21 August 2011

Auckland..you were an amazing Adventure

Sigh....where to begin?

I feel as if there's just not the space to tell it all, nor the ability to do the weekend justice. But I'll try!

My little sojourn up to Auckland started off with a slight spanner in the works when I realised at 8am Friday morning my flight had been cancelled! Luckily (and in usual organised fashion), I'd been checking the departures for the day and noticed, or I'd have been none the wiser when I turned up at the airport at lunchtime. Luckily, I managed to re-book for the flight at 2pm (only an hour later) and so my weekend was back on track again.

I arrived to blue skies, warmth and sunshine landing at Auckland airport, and despite the woman behind me moaning about the fact that were were getting off the back of the plane and walking across the tarmac meant that she would be cold, I relished stepping out into fresh air, lifting my face to the sky and saying a thankful prayer to see the sun shining again, after a week of incredibly crazy winter weather back at home.

This weekend was also a wonderful opportunity to spend some time with my oldest friend Andrea from high school. We catch up every so often, and it is always as if no time has passed since the last time, except for the obvious changes in little Mackay who is now nearly 15 months (last time I saw him he was 7 months), and a lovely growing belly on Andrea as her and partner Andrew are expecting number 2 in mid-February.

They have punch buggies in Auckland too! I spotted about six! 

 After expanding my own belly full of yummy Thai takeaways on Friday night, I had a whistle stop tour of the local area which included yummy crepes in Kingsland when Sarah from Faery Sarah took me out for a quick catch-up as she wasn't able to make the lunch the following day. Oh yeah bloggy lunch friends I can't believe that in the excitement of the lunch, I completely forgot to mention I'd even met up with Faery Sarah! And I have no pictures to prove it, so you'll just have to take my word for it! 

It was great to finally meet her and we talked about the usual mummy stuff which included our littlies who are born only 2 weeks apart, although neither are that little anymore given that they're both turning 2 in the next few weeks. Oh and plenty of discussion around baby names, so I can't wait to see what name the littlest Faery pops out with in a few week's time ;-)

Saturday morning I headed out with my lovely hosts for an early breakfast in Ponsonby before ambling through the streets of Ponsonby and Herne Bay taking in the beautiful homes and boutique shops whilst little Mackay took the opportunity for a short siesta in the stroller bathed in morning sunshine. I'd have joined him if I could have fitted in there, it looked so cosy and inviting!

Then it was time to prepare for the big Bloggy Bash! I'd been hoping against hope I would be able to meet my dear friend Jaz from Treacy Travels for the first time. During the week, it looked like it wouldn't happen as she had been under the weather and confined to bed for a few days, and whilst I was at LEAST as disappointed as she was, I totally understood how important it was to look after herself and not push it after the very tough year this lovely lady has had to battle through. So when I got a text an hour before the lunch saying she was going to pop in briefly, my heart literally did a little cancan dance inside!

Meeting the lovely Jaz in real life made the day extra special for me!

Off I went in Andrea's car, armed with Google Map directions for the short drive over the Harbour Bridge to Birkenhead. I got out of my car at the same time as Sammy from Cherished and we instantly (although tentatively!) recognised each other. That was the first hug of many throughout the afternoon as more and more bloggers poured in through the doors to the Mediterranean restaurant.

The lovely Sammy from Cherished

It was a good thing we were the only ones in the restaurant, as I think anyone else would have thought we were all a tad crazy with the number of cameras out (I had 2 with me, 3 if you count the iPhone!). But I found I was quite restrained on the picture-taking front, instead soaking up the moment and it was all I could do not to pinch myself several times to believe I was really here meeting these wonderful girls who I somehow feel like I've been friends with forever.

Sammy's equally lovely little sister Penny from My Spirited Baby

Friends in real life and in blog life, Jackie from Jacksta-B and Kristy from Paisley Jade 

The lovely Leonie (Kiwi at Heart) who made the day possible (you rock!) with our lovely Simone from Great Fun 4 Kids

Leonie had organised the day beautifully. Firstly, everyone had made each other crafty name tags - mine made by the lovely Lisa of All in a Daze. And then there were spot prizes - I won a book (dammit now I have to actually find the time to read it, you'll be pleased to hear I did at least start it on the plane journey home). And it was so sweet that Leonie also chose me to win one of her delightful sock monkeys as I'd come the farthest  - this little guy was snaffled up immediately by Mylo and christened BoBo as soon as I walked in the door this morning.

In all the excitement it took us over an hour to even place our order for lunch such was the conversation flowing and picture taking happening, and so it was long past 3.30pm before we all rather reluctantly went our separate ways back to our lives, with the Whangarei posse having to drive the long 2-hour journey home to their families, with the rest of us dispersing back to various parts of the city.

