06 July 2015

Settling in......

It was a very surreal experience driving out of Wellington for the last time. I realised that unlike every other trip away, we would no longer have that feeling that we were 'coming home' heading down the gorge and seeing the city spread out before us after a weekend or break away.

So on this last morning, we snuck one last Bohemein chocolate for the road after filling up with petrol, grabbing a coffee and then it was time to head on out.

We travelled in tandem for the long 7 hour journey north - it felt like much longer than 7 hours - I think in part due to being alone in the car with no one to talk to during that whole time - even with music on it dragged a bit so it was nice to stop for breaks along the way to feel sane again!

I especially wished I had someone to exclaim over how beautifully still Lake Taupo was on the way through - and having Murphy in the car with me just didn't cut it!

It was a great relief to finally arrive at Nana and Poppa's at 5pm just as the sun had set on a glorious afternoon to welcome us to the Waikato.

That night Poppa had a surprise in store for the boys - tickets to the Harlem Globe Trotters which they didn't know about until we sat down for dinner. By all accounts they thoroughly enjoyed themselves even if they were pretty tired when they finally arrived home at 10pm.

The next morning (Saturday) we drove over to Cambridge to our rental to show the boys - even though our furniture wasn't due to arrive until the Monday.

The boys fell in love with the great big backyard complete with a swing, while I fell in love with all those lemons on the lemon tree!

As well as three bedrooms inside, the rental has an outside fourth bedroom and bathroom for any guests coming to stay which is very handy - as the space inside the house for guests is rather limited!

It didn't take the boys too long to make a new friend in the cul-de-sac - our Murphy ended up hanging out at home with Nana and Poppa for a few extra days until the house was all unpacked and we could then happily keep the doors closed until he got used to his new patch.

He seemed pretty OK with the extra time there as it turned out - totally ruling the roost at Nana's and bossing her two cats around!

While waiting for our furniture to arrive we spent a quiet weekend with Nana and Poppa (it was like the calm before the storm), enjoying games of card cricket and Cluedo, bike rides, trumpet playing and boys pretending to be worms on the verandah - as you do.

Monday rolled around soon enough though - and we arrived at the rental at 8.30am on a frosty morning. I dropped Mark off and headed back into town to their new school to meet the principal and get their classes and new school uniforms sorted. It was a whirlwind two hours and I could hardly believe that when we got home again at 10.30am the container was completely unpacked, everything was in the house and the guys had already gone again - talk about efficient!

And then the "fun" began for us. Sorting through box after box after box. It became apparent fairly quickly that downsizing from our house to this one was going to provide a few challenges.

Most notably in the kitchen - the difficulty of trying to fit everything into a much smaller space meant we ended up repacking anything we figured we can do without for the next six months. We also decided to leave our red couch in its packaging and not put any artwork up on the walls around the house either. It is temporary after all and leaving some things packed will make it much easier when we come to move again!

After the busy morning, we took a break and headed into town - treating the boys with Maccas for lunch while we grabbed some yummy healthy eats from Paddock cafe.

And at the end of Day 1, we rewarded ourselves with a sit-down to watch an episode of Game of Thrones with some dessert wine and chocolate. It was much needed!

For the life of me I can't remember exactly what we did on Tuesday apart from more unpacking. But on Wednesday, two smart boys headed off to their new school. I think we were at least as nervous as them if not more. We were so happy to hear that they had been allocated buddies and Noah came home buzzing with the news he'd met another Noah in his class who also collects the Match Attax football trading cards that he loves - what are the chances of that!

Amidst all the unpacking during that week, we had two lovely visitors bring us 'welcome to the Waikato' gifts. Lynmaree (@kiwibloms on Instagram) who moved to Cambridge almost exactly a year ago from up north popped in with some lovely home baking on Thursday. We'd never actually met in real life before so it was lovely to chat and find out more about their family and their experiences in the local area.

Then on Friday Leonie (@leoniekiwi on Instgram) also popped over from Hamilton with more yummy goodies and a lovely plant to brighten up the windowsill - let's just hope I don't kill it! It was so awesome to have been thought of by these lovely ladies and it really made us feel welcome here!

One final treat to round out the week on Friday (and if nothing else but to get a break from all the unpacking!) was a hubby-and-me lunch at what could easily become our new local cafe - The Lilypad Cafe. The meals were gorgeous and being a week day it wasn't too busy despite Fieldays being on with tens of thousands of people just a bit further down the road.

And there ended our first week living in the Waikato - a bit of a whirlwind but a productive and positive one nonetheless! I can't believe we've been here a month already and I'm only just writing this now - but hey better late than never I say!

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