In less than three weeks we fly away from our home of some fifteen years, New Zealand, to start an adventure living in Santa Barbara, CA, USA. Our new adventure may be for just a year, three years, or possibly more. In this past week we flew up to Auckland, from our home in Wellington, with our three New Zealand born daughters, to visit the US Consulate and successfully have our visas granted to enter the USA for up to three years.
We escaped a bitter storm in Wellington and had a marvellous weekend in the ‘winterless north’ of Auckland.
Here’s a few moments that I’ve loved in the past week…
Loved catching up with a fellow expat family from the UK in beautiful Snells Beach, north of Auckland, surrounding by stunning countryside and beaches. We met this lovely family over five years ago, when they were looking into emigrating to New Zealand from the UK. They found us, through this blog, and later moved to Wellington. We became good friends and when they moved north of Auckland, a few years ago, we kept the connection going. They treated us to a wonderful weekend of rich hospitality, company and entertainment (and I stocked up on my friend’s wonderful aromatherapy products from her business ‘Homespun Holistics‘). It was a reminder as to why this blogging hobby is such a good one – especially in the expat living world – for the great people we meet!
We also spent a lovely few hours catching up with another blogger friend, and her family, in downtown Auckland – the wonderful Vicky of ‘Vegemitevix‘. I first connected with Vicky when she was based in the UK (though she’s from the South Pacific originally). She spent nearly five years there – with her wonderful ‘English man’ (who she met in Paris) and her three children. Her witty writing on her blog always entertained me and connected me with my birth country of England. She has recently returned to New Zealand to live – (lucky for New Zealand!) and is bringing her exceptional social media skills to the parent bloggers with an upcoming ‘Parents Online Blog Camp‘ on 3 August in Auckland (tickets selling fast!).
I loved our return flight over the north island of New Zealand on Wednesday – though it was bitter sweet, knowing we leave on Wednesday 7 August. The snow covered mountains of Mt Ruapehu and Mt Ngauruhoe pierced the cloud cover beneath us, reaching up to the blue sky above. Those mountains will always hold a certain magic for me. Memories of tramping to the crater of both mountains (yes, they are both active volcanoes!) and skiing down Mt Ruapehu came flooding back.
Since we returned to Wellington, on Wednesday, we have been blessed with fine weather. I’ve been running three days in a row and was treated to the most beautiful sunset yesterday.
I was also lucky to see a kingfisher, perched on a piece of driftwood, by Island Bay. It’s the little things I love. Gifts from nature. I shall miss so much of this wonderful place that has been my home for fifteen years, but I know I will learn to love so many other gifts of nature in our future adventure too.
Hope you have found plenty to love this week and enjoy a marvellous weekend.
Cheers from Wellington, New Zealand!