New Zealand: Pukekohe

Pukekohe, North Island, April 26 – April 27, 2017

On our way to our last place in New Zealand, we stopped in Pokeno for ice cream.  We had to as it’s considered one of the top 5 ice cream shops in New Zealand…and we were driving right by it! 🙂  Can you believe that with all the ice cream pictures we’ve taken, we forgot to take one here!!  You’ll just have to take our word that it looked and tasted great! 

We arrived at the house around 3:00 pm.  While the host wasn’t there, she told us that she’d left some food on our patio, so we could feed the alpaca!! 🙂  She’s got five — 2 brown, 2 black, and a tan one.  They are so gentle and sweet.  The oldest one, Sophia (age 49), just hung back and made a funny whining noise while one of the younger black ones ate all the food! 🙂


Most interested in food.
Sophia, the oldest, did lots of “talking” but no eating.

In addition to the alpaca, she has a 2-year old black lab named Jet, who the kids were happy to meet as well.  

When the host, Caren, returned, she greeted us and offered to bring us over dinner.  As she knew it was our last night in New Zealand, she wanted to send us off with a traditional kiwi dinner — roast lamb with roasted potatoes, pumpkin, and red sweet potatoes.  She also provided a side dish of peas, mint dressing, and gravy (that G helped make when she stopped by to see if she could help). 🙂 It was all fabulous!!

Cool placemats with highlighting New Zealand stuff…most of which we saw/tried.

We enjoyed the mint sauce as well as the cheeky label! 🙂

That evening, after seeing a beautiful sunset, the kids and I played the Game of Life with Caren. She had just bought it and Monopoly and had them in our place when we arrived, thinking the kids might be interested.  She’d never played Life, so G and L taught her how to play.  It was the newer version, which I hadn’t played before either. 🙂

L was super excited about the sunset and came running in to tell us to come out and see it. 🙂

We could hear the cows (silhouettes on the hill) mooing when we were taking the picture. 🙂

The next morning (our last day in New Zealand!), we enjoyed a delicious, leisurely breakfast of eggs, leftover potatoes, and toast before getting packed and cleaning up the house.  As there wasn’t anyone staying in our place right after us, Caren said we could stay as long as we wanted before heading to the airport, which worked out great!

The kids loved the extra time they had to play Life, play outside with Jet, and feed the alpacas.

In addition, Caren took the kids and me into Pukekohe to feed the ducks at a pond and give us a little tour of the city.  

We had a little lunch, finished cleaning up and headed to the airport around 3ish, which was early, but we weren’t sure how long everything would take.

We ended up having plenty of time once we got the car returned, bags checked, and through security, but we didn’t have a gate yet.  In fact, the message on the board listed the time and then under “gate” it said “relax.” 🙂  We found a great spot to sit and eat and watch people by a Heineken beer bar.  There happened to be a duo of guitar players/singers who were super fun to listen to and played lots of great songs — oldies, classic, and current hits.  G decided to drew a picture of each of them and gave them to them after their last song, which coincidentally was when we had to head to our gate.

On our flight, we were assigned 2 by 2 seats window and middle, but there wasn’t anyone assigned to the aisle, so we ended up 3 by 3, which was so nice!  We all enjoyed a little more leg room. 🙂  We all watched “Moana” as it seemed appropriate as we were heading for Hawaii and tried to get a little sleep.  

Next stop…Honolulu…U.S.A.!

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