As you may (or may not) know, last week the family ventured up to Auckland to check out apartments, schools, walking distances, liveable areas with supermarkets, parks etc etc. Here's a play by play:
Tuesday evening we boarded the plane at Wellington Airport - the boys' first ever plane ride! They went very well, the only incident being that T nearly killed himself swallowing an entire lolly while we were landing. He was more upset about losing his lolly than nearly choking to death though, so all was well. Unfortunately, once at Auckland Airport, monkeys were working in the baggage department and it took about half an hour for the luggage to come out. By the time we arrived at our hotel it was 9.30pm. Considering T is usually in bed by 6.30pm you can imagine how grumpy and tired he was. To make matters worse, they sent us to the wrong room (apparently there had been a mix up with the booking) so they moved us midway through getting the kids ready for bed. Yay.
Wednesday morning we all got up, got dressed and had breakfast, then proceeded to walk (kids complaining the entire way) to hubby's Auckland work base. Ordinarily this would be about a 10 minute walk from the hotel, but with whinging kids in tow, more like half an hour. A quick tour for the benefit of the boys (I've already seen it and it's not that exciting) then we were shooed out, to go exploring on our own. I decided it would be a good idea to check out the nearest school - see what the walk is like, how the school is set out, let the kids explore the playground, that sort of thing. The walk in itself was fine, it was the boys' constant complaining that was the problem. You'd swear their legs were made of jelly! For fit, slim, healthy boys they're rather lazy. Anyway, we finally got to the school, only to find that the whole place was pretty much out of bounds, as they had diggers in gouging out giant holes in the ground, laying new pipes for cables. Oh well, back to the hotel... The boys spent the rest of Wednesday playing XBox (which Deane could not leave behind apparently. I'm secretly glad we had it, I would've gone nuts otherwise).
Once the boys were in bed, we had a babysitter look after them and went to dinner in a lovely Japanese restaurant, ate far too much good food, and wandered back to the hotel to collapse into bed, ready for the next day.
Thursday was a day for wandering back and forth looking at apartments - the main reason for going (apart from Deane working of course). We managed to drag the boys kicking and screaming (literally - I kid you not!) to an apartment block around the Viaduct Harbour, to check out a couple of two bedroom apartments available for rent there. Lovely! A well equipped gym on site, gorgeous pool, lemon trees for Africa, a herb garden, grassy area perfect for the kids to kick a ball around, very secure. Not bad. Unfortunately the manager guy managed to open a door into T's head, and he's still got the bruise :-( T was not impressed...
Dragged them back to the hotel (slightly less kicking and screaming involved) to have some lunch and lounge around for a bit, only to receive a phone call from Reception advising that the room they moved us to was booked out the following night, and we would have to be moved - again. I repeat, yay. They would call again when the next room was ready for us. Meanwhile, Deane managed to con the real estate agent into borrowing a car so we could drive around the next few apartments in the afternoon - one of which I liked, but was not in the school zone, the other of which I did not like, and it was way too expensive anyway (and small). Once back, I dragged the boys to the shop to get something for dinner, went back and moved rooms, fed them, and put them to bed.
The babysitter arrived again, and we went out to what I thought was going to be a work dinner and was not looking forward to. I was mistaken. The taxi driver dropped us off, we got out and Deane produced two tickets to 'Dralion', the current show by Cirque du Soleil. I just have to say: OH - MY - GOD - it was freaking awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I fully recommend going. I even convinced Deane to fork out another $50 just to get the DVD, which by the way mum, is yours :-) I know you would've loved to go to the show but won't be able to, so this is your consolation prize. You should be receiving it soon via Tania, who took it back to Napier with her, along with the Harry Potter DVDs. I have to say, I went to bed very happy that night, with a stupid grin plastered on my face.
Friday morning dawned, and it was all go. I barely had time for a shower and breakfast, before dressing the boys and flying out the door in order to get to town in time for the bus that would take me to the airport for my flight home to Wellington. I managed it, with a bit of running involved, and still have a bruise on my lower back from my stupid hair straighteners in the bottom of my bag digging into my back the whole way through Auckland city. Urgh. In spite of that, I was very excited to be on the way to Wellington Airport, where I was meeting my bestest friend Tans, ready to start our extra special much awaited well planned Harry Potter Weekend (next post!!)