own life. And besides, it was the week uni started!
The second weekend we were there, we had Samara dedicated at our old church. Mum had made her one of the gorgeous gowns she is famous for. Here is a couple of pictures: OK, maybe not. I've forgotten my Photobucket login, and we don't have the same email address any more!! Um, I'll have to try later, I've been sent away in disgrace!