It has been one week since we have retured from our adventures across the world.  I must apologize that I have not yet blogged in-depth about our trip.  However, I feel I have only just recovered from my jet-lag.  Hazel slpt till 2pm Monday and 1pm on Tuesday!  Good thing the in-laws came into town to help her recover.  Phillip and I, on the other hand, had to head to work Monday!  I would never complain, the trip was fabulous.  A very special thanks to our hosts Luke and Laura and of course Elijah.  Laura planned a jam packed itinerary that was nothing short of phenomenal.  We felt that, although our trip was brief, we saw as much as we possibly could.  She did everything she could to insure we had the very best time, and we did.  Thank you Laura!  Here is a brief synosposes of the trip day-by-day and since I am sure you would prefer less talk and more pictures I will let the photos tell the stories.  

Day 1- Luke, Laura and Elijah picked us up at the airport.  We changed and headed out to the Mapua Easter Fair.  There were heaps of people  and the weather was lovely.  After walking around for a bit we traveled to Rabbit Island for a BBQ.  How fitting to be on Rabbit Island for Easter.  This was Hazel’s first time at the beach.  After some sun in the fun we headed back so the kiddies could have a sleep.  For dinner Luke cooked a fabulous English meal.  

Day 2- We let the kiddos sleep in.  We then took a water Taxi ride to Abel Tasman.  We ate at the Marahau cafe before heading out and some toddler bully pushed Hazel down right after she smiled, and waved “hi”  to him.  Ja Ja (Hazel’s name for Elijah) was very upset and chased the kid down and took his toy.  If that isn’t love I don’t know what is.  Anyway, we took the water taxi to Anchorage beach.  We looked around a bit before getting back on the boat.  

Day 3- We walked around downtown Nelson.  It is a lovely town with tons of neat shops and cafes.  We saw the Nelson Cathedral and visited the ring shop which made the “Lord of the Rings” ring.  That evening we walked up Prince’s drive to catch a view of the ocean.  We hoped to see the sunset but Hazel got restless so we headed back to Laura’s house.  That night Luke made a Korean dish, Kim Chi CHigae, for dinner, spectacular!

Day 4- Laura surprised me with a spa day!  So luxurious, it had a Fijian theme.  Words cannot describe the incredible relaxation.  While we were spa-ing, Phillip took Hazel to Tahunanui beach for a little father daughter time.  For dinner Laura had reservations for the best table at the Water front cafe.  We sat right in front of the picture window over looking the bay and the sail boat races.  It was gorgeous and the food was fabulous as well. 

Day 5- We drove to Picton.  Picton is about 2 hours East of Nelson.  It was a beautiful drive along the coast on Queen Charlotte Drive and we also saw a bit more main land as well.  Picton was very cute.  On the was back we drove out further North along the Maralborough Sounds.  The views were breathtaking.  For dinner we ordered out the best Thai food we have ever had.  Just to save you the suspense we were 8 for 8 fabulous dinners.

Day 6- Phillip went ski diving!  After we did a bit of walking around Nelson and ate at a cute cafe.  Then we headed back to pack for our sailing trip!  We met Captain Martin and his boat later that evening and headed for the open sea.  Captain Martin made us a great steak and chicken dinner.  He also took us via- dingy to an abandoned old lighthouse.  He gave us the keys to get inside and told us to flash our “torch” towards the boat when we were ready to be picked up.  Then he got in the dingy and sailed away.  Slightly freaky.  He did come back after all though. Hazel was frustrated on the boat because she could not seem to gain her balance while we were moving.

Day 7- Martin made us a French toast breakfast.  We docked at 9am and headed straight to the Saturday Markets.  We had a great time and picked up most of our souvenirs there.  Then we went to Laura’s show “Plonka’s New Plonk.”  It was a kids show which held Hazel’s attention the whole time.  We then walked around Nelson a bit more .  Later that afternoon after the kids had a quick nap, we headed for Cable Bay.  This was my favorite.  The weather was perfect and the scenery was surreal.  I love New Zealand.  For dinner we went to the Saltwater Cafe.  A nice grown-ups night out.  

Day 8-  We hiked to the center of New Zealand which is in Nelson close to the Mai Tai River.  Then for lunch we headed to Heritage Park.  A cute park set up in an early 1900’s theme. Then we packed and headed to the airport…..

I said I would be brief, that’s as brief as I can be.  Although I do want to mention one more thing.  Hazel and Elijah were adorable together.  They got along so well.  Always sharing; toys, food, rocks, shells, or anything else they may have in their hand at any given time.  They never hit or pushed each other, on purpose.  Hazel loved chasing “Ja Ja” around.  She thought he was the cat’s meow.  Although I was sad to leave for many reasons, I think parting these two made me the saddest…



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