Hi everyone. Here are the final videos and pics of Vivian’s adventures down-under. It’s taken me awhile to sift through the hundreds of videos and pictures. In Vivian’s last week here after the SCBWI meeting we drove up the Waitakere Ranges for dinner at a friends Restaurant looking out over the tree tops to the city below. The next day we spent at the Kumeu Show which features, wood chopping competitions, dog shows, horse shows and hundreds of craft stalls and heaps more. On the Monday we flew to Wellington for an overnight visit. Wellington being the capital of New Zealand also houses the House of Parliament (the Beehive). We visited Peter Jacksons Weta Workshop and Te Papa Museum and rode the famous Tram Car. Next day we flew to Christchurch where we stayed for two nights. We wandered around the central city, and met with Melanie Dixon a fellow Storm Literacy client with Vivian, and had dinner with her and her daughter. The next day we took off in a rented car for Akaroa. A French seaside township just out of Christchurch where we spent the day and had a lovely lunch and picnicked on the beach. Back in Christchurch we found the White chairs and Memorial Wall, commemorating the people who died in the February 2011 earthquake. Christchurch is a beautiful city and still trying to rebuild itself with parks and wide paved streets bringing a new fresh life. It’s sad that the following day after we returned from Christchurch there was a terrorist attack in which 50 people died while praying. It is believed the number of people killed is the equivalent by population of a mass killing of 3344 people in the USA. Which puts into perspective how small our country is and how big this devastating event is. Vivian and I spent a day out at more beaches after the successful school visit. We drove over to the north shore visiting some lovely parks and beaches, such as Shakespeare Park and lunched at the exclusive Gulf Harbour.
As we still had a few days left, before Vivian flew out, and a 12×12 member Kathy Derrick reached out asking if we would visit her, so hubby and I took Vivian on another road trip. This time up north to the Bay of Islands. We stopped first at Whangarei where they have a delightful book store called Storytimes. Had lunch in this riverside port and continued up to Paihia stopping briefly at Kawakawa where the famous toilets made of ceramic were designed by Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. At Paihia we visited Waitangi and Vivian walked the grounds where back in 1840 the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between 500 Maori chiefs and the representatives of the English Crown. Our accommodation was in Kerikeri. We spent the next day catching a ferry at Paihia for Russell where we wandered around and had lunch. Returned to Paihia and that evening met up with Kathy and her husband. After a lovely evening and an overnight stay in Kerikeri we returned to Auckland via Dargaville township on the west coast. Here are some fun videos and pictures, also included is Vivian’s last night here in Auckland having an evening out at the Sky Tower in downtown Auckland to celebrate our 41st wedding anniversary. We had such fun. Enjoy…
Vivian will be still flying to Geneva when I post this. I’m hoping she has a wonderful safe journey and an equally enjoyable time with friends in Switzerland and Bologna. I miss her already and while we had perfect weather the whole time she was in New Zealand it seemed fitting that the heavens sent a light mist of rain on my drive home from the airport which lasted into the evening. I miss my dear sweet friend, full of laughs we spent many wee hours chatting about writing, family and heaps more. We often sat across from each other at my dining table typing away, reading stories and emails, commenting and when we were in places that didn’t allow us the use of internet we would chat, swap writing ideas, critique each others stories and even had a night of playing cards. I will certainly miss all that.
I hope my dear friend comes back soon. We have so much more to see and do. Don’t leave it too long.
Keep a look out for my next post of Vivian being interviewed live and reading of Sweet Dreams Sarah.
Thanks for stopping by.