Unapologetically indulgent photo overload friends…prepare yourselves…
So since the beginning of February we have had lots of parental company, starting with my parents coming to visit! Mum and Dad had actually booked their annual leave in advance of me even getting a job out here, so the anticipation of their impending trip was a long time in the running.
Phil and I met them at Auckland airport past midnight, in Basil the Bongo, which, with four humans, plus 6 weeks worth of luggage struggled with some of the hills in the CBD it has to be said.
Mum and Dad did well though as we made them hit the ground running, fitting Mount Eden, the waterfront, Silo Park, Sky Tower high tea, Takapuna Beach and a walk to the top of Rangitoto in on their first weekend in the country.
Unfortunately I then had to go back to work, giving the rentals a reprieve and allowing them to potter up to Northland and then the Coromandel before making a beeline to our house here in Tauranga for a second installment.
We nearly killed them walking up Mount Maunganui, drowned them playing in the sea at the Mount and in Whakatane, gassed them in Rotorua at Wai-o-tapu and created a competitive edge ending in bumps and scrapes for Dad at luging – who proved it was possible to tip the luge kart.
They then headed off again on their merry travels to South Island for a couple weeks for some independent travel, and a true experience of kiwi weather with some torrential downpours. Phil and I then met them in central North Island in Turangi for a week in a timeshare at the southern end of Lake Taupo. We had a GREAT time, managing to fit in walking, biking, prawn fishing (who was the only one who didn’t catch anything Dad?), grade 3 white water rafting (and convinced Mum and Dad to jump from 2.5m into the river), kayaking, swimming, as well as the Tongariro Crossing – all 19.5km in a very respectable 6 hours without injury. Good work team!
The second week away we spent travelling west then north, via Mount Ruapehu and the Forgotten World Highway to Taranaki. This road in itself was a mini adventure being 155km with approx 15km stretch just gravel, but the whole way being windy and hilly. We stayed in Opunake for a couple of nights before ambling north via New Plymouth and Mokau (for the best Mothers Day dinner ever and a whitebait omelette – weird), to Waitomo for some black-water rafting (no photos, it was pitch black, head torches, wetsuits, rubber rings, jumping, LOADS of magical glow worms – hugely parent proud), and a night at Raglan with a walk on the beach before ending up back in Auckland….just in time to meet up with the Aldwinckles!
And then there were FOUR!
FOUR PARENTS. AT ONCE. INVASION!
We had a lovely day with them all on Waiheke, an island in Auckland Harbour, spent ziplining and swimming! Great!
But alas, all great things must come to an end. The Preslands flew home, the Aldwinckles flew fo South Island, we drove back to Tauranga.
We had THE BEST TIME with Mum and Dad, hopefully they did too. And just when you think there have been too many photos…Here are some video highlights!
Aldwinckle chapter to follow….