Thursday, January 01, 2009

Warning, a verrrrry long post, more for my records than anything else!

On Sunday after Christmas we packed up and headed to Napier/Hastings for a couple of days. We've wanted to go to Splash Planet for a few years now, and after we cancelled our beach house this summer we thought these holidays would be a good time to go to Splash Planet.

Hindering our plans was our cat Rocky, who, on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning was looking a bit down. He had been to the vet about a week before Christmas with a cut, it was then the vet commented on a couple of things that made him think Rocky had hyperthyroidism, aswell as a tooth that needed to come out. He wanted to wait till his leg healed and then do tests, so we knew he wasn't 100%. After much deliberating and conferring with my sister, bless her soul, we headed off, with the plans to ring the vet first thing Monday, for her to drop him off and for him to do whatever needed doing.

We drove straight to Napier, had a look around, lunch, wandered along Marine Parade, a little play at the beach and 10 Pin bowling ..... before heading over to Hastings. We tried to go out for dinner to a 'stone grill' place but they appeared closed over the break so had fish and chips back in our room, before going down to the motel pool.

First thing Monday I rung the vet, told him to do what needed, probably take that tooth out, before we headed across the road (yay, no parking problems) to Splash Planet. The kids love water in any form, so they were in their element, we enjoyed ourselves aswell. About lunchtime it started clouding over, but we carried on, after all it was just more water, LOL. About 4pm it really started raining, which was unfortunate as that was when we had hopped to dry off and do a couple of dry activities, mini golf, go-karts, etc, but the kids went on the cars in the rain, (while I sheltered) and we flagged the golf.

This lady was a great sport, she got right in there, and was having lots of fun with our boys, who were giving her all they had!

We tried the stone grill place again, only to be told it had closed down, so had Breakers for dinner

We heard from my sister, saying Rocky was all OK, he had 4 teeth out in the end, so had anti-biotics, and the vet was waiting for the results regarding blood tests.

On Tuesday it was Camerons birthday, so we had a little cake and sang for him, and gave him a couple of presents we had taken with us, including a camera from us.

We headed over to Napier for the day. First stop, Marineland. While it is a shame they are no longer doing shows now there are no dolphins, it bought back memories (must get Mum to dig out photos from when I went there when I was about 12) and we enjoyed the animals there.These penguin cut outs were pretty much life sized, amazing!
When we had been wandering along the beach front on Sunday, the kids spotted a skate park, and begged to go, so we took them down there. Neither of them really enjoyed it, which was a shame, one just refused to do anything, and the other reluctantly had a turn on a few jumps but we were quite annoyed at them. We told them that because they had had a turn at doing something for them, we were going to the old Napier Prison for a tour. It was quite interesting, especially that it was still in use up to15 years ago. Cameron was in a real bad mood, he really looks the part, in fact, we could have quite happily left him there! We then parked back down at Marine Parade, got some photos of icons and various places, and a game of mini golf, before making a booking at Hogs Breathe Cafe (they said they were going to be packed, so best be booked in) and heading to the movies. We saw Bedtime Stories, a good family feel good movie, before heading back for a late dinner.

Wednesday we weren't in any rush to get home, so called into Rock Climbing in Napier, before heading toward home (thinking the roads might be busy, which they weren't) for late late lunch in Taupo. Taupo was absolutley packed, everywhere, and we ended up at this nice little place called Dixie Browns, which looked very inviting. Unfortunately looks are deceiving, while it was a nice atmosphere, the service was good, the food was terrible, and very very expensive. I knew what the prices were when we went in, and was quite happy to pay that, had it been good food, however it was not, and the presentation was shocking. I had something which was 'touted' as roasted chicken sandwich and fries, which sounded similar to something I often have at the local cafe, an open sandwich, chicken, salad, dressing etc. However what I received was, a good old fashioned toasted sandwich, (overcooked too) with some fries, no salad, no effort at presentation, $12 thank you. The kids hot dogs and fries were $8.50 (you can do hotdogs for $1)When we finally got to the bill, they charged us for someone elses food, AND the mid sized glasses of lemonade were $4. It wasn't appropriate to discuss it with them then and there, but I have sent a letter outlining my displeasure at our food, will see if anything comes of it. It would have had to have been the worst dining out experience I've had in a long time.

We left there, and stopped in at AC baths for a late afternoon swim, which was very pleasurable. It has changed a bit since we've been, for the better, great improvements. I didn't take my camera in with me, thinking to myself 'we are just going swimming, I've got lots of photos of us swimming', however they had this great tarzan swing thing which the kids loved and would have made great photos, oh, well, a good reason to go back.

We had thought our late lunch would have seen us through until we got home, but due to the lack of food we ended up stopping in Tokoroa for another bite, before winding our way home, with next to no traffic, which made it a nice drive.
The day before Christmas I had a follow up appointment with the osteo, unfortunately had to go to Rotorua. It was quite nice in that it made Jon leave work behind, and get out for the day, as he had spent the first 2 days of his 'holiday' catching up. While at my appointment the osteo commented that he should have hooked me up with his other patient, and we could have come over together, so who do I see when I get to the shops, but one of the teachers from the school, who happened to be his patient. The osteo also commeneted on parking at the shops, and said that as I was his last patient we could leave our car in his car park and walk across the road, so that saved a lot of trouble. I also saw the parents of an old school friend, and while waiting in queue spotted a familiar face, and when we got out of the queue (at least 10 deep) had a quick catch up with Shell.

Christmas Day - started out very unsure, what was the weather going to do? Loving the fact that we have a great big house now, and had no hesitations inviting anyone who wanted to come for lunch and/or dinner. When the weather looked a bit iffy we decided not to put the big gazebo up (it's a party sized one, double the norm and quite tricky to assemble) figuring it was not going to be hot enough to need it, nor was it going to rain. We ate inside, and mixed and mingled both inside and out, with the weather holding out for us.We had picked up Jon's Dad from the rest home, and my Dad was here, my sister and her 2 children, my other sister, my Aunty and uncle, and my Nana, and Jon's 2 sisters, plus us 4, so it was a nice size. Very relaxed, turkey, ham, salads, and pudding, followed by the compulsory crackers, etc.About midday the SIL's left, as did my Aunty and Uncle, and Nana, and my Mum, her husband and my little brother came for dinner, which we finally had about 7, would have had it even later only Mum needed to get going.
I must have been a good girl this year (I did try, very hard), Santa was very generous, and I got a video recorder, absolutely tiny, amazing. It has lots of cool features, I've worked out the basics, just so I could use it straight away, however, will need to have a good look at the workings of it.

The kids got the latest craze toys, Bakugan, and they seemed very happy, along with Bradens tent, and other bits and pieces. Braden and his cousin slept in the tent, although Braden came inside in the middle of the night as Troy was 'hogging the bed'. He went on to sleep out there the next night by himself, and stayed the whole night.On Saturday we went to MIL's place, for a nice casual lunch for Jons birthday. 2 envelopes that had got missed on Christmas day were delivered to the boys, another $20 to add to their stash and they were overjoyed!