We finally got into Wellington around midnight and were met at the airport by Kim’s mother and stepfather. It was about an hour’s drive to Paraparaumu beach.
The next morning was Christmas Eve and we got up fairly early as Kim wanted to go to the bank. Kim took his mum’s car and we went into town. Kim’s bank was closed but annoyingly a different bank was open (no good). We went to the supermarket and stocked up before heading back.
For dinner, we had a salad with ham and boiled potatoes, along with some New Zealand white wine.
We woke up fairly early on Christmas Day. We got our stuff ready as we were heading to Kim’s sister in Masterton. We opened presents before we went.
It probably wasn’t that far to Masterton as the crow flies but there was a range of mountains in the way so we had to head south back towards Wellington and then NE through the Hutt Valley.
Kim’s sister has a good sized piece of land on a rural road out of town. You can get building companies in NZ who will build you a house based on a choice of blueprints and they had done this. When we got there everyone else had already arrived. This consisted of Kim’s sister, husband and 2 boys, Kim’s brother, pregnant wife and son and some friends and their 3 boys. The friends’ children had a reputation for being badly behaved. One of them asked me if I was an adult and then tried to hit me in the nuts. Charming child!
For Xmas lunch, we had a BBQ with salad, followed by the traditional Xmas dessert in New Zealand – pavlova.
After dinner, presents were open. Kim’s brother Simon bought me some craft ales which was nice as I wasn’t expecting anything. I gave Kim’s nephews a Bristol City hat each – I’ll see if I can try to convert them.
We then had an adults vs. kids football match. The kids were pretty good and had more stamina. The final score was 2-2.
Around teatime some of the family started heading off. Kim and I were staying overnight and we took the dog out for a walk.
The next day, we expected to be woken up early but got to lie in until around 930. Kim’s sister drove us to Mount Holdsworth nearby where we went for a very pleasant walk through the forest. This was a little challenging at times as the dog was not keen on other dogs and there were lots of other dogs.
In the afternoon, we headed off and stopped off for a few hours with Kim’s Dad in the Hutt Valley.
When we got back to Paraparaumu, it was fairly late so we stopped off at KFC. Somewhat surprisingly they had somehow managed to run out of chicken. Fortunately, there was a MacDonalds nearby. While there I saw a teenager who was walking around barefoot and had the dirtiest feet I had ever seen. Kim says this can be quite common in New Zealand!