7 weeks. 3 weddings, 11 plane rides, ridiculous amounts of coffee, adventuring solo, 100 catchups, new babies, old friends, and a tonne of fun. Below is a wee photo diary of my trip
The long-haul flight is always a nightmare. After setting off multiple security checks and explaining about my metal we finally made it to New Zealand, and were picked up by the lovely Wong family! After a fabulous brunch it was time to head back to the airport for yet another flight to Wellington
The first wedding for my brother Kalon and new sister-in-law Sonya was a traditional hindu wedding. And by gollygosh, it was BEAUTIFUL. Minus a few minor mishaps like having my sari pinned to my leggings (meaning i couldn’t use the bathroom ALL day) and me almost putting a God on the floor (cultural naiivity… I had no idea it was a God!), the day was successful and everyone looked so amazing in their saris, especially Sonya!
The next day (after a night out clubbing with Sam Jess and Val) was the second wedding; a traditional white wedding. There was plenty of alcohol, food, family and dancing – a perfect recipe for a good time. My highlight was listening to Kalon’s friends speeches, Anthonni and Tom, you did him proud… and the Haka from the Ritana boys was mesmerising!
I managed to stay the night at my friend Val’s, who cooked me the most amazing brekkie! Guys, she’s good wife material!! The next day was time to leave Wellington, but not without a quick stop in at Te Papa and a catch up with the Heart Kids crew! My aunty and I then spent the night at Darryl and Nicole’s which was such a treat, especially with home cooked food and puppy cuddles!
Next stop was Cambridge, to see Mum and Dad, and of course, they had a great story to tell me… they’ve bought a lavender farm! Most people at 60 would be slowing down but not my parents… I suppose thats where I get my craziness and lust for adventure from! I also showed my auntie and mum’s bestie Hamilton Gardens, and we had a great tour of Waitomo caves to see the glow worms!
Next stop was Napier, where we stayed at the most idellic air BnB called Bnb Chilton… definitely reccomend to anyone staying in Hawkes Bay! We also stopped by the beautiful Huka Falls in Taupo where my soul was restored with bright blue (natural) water!
Gisborne was next on the list, which, in true fashion, was full of friends, adopted family, and of course a trip up the coast to Tolaga Bay! Thanks to Libby, Janice and Wayne, and Lynley and Alan for hosting me! Highlights were getting to meet Beau (Jessie and Jono, you’ve done well), seeing Elouise and Toni-Anne, a beautiful beach day with Libby (minus the sunburn) and getting to take Uncle Ernie out for lunch! Not to mention amazing catchups with so many loved ones, and a trip to church to see the oldies! Keep an eye out for my next blog where I’m going to talk about my struggle with catching up with people!
I’d timed my trip amazingly well, and I got to attend Kit’s second birthday. We were raced with the arrival of his newborn sister, Sienna too! Im so proud to be Aunty Keira!
I also got to spend quality time with Jess, and pop in to see a couple of other friends for coffee too! And attend a HeartKids dinner! Thanks to everyone who made time for me, and to Jess, Andy, Emma and Vanessa for hosting! A special thanks to Ku’ulei and Bex for travelling down from up north to spend the day at the beach with me!
My next stop was Samoa, a girls trip away to celebrate my Mum’s birthday. A much needed rest, with lots of sleep, interesting massages, and great cocktails! I definitely would go back to visit again! Highlights included a taxi tour of the island, climbing down a massive waterhole (I didn’t die which was a bonus), unlimited banana mojitos, feeding turtles (when we finally saw one) and getting multiple spa treatments. Mum, please turn 60 every year!!
My next stop was a quick stop-over in the gold coast to see lovely Renee. In typical fashion, we had a champagne breakfast followed by a day of relaxing and then yummy dinner! We also went to have a look at the sandcastle competiton and of course i had to pose with the Surfers Paradise sign. Looking at this photo I can really see my arm spam is longer than my height, Renee then posed the same way (3rd picture) to show me how disproportionate my arms are!
Then it was on to Perth to spend time with Danni and my gorgeous niece Poppy, who had just started school! Again, timing was perfect and I was there for the arrival of Winston, their new puppy! I’m so so proud of Poppy and think Danni is the best Mum out!
On the way back to NZ, I stopped in to Melbourne, where I wanted to see Chloe and Kirstie. Unfortunately both were working, but I managed to squeeze in a quick sangria or two with an old school friend, Rory, before training out to where Kirstie works. Because of my flight back we literally had to head straight to the airport, but the car journey was enough time to have a speedy catch up and a most awaited hug!
Once I arrived back to NZ, I was whisked off on a secret roady with my good friend Alix. We didn’t know exactly where we were going, and managed to pop in and see Alicia which was a bonus! We had a very uncomfortable night camping at Uretiti beach, but hey, these experiences shape us right?! Theres no one else I’d like to climb barefoot up a mountain with Alix!
Next was back to Auckland, which consisted of more coffee/catch up dates and a quick visit to see Rachie in hospital!
I came to my second final weekend in NZ, which brang a sleepover with Hannah, organising a last minute hens party for Tamsin, and organising Mum’s almost successful surprise 60th! All-in-all a busy, but very fun weekend
With time running out it was time I went to Christchurch to see the in-laws. I also got to meet precious Aria, Alex and Rebeccas baby and got to spend time with Jade and David! Our next trip home will be for Jade and David’s wedding!
The last few days were MANIC (surprise surprise!) I got to have a whole day of cuddling Sienna Joy and Kit, lunch with my fave advice-giver Kerry, dinner with Nana Marie, Joe, Donna and Malcolm, and, yes, more coffee dates! Also managed to get a hair cut by my lovely sister Ana, who I’m hoping will move to the UK soon, and stop in to see the not-so-little boys I used to nanny 🙂
The last weekend brought the long-awaited event of watching Tamsin and Dan tie the knot. It was such an honour to be your bridesmaid, and I’m so glad i could take out the token drunk bridesmaid award for being able to slip vagina into my wedding speech! I wish you guys all the best in your marriage!
And with that, there went 7 weeks of NZ, Samoa and Australia. Thanks to everyone who took the time to see me, and I can’t wait to see you all next year!! Sorry if I forgot to take a photo of you too, I’m not as on to it as I used to be!
Until next time,