Saturday, February 22, 2014

Our North Island New Zealand Adventure: Part 1

We have just returned from a fantastic two week vacation in New Zealand.  Not only was this tops on our list to visit but some of our best friends live there. There were many reasons why I was so looking forward to this trip, I couldn't wait to see our friends, feel cold weather, eat good food, be outdoors, be together as a family, etc.  I also felt like we were going home, home to a place we had never been, home to a place where we were looked after and home to a place full of great adventures.  Lucky for us, Eric was able to get a full two weeks off of work, thank you Chinese New Year, and after a quick 12 hour flight we arrived in Auckland, New Zealand. 

We spent our first day relaxing and catching up with Nikki, Leon and Ellie.  We enjoyed our time playing in the grass, sipping wine and beer, eating sausages, fish and chips and avocados and catching up with our friends. 
A perfect day for a picnic lunch at a nearby vineyard
We are definitely not in Malaysia anymore!
Adi and Ellie chillin
On our second day, we met up with the Foxes and Shearers and ventured to famous Waiheke Island, for a day of sun, sand, wine and good friends.  We traveled from Auckland to Waiheke by ferry, which allowed us some time to enjoy the gorgeous Auckland scenery and some of bluest and cleanest water we have ever seen. 
Once we arrived in Waiheke, we boarded a bus and traveled across the island for some time at the beach.  It was a picture perfect day and my only regret is that we did not bring our bathing suits.  At least the girls had some fun splashing in the waves!
So clean, clear and beautiful!
We couldn't keep this water baby out of the ocean
Swimming in her birthday suit!  So cute!
After our playtime on the beach, we hiked up to a fabulous restaurant and enjoyed a meal full of delicious tapas and wine.
A great and happy bunch of Hartners, Foxes and Shearers
Lunch with a view
After lunch we returned to Auckland wishing we had more time in Waiheke, a theme that would be played out during our entire time in this great country. 
We hit the road after two full days in Auckland to continue exploring the North Island, (more to come on those adventures soon) but returned at the end of our trip for some more quality time with the Foxes and to have some fun in downtown Auckland.  Eric had been pondering jumping off of the Sky Tower the entire trip and decided after we flew back from Wellington to do it!  Before he plunged 192m, we spent the day having lunch at an ocean side cafe and visiting the amazing Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium.
Eric contemplating his jump.

Adi loved the aquarium and seeing all of the penguins! 

After a full afternoon, we headed to the Sky Tower, where Eric signed his life away and I made sure he had life insurance, to jump from Auckland's tallest building. 
All suited up!
Adi giving her daddy a kiss goodbye

Ready, Set, Go!
Here he comes! 

So happy! 
 Eric was lucky enough to visit on a day when they weren't busy and was offered a second jump for free!  So up he went for another leap!
Here he comes again!

Yep, he loved it!
We spent our last full day hanging out with the Foxes and letting the girls play and play.  It was so cute to see Ellie and Adi play together and hard to believe that Ellie is walking (running) and that will be Adi soon.

Sharing Chips!

Getting ready to crawl very soon! 
Stay tuned for more on our trip around the North Island!

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