We bunked off on Friday afternoon (me still working remotely in the passenger seat enroute) and headed for the Coromandel. Jed's grandparents were on a (most out of character) road trip, this was the furthest north they were coming and would we come down? It was last minute and it was sandwiched in between two busy weeks. It wasn't ideal. But, y'know, it's family. You stretch a little sometimes for family.
We rocked up to little down-to-earth motel they'd found, right across from Whitianga beach, and it was perfect. Extreme toothache, fatigue, grumpy child and all. The grumpy child recovered immediately upon arrival, which was a relief. I had never been so glad to resort to pain relief, and the fatigue faded in the excitement. I had never been to this area. My nana, who i was close to, spoke often of Whitianga, it was her favourite place in New Zealand, so she was very close to my thoughts as we explored.
Local markets, darn good coffee, the classic NZ fish and chip supper by the beach, late night chats with granny and granpa, many swims and collections of seashells. Jed was stoked that it was flat (unlike where we live) so he was out on his scooter every possible moment.
We visited the Mill Creek animal and bird park. There are usually animals involved somewhere in our day, no matter where we are. This little guy is big on animals. He was most intrigued to meet a possum (above)...the only we see around here are road kill. It ain't quite the same.
Friends were made. Jed also discovered a kotare (kingfisher) with a broken wing hiding in the bushes at the motel. The Mill Creek Animal and Bird Park took rescue birds too, so we called the Bird Rescue people and they came and scooped up the little guy. THAT was super exciting. Jed plays animal rescue all the time, so to be really truly finding a bird that needed help was incredible for him.
After a day of stopping for swims and exploring enroute home we've arrived exhausted, sunkissed and salty, happy to be home and eyeing up another very busy week. And feeling grateful to live in this amazing country... i have travelled alot in my time, mostly internationally (for those who don't know, i lived 16 years away from little ole NZ) and i am often gobsmacked by how beautiful some corners of New Zealand are.