Friday, March 27, 2009

The 'rents are here!!

This past week has been nutso bizarro CRAZY! Normally the work week is used to unwind and document weekend activities. HOWEVER, last week was GO GO GO, and while it was FUN FUN FUN, it was not conducive to prompt blogging. So let's take a little mental trip back to Saturday March 21st when MOM & DAD ARRIVED!!

For their first evening here, we joined Mama & Papa Gwilliam and fam for a delicious authentic kiwi feast. The whole family is a total hoot and we enjoyed showing off real and adopted families to each other.

On Sunday morning, we swept Mom & Dad away in Mitsy for their first Kiwi roadtrip!

Even stopping at a service station is a photo op in NZ!

After topping up with petrol, we stopped at a local cafe for our caffeine fix. The coffee selection looks a little different here in these parts. Rather than just listing the regular options such as "latte"or "cappuccino", they have "flat whites", "long blacks" and "short blacks". The flat white is pretty standard for me, and the long black is pretty standard for Lowell. Mom thought she would go for the short black (thinking that it was just a regular coffee with less espresso than the long black).

When she received her takeaway cup, she looked at us rather puzzled-like and said she was just going to check and see if there was anything in her cup because it felt empty. To her surprise, there was about an inch of coffee in the cup. Just an espresso shot... that's it.

Her reaction/confusion was priceless. She brought her cup to the counter and explained her Canadian naivity and how "short blacks" were apparently quite the cultural experience for her. The server gladly topped her cup up with hot water, and we were free to continue our road trip.

Before meeting Marc & Kylie in Whangarei for the weekend, we stopped to walk along the Mangawhai cliffs.

We met Marc & Kylie in Whangarei in time for a quick kayak before dinner.

We were staying at Tidesong which is a B&B in Whangarei. Remember one of our best buds Nat (of Lance & Nat)? Well, her sister-in-law's parents own/run Tidesong. The 4 of us kids slept in Gus while Mom & Dad received the true B&B experience.

Tidesong should actually be considered a 'Bed, Breakfast, Dinner, Tea, Friendly Hosts & Plethora of Activities' (or 'BBDTFH&PA') facility. They're not just a regular B&B.

For dinner, we put together our own pizzas which Hugh cooked in the outdoor stone oven.

Even though we were stuffed to the brim with home-made pizzas, corn, a selection of salads, and baked apples, we still felt it was appropriate to prepare some s'mores in the stone oven. Between Mom, Dad, Marc & Kylie, all the appropriate CANADIAN s'more ingredients (i.e., Caramilk bars, Graham crackers, and normal marshmellows) were present, and we weren't about to pass up this oh-so-cool stone oven experience.

They turned out even better than regular s'mores, and I'm pretty firm in my resolve to coerce my parents into purchasing/building a similar oven in their yard.

After a pleasant sleep and an extravagant breakfast, we took a stroll in the rain around Tidesong's beautiful property. This included a walk through the low-tide mud. The day before we had kayaked through the same spot during high tide!

By noon, the weather had cleared and the ocean was calling our names. We headed to a nearby beach and introduced Mom & Dad to boogy boarding!!

I was fairly convinced that my Dad's constant shouts of glee would shred is vocal folds to bits, but I was wrong. His larynx was in fine form for all the whooping that he did while boogy boarding in the following days.

Lowell and I returned home on Monday for my final (partial) week of work, and the ‘rents and Marc & Kylie returned to Auckland on Tuesday evening. See Marc & Kylie's bloggeroo for pictures/details from the rest of their time together!

On Wednesday afternoon, we took a musical (if you consider “Down by the Bay” musical) family trip in Gus (who functions well as a BUS) to Muriwai where we BOOGY BOARDED AGAIN.

Dad is very subtly changing his togs (aka swimming suit) on the beach.

I believe he picked up this completely socially appropriate cue from me...

Once we arrived at home, we devoured home made tacos and introduced the parental unit to TIM TAM SLAMS.

Once again... the slams were a hit.

On Thursday, after farewelling my beloved colleagues one last time (which I can hardly believe I don't have any pictures of), we had dinner with our other Kiwi family...

If you recall, Andrew was our first connection in NZ. He was the one who set up our accomodations and hooked us up in their church. This family made our transition to NZ eeeeaaaassssssy, and we cherish the relationship we've maintained with them.

On Friday afternoon, we took Marc & Kylie to the airport. Their 2.5 month stint in NZ is over, but they’re making their way home via Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. We’ll meet them in Thailand in May, so this isn’t “good-bye”… it’s “see ya later alligators”.


Bloggy Mama said...

Yep, still jealous.

Shelley said...

i swear, you guys have the best life.

Avery said...

Yeah! Enjoy your time traveling with the 'rents and family!!