And me......well you can pick the non-Aucklander! I had the opportunity to go to the toilet one more time just as we were leaving the restaurant but passed it up for the opportunity for more hugs and farewells, thinking to myself that it was only a 10 minute journey back over the Bridge to Andrea's. Well the joke was on me when I hit a wall of traffic before I even got there and a flashing sign that said 'Incident on the Bridge'. 

EEEEEEEEE! There was some firm bladder holding going on whilst I waited and drove at snails pace for the next twenty minutes, trying to distract myself by taking photos of the slow-moving traffic and the gorgeous back drop of the city. All's well that ends well though, I'm pleased to report there were no puddles to clean up in the car (phew!).

 After a glass or two of Reisling on the deck, I really wanted make the most of the golden day that was coming to a close (and the fact I'd lugged the big camera all the way from Wellington). So my fantastic tour guide Andrea kindly volunteered to drive me to some vantage points, each proving to be more spectacular than the last.

How thrilled am I that Andrea was willing to take me to these stunning locations in the dying stages of the day to capture these shots.

Auckland you really turned it on for me this weekend. You were utterly captivating. And I'll never forget that you were the host of an amazing afternoon. Where friendship and conversation flowed between blogging buddies sharing real-life connections that are usually only possible via super-fast broadband copper wires.

One of the things I love about blogging is that distance and time are no barrier to friendships that can be every bit as real as our friends just down the road. And while there's much to mourn about the loss of the good old days before technology invaded every inch of our lives, at least for today, I am so thankful for that same technology bringing us all together.


Leonie said...

Meghan, it was so wonderful to meet you in person and it was a fab day.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE the photos you took at on your arrival in Auckland and last night, they are amazing, as are you.
Thanks for coming all this way!! Glad the sock monkey has a happy loving home ;)

TracyP said...

I was an awesome day and I am so happy to meet you and all the other bloggy ladies! What an AMAZING bunch of ladies!!
Loving all your fantastic photos! Auckland sure gave us fab weather!

Widge said...

BIG :)
I'm so able to relate to how you feel about meeting bloggy friends. I felt just as exhilarated last year after I got to hang with (and sleep over!) with Simone and Gail. Sooooooo the highlight of my 2010!
And Beautiful photos! wow

PaisleyJade said...

Was absolutely lovely to meet (and hug) you in the flesh! Such a great day - and I was extra thrilled for you when I saw Jaz come in!

Love your photos and am so thankful you could come up and visit!!! xoxo

Jules said...

Gorgeous sunset photos at the end! Sounds like a great weekend.

Sammy said...

Love love LOVED finally meeting you IRL! You are every bit as lovely as I imagined.
And I am onto that Wellington trip next year!

Simoney said...

WOW - your photos are AMAZING!!
Love the way you captured Auckland and SO GLAD you had a great trip up here!!!
LOVELY to meet you on Saturday, so wierd and yet NOT.
I am so grateful for all my blog freinds too - and love that last line of yours... we DO sometimes bemoan technology, but it really is amazing at bringing people together too!

Unknown said...

Was lovely to meet you Meghan! Your photos are amazing :) What kind of camera do you have??

jacksta said...

Oh no your got caught up on the harbour bridge!
Was so good seeing you in real life!
Glad you could fly up.
Lovely photos and yay for lovely weather!

Rachel Kate said...

I got caught up on the bridge too! Eek :) so good to meet you. LOVE your amazing photos xo

Miriam said...

Awesome photos!! It looked like such an amazing time. Not-so-secretly very cute dress.

Miriam said...

oops I should have said jealous - not sure where the dress comment came from.

Cat said...

thank you for coming up to Auckland and giving us the reason/excuse to get together of what I hope was the 1st of many (although there are bloggy get togethers in other cities)
I really enjoyed my afternoon out and meeting everyone.
You captured Auckland beautifully xxx

dearfutureme... said...

Looks like a super cool trip! Gorgeous Auckland pics too!

Leonie said...

We've had some really gorgeous days in Auckland and you've captured them beautifully! Yay for coming up and experiencing Auckland weather at it's best!

Sarah Gauntlett said...

sounds like you met a faery in kingsland (who found a park STRAIGHT AWAY and DIDN'T stall her car at all while trying to park) for a fleeting visit! I'm so mysterious! haha Sounds like you had a great time and even enjoyed a spot of traffic - ahhhh auckland! The photos are lovely - esp the last two. They'd be great as canvas prints up on your wall I reckon! Thanks so much for the card and the crepes, it was lovely to finally meet!

Catching the Magic said...

Oh, how very, very wonderful Meghan! I absolutely love your choice of photographs to start and finish this special post.

What a wonderful time you had and a very well deserved time too! So happy everything went so well (and you came home with goodies too!).

Love, Sarah x

Mika said...

I was wondering how it all went!

Sounds like you had a fab time. It was so great that you were able to catch up with so many of your lovely friends.

If there is a Welly blogger get together, you can be the seasoned pro, and help us first timers!


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