Wednesday, July 25, 2012


We were  on 10 different flights in 17 days, traveled a total distance of over 30,000 kilometers, and saw most of our family and friends. We first landed in Nantucket, where Brad's parents have a summer house. There is no where else in the world like the island of Nantucket. It is an island of pristine beauty 14 miles long and 3.5 miles wide. The seaside cottages, old whaling captains' mansions, and historic harbour all make up this little piece of a jewel located 30 miles south of Massachusetts. I love the fact that I cannot have a cup of Starbucks coffee, or that Owen cannot ask for a happy meal, or Lindsey cannot got to Aeropostale while on the island. Chains are not allowed so the cobblestone streets of downtown are still surrounded by little boutiques, surf shops, charming Inn's, and locally owned Cafes. The down side to the island is the price tag. It is the land of the rich, richer and richest.  We are very lucky to be able to visit every summer, and our kids are growing up with fond memories of the time they have spent with cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. 

This is the first day we arrived, we got off the plane after 36 hrs. of traveling and went to the beach to help us try and stay awake! Which worked quite well.  It took 3 days for the kids to get back on track. The jet lag took quite a toll on all three of them. Luckily we were on holiday so sleeping until noon, or going to bed before dinner was no worries as we had no agenda to follow. 

Skyler obviously getting her second wind!

Happy to be back in the USA!!

One of the reasons we love coming here for holiday is the wide variety of activities we have to choose from each day. Do we want to kayak, wind surfing, boating, go to the beach for a surf or SUP, head to the beach club to swim at the pool and eat the most delicious clam chowder for lunch, play golf, play tennis, or head into town for some shopping? Life in Nantucket is good.......

Lindsey and her cousin Sloane! These girls have met on Nantucket every year since they were born.

Heading out on the boat for a little Hot dogging. 

Hot Dogging on the Hot Dog

Happy 4th of July

Money, money, money, monneeeyyyy..........

The beautiful Great Harbour Yacht Club.  We took out their paddle boards almost every morning and paddled around the harbour, it was the perfect way to start our day. 

Heading to Main street for the water fight and I couldn't resist this picture. On the 4th of July every year main street has it's famous water fight, which is a battle of water hoses between the Nantucket Fire department.  

The flag in the distance is on the top of the ladder of the fire truck. A fireman will climb to the top of the ladder and drench every moving target on main street. No one is safe, EVERYONE gets wet. 

Owen holding the hose and ready for battle. 

If you miraculously avoided the water hoses and someone sees you "too dry" than prepare to be hit with a water gun, or  a flying water balloon. It is mass water wetness chaos and Owen loved it. 

We take the kids picture every year in this exact spot. . 

Decorating the 4th of July flag cake that Brad's Mom makes every year. 

Both of Brad's sisters came out with their families. We had a house full with 7 adults, 7 kids, and 4 dogs. It was  crazy and fun!!!

Hanging at the beach with everyone!

Skyler doing a tiny bit of surfing. She was not into surfing because the water was packed with surfer's, boogie boarders, and swimmers. She does not yet have good control of her board and was nervous she was going to hit someone. We are spoiled in Oakura, the beaches are never crowded. 

Brad and his sister Steph. 

Lindsey celebrating her 13th birthday!
After 8 days of indulging our tasted buds with some delicious food, drinking too much wine, laughing with family, and playing in the waves we headed west to KC. Our plan was to do pretty much more of the same except with my family, and our good friends minus the beach.  The time in KC flew by as we were busy catching up with old friends. I will never tire of going to visit our buddies in KC, as they are all amazing folks with hearts of gold. They have good solid values, love their families unconditionally, and are hard workers. I enjoy being in their presence, they inspire me to be a better person. It was however a little stressful at times trying to manage all 3 kids social schedules, shopping, spending time with my own family, fitting in dentist appointments, as well managing my own social calendar. I did shop like crazy. Costco, Gap, J Crew, Target- oh, how I've missed you.  I loaded up for this next year.  In the end it was all worth it as we all had a blast being in our old "hood", and hanging with people we love.

Lindsey and all of her best friends in KC. 

All these girls grew up with KD so they all wanted their picture taken with her!

Me and my sweet Grandpa. 

Lindsey and her friend Victoria. These girls have been friends since they were little, they grew up across the street from each other. I think Lindsey misses Victoria every day.

Owen and his Great PaPa eating some Ben and Jerry's ice cream. 
This picture says it all.........
Skyler and her American friends!!

Skyler loving on KD girl.

 I wonder if goodbyes ever get easy. Will I always have a huge knot in my throat every time I have to tell a friend goodbye? Will I  ever be able to just look my Mom in the eye and tell her I love her with a smile on  my face , instead of the gut wrenching sobbing and tears that happen to me every time? We all survived the goodbye's with our family and friends, but it was hard, really, really hard. My kids sobbed and blamed their heartache on Mom and Dad. They did not understand why we had to get on that plane and head back to NZ. They loved their time in the states and wanted to stay. The kids were treated like royalty in KC, they picked up with their friends as if we had never left. They had sleepovers almost every night, they went out to eat with friends, saw movies, went swimming, and even made it to Worlds of Fun. Owen talked both Grandpa's into numerous trips to the toy store for some new Avenger toys, and the girls restocked their wardrobes with some new threads. Lindsey turned 13 while we were away so she scored some sweet gifts from us and Grandparents. Life was excellent for my kids these past few weeks and so to leave that behind was extra hard. Not that life is not excellent in NZ, but french fries do not get to count as a vegetable during meal time, buying something new at the toy store or new clothes is the exception and not the norm, and funnel cakes for breakfast never happens. So not only were they on Vacation, but in their eyes, they were on vacation with all their best friends. SO we continue to tell our kids that life is meant to be lived. Nests are meant to be left. This family journey we are on is an investment to our future, and the kids will come to understand that one day. Sooner rather than later would be nice, but until then I will continue provide a shoulder for their tears, and a warm embrace to help ease the pain of another goodbye.
Brad and his half sister Maggie at Manhattan Beach. Brad arranged our flight home to have a long layover in LA so he could see his sister Maggie. We jumped off the flight, caught a taxi to Manhattan Beach and spent a few hrs. with Maggie and her family and Grammy Joan. It was a fun way to spend a long layover, however I  do not recommend getting on a 13 hr. flight with sand in one's underwear. Remember the term "nuggety little chap"? Well, reverse the words and that's what happens with sand and 13 hours. 

A "Sweet As" layover with cousins!!

Fitting in a little more family time before getting on our 13  hour flight. 

The beautiful Bach we stayed at until we could move into our rental home.  A friend of mine owns 8 acres on the Oakura river, and it is some of the most beautiful real estate we have ever seen. They have 2 dogs, a horse, a cat, a trampoline, tree house and hot tub. We got lucky with the weather  when we arrived, it was sunny and in the high 50's. So they kids were outside all day long, and then playing flashlight tag until bedtime. They complained of sore legs every morning when they woke up! It was a mini vacation  after our long vacation. It was a perfect place for us to land temporarily until our new home was ready. 

The view down to the river from the Bach. 

Lindsey and her NZ friends hanging out with some horses. 
We are all settled in to our new rental home, I am busy with unpacking and trying to put some personal touches in the place. The kids are back into the swing of the kiwi life, the shoes are off, rugby games are on, and tea time has resumed. We are settling back in to the routine that has become our new life. We're seeing our new friends, and realizing how blessed we've been to have meet such wonderful people here.  So, yes I was sad to leave my friends and family behind in the states, but being back in New Zealand is starting to feel like home, too. And I can't help but be happy here.