Saturday, September 14, 2013

Peter visits New Zealand and Sharryn visits Brisbane

Over the years since we first shifted to Melbourne in 2000 we have travelled "the ditch" many times and often these trips are singularly - I will go for one reason and Peter for another.  In the past he has been able to combine work trips with family trips which has been great.

As we were staying in Brisbane for seven weeks we decided that this was a good opportunity for Peter to make a trip to New Zealand to catch up with family.  So to co-incide the planned trip with family events he booked to travel on the 24th August in time to attend our nephew Danny's 41st birthday party.  Our son-in-law met him at the Auckland Airport and they travelled to our home in Mt Maunganui together where they met up with the rest of our family.  He had a great week-end in our home, along with our daughter and son-in-law and three grandchildren and of course Danny and Alana, and our Melbourne based niece Sandra who had also travelled over for her brother's birthday.

After his time in the north he travelled to Wellington to spend time with his wonderful Mum and surprised his sister by being able to attend her 60th birthday.  They all had a great time.

While Peter was in New Zealand I wasn't lonely.  My great friend, Sharryn, came over for just over a week and it was great to spend time together.  After a very busy few months she was in need of some rest and relaxation so our lovely holiday home fitted in with that theme.  We loved just spending time sitting in the outside lounge area relaxing, drinking coffee, having leisurely breakfast or lunch, watching the birds and enjoying each others company.

Of course we had the constant company of Toby, the Golden Retriever, when we were at home.  He is like a shadow and would follow and sit wherever we were.  I walked Toby twice a day, a longer walk in the mornings and a shorter walk around 5 pm and initially Sharryn joined me on the morning walks but with lots of time needed for relaxing, and "phone calls taking up the time, she often missed the wander down the hill to the park and the 20% incline on the way back up the drive.

We went out each day exploring the local areas without necessarily "sight seeing".  Spending time wandering the shops, having a coffee and snack in one of the many cafes was much more important.

One day we north up to Caloundra as the car needed a warranty check.  While that was happening we explore the shopping strip and then made our way to the beach front where we had lunch at one of the restaurants before wandering along the beachfront.  It was a beautiful day and very pleasant.  From here we drove along through Mooloolaba (where we had both separately had previously holidayed) and enjoyed seeing how that area is developing.  There are lots of happy memories of earlier holidays.  We continued on to Maroochydore to Sunshine Plaza which is a very large shopping centre - quite a unique building plan with the river running the middle with paddle boats etc and you can sit on the balcony overlooking from one of the many restaurants.  We didn't have restaurants in our plans, Sharryn was shopping for her grandchildren and keeping an eye out for something to wear to a spring wedding.  We achieved success on the children shopping but sadly not on the wedding outfit.

It was late by the time we eventually arrived back at The Gap - just an hour from the Sunshine Coast but the afternoon had slipped away.  This was the only day Toby missed his afternoon walk - he was much more keen on his dinner and our company than wandering down the hill.

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