09 December 2007

Trip to the Bay....

It was a busy ol weekend for us. We jetted off to the Hawkes Bay (4 hrs away) on Friday afternoon to stay with our good friends Tracey & Dayne and to attend a friend's wedding. The trip up there was pretty tedious with a ratty wee boy in the backseat for most of the trip.. but hey we made it in one piece which is the main thing.

We were able to enjoy a lovely chilled out evening over a gorgeous home cooked meal (rack of veal) by Dayne and a few glasses of wine. Saturday dawned dreary and rainy (not a typical day in the Bay!) so we went out for a spot of breakfast at a family friendly cafe and then hung out at home indoors until we had to head off for the wedding, leaving Noah in the Easte's capable hands! The rain cleared sufficiently afer the ceremony for the bridal party to get a few outside shots and it certainly was warm later in the day. The ceremony was held at a beautiful rural church a half hour drive from where we were staying in Havelock North, and the reception at the gorgeous Te Awa winery.


The groom is a helicopter pilot in the NZ air force and got married in his 'gears' and they exited the church to a Guard of Honour - pretty cool! The aviation theme continued through to the reception where the MC played the part of our flight attendant guiding us safely through the meal and speeches, very cleverly done and entertaining. The food was amazing as was the wine, and the speeches were both funny and very touching. Even though we only knew a couple of others at the wedding, it was a lovely chance to spend some time just the two of us and Noah was (we hear) a good boy for Tracey, going down to bed with no fuss. Albeit we did have an hour and a half of unexplained crying as we got home at 10.30pm but other than that, it all went very smoothly.

This morning we were able to get outside in the garden and admire Dayne's handiwork which is impressive given they have only been in the Bay for a few months, including a very comprehensive vege garden, and some landscaping with plans for more over the summer. We were very spoilt to come away with bags of grapefruit from their tree, and some fresh vegetables, and both Noah and I have enjoyed cauliflower cheese for dinner tonight as a result - thanks Dayne!


After a yummy cooked breakfast prepared by Tracey we hit the road, taking a more straight forward route home. The highlight of our time on the road today was a little cafe called Beyond The Bridge just before the Manawatu Gorge. I had discovered this little gem two months ago when travelling up to Tracey's birthday, and it didn't fail to disappoint again today. It comes complete with views of the many wind turbines on Te Apiti wind farm (so Noah was in his element!), chickens, horses and a fantastic peaceful rural setting for a cafe with plenty of outdoor space for kids to run around. It even has a sandpit which Noah discovered on our way back to the car so we had to stop for a few minutes play. He was most intrigued by the chickens, calling them 'Doodle Doo' as in 'Cock-a-doodle-do' - too cute.


Thankfully even though Noah only slept the first hour of the trip, he was in much better spirits which we think has something to do with the fact that we elevated his car seat a wee bit so he could better see out which seemed to keep him far more entertained and we didn't even have to get out any toys or books the whole trip whereas nothing could keep his interest for more than a couple of minutes on Friday on our way up.

This week he also amazed both us and his daycare teachers by sleeping 3.5 hours one day - a possible growth spurt, and has been eating like there's no tomorrow which is such a relief after his extreme fussiness a couple of months ago.

This week we did a fair bit of research and have now 95% confirmed our flights to the UK for April (only 4.5 months away), travelling on Lufthansa via LA and Bangkok. We have picked our flights based not just on price although it is a factor, but on the fact we can fly straight into Bristol (avoiding London Heathrow altogether) which is only an hour's drive from Mark's parent's house. We are also going to stopover in both directions to break the journey which will be challenging enough with a 20-month old. Originally we weren't that fussed on staying in LA but many people have convinced us that Anaheim will be really fun and is a good place for families. On the way back we may just stay at a brand new resort hotel right next to Bangkok airport (I didn't need much convincing after I found it has a lovely pool (including pool bar) and it might be nice to have a tropical relaxer for a day or two on the way home.

Anyhow I have certainly made up for the lack of conversation in last week's blog and there are plenty of jobs calling out to be done after being away this weekend, so I'll leave it there. Can't believe only 2 weeks till Christmas, there's still so much to do!

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