An incredible few days to cherish till the next time…

My parents, aka ‘Chicken’ Grandma and Grandad, arrived back in Wellington from the South Island on Monday afternoon. They said not to worry about picking them up, but how could we resist! To see the look on their faces as we surprised them on arrival was a moment to cherish.

On the way back to our house we stopped for a couple of hours at Lyall Bay beach. It was such a delightfully simple way to relax and spend time together.

On Tuesday, Charlotte was very keen to show off her Kindi and introduce everyone to her beloved Grandparents. After we’d dropped her off we spent the morning with Sophie at Lyall Bay beach, watching the waves and playing in the sand. After Kindi pick-up we enjoyed a delightful lunch at The Maranui Surf Cafe.

In the afternoon, the girls were both keen to check out the new ‘Splash Pool’ at the Aquatic Centre in Kilbirnie. Well, WOW, it was fantastic! I can’t believe I forgot to take the camera. So many wonderful colours, surprise water shoots, a sea-saw that squirts water, geysers, buckets tipping out water overhead, water shooters and life-guards that have permission to get wet and interact with the children (and adults!). Charlotte was in the middle of squirting Grandad with water when a lifeguard crept up behind her and emptied a bucket of water on her head! Thankfully, she laughed (it would have been a different story when she was two!). She also swam on her back (on the surface of the water) for the first time and swims for several metres underwater too. Grandad was exceptionally proud.

On Wednesday we spent the morning at Te Papa and on Wellington’s beautiful water-front; stopping enroute to take it the views from the top of Mt Victoria.

Charlotte was ecstatic when Grandad volunteered to be her ‘belay’ on the climbing wall at Ferg’s. I even had a quick climb.

We spent the afternoon at Oriental Bay beach, where Charlotte found numerous star-fish and Sophie played at the play-ground.

Yesterday, the girls did us all proud with two-hour’s of walking at Karori Wildlife Sanctuary. We were treated to close sightings of saddle-back, a Kingfisher, a black robin, tuatara and Kaka. It is such a beautiful area of protection for New Zealand’s native species.

In the afternoon we enjoyed a tranquil time at Island Bay beach.

Every moment was so precious.

The evenings have given us older folk a chance to properly catch up and enjoy conversation over good food and wine. We miss that so much.

The girls have absolutely delighted in sharing stories with their Grandparents and having them to ‘play’ with them. Charlotte brought tears to our eyes with impromptu statements of love for her Grandparents. And Sophie showed her love in bucket-loads too with hugs and laughter.

We were all fairly brave this morning when it came to say our farewells. It’s always incredibly hard to say goodbye. The time we spend together is always so special. Charlotte said, ‘Don’t worry, we all have each other in our hearts.’. We will treasure the memories till the the next time.

Thank you so much to Charlotte and Sophie’s dear Grandparents, and my very precious Mummy and Daddy, for making the long journey out to see us. You are welcome any time! Wishing you safe home-ward travels via Hong Kong and looking forward to ‘Skype’ chats!