We’ve arrived home, finally! I think the girls tired their hardest to put Aunty Claire off having children for life, but their charm and smiles (in between the occasional tantrum on a ten hour day flight from London to San Francisco) won over her heart in the end. Claire and I really enjoyed our time in San Francisco with the girls and it was quite special being all girls together. Charlotte and Sophie showed incredible stamina and the adrenaline pumping through their veins kept them going for hours. Charlotte managed a record 16 hour day without a nap!
The highlight of our stay in SF was biking across The Golden Gate bridge again. Seeing the huge smile and glazed expression of wonder on Charlotte’s face was magic. Sophie waved at everyone from her little ‘tent’ on wheels before finally taking a nap. We also enjoyed a much needed beer at Fisherman’s Wharf, whilst Charlotte and Sophie charmed all the onlookers by running back and forth to a busker with dimes and quarters.
The downside was the sheer lack of sleep and exhaustion. It wasn’t easy keeping our wits about us. Charlotte nearly choked on a boiled sweet, but thankfully Aunty Claire saved her life – literally! I was an emotional wreck on the first flight as it’s never easy saying goodbye, especially after such an incredible trip home.
The second leg was easier as it was a night flight and I don’t think I’ll EVER fly long-haul during the day with children again! The girls slept for most of the 13 hour flight and we actually felt quite with it when we landed at 5am in Auckland (though very stinky!). It was quite strange boarding the domestic flight to Wellington, since we were the only people not dressed in suits. The girls were SO excited to be seeing their Daddy and the whole flight knew it! Dan had tears streaming down his face when his girls ran to his open arms, it was one of those very special moments.
It’s so good to be back, but photos of our trip are still bringing tears to my eyes. Thankfully I have my sister staying with me for a week to ease me back into life over here. What has been lovely is bumping into four people I know already, which has made me feel really welcome and I’m looking forward to catching up with friends properly and getting settled back in.