My life lately has been crazy! Here in New Zealand we've had our winter school holidays for the last two weeks and our house has been like Grand Central Station. Our German friends came to visit and we had several of Jesse's friends come and go for a night here and there.
Noa (who you will remember came to stay with us in 2013 for 6 months) and her sister Lea (who has been living in Tauranga for the last 6 months) arrived the first Sunday of the holidays. They stayed with us for a couple of days and then took our car and travelled around the South Island. When Noa was living with us we toured the North Island but we only did the very top of the South Island. Lea had never been to the South Island. They travelled all the way to Queenstown and back in our little car.
When the girls returned their parents Jorg and Susanne joined us so our little house was extremely full. They stayed with us for a week and we did lots of fun stuff.
On Thursday we visited Matiu/Somes Island which is an island in the middle of Wellington Harbour. The day was brilliant - beautiful hot sun and no wind - not even out on the island. It's a reserve so you have to be careful what you take with you - you have to check your shoes for seeds and mud before going onto the island and you're not allowed to remove anything (not even a shell). You also have to take off the island anything you take on so any food, rubbish etc. Jesse has spent a couple of weeks on the island over the last few years doing community work for school. He makes a great tour guide because he has inside knowledge. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see any of the island specific wildlife but we had a great day.
On Friday we visited the Botanic Gardens in the middle of Wellington city. The weather was not quite as good (a cold wind) but we still had a wonderful time. We walked for hours and my energy levels were completely depleted by the end of the day. After the Botanic Gardens we walked the length of the Wellington CBD while the girls did some window shopping.
We had a lovely weekend just hanging out and enjoying each other's company. On Saturday night Andy and our friend Craig took Noa and Jorg to a rugby game - this was really high on Jorg's to do list. He's a big rugby fan and, even though we couldn't swing an All Blacks game, we managed a Hurricanes one. It was miserable weather and Susanne, Lea and I were happy to stay home in the warm and dry, in front of the fire. Everyone had a wonderful time and they arrived home all full of excitement.
Our visitors left on Tuesday and we said our sad goodbyes hoping that we will be able to go and visit them in the near future.