NZ Christmas 2019

December 2019 - January 2020
A 17-day adventure by kateishandstanding Read more
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  • Day 2

    Settling in to NZ

    December 23, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    We landed at 12:20am and got picked up from the airport, went home, and immediately went to bed. During the day, we went to visit Mike’s mum and had some afternoon tea. After a nap and some cups of tea we had mince patties for dinner and a delish fresh picked rhubarb dessert. Before bed we watched Bad Moms 2 - the Christmas one. Man it’s cold!!Read more

  • Day 2

    Making the Rounds

    December 23, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    We got up nice and early to go to the bank and then bought some Christmas pressies. We had to hurry home to go back to the airport to pick up the car. On the way back to the house we planned on visiting the cousins but no one was home at either house. We grabbed a quick bite and went back home to wrap presents. Before wrapping presents though, we stopped for Christmas wine and beer and I dropped a case on the ground breaking some bottles. Very generously, the Countdown didn’t make me pay for the $50 case of Speight’s. We went to Mornington Tavern for dinner and ate way too much before watching the Big Bang Theory and falling asleep on the couch.Read more

  • Day 3

    Santa Photos and Last Minute Presents

    December 24, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 13 °C

    I got up early (9am) so that we could head to the mall for a haircut and Santa photos. 🎅🏻 We didn’t get out of the house until eleven. I went shopping at Farmer’s to help Santa give the little guy presents while the boys went into the mall for a haircut. I collected C from the haircut and took him down to Santa. Santa was feeding the reindeer so we got some Subway for lunch while we waited. In the line for Santa photos, a boy put his mum’s parking ticket in the mail to the North Pole and C went in after it. The boys dropped me at home to help Santa wrap presents while they went to Moana Pool and rode the Hydroslide. 💦 We had a nice family dinner and C got to sit in a milk truck. After Santa ate some cookies and put out the presents, Santa went to bed. 🥛 🍪Read more

  • Day 4

    Merry Christmas Day

    December 25, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌧 12 °C

    We woke up about 8:30, had a bit of breakfast, and had a big long wait until 11am when everyone arrived at the house and we could FINALLY open presents. I gifted M a kindle and some undies (the undies he asked for). M got me an All Blacks beanie that I’ve had my eye on for 2 years (since the last time we were in NZ). C was pleased with his from Santa. He will have more gifts from Santa when they arrive in the post (due in Friday). We hadn’t beautiful lunch around 1 and were lucky enough to stuff our bellies full. Family left and before we knew it, it was dinner time already. After dinner we watched Moana and Wonder as a family (me, C, M, M’s dad and dad’s wife - with whom we are staying). It’s cold enough in summer here that we got to wear our ugly Christmas sweaters all day. Now we are relaxing in the couch watching the Big Bang Theory! Merry Christmas all. 🎄🎁Read more

  • Day 5

    Taieri Mouth

    December 26, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

    After getting out of bed at 10am and waiting for M to get ready for 3 hours; we headed to Taieri Mouth to visit Mike’s mum. We stopped at a “Night ‘n’ Day” for a coffee. When I found $5 in my pocket I decided to buy scratchy tickets for Mum and let C scratch them when we got to the house. We won $10! So we will reinvest the $5 I suspect. We made a frozen pizza for late lunch and had a bit of a play (Dos - a card game from Santa) and a sit in the “Crib” or “Bach” which is what they call the tiny holiday homes next to the sea. After burgers for dinner we walked the beach and got some really beautiful photos. We came home just in time before the rain and had a cup of tea before bed.Read more

  • Day 6

    Visiting Cousins

    December 27, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

    After getting organised slowly, we drove back to Dunedin to run some errands and visit the cousins and first cousins once removed. Next we went to the shopping mall and Mike bought a shirt and hat and I bought hot sauce. We traded in the $10 scratchy winner for 5 more tickets and only won $4. I think I’ll take my $4 and just accept a $1 net loss. We went back to Mike’s Dad and Dad’s Wife’s house for dinner. By the time we got back to Taieri Mouth, it was past everyone’s bedtime.Read more

  • Day 7

    HP and Bday Dinner

    December 28, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌬 12 °C

    We woke up late again, showered, and lounged around the Crib at Taieri Mouth again. This time watching Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I slept through most of it. We then drove back to Dunedin and had another nap before going out to birthday dinner for Mike’s Dad’s wife at an Italian place. Mike made me try Raspberry Coke - similar but better than Cherry Coke. I had delicious gnocchi and panna cotta dessert. We watched a bit of tele before bed as we planned an early start.Read more

  • Day 8


    December 29, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

    Today was awesome. After getting up way too late we left Dunedin. On the way out we visited Mike’s Aunt and Uncle for a cup of tea. Mike’s Uncle is a taxidermist and we got see his workshop. We also met their black cat called Achilles. Then we drove through Balclutha and Cluntin and got Subyay at Gore before getting to Invercargill. Mike’s friends very nicely put us up for the night. We had dinner (got to try White Bait) and went to feed the horses. They also have a black cat called Blackie. Plus two others, Stripes and Misty. Then we played a game of touch footy in the back yard before dessert. The kids went off to play videos and the adults got heavily invested in game of Dos.Read more

  • Day 9


    December 30, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

    We woke up and had breakfast made for us. They also had a real coffee machine and made my flat white with unpasteurized milk from the neighbours dairy farm. It was so tasty and I drank way too much of it. In the afternoon we went to Invercargill’s Bill Richardson’s Transport Museum. It was a bit boring for me, but someone who appreciates cars and history would be very happy there. All of there restrooms had difference themes that were very entertaining! Not too long after getting back we took C to his uncle’s housr where his mum was staying for the handover. His uncle has a massive ‘’man cave” with all of this hunting trophies.. no joke he could sell tickets to his man cave. We went back to the house and got freshened up before heading to Ziffy’s for dinner. It looked like a shabby place on the outside, but it had recently been refurbished and was delicious on the inside. I had half a blue cod dinner and half a chicken salad. Mike had the other half. Back at the house our friends taught us how to play Eucher. We were just about to win until I didn’t feel so good and I spent the rest of the time until bed vomiting.Read more

  • Day 10


    December 31, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    I woke up with a sensitive tummy and regrettably had to pass on the amazing coffee. After some toast and lounging, we drove to Bluff est. 1824, the oldest town in New Zealand. It was used as a base for sealing and whaling for people from the US and UK. They nearly hunted seals until extinction which is when they turned to whaling. From the look out you can see Stewart Island, the third biggest island of New Zealand. Check the map, most foreigners don’t know that New Zealand is made up of 3 main islands and about 600 islands in total. There was a beautiful cafe at the south end of Bluff - Stirling Point - but they were booked out and walk-ins had to wait for an hour and half. We got take away coffee instead and walked down to Stirling Point.

    We went to a suburb of Invercargill called Windsor for lunch and I tried to find a necklace at a shop in the same town but they have since stopped selling it as it is now in the big NZ department store, H&J Smith. We also tried to get Mike his favorite spring roll from a Chinese take away shop but that shop was also closed for the new year holidays.

    To celebrate the New Year, we went with our friends to a beach town called Riverton, about 30 minutes west of Invercargill. We watched the kids launch water balloons at kids a couple of houses away which really was hilarious. We stopped by another NYE party a few doors down and played Otrio, a 3D version of tic tac toe but we tied every game. We went back to our friends parents house for dinner and by the time we finished up it was already 10pm and still light out. The kids had started making a bonfire on the beach and all the adults went down to join in the fun. I wasn’t feeling great so I watched tv and set my alarm for 11:55 to make sure I caught the fireworks before heading off to bed.
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