The Parents' Arrival
I woke up VERY excited!!! Luckily my parents' flight was on time and and they got the biggest hugs of their lives when we saw them in the arrivals lounge. I'd not seen them for 6 months and I'd been mega excited to have these next two weeks with them. Bless them, they were both so tired after their long flights over to New Zealand from the UK but really keen to make the most of their first day here. Eek, I think I wore the biggest smile on my face for the whole first day of their trip!
Graham sat waiting on the airport carpark for my parents. He was as clean as he was ever going to be at 20 years old and we just hoped that mum and dad would like him. Luckily I think he exceeded my parents expectations and started first time.
Mum had been great and organised all of the next 10 days accommodation in advance. For our first night we were staying in a holiday park in Auckland; we were in the van and they were sleeping in a cabin. Dad and Jason got straight on with the celebrating and enjoyed a beer in the sunshine whilst we waited for their cabin to be cleaned. I thought the place was really cute and Jason was over the moon with all of the freebies he could get his hands on there; He racked up teabags, coconut cream, lemon juice, ginger, porridge oats, ketchup, spices... and probably much more.
I'd got a little pile of post delivered to me, courtesy of mum and dad, and it felt like my birthday had been extended. It was now time to celebrate it with loved ones. Thank you to everyone who sent a card/present for me, unfortunately Jason wouldn't let me decorate our van with all of the cards...
Mum and dad had a quick freshen up and then they said they were raring to go. We went to Mount Eden in Auckland, which is one of the city's volcanoes, and had a short stroll up to the top. We soaked up the views of Auckland and enjoyed the autumn sunshine.
We then headed into Auckland centre to visit the Toi o Tāmaki art museum. It's quite a nice museum, lots of modern art and historic Maori culture, but it was a very sedate activity to be doing with two people with jet lag.
Instead we went for a walk around Auckland city, did a little bit of retail therapy (Mum needed flip flops because it was hotter than she'd expected) and stopped for an ice-cream by the harbour front.
I thought Mum and Dad had done well to stay up for as long as they had and made the most of their first day in Auckland, but they were well and truly ready for bed... snoring in the back of Graham on the way home. The only thing that woke them up was the prospect of calling at a fish and chip shop for supper. An early night was in order as we had a long drive to Wellington the next day.