Christmas in Queenstown was fab! Annabelle was very spoilt but seemed far more interested in the boxes and wrapping paper than the actual presents. Although there were a couple of toys she stuck straight in her mouth - a sure sign of appreciation! She also recieved some beautiful clothes so Catkin had fun dressing her up. So cute!!
Cute alert: Annabelle has learnt to wave so all aeroplanes and helicopters flying overhead get the cutest little girl in the world waving at them. Bless. I had a little movie of it but can't seem to upload it on to here. Sorry. You'll have to settle for another adorable photo instead.
The food was tasty and the company was awesome. Everyone had a wonderful day. Dad had to be prompted to say his customary line "Well, that's Christmas over with for another year" after dinner. He is currently working his timing for this Christmas.
We had beautiful weather in Queenstown with rain only one of the days which allowed us to go walking a wee bit which was good.
On Boxing Day the ladies (Trish, Catkin, Anne, Annabelle, Claire & Danielle) went out to Lake Hayes and walked around part of the lake which was really nice while the boys (Gavin & Pete) went for a look at the $10m holiday home Gavin is working on currrently in his job. It's not my cup of tea - too much glass and all I can wonder is how on earth one would clean the windows! It's appropriately named The Jagged Edge and hangs out over the cliff with wonderful views of the lake and mountains. The following photos include an artists impression of the finished design and the site as it currently appears. There's a bit of a way to go.
On the 28th we took a day trip over to Balclutha to visit cousin Patrice, her husband Vawn, and their two kids Dylan and Chrystal on their farm. It really is in the middle of nowhere with long loose metal roads to get there. The farm is massive with both sheep and cattle. They also have goats, 10 farm dogs, one guard dog, and a cat. Both kids have their own mini motorbikes too which makes getting around the 1000 odd hectares a lot easier.
After a yummy lunch they took us up to a pond on the farm to go yabbie fishing. Yabbies are freshwater crayfish but are a lot smaller than their salt water relatives. Still as prehistoric looking though and their nippers are still as dangerous. Dad caught the biggest one and after a few hours we took them back to the house and Patrice boiled them up for us to eat accompanied with garlic butter.
Claire and I left Queenstown on the 29th and headed to Omakau which is 27 kms from Alexandra, to stay with a friend of mine from work and his family who were camping for two weeks. It was a fun night and we had a few wines and loads of laughs. We were woken at around 4am by a gale force wind ripping through the camping ground. Luckily the tent we were in stood up to the strong winds but someone over the other side wasn't so lucky and had to drop their tent when it started ripping. The only other casulty was the gazebo our crowd had put up as a communal dining tent.
We left Omakau at about 9am to head home and after stopping in Naseby (which we have renamed Snoozby due to the fact that no one seems to be in much of a hurry) for some breakfast and then took off to travel through Danseys Pass. What an experience! NZ at it's most rugged. The road was loose metal the whole way and some parts were more like a goat track than a road. I don't think I travelled over 40kph! It also started hailing and sleeting up the top which slowed me right down. But coming to the Danseys Pass Hotel right on the road side was so quaint. We stopped for a hot chocolate and a good old nosey! It was just gorgeous.
Getting back on to tar sealed roads was a strange feeling and when we got up to 100kph I felt like a race car driver!
Claire drove from Highway 83 all the rest of the way home and we made it home in good time both feeling a little jaded from the long slow drive.
For new years eve Claire went with friends out to Duvauchelles, over by Akaroa for the night.
I stayed home with Lance and a friend of his came over and we had nice quiet drinks to see in the new year. We had thought about going into town but never quite got around to it. It would have been a mission to get a taxi anyway I am sure. It was a nice night.
And now it's day three of the new year. Only 362 days and we can do it all again!