17th February – 21st February 2013
The next couple of days in New Zealand consisted of catching up family, finalising last minute things for the trip and chilling out.
On Monday spent some time with my Nanma and Lynn on the farm. Lynn is my Irish Aunty who married my Mum’s youngest brother Grant. I have to say Lynn has the best accent ever and after 15 years, I can finally understand everything she is saying! I was so stoked to see my Nanma looking really well and in a much happier place. As usual she came bearing biscuits and treats. Later I got the grand tour around Nanma’s pimping retirement home. If you’re wondering why I call her Nanma, it comes from when I was young. We called Dad’s mum Nanny and mum’s Grandmother; Granny Smith was still alive at the time. So I combined Nanny and Grandma unintentionally and came up with Nanma. It has stuck with all the Grand children ever since.
We picked the little cousins up from kiddy Maeve and Sam, then once the big kids Joe and Sinead were home from school, we took the boat down to the Lake for some afternoon water fun. My cousins range from the ages 3 to 8. Sam being the youngest with firey red curls and always, always hungry! Little Mauve is next in line; she’s turning 5 in June. She loves to dress up and is a bit quieter than the other 3 but just as funny. Joe is next in line who is extremely clever for a 7 year old and loves the farm as does Sam. Joe is a big softy at heart. Sinead is the eldest. At 8 years old she has a vocabulary of at least a 12 year old. She is a super sweet heart that can spell better than Mum and I put together! Sorry Mum.
I battled it out on the biscuit with Joe trying to knock him off as he keep insisting Dad (Uncle Grant) to flip him. And well did he get flipped! The little man went flying. We continued on back to shore. Ross and Di (another one of Mum’s brothers and wife) came down to join us. We sat by the lake enjoying BBQ chicken and salad sandwich’s catching up while the kids played and Mauve ran around nude. A lovely way to spend the afternoon with family I hadn’t seen for a while.
We all then piled into Ross and Di’s boat for a ski. It was a bit windy by this stage but managed to have a decent Ski. The kiwi’s keep saying what a lovely temperature the water was, I thought they were mad. It was freakin’ cold!! Grant had a ski after me, by this time it was starting to get dark. Grant got up on two skis and dropped one. When we went back to find the other ski it was proving to be slightly difficult. Especially when the ski had flipped over and was dark grey. Ross assured us it was an old ski. Lucky, we had no hope of finding the ski on dusk.
Over the next couple of days I had a chance to be refused alcohol at the local supermarket, my Aussie driver’s license didn’t cut it. Once upon a time I would of got offended because everyone always thinks I’m a lot younger than I am. But I wasn’t so bothered this time; maybe I’m getting old ha. I also found a bunch of documents stashed in the pencil case I was buying from the cheap Asian store. The documents were notifying the shop owner that the supposed legal cargo they were importing was illegally containing cartons of cigarettes. And the other document was an unfair dismissal complaint from a previous employment. Bet they were happy to see those documents being handed in.
Later on I went for a walk up the top of the farm with Mauve and Joe. You have a 360-degree view of the rolling hills and farmland of New Zealand, very spectacular view despite the hills being a crispy brown colour. Then it was back to the farm to babysit the four little cousins’. I haven’t babysat in a while let alone 4 little ones but all were very good kids. I read about hundred books to Mauve and Sam. Then Sam balled his eyes out saying ‘But I don’t want to go to sleep, I’m really really hungry’. Considering he had just had dinner and didn’t eat it all, I just kept replying to him, ‘you’re just really really really tired’. He eventually went to sleep.
Mauve’s had her very first Ballet class, while I was in New Zealand. It was very cute hearing Mauve telling us how they learnt to walk tall like a Giraffe and something about a lion. Bit hard to imagine impersonating a lion in ballet but all the same was very cute watching her recite her giraffe and lion moves.
Before I knew it, it was time to go. On the day of departure Lynn, Grant, Mauve and Sam drove me up to Auckland airport. After weighing my bags, a massive 22kg for my backpack and 10 and half kgs for my carry on I was a bit worried about traveling with so much weight but it wasn’t clothes that I would need to get rid of, it was my computer and camera gear weighing me down. I couldn’t part with any of it. Eventually it was time to say thank you and goodbye to the Pacey family with big hugs and kisses.
I proceeded to the check in desk; first thing they asked me was to weigh my carry on. As I was only allowed 8 kgs, thought I might be in a bit of trouble here. But all I had to do was carry my laptop. Then the next question, do I have a return ticket? No, why not? Because I don’t know when I’m coming back. Well this made me a little anxious. The simple solution? To go through immigration, customs and collect my bags in Santiago Chile, buy an exit ticket out of Argentina and check back in, going through customs again. I had 4 and half hours to do so. Lynn and Grant had only mentioned it to me days before but I thought I would be fine. Last time I was in Buenos Aires 3 years ago, they couldn’t care less. So whilst I was waiting to board the plane I began the search for the cheapest bus ticket to prove my exit out of Argentina so that when I got to Chile, I wouldn’t have to spend hours booking a ticket in Spanish!