30 March 2008

Fun in the Naki

Well we have just returned from a lovely weekend away with GeeGee (aka Great Granma) in Taranaki. We had a beaut trip up on Friday, stopping off in Otaki for a spot of factory outlet shopping. Two merino tops for us and a jacket for Noah later and we were back on our way. Then we stopped again at our favourite mid-point on the trip, Virginia Lake at Wanganui to let Noah run around for half an hour and get some fresh air. It was very warm and sunny in Wanganui and was a good few degrees warmer than Wellington (what's new!)

We are in the process of trying to put several of Noah's favourite DVDs on the iPod so that we have a bit of additional inflight entertainment for the big trip, particularly on the Lufthansa flights as we found out we are unlikely to have seat-back entertainment on 50% of the flights...doh...now we know why they were so cheap!!! Anyway we managed to get him to watch Iggle Piggle (In the Night Garden) and his Baby Einstein DVDs for about 10-15 minutes in the back of the car and he did look very cute with the headphones on... a real little techno dude at not quite 20 months old!

Noah was thrilled to see GeeGee and Panda the cat, and although the poor cat was not left alone the whole weekend he was very good with Noah, not quite as tolerant as Murphy but once he realised that Noah was going to be gentle and just wanted to cuddle he was a lot more willing to entertain Noah's attentions.

Saturday Noah was up well before it was light, 5.45 to be exact...ouch. My turn to get up and I deliberately didn't turn on any lights or let Noah make any noise till much closer to 7am so that he understood how early it was. He was keen to go and see the 'neigh (horses), woof woof (dogs), panda' but I had to keep telling them they were all still asleep. Same went for playing the 'miano' (piano).

We went up to see Great Nan for an hour and we couldn't believe the performance Noah made. In hindsight, I don't think he quite understood that we were going to see Great Nan and perhaps thought we were off to the park or somewhere that was going to be fun for him and we perhaps should have made a bit more of an explanation of it but boy did he show us up. He wouldn't look at Nan and cried and grizzled and lay on the floor and wouldn't be distracted for a good 10-15 minutes until Mark took him outside to look around the gardens... not his finest hour that's for sure. However, he was a box of birds when we got back to GeeGee's so perhaps unwittingly just showing a little favouritism.....hmmm.

After a nap (which I wish was for me but was just for Noah) we all went out to Okurukuru for lunch - it seems to be a regular haunt of us - and met up with Derek, Wendy and Bryn. Great to see them and hear all their news too.

It was a little disappointing as there were no helicopters there, but we had a very enjoyable drive back via the coast and port, and enjoyed views of Paratutu and its tower, the cranes and ships at the port as well as the BIGGEST tractor any of us had EVER seen!

We collected some walnuts from GeeGee's lawn and had a good go at cracking them open with a hammer, easier said than done without destroying the good stuff inside! Later before bedtime and to run off a bit of his last remaining energy from the day, Noah enjoyed riding his bike around the back lawn down a gentle slope and was really getting up some good speed and showing off his skills to GeeGee.

This morning dawned ...wet! And there were smiles all around. The Naki has been suffering from a severe lack of rain like many other parts of the country. Derek and Wendy are having to dry off their herd of cows now which is at least six weeks earlier than usual, so they like all farmers are really feeling the drought. I think up until this morning they had only had 4mm of rain the whole month of March so it was very welcome. It made for a damp trip home but that was a small price to pay to see some liquid gold finally falling from the sky!

This afternoon we had a lovely opportunity to briefly catch up with Ness and Bob back from the UK for a short visit. It was great to see them, as the last time was in a pub in London two years ago when Noah was just a bump in my tummy, and so it was equally as exciting this time to hear THEIR news of a baby on the way in September this year!

Well the countdown is on now... 20 days to go till the big trip and still so much to do, one day at a time hey!

We'll leave with you with a few photos of our highly enjoyable Easter Monday morning walk to the ducks, a play on the BIG slide at the botanical gardens, then home via both a digger AND cranes, Noah was totally in his element!

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