Wow, it has almost been one month since I last did a blog update…just as we were leaving Southeast Asia! We’ve been in New Zealand now since American Thanksgiving and loving every minute of it…it is wonderful to be with family again and to be in this incredibly beautiful country. My sisters Melissa and Jen and their families arrive in a few days and I cannot wait to share New Zealand with them!
I’ve decided to do this blog post in pictures to give you an idea of why we love this place so much. Enjoy…maybe it will inspire some of you to to add New Zealand to your bucket list!
We spent the first week staying with Judi, Evan’s mom on the North Shore of Auckland. The kids loved being able to visit the library, and we loved being surrounded by family again. We explored different incredible beaches nearby and hiked in lovely forests.
With the weather looking warm and sunny, we decided to head up to the top of the Coromandel Peninsula and do some camping. Along the way, we stayed with Evan’s brother Damon and our sister in law Este and their 3 boys, 1 cow and 3 sheep (now 2 sheep…after a hilarious and very New Zealand experience of herding the one sheep for the butcher). It has been just awesome for Jamey and Becca to connect with their New Zealand cousins. They had so much fun together, getting to celebrate their cousin Daniel’s birthday with him and enjoy their schools “splash and dash” day this week as school finishes this week for kiwi kids.
We headed home, back to Judi’s place on the North Shore of Auckland last evening after a lovely night visiting Evan’s friends in Opotiki…we enjoyed some yummy kiwi “pies” for lunch and an invigorating hike along the way. It is so nice to have Judi’s place to come back to, as our base while we explore this incredible country. Her christmas tree is up and smells so lovely, her dog Tana is always a delight for Jamey and Becca and it really feels like “home away from home” on our journey.
We have heard that it is very cold in Coeur d’Alene and that the first big snow fall arrived just in time for Christmas. Although it will be a different Christmas for us in the southern hemisphere, we are so excited to spend it here with family this year. The kids received an early Christmas present this year…great little journals with messages from their classmates!! They were so excited and happy to hear from their buddies! Evan and I were really touched at the gesture.
We wish all of you a really wonderful holiday season!
All our love from New Zealand!!