Thursday, November 24, 2011

Trip to the land of the long white cloud...

Recently Jason and I took Ethan back to New Zealand, the purpose of the trip was to visit family and friends including introducing Ethan to his Great Grandfather and to prepare our Pembroke Rd house for sale.

Before we were even due to depart we had a couple of issues, I had (in my post pregnancy/birth addled brain) assumed that Ethan would automatically be a New Zealand citizen. But I was wrong, we had to apply for citizenship by descent for Ethan. This included sending my passport, marriage certificate, birth certificate, tax file number and bank statement off as well as Ethan's birth certificate off to the New Zealand citizenship office. I am not 100% sure why they can't just check electronic records for my birth for example! But anyway, after paying the fee and waiting the 20 business days Ethan received his certificate of citizenship!

We decided to fly Qantas for this trip via Melbourne (it saved us nearly $900). This meant we were in for two approximately 4 hour flights rather than 1 long flight to Auckland with a 1 hour flight to Wellington. However, the next issue we faced with our trip was the grounding of the entire Qantas fleet of planes 6 hours before we were due to fly out of Perth. Luckily our first flight (Perth to Melbourne) was a Virgin Blue flight. Unfortunately we had no idea what would happen at Melbourne and I really wasn't keen to be stuck in Melbourne on Melbourne Cup weekend with a baby and no flight ( and potentially no accomodation if we needed it). As it happened luck was definitely on our side and our flight from Melbourne to Wellington was a code share flight operated by British Airways, so we were one of the few lucky ones to fly!

The first flight left Perth at midnight, which was the same time the Queen left (she was in Perth for CHOGM). Luckily we were leaving domestic and the Queen was leaving international so we didn't have any issues with heightened security.

Ethan travelled well, sleeping a lot of the first flight, kicking/rolling around in the hour between flights in Melbourne, and sleeping again at the start of the second flight. We were lucky to have an additional seat for Ethan and at one stage both Jason and I were asleep with Ethan playing on the seat between us, entertaining himself. I was so proud of our little boy, he really isn't fazed by new experiences at all, taking it all in his stride.

We were met in Wellington by Ethan's Gran, Grandad and two Aunties. It was great to see them all again.

Ethan was a very lucky boy, his Gran had arranged a number of loan toys for him for the holiday (as well as some new toys for him to take back to Perth). Ethan loved this one, although it tired him out to begin with (bottom right photo).
He also got to play in an exersaucer! Which he was very taken with! It provided hours of entertainment!
But even with all the fantastic toys the good old face cloth provided some entertainment as well!
It was wonderful being back in Wellington, there really is no city like it! You sure don't get views like this in Perth!

I love Wellington Harbour! I have spent many hours kayaking on it, swimming in it, and running/cycling around it! When we were in NZ we were lucky enough to experience the Guy Fawkes fireworks from Jason's parent's boat Mayling! This will be the subject of a separate blog!While we were in Wellington Ethan met:
  • his Great Grandad (this will be the subject of its own blog);
  • my friend and triathlon buddy Angela;
  • my friend and ex-colleague Megan (and her beautiful 6 day old daughter Caitlin);
  • my friends and triathlon/swim squad buddies Nat and Deano;
  • our good friend Blossom (Mike);
  • Jason's childhood friend Lawrence and his family (Nicci, James (Jason's godson) and Maeve); and
  • Jasons' ex-colleague Janine.
Here is Ethan with Blossom:
Ethan with James and Maeve, James was very enthusiastically sharing his toys with Ethan!
Jason and Lawrence with Ethan and Maeve.
While we were in New Zealand we celebrated my birthday. I was very spoilt. Before I left Perth I got my present from my mum and dad (a canvas and some charcoal to revisit my artistic side). Jason got me an iPad 2 (his sisters getting me some iPad accessories), Ethan got me a photo frame, Jason's parents got me an amazing pamper afternoon, some accesories for my camera and an apron (a special request from me) and Jason and I were treated to a night out baby free. We went to dinner at The Tasting Room. It was a lovely treat! Here we are ready to go out.
Ethan was good with us going out, in fact here he is watching Cars 2 on my iPad, I don't event think he noticed us leaving... a true child of his generation!
Well after a lovely birthday we had an incredibly busy day to finish the house for the advertising photos (the house sale will be subject of a separate blog)... and then we have a day and a half to just relax. True to form, Jason was restless within a couple of hours!

Our flights back to Perth were again via Melbourne and we had an extra seat for Ethan for both legs of the journey! Ethan was very good again, having little sleeps on both flights! Here is Ethan having one last kick around at Wellington airport.
We had a 2 hour stopover in Melbourne and I had arranged to me one of my internet friends (part of my Huggies "due in May" baby club). Her baby Isla is a day older than Ethan. It was great meeting her in person, as we chat everyday online!
So that was our trip to NZ, it was a great time and we achieved a lot while we were there.

Thank you to everyone for helping us with the house!!!

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