There were a few other things that I considered us fortunate to enjoy during our visit -- real memory-makers -- but these don't neatly fit under the Seein' and Feedin' Animals / "The Tousins" and Family Time / Celebrating and Special Occasions headings...
- Enjoying the kindness of strangers (more like new-found friends). My SIL's friend let me fill water bottles there almost daily (the tank supply at the house was contaminated), encouraged us to help ourselves to feijoas (Aaaaah!), and offered to pick Haki up early in the morning when he joined us by bus....and forgave us when he wasn't there! (EEP!)
- Seeing my girls play with pre-loved toys of mine or their older cousins (yeah, that's what's happening behind that glorious pose, Photo 2).
- Watching the girls connect with the horse, Tarka, regularly. In Photo 3 they are wearing too-big-for-them jackets and marvelling at his size (he's half-Clydesdale). Esky was always willing to go out (whatever the weather) to feed him.
- Seating Mia in the high chair I sat in as a kid (Photo 4).
- Finding my girls curled in towards each other or around each other, most nights (faux-night vision shot) -- they shared an air mattress longways (I often joined them, it was roomy that direction!), and I was surprised how much they cuddled (at home Esky often begs Ivy to join her in her bed for a cuddle and Ivy is all "no thanks.")
- Scoring some incredible bargains! My favourite op shop is in Waikanae. I found five tops and a pair of harems (angels song for the harems!) there for a few dollars, and Haki found almost TWENTY books by his favourite authors that we did not already have! (Last photo) AND they weren't individually priced...so we picked them for 50 cents each! AH!
- The $1-2-3 Store also saw me almost every day. They had so many things I needed to pick up, and I was really impressed with their imports...knock-off twistable crayons, an ipad cover, hands-free kit, hairbrushes, decorative eggs...so much came home, for pennies!