Well, the secret is out - we are back in New Zealand (well, three of us are, anyway). We decided in November that it was time to return home. We kept it a secret so we could surprise my Mum so everybody who knew had been sworn to secrecy. They did well as Mum didn't find out and I was able to surprise her when I arrived.
So we left Canada on the 1st of January, spent 33 hours in transit (7 of which were spent sitting at LAX) and arrived in Auckland on the 3rd. My friend Paul picked us up from the airport. He must have thought that Canada had made us crazy as we were so busy appreciating all the things we'd missed. Things like the amazingly fresh air and the nice smooth roads. We stopped at the first petrol station and got drinks - Jesse's choice was of course L&P, Jenna - you guessed it - V and mine was a simple Just Juice. All things we had missed.
We then went on to Tim and Ariel's house where we sat in the sun and had breakfast. I removed my shoes and wiggled my feet in the still dewey grass. The smell was divine. Then we went on to our final destination for the day, friends Mike and Bonita's house - they were away so we were house sitting for 10 days.
We decided to stay up until bed time NZ time even though we were all very tired so we wandered down to the beach in the afternoon. Jesse went for a swim, Jenna slept in the shade and I paddled in the water, it was lovely to feel the sea swishing around my legs. I was surprised at how warm the water was. Mike and Bonita live on the North Shore at Mairangi Bay (Canadians can google map it). It's beautiful, like a little beach resort but it's where people live all year round.
As it's been so long since I've blogged (very slack I know) I won't go into too much detail about what we did in Auckland. I'll say though, that we enjoyed it very much. The weather was stunning.
I had one interview in Auckland with Tower Insurance but they didn't actually have a position available but some are coming up in February.
On the 14th we drove down to Wanganui to visit my Mum. It was so lovely to see her. My brother Garry came over and we talked. Jenna spent the night at her cousin Jackie's which was lovely for her. The drive down the country was amazing. I had forgotten how truly beautiful our country is. It's so hilly and green and the colours are fantastic.
On Saturday we drove down to Wellington. It was so weird to drive past the motorway exit we used to take to our house. I took Jenna to her friend Tash's house where she will stay for a bit and then I went to Angela's. I stayed there for a week and now I'm staying at Andrea's. I've applied for lots of work but nothing has been forthcoming yet.
It's so nice to see everyone, lots of familiar faces and places. It was weird going to visit Heather and Perry, our old neighbours, because the street has changed so much since we left. It was fantastic to see them though. Just like old times when I would pop in for a coffee.
The plan is to return to Auckland in the next little while to collect Andy. He has some interviews up there so our lives are still pretty much up in the air. If anyone knows of somewhere to stay in Auckland, we'd appreciate it.
It's fantastic to be home - here are some pictures for you to enjoy. Ensure you look at both the Mairangi Bay photos as well as the Trip to Wellington - Canadians I'm unashamedly trying to make you want to come visit me in NZ!