Day #12: NZ Date: 28th of February, Sunday; US Date: February 27th, Saturday.
We went to church with the family again today, this time their were more people. The congregation was still quite small and consisted mainly of Donaldson’s and Donaldson relations. Got to meet Johnny’s great-uncle David, and his cousins Ben and Ben’s wife, Amy. All very nice, very friendly people.
Uncle Dave said he had a lake-house out by Taupo (Taw-poe) that we could use for a night or two if we wanted. And Ben offered to let us stay a night with him and his wife in their 4 bedroom house in Hamilton, since we’d expressed a desire to go see “Hobbiton” which is up by them, and would be 3 hour+ trip if we just went straight there from our current residence.
After church was a small potluck, very small, probably the smallest I’ve ever been to. But it was nice, lots of food, and everybody talked to each other. Older people took time to speak with younger people, and younger people weren’t put off by talking with older people. Everyone was equal and everyone was contented.
After church, and everyone had left, we went back to the house. Daniel and Sarah had beat us there and were skyping with Sarah’s family, so I got to steal their baby for a little bit (oh boy, do those babies smell good!). I walked around with him and snuggled him till he fell asleep. Then we laid him down on sister Katy’s bed for a nap.
Niece Kelly is so cute! She and our niece Lizzy went out to jump on the trampoline, and Kelly was like, “Can you come and watch me!?” So cute!
Note: I would LOVE to share some of the many photos I’ve taken of Daniel and Sarah’s precious children, but they have asked that no photos be shared online. Just their families preference. And I respect that.
Anyways, Johnny said he wanted to drive out to Whanganui (wung-ga-new-ee) so we could do a little shopping. So we headed out. On the drive we saw a single tree atop a small hill, it really stood out, there was a small waterfall, but couldn’t get much of a view, and we saw lots of sheep and cattle and wild goats.
It was about a 1 1/2 hour drive. And when we got there, it reminded me very much of Old Town Vancouver, WA, where my Dad works. Lots of very old buildings in some areas, and then cross a street and there’s quite modern looking buildings in that section, and there were a couple nice little parks as well. But still, only have 2 way roads, 1 lane for each direction. No One Way roads and no sections of 2 or 3 lanes going in 1 direction.
We went to Trafalgar Square, which is supposed to be their big mall. Most the stores were closed ’cause it was Sunday. But one store called “the Warehouse” was open, and that was where Johnny wanted to go. We got Johnny a new sim card for his phone, and some socks and things; we finally found a cute little fluffy toy Kiwi bird for baby Vicky (a definite goal to get one for her this trip); and I got a very cute (and comfy) nightgown.
We then went to small pond/park. It had a large lake, with trails along the waters edge. And ducks, lots and lots of ducks, as well as a white goose, 2 white swans and multiple black swans. The ducks were super friendly, would walk right up to you to ask for food. The swans were this way too!
There were a couple green houses called the “Winter Gardens,” they were very warm and humid, but had lots of lovely plants and flowers!
And they had a large “Birdcage” like what we used to have at our local zoo for housing the parakeets. They had lots of dove’s and parrots and cockatiels and even a few pheasants. It was closed by the time we got there though, so we could only look through the cage, not enter it.
After that we drove out to the beach. The sun was just getting ready to set, so we looked around for some shells, I even found a piece of Jade (green stone) and Johnny found a Sharks tooth! Gonna turn his tooth into a necklace for him when we get home.
We got to have a few pictures taken down on the beach, and then watched the sun finish setting. We then started the drive back to town, stopped by Domino’s Pizza place and got some pizza. Man! Their pizza’s are small, no wonder New Zealanders are all so skinny, any american food places give super small portions there! Pizza had good flavor though, and helped prevent us from feeling starved by the time we got home.
Back home we showed some of the treasure’s we had found on the beach, and some of the photos we had gotten as well. Then straight off to bed as it was nearly 10pm when we finally got back.