Up early, we headed to the airport – the 2 minute commute!
We thought we had lost Zach’s camera too (we could not find it anywhere – poor Zach losing all his electronics!) so on a quest for a new one, after checking in and going through security, we went camera shopping.
We found one, and Josh and Zandra bought themselves one too (all the kids had various amounts of spending money they had been saving. I think a camera is a super investment for them). We later found Zach’s (not sure how – but it was in a bag that was checked many times). This worked out really well for long faced Sam. Sam was desperate for “an early birthday present” of a camera as he did not have enough spending money to buy himself one (we reviewed that life lesson as we had told him many times at home to save his money and not waste it on little “junk”). He was thrilled. I got the “best, prettiest StepMom ” thing thrown in there too – I make all my kids say that when they really want something badly and I know we’re gonna give in:) Now everyone has a camera, so there is a lot of photo shoots going on. We laughed and call ourselves the paparazzi! (It is getting a little annoying mind you).
Josh also bought the cutest lamb stuff, “Shaun” who is also appearing in many of his pictures! (Mine too – I think he’s incredibly cute). He’s got a lamb thing going this trip….
We had an uneventful flight, and flew into Auckland. It was so cool flying in – really felt like we were far away from home. Immigration was interesting. You aren’t allowed bringing in any fruit – which was fine because we had none. However, when they asked, I said “no”, and then Sam piped up “Yes we do!” The officer said, “You better hope you don’t or Mommy is going to pay a $400 fine.” Sam thought they said “food”….we were all good and reviewed the “NOT A WORD” during immigration.
We had a driver waiting for us with a sign with our names (although Rob didn’t remember booking it – apparently he had paid for it too!), and took us to our hotel, Rydges Auckland. A super cute hotel! They have the strangest sign in checkin though – of a sexy woman with these long legs. We chuckled at Josh being mesmerized, and then quickly repulsed! (Later we walked by a place called “Hush Hush”. He was also intrigued, until we told him it was a strip club. He was horrified! He later said he figured there were so many little lambs (sheep stuff everywhere) that they meant it as “Hush Hush Little Lamb”). Priceless.
We quickly unpacked (well, pulled out the stuff that was still damp), charged the cameras somewhat and headed out.
We had a quick pizza lunch picnic, then headed to the skytower. It was awesome! Poor Rob was a little panicked – he really hates heights! We made him step on the glass floor. We got some beautiful views!
The kids loved the gift shop too. Lots of little souvenirs were bought. Including another lamb, some kiwis (national bird – Zach names his “Guava Pineapple Kiwi. He has written a whole autobiography on this new little bird too that he quizzes us on…) and some awesome little pins.
We walked down to the harbour and took a ferry to Devonport. Devonport is THE cutest little town. There, we walked through the town and then walked up to Mount Victoria (a little volcano in Devonport). The views of Auckland and surrounding were spectacular. We were all mesmerized and could have stayed all day. Sun shining, wind blowing, sailing sailboats and the City of Sails in the distance. It was picturesque and better than in my dreams. I think it was there that Rob and I both turned to each other and said “THIS is what confirms this trip is totally worth it). There were a ton of pictures being taken by the paparazzi of course:) Found our Quote of the Week too in a little shop window:
We picked up some fish and chips – way over ordered – normally I order a sandwich for everyone and then share the sides. But we were starving so I ordered 7 combos. Big mistake!! We had enough fries for 5 other families! We ate about 1/10th of them! It was still a yummy picnic, though Sam and Josh had to get up and chase the birds away!
The kids played around in the park and then we watched what we could of the sunset (very cloudy). Gorgeous!
We took the ferry back, and headed back to the hotel with one stop along the way where the boys pressed their noses against a bar window to watch the soccer highlights.
So far, New Zealand is a total hit. Gorgeous. Excited to explore more….