Our ‘bubble’ of 5 million has done it!

New Zealand has ZERO active cases of Covid-19! Yesterday New Zealand received the news it has been waiting for and life has pretty much returned to normal, but with strict border measures for everyone entering New Zealand. Way to go New Zealand!

Wellington, you beauty! The view from Polhill reserve, near the Brooklyn wind turbine, on the Zealandia fence-line loop walk.

Life for our immediate family is back to normal. We have made the most of the past weeks of Level 2 to reconnect in person with friends. It’s been wonderful to hug them, dine with them, simply spend time together.

On the first day of Level 2 hubby and I took a stroll down to Lyall Bay and stopped in at Parrot Dog Brewery, for Dan to pick up some beer – but lingered a little longer, nipping into the pub for a quick drink (in L2  the rules were that we had to order food with a drink, groups of no more than 10 were permitted and patrons were not to stay longer than 2 hours). Just look at our smiles – even the dog was smiling!

First day of L2 celebratory drink at Parrot Dog in Lyall Bay!

We’ve been able to visit our favourite cafes. Hubby and I celebrated our 21st Wedding Anniversary with a meal out. Our youngest attended a birthday party that was supposed to take place in the midst of Level 4 lockdown.

The dog got a groom and everyone got haircuts and we could drive outside of our locality!

Alice and I on the beautiful beach at Raumati, on the Kapiti Coast.

Our oldest daughter has enjoyed returning to school – her final year – and she can now look forward to her school Ball in September, restarting rehearsals for postponed shows, and engaging in her extracurricular activities. I’ve been able to go thrift shopping with her and buy her the fabric she wanted to make her own ball dress.

Thrift shopping on Cuba Street, Wellington

Our two home-educated daughters have recommenced some of their weekly meet-ups and hobbies. They are back to gym and tech classes.  They have loved being able to see friends again (quarantine schooling was not much fun!). And as much as we loved walking loops around our beautiful neighbourhood during local down, it has been wonderful to visit other parts of Wellington and enjoy many of the amazing trails on offer.

Family walk in Khandallah, Wellington, Mount Kau Kau loop walk.

 

Walk down from Mount Kau Kau, with Wellington city in the background.

Hubby is back playing tennis on a Thursday evening and played his first game of football on Saturday.

I’m excited that running events are back on the calendar and I have the Wellington Xterra trail series to look forward to, along with the Rotorua Marathon in September and an adventure trail series with a local run club in Wellington.

The look of happiness hearing that running events will be on the calendar for the rest of 2020!

Even the weather has been celebrating along with us – with glorious winter sunshine bathing the country over the past few days, continuing the mild and sunny autumn we’ve been enjoying in Wellington.

Shelly Bay, Wellington, on the last day of Level 2.

 

Nearly mid-winter and the call to paddle in the water was still strong!

 

Island Bay showing off on a beautiful winter’s day in Wellington.

We took a drive over to Martinborough, in the Wairapapa, the first weekend of Level 2. It was wonderful to see the countryside and wine growing hub of the Wairarapa frequented with visitors again. We visited one of our favourite vineyards and sat outside for lunch.

The Vineyard Cafe at Margrain

 

The smiles of being free to travel outside our region again!

 

Sunset from the Rimutaka Hill, on the drive from Wellington to the Wairarapa.

 

One of our first drives in L2 was over the Rimutaka hill to Martinborough.

We met up with friends at Wellington Botanic Garden and admired the colours of the season.

Autumn colours in Wellington Botanical Garden

 

Colours of autumn.

My youngest daughter and I enjoyed a night away in Martinborough, catching up with a friend of hers. We did some exploring on our drive back. Visiting Aston Norwood Gardens and Cafe.

Aston Norwood Gardens and Cafe.

But the hardest part of this celebration of returning to ‘normal’ is knowing friends and family in other parts of the world are suffering and not knowing when we will be able to see them. Of course my thoughts are very much with my parents and parents-in-law in the UK. It’s such a hard time for them, to be having to isolate from their friends and community groups – that give them so much sanity. My dear Dad is caring for his wife of nearly fifty years from home (she has Alzheimer’s disease). My mother-in-law is also confined to her home, caring for her husband who has dementia. If only we could teleport them to us and help share the load!

So, we shall carry them in our hearts and thoughts and hope that things improve for them soon.

And we shall very much appreciate all our freedoms – but also take stock of the time we briefly had when the roads were quiet (bliss) and there wasn’t a rush to get to classes!

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Monday 8th of June 2020.

NZ has 0 active cases of Covid 19.
1504 people in NZ had the disease
22 people died

As of midnight last night we entered Level 1. No more social distancing. Life returns to a new normal.
Borders remain closed to the world except for returning kiwis and those will quarantine for 14 days on arrival.

Level 4 lockdown 26.03.20 to 27.04.20
Level 3 lockdown 28.04.2020 to 13.05.20
Level 2 lockdown 14.05.20 to 08.06.20

This is the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic, which was declared March 11th, 2020.

No planes in Wellington skies or the airport was strange to see. Next to no cars on the road, but people walking everywhere you looked. Surreal experience.

Many thousands lost jobs and businesses closed permanently (including my own distribution business). Bitter sweet, but glad this virus has been eliminated from NZ.

Let’s keep NZ safe and Covid free. #nomorelevel4