Weather foggy. Left 9.30, through to Turangi for lunch. Stopped on the Desert Road for snow, not a lot, and a bit slushy, but enough for the kids to have a little snowfight. Onto Bulls, which by the way has NO shops. Jon stopped to visit a client, and the kids and I went to McD's to pass time
Wellington right on 5 o'clock traffic, which wouldn't have been to bad, except we weren't clear on directions to our hotel, coming straight off the motorway and pretty much into the driveway, only thing was we were in the wrong lane, and ended up getting a scenic tour around Wellington. The weather was terrible, the wind, and the rain. Our hotel room was huge, very nice, 15th floor. We had dinner in the hotel restaurant, quite nice, although not a lot of selection, but as to be expected, very expensive.
McDonalds for breakfast, and onto Te Papa.
We got a $10 pass to get us on the buses all day, which we really got our money worth. We went to Te Papa, which was great. There was lots to do and see, although the kids did get bored after a while. I could have spent a lot longer, looking at some of the exhibits about travellers coming over to NZ, was very interesting. Lunch at Te Papa.
After battling the rain, we found the movie theatre, saw Cars. Coming out of the theatre, we were wondering what we were going to have for dinner when we came across a eatery,called .... Hogs Breath. What a great place, they catered for the kids, pens and colouring pictures, kids menus, great service and food, the atmosphere was similar to HardRock Cafe. We went back to our room and got jackets and braved the wind and the rain to go up the cable car. The view was great, but being dark there was not much else to see or do.
By the time we got organised and got going it was mid morning. Jon had to see a client, unfortunately there had been a slip, and we were held up traffic. We finally called into a shop I had been wanting to go to, and then it was time to check in for the ferry. The weather for the ferry ride was not the best, we couldn't see anything going out, and it got quite choppy. Things were going OK, until Braden was sick, and then we all went and found a piece of floor and had a sleep. Dinner at Subway.
Our motel in Picton was not the flashest, but we actually got 2 units, which was they way things were arranged to give us the extra bedroom. It was an early night for the adults, sleep having been a bit scarce lately.
The dilemma this morning was which way to Nelson, either the shorter way, less used, or longer. We chose the shorter way, but very quickly regretted it, when we realised it was also the windy way. Both boys were sick, but once we hit the straight road they were better, and it was not long till we got to Nelson. A quick look around the shops, we were actually hoping to find a sled or taboggan, but couldn't find anything. While Jon went to visit a client I took the boys to the pools, one with a wave pool, which they enjoyed, burned off some energy from having sitting in the car all day.
We've went for a nosey around the Warehouse, got some thermals for the boys in anticipation of cold weather down further. Pizza Hutt for dinner, and then back to our motel unit for dessert and a DVD.
We woke to an absolutely beautiful day in Nelson, and got away a bit later than hoped, but the nice weather was a welcome change. We stoppedat what is supposedly the longest swingbridge, but those from Waikato would contest that Arapuni is longer, not sure there. Jon went for a walk, the rest watched from the end. We stopped there for some lunch, buns and ham, and left over pizza. Not long after that the weather turned sour, surprise surprise,and hung around for a while. We finally got to Punakaiki, and headed off for the 10 minute walk, before, guess what, rain. We managed to make it aroundand back to the truck to dry off.
We are now in Greymouth, wet and windy, which is supposedly the first wet weather they have had for a while, typical.
After the weather cleared a little we headed out of Greymouth, and to Shantytown. We must have spent nearly 3 hours there, including gold panning.
We left Shantytown, and headed over to Christchurch through the Arthurs Pass. At first we were quite
disappointed as we had hoped for more snow, but once we got further along we found lots of snow near the road, and got the boogie board out and had a play.
We are now in Christchurch, Jon knows his way a bit around, so hopefully we should be right.
This morning we woke, and had breakfast at McD's, and then headed out to Orana Park
It was really neat in it was very natural, was great to see the animals really being able to get around. The cheetahs were neat, reacting to the kids at the fence line, but the highlight would have to have been feeding the giraffes. We were able to get right up to their heads, and feed them, pat them, and lots of opportunities for photos. The weather was very chilly so we headed to the shops, Jon finally bought some
clothes he has been after all week.
