So I guess I'll just have to start somewhere.
A lot has happened these past few weeks and now it's almost impossible to remember it all.
For a start there was our farewell at the Southern Cross bar just before we went to Rarotonga on holiday. I didn't take any photos of the day itself but we did pay for a face painter to be there to entertain the kids who was very good at what she did!
We also put on some nibbles and soft drink for those who attended, and it was great to have the opportunity to farewell friends from a number of different touch points in the community - work colleagues, school family friends, neighbours, church friends. I surprised myself by not being at all emotional about the goodbyes - I'm not sure whether it was the fact we had a tropical holiday to look forward to just around the corner or just that there was still more to do when we got back to actually pack up the house, but in any event it felt like it wasn't goodbye just 'see you later' as so many people have said they'll pop in and visit us in our new spot that it didn't feel like it was a final farewell.
Only two days later we were winging our way to the warmth of tropical Rarotonga. After enjoying the hospitality of the Koru lounge in Wellington, we enjoyed the amazing views of the huge swells on the south coast as we took off out of Wellington, a very rare sight to see the massive waves on the coast yet the harbour itself as still as a millpond.
Mark sat next to Bill English and one of his cronies on the way up to Auckland, and I enjoyed watching two movies - The Wild with Reese Witherspoon and Still Alice with Julianne Moore on the way over. I really enjoyed watching Reese Witherspoon come to terms with her difficult past as she overcame the harsh realities of walking 1,000 miles in the wilderness on her own. It was harder to watch Julianne Moore coming to terms with early onset of Alzheimer's and how that affected both her and her family as her condition deteriorated.
Then we landed in hot and steamy Rarotonga at 1am and after being serenaded by a local on his guitar as we headed through customs and waved on through with our huge suitcase full of food to which customs didn't batter an eyelid, the holiday could officially begin!