So once again we were faced with the dreaded goodbyes. It was hard saying goodbye to my Grandparents. My sisters and I have been lucky enough to have them in most of our lives. They have lived usually where Mum was or she has followed them. So to know that the kids and I will see them less is very sad and will be a huge adjustment.
We soon discovered that we had a bit of a mission on our hands when all the bags were packed. We had 5 large suitcases (all mine and kids) and 1 smaller one (Mum, Kev and Mosie's allowance), 7 carry on bags, 1 camera, 1 laptop, 3 car seats and 1 mountain buggy. All to be carried by four adults, with three children to also keep in line. Hmmmm I see a problem! Unfortunately I didn't get a photo of the piles upon piles of stuff but I'm sure you can imagine it.
We ended up having to take 2 vehicles due to the amount of baggage. Once we finally packed Mum's van we celebrated. We were on the way to the beginning of our next adventure.
|We were smart enough to tie red ribbon to all of our bags so the could be quickly identified.|
So next was off to Auckland.
We met one of my lovely friends who caught the New Plymouth bus as her husband and her bought our Honda.
Then off to the mall for lunch which was super bus due to it still being school holidays.
My wonderful cousin Van then invited us to hang with her and the girls for dinner and until we had to be at the airport at 3am.
Short version of this story is I had a bit of a meltdown about leaving NZ and the nerves were ramped up. Thank you to my wonderful Mummy and sister who managed to get me on the plane!
I have a lack of pictures of our trip as there was so much happening. We got split on the plane, even though we booked our tickets together. So there was the three children and I at the beginning of one section and then Mum, Kev and Mosie down the very back of the section. I thank God for an amazing young man who got sat beside Quack. He was truly a Godsend. He chatted to the kids, helped them with their headphones, t.v's, food, let them play on his brand new computer he had just purchased before boarding. He was so incredibly helpful.
Mum ended up with Squeak and somehow managed to get him to sleep. I cannot sleep while traveling, whether it be plane, car or train. So I was a little tired and grumpy but somehow we survived. Our plane was over half an hour late leaving so I was getting a little anxious.
We flew with LAN (even though we booked Qantas) which was a South American airway and everything was first announced in Spanish, then English. Jaybug and Quack told the lovely young man beside them that they knew Spanish thanks to Dora! Haha kids are awesome. I soon decided that if there was an emergancy I would have to take note of the Spanish speaking people and there reactions and actions as there may not be time for the English translation!
We arrived in Sydney and had a bit of a hassle collecting all our luggage and then had a foot it to the other end of the baggage collection to pick up the car seats and buggy. We were starting to sweat for time to reach the connecting train as we had to be there half an hour before departure to check our bags.
We got through customs and silly me had insisted on bringing a block of chocolate that I hadn't eaten from Christmas and Mum was sent through the lines to have her bag check. Only she didn't just have her bag she had about 6 of ours as well. This took quite some time and the panic that we were going to miss our train was becoming very real. There is only one train a day up the Hunter line with Countrylink and we were looking at missing it and losing the $170 AUSD that it had cost. Mum finally got through and we headed toward the arrival exit, bags beginning to wobble, eyes red with tiredness and stress and hands numb trying to carry far too much load.
We headed out and standing there was my Great Aunt and Uncle. They hugged us, said hello and then took over with directions and help of bags. It too was evident that someone upstairs was looking out for us. My Aunt and Uncle had come two hours up to Sydney to meet us and help. We wouldn't have done it without them and I am so truly grateful.
My Aunt directed us to the airport train and managed to help us get all our luggage on as we weren't allowed to take trolleys through.
We were all packed into a small carriage with bags spilling everywhere! There was much apology to anyone who tried to enter our carriage at other stops. One thing though people were super helpful - I don't know whether it was the worried looks on our faces or the shock of all our gear but they told us how to get around the Central train station, when our stop was coming, helped us get our bags off and even one man picked up the buggy and got it off without saying a word and just walked off once it was placed down. Thank you Thank you I was calling after him.
The Countrylink train departed at 10.05am and we arrived at 10am! Talk about stressful! Once again though we were helped with our bags, the kids were put on the train for us and everyone was super friendly and didn't give us any lectures about the fact we were to be there no later than 15 minutes before the train left. We had only got everything loaded and we were off. My Aunt and Uncle got stuck on the train and a red alert had to be called to release the doors to let them off. I didn't even get to say thank you or goodbye. Without them there is no way we would have possibly made our train. I am looking forward to going and catching up with them once we have settled in and bought ourselves a vehicle.
The train ride was pretty good. There was landscape and towns to look at and a food carriage which had decent food. Apart from the fact that everyone around us sounded Australian it sort of didn't feel real that we were here. It was just about a four hour train journey which felt like forever when we knew that there was someone excitedly waiting for us at our destination.
|So tired Quack fell asleep eating!|
We were met off the train by someone who has been waiting 10 weeks for us to arrive. Everyone was so excited I forgot to get out my camera. The rest of the day is a bit of a blur of tiredness and grump. We had to go pick up rental cars, drive the 20 minutes to our new abode (which is huge! more on this later), shopping at Big W for some essentials for the house and then rounded off with an amazing dinner at the Denman pub - seriously if you come and visit I am taking you here!
Eventually we all fell into our beds - yes my husband is amazing enough to have got us all beds to sleep on including the 3 extras.
So it is real, we are here, even though it doesn't feel like it.