Here we are only a few months from returning from New Zealand and it already feels as though the trip was a life time ago.
Graeme and I were fully aware that this trip was going to be unlike all the others we had taken previously. Why was this one going to be so different you ask? Four words, traveling with a toddler. Adelaide has already gotten her fair share of traveling under her belt already, but we knew this was going to test her and us along the way, but I think the part that surprised us both were the unexpected tests.
Our flight over was quite manageable and the flight crew was fantastic. I wish we could fly Air New Zealand for every flight! Adelaide was happily entertained with a kit we packed for her and slept a good couple of hours.
Landing in Auckland at the start of the day is always nice, makes it feel as though you experienced a full nights sleep and are just waking up to a new day (even though you have entirely missed a day!). It was wonderful having Graeme’s Mum there when we arrived and Adelaide was just delighted to pieces to see her. We picked up our rental car and made our way about 3 hours North to stay at a little Air BNB we had rented. Because this was going to be our major family holiday for the year we wanted to take the time to do just that, holiday for a bit.
Russell is a beautiful little town situated among the Bay of Islands and a place in New Zealand I always wanted to see a bit more of while living there, so this was my chance and even though it was mid-winter it was just as beautiful and quaint as I imagined. I think the highlight though was going across the bay to Waitangi and getting to see the British Lions hosted by the country as a whole. I am a huge fan of rugby, so to see this historic moment for the country was special and Graeme and had never been here before either, but had also very much wanted to visit so it was special seeing his reaction to being there. Adelaide did exceptionally well with all the crowds and the moving around, like I said it was the unexpected tests that surprised us – more on that in a minute.
After several days we began our trek down to Wellington making several stops to stay with friends, family, and a few other touristy stops!
We love getting to spend time in Wellington, but Graeme and I have come to realize that making this time when we travel back is so important for us as a family.
Our travels in total were about a week, with the plan to be in Wellington proper for two weeks. We arrived at our Air BNB to a fan fare of our god-daughters and two of our very best friends, along with Graeme’s sister and boyfriend. It was a sweet coming of home of sorts. Those first 48/72 hours in Wellington were really so much fun, but that’s when it turned a bit.
Adelaide picked up some sort of cold which morphed over the two weeks after several bouts of what seemed to be a stomach bug and a night of absolute no sleep for her and myself we ended up taking her to see a doctor (grateful for her dual citizenship in this moment). It was chalked up to a severe cold and an adjustment of her body to the elements (I did mention it was winter right and we had just come from summer?).
Ultimately we had to be flexible with our plans, missed out on seeing several people we love and would have loved to have seen, Adelaide and I missed out on going to Grandma’s birthday dinner, but even with all of this we still made the most of our time. We celebrated birthdays, being reunited with family, enjoying some of our favorite meals together, and were just delighted in showing Adelaide a little piece of her history and story.
The other kicker as our last week came to a close was that I got sick and then Graeme got sick, so badly that we were afraid I was going to be getting on a plane with Adelaide and without him. He turned the corner within 12 hours of flying and with A TON of prayers, determination, and a sprinkle of favor we were able to get a row of seats that turned into a “bed” for the 14 hour flight home – which all three of us were EXTREMELY grateful for! We felt like after the trip we had just had this was a sweet way to finish it.
Graeme and I struggled leaving New Zealand this time around, because all in all it hadn’t been the quite relaxing and refreshing trip we had hoped it to be. We felt like we had missed out on a bit, but then I think we also came to the realization that we now have this other little person who is a part of our family unit, so of course it is going to look different. With Adelaide she brings a great wind of change, but it is the BEST kind of change. A change that keeps you on your toes. Causes you to be patient at a whole new level. Love a bit deeper. Laugh a lot more. And just be open to being present in the moment even if that means enjoying the view that Air BNB provides while you have a little sickie napping on the couch. It was a different trip than we were expecting – both good and bad. A trip that will somewhat lay the foundation for all other trips, that no matter the plans or agendas, sometimes it is good to just let go and embrace the moments as they come.