Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Moorfield's Christmas Vacation

I am sure that family and friends back home have already had the 3 hour slide show with bonus 1 hour photo sesh with Mike, but for those more fortunate here's a few piccies of their stay!! We miss them madly and hope they'll be back soon.

A quick drive up the road is Castle Hill, right next to Flock Hill (where Narnia was filmed). You can no longer get to the plains where the filming took place.

We visited the West Coast, stopping off at Shantytown and Arthurs Pass on the way. Accommodation was 2 chalets at the Top Ten Holiday Park in Greymouth. We threw buckets of prawns on the barbie that evening, before a walk on the beach during sunset.

The next day we headed further up the West Coast to Punakaiki, which is also known as Pancake Rocks.

The whale-watching was wet! But we saw whales, and lots of albatross. Unfortunately the sea claimed some victims and lets just say Warren, Ellie and myself DIDN'T have the need for sick bags! And don't go blaming the crayfish, Mike! Talking of crayfish, we had a superb meal out in Kaikoura at the White Morph, which is renowned for its seafood and, of course, it's fantastic name! Mike and I shared an amazing crayfish and seafood platter, and, unfortunately for their parents, the girls have now acquired a taste for crayfish and salmon - sorry folks!

Mike, Mia and the kids took an amazing helicopter trip around Mount Cook - Mia was so taken by it she cried and the kids thought it was fantastic - what an experience! I'm hoping Mike can give me some photo's and I'll post them here! Hint, hint! They went on the same flight as Warren and I did almost a year ago, but not the same pilot.

We just had to take them to Akaroa for the scenery, and the fish and chips! They are simply the BEST fish and chips we've ever tasted - I'm drooling just thinking about them. No trip to New Zealand at Christmas would be complete without seeing the amazing pohutukawa tree, which blooms bright red during the festive season - it's aptly called the New Zealand Christmas Tree. We found a gorgeous example on the beach at Akaroa.

Often, Christmas is associated with miracles, and we all witnessed one - MIKE COOKING... but not only that... COOKING VEGETABLES!

At this rate we might even get him to bare all and get in the spa! Or is that pushing it??

So, what else did we get up to?

We did some "edukayshunnel" stuff - the museum and the Antarctic centre...

We ate "out" a lot....

Well, well, well... what can I say? New Zealand really has quite an effect on some people!!

Wow, great memories.

Next to visit is my Mum and Dad, who have booked their flights and arrive early Dec and leave end December 2006!

Can't wait!

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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Empty House...

It's all so quiet.. ssshhhh... sssshhhh

The family left at the weekend and we returned to a very quiet home. In a way it was nice to get back to "normal", but in more ways it's sad that our family are back over the other side of the world. I'm sure they'll be back! And my parents have just confirmed they are coming over for a month for Xmas 2006!!

We all had a fab time, despite the weather, and managed to pack in loads of trips between gardening! The first week or so the weather wasn't kind, not cold, just a bit wet and overcast (bit of a bugger when you live in the shadow of mountains yet can't actually see them!).

The travellers recovered and then set to work on the garden, helping us to weed and to dig up spuds and plant new herbs and veggies. Cait and Mia dug up the four existing spud beds and we are still, four weeks on, living off the fruits of their labour! Mike and Woz tooled up and went to work with saws and dead branches! I tackled the vineyard and Ellie and I tended the new herbs and veggies and weeded various beds around the garden!

Mia and Cait get to grips with the potato plot...

Mike gets destructive in the orchard...

Processing the fruits of our labour...

Wanted - child labour for grape harvesting!

LOADS more to follow... watch this space!!

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