Right, we are finally starting to know our way around the place. Today we took the kids to Miniputt, not sure who had the most fun. Caddyshack is the most amazing place you have seen, just like a mini village, all the parts of a town, church, ferry, Sky tower, river, circus.
not terribly fast, but was happy to cling to the wall and try. Cameron wasn't so keen, but gave it a good go, which surprised me, I thought he would have given up a bit quicker.
OK, nothing much to report here, official work days for Jon, so my friend and I took the kids out to one of the malls. No money spent, apart from lunch and a haircut for Junior, but amazingly, I did meet up with another Matamata girl, I mean, come on, go all the way down there to meet a local. Actually she is at Uni, so is technically a southlander.
Evening saw us attend official business dinner. Nothing exciting. After a spot of the casino, again, nothing exciting.
Every year the association puts on a partners day out, great fun. Jons sister looked after the kids, and while Jon did the business thing I went and played on the army tanks. We got to ride in a couple of them, and look inside them all, but there was no shooting to be done. Unfortunately, all the time spent couped up in the car and hotels got to me, and when it came time for a few drinks, someone, not mentioning names, had a few too many, and consequently, can't tell you much about the rest of the day.
While I was away, the boys had great fun with Aunty Carlene. She took them to the movie 'Over the hedge', then to the science centre, to MiniPutt, and finally the pools.
Evening we attended a theme night, rugby, at Jade Stadium.
A day to relax, sleep in a little, and then I took the boys to Lollipops, for a drop off session, while we had a formal lunch.
It is now Friday night, having not long got back from the final dinner. We are well and truely ready to hit the sack, as we need to get away earlyish tomorrow.
We got away OK, headed up the east coast, stopping in Kaikoura for lunch, and hoping to see the seals. We didn't see any in Kaikoura itself, but about half an hour down the road we saw a heap down a 'cliff' on the side of the road.
As we were pulling into Picton, we got a text message (got to love technology) to say the ferry had been delayed by an hour and a half. We went down to see if one of the other ferries had any space, but at that stage they were only freight loads. Unfortunately not much is open in Picton at 5 on a Sunday afternoon, so we went to the playground,
and watched them loading the freight ferry.
We had our dinner about 6, in the hope that by the time came for us to said our food would be digested enough to not give us any problems. Because there was nothing to do we went and checked in early, everyone had the same idea, we were the 50th car to check in. There were lots of kids roaming around, bored. We finally got onto the ferry, and sailed around 8pm.
There was a clown on board to offer some entertainment, which was good, because the kids were full of beans.
The crossing itself was very rough, rough than the way over, but none of us were sick, or really even felt sick, not so much for the rest of them, most were very quesy.
We finally got to our hotel at midnight.
Sunday morning, was a very late start. I had plans to do more, but by the time we got going, called in to see a friend (hi Janine) and headed out of Wellington we were already behind our planned schedule.
Cameron had been sick at the Hotel, and again in town, so he slept from Wellington to Palmerston North.
Once in PN we took the kids down the this great little park, complete with train and all.
We went to have a late lunch, and Cameron was sick again, so we headed off to Taihape, with Cameron sleeping from PN to Taihape.
We made it to my Aunty and Uncles farm, with no problems, although I can't say I'd want to travel that road too often.
Cameron came inside and slept on Jons knee for half an hour, woke for a drink, and then went to bed at 6, and didn't wake till 8.30 the next morning, right as!
We had a great night catching up with my family, we don't see as much of them as we used to, so was neat to hear about what they had been up to.
After a sleep in, and a wander around the sheep farm we finally got on the road about 11.30. We had promised the kids the whole holiday we would take them to a Time Out, so had planned to do that when we had lunch in Turangi. We we got there most of the games weren't working, so we went into Taupo for a turn.
We started the last leg of our journey, very much ready for home, finally getting here right on 5.