Off to visit Wallan way out in the wopwops of Victoria then home again, home again, jiggidy jig!
Saturday 16th June
8 degrees as we land at Melbourne airport after the 7 hour flight from Singapore. So much better to have another stop this time instead of the over 12 hour flights. Note to oneself - always visit Fleur on the way home, with these long haul flights. Pete and Fleur met us at the airport and drove us to their beautiful home in Wallan. We had a sleep in the afternoon like 2 old people. At 5pm, we met Pete's Dad, John, Mum, Liz and Grandmother, Hazel (Haze as she is called). They all came for dinner and to see Pete's new home. John had seen it when Pete was buying it but Mum and Haze hadn't. We are all very impressed with this lovely 4 bedroom home with huge rooms and 2 bathrooms. Infact, the 3 smaller bedrooms are almost in their own separate wing making it a great place to stay away from the master bedroom and ensuite. Pete and Fleur made us all a sumptuous meal and we all got to know each other and got on splendidly. What a lovely family Pete has. We hoped they felt the same about us of course. We then had a wonderful sleep in a very comfortable bed. Nice a warm in the house with Pete having installed central heating this year but outside, it was winter temperatures and a way of us getting used to winter conditions for our return home to NZ. It is actually strange seeing bare trees as we left before the leaves dropped off the trees at home and of course, we have had spring and summer for the last two months. We off loaded our presents on Pete and Fleur and the seemed happy with them and we were also happy to lighten our load.
Sunday 17th June Wallan
A sleep in until 9am was bliss. Fleur had made bacon, eggs, tomatoes, toast, coffee and tea for brunch and then we had a drive around Wallan and Kilmore to see the area. Kilmore is quite historic but of course, not like the history we have just experienced in Europe and the UK. It was wet, cold and grey and places never look at their best then do they. We found more shops in Wallan to buy even more gifts for those back home and Fleur insisted on buying Jenna a puzzle and a soft toy to take home to her from Aunty Fleur. We relaxed in the warmth of the central heating watching DVDs and then went for a walk to see the immediate area around their home. It rained on us yet again. Pete and Fleur then took us to the new local Thai Restuarant for dinner which was yummy. Another early night as we all needed to get up at 6am to go to the airport. Fleur and Pete were heading to the Gold Coast for a week's holiday and us home to Thames. It was lovely to have this couple of days with Fleur and Pete and to meet his parents and see where they were living and see how happy they are. It was also nice to finally be able to tell some family about our wonderful adventures. I know Fleur has been reading my blog so she will have been filled in on everything that happened by now.
Monday 18th June Wallan to Auckland New Zealand.
This time, we are to have our first flight with Virgin Australia. This was also a good flight and pretty smooth as well.
Lisa (our Daughter and Travel Agent) met us at the airport where she drove us home to Thames. Lisa was so looking forward to hearing how the trip which she had put together for us had gone. In fact it was a 16 page itinerary that couldn't have gone any smoother. Anton brought Jenna over from their new home in Whangamata and we all enjoyed dinner together, which Lisa also cooked. I really appreciated that as it had been so long since I had really cooked, apart from in Ruda, Sweden, I was at a loss as to what to even cook. I actually felt like a stunned mullet being home again I think.
When Anton arrived with Jenna, we realised how much a child developes and changes in 2 months in these early months. We had left when Jenna was 11 1/2 months old and just starting to take her first step and she had 2 teeth then. They were still living in their little apartment in Auckland at that time. Now she was a big girl of 13 1/2 months, walking and starting to climb stairs and saying a couple of words. She had much thicker and longer hair now as well as 4 teeth. They had been living in their own 3 bedroom home with large garden in Whangamata since 2 days after we had left and Jenna had started walking properly about that time also. Lisa had been working full time at House of Travel in Whangamata since their arrival in the Coromandel Peninsula as well and Anton was the stay at home Dad working remotely in IT. Jenna was even going to creche 2 half days a week. Such a lot happened in that 2 months for them as well.
It only took Jenna a few seconds looking at Des and I, (her Granna and Gaga), to realize who we were. She was then ready to give us our long awaited cuddles which we had missed so much on our trip. Straight away, she showed us how she now dances to music (I wonder where she got that from? (Both her parents have been dancers, as some readers know.) She now holds her arms out to you to be picked up for a cuddle and laughs even more than she did before. (which was a lot before anyway). She actually laughs much more than she ever crys.
We are feeling quite overwhelmed by the fact we are now home and life will get back to normality. Our house sitters had left the house very clean and tidy and the garden looked beautiful too. Alley, our cat seemed very happy to be reunited with us and life would get back to normal for her as well too.
All up, a fantastic trip which we will never forget, that is until the alzeimers sets in properly I suppose. Its nice to be home now and to plan the next trip. Hope it won't be 8 years in the planning this time. Nice to be able to use the computer as much as I want and to have a free washing machine and drier in the building. Des had taken early retirement from his job, so that will be different for him being at home more.
Last but not least, I just want to say 2 votes of thanks.
1 - To all those who have read my blogs and there has been heaps of you. Infact some blogs have had as many as 657 and the least views on one blog was 79. I would love to know who you all are but thanks for taking the time anyway.
2 - To Lisa, who just prepared for us the best holiday we could possibly have ever had. In fact the 16 page itinerary seemed so mind boggling at first and we couldn't even imagine doing all she had arranged for us. Working through it day by day was just a breeze. We were so happy with how smoothly it all went. (She had nothing to do with our French Tour Director spoiling France for us naturally). I would thoroughly recommend her to you to arrange travel as she just got everything so perfectly right for us. She now works at House of Travel Whangamata. Check her out on the web. She may be our Daughter but she certainly is an excellent Travel Agent as well. Nothing was left to chance which we certainly appreciated as this had been our first time to the other side of the world not knowing what we should expect.