My flights over were both great. The staff and plane were awesome. In all honestly, I didn’t have any expectations of the flights as I had to book them in such haste. I couldn’t be bothered to check comments or ratings for either Qantas or Emirates. I was impressed by both airlines and would recommend either. I LOVED that the Qantas flight had a usb port so I could plug my iphone to charge 🙂 I also like that they served Tip Top ice cream bars for dessert (or “pudding” as my Kiwi friends call it).
I flew from Auckland to Sidney with Qantas and only had 1 hour to switch flights. When I checked my baggage I stupidly forgot to ask if I had to re-check my bags for my connecting flight. I was a little nervous that I would arrive in Thailand without my baggage. Luckily the clerk at the Emirates counter assured me that if was impossible for Emirates to expect me clear customs and check my baggage in under an hour. I was fortunate to receive my request of a window seat over to Australia as the airplane was only around 2/3rds full. On the way to Thailand I was sitting in the aisle in the middle row. Not ideal but not the worst situation. I was lucky to be seated beside a lovely young couple from Amsterdam. I felt awful for then when I heard their flight route. They had just spent 3 weeks (or was it 5?) travelling Australia and were now beginning their trek home. They needed to fly 8hrs from Sidney -> another 8 hours from Bangkok to Dubai -> then an additional 8hours home to Amsterdam. What was worse was they were obligatory to exit the plane so they could go through customs and then re-enter TO THE SAME SEATS! I thought that was brutal. When we touchdown in Thailand all three of us had had barely any sleep. Thankfully the movie/tv/music selection on our individual TVs was exceptional. I was happy with everything I watched! They were eager to exit and re-board the plane so they could try to get more sleep where as I was excited to have reached my destination!
It was after 1am when I got off the plane and felt the humid air. I loved it! Going through immigration was a bit of a wait but fairly manageable. One of the female security guards told us if we wanted to walk a few minutes down the hallway there were another whole area for passengers to go through. That handy little tip saved me quite a bit of time. I was thrilled to discover that my luggage was WAITING for me when I found the luggage belt. It had been turned off with all the luggage lined up in a neat little row.
As planned, I phoned my friend Pi Sangwan once I was ready to leave the airport. She told me she would head over to the airport and that Pi Loong was already at the airport waiting for me!!!! I phoned Pi Loong and she told me where I could meet her. I was really glad she recognized me as I haven’t seen her in years. I was thrilled to see a friendly face as I was not really sure if I was meeting them at the airport or the next day. Pi Loong, her brother and I grabbed a drink at the airport’s food court and caught up as we haven’t seen each other in years. I was under the impression that we were grabbing a drink while we waited for Pi Sangwan to arrive. You could say that I was A LITTLE CONFUSED when around 3am (so 8am Auckland time) we were leaving in a taxi together. I had originally planned to taxi over to my Thai-Australian friend’s house but we decided to change the dates. I then decided I would stay at a hostel near Khoa San Road. I had researched a LOT of different hostels with help from my Thai friends. Lolly mentioned a hostel that she stayed at 4 years ago and it sounded quite cozy. Within walking distance, to Khoa San Road but far enough away to get away from the party scene. The location sounded like an ideal place for travellers and expats to mingle. After catching up with Pi Loong I learned that the two ladies had been chatting a lot about me and were very worried about my safety. They had decided that I wouldn’t stay anywhere near Khoa San Road. So there was a change of plans and I would be staying in a hotel near Pi Loong’s house for a few days.
On the taxi ride to The Embassy Hotel I wanted to sleep so badly. I remember not wanting to blink too long for fear of falling asleep in the car. I was EXHAUSTED and had no idea how long the car ride would be or where we were going. When we arrived at the hotel IT LOOKED massive. There was a bit of confusion when we tried to get our key. Something about them wanting us to wait until 6am to get a room…the mixture of jet lag and English-Thai translation left me in a state of confusion. I looked at my phone and it read 3:34am. I asked Pi Loong 2 questions: if there was wireless so I could message people back home so they knew I was alive, and was I allowed to sleep in their lobby? My phone kept saying it was connected but it wasn’t giving me internet. The room situation was sorted out and I remember sleepily following Pi Loong into this massive bedroom with two beds and a huge window. She said goodbye and she would see me the next day. I put my bags down and belly flopped on one of the beds. I woke up a few hours later and realized I needed to take my contacts out and change out of my clothes!
I woke up again around 10am (Thailand time) and decided I should start the day. I showered and threw on a dress. I did not know if Pi Loong was going to walk back to the hotel or if I was going to need to call her so I left her a note to tell her I had just left for a quick walk. I think it took me 5 mins of humming and hawings as to whether or not I should wear a scarf. (I laugh at this now! But while I was standing in my air conditioned room I really was finding it hard to decide if I needed it or not). AS SOON AS I OPENED the hotel door I smiled as to having made the decision to leave the scarf at home! IT WAS HOT. DRY hot heat. I left the house on a mission to find a sim card for my phone and a wireless internet hot spot. My iphone was easily locating the wireless spots but not being too friendly about connecting to them. I got really frustrated at how fast my battery was dying struggling to connect to a wifi source. I successfully communicated to the 7 Eleven attendant that I needed a sim card for my phone. WHAT I lacked to understand was that I needed to buy a top up card as the sim card was simply a phone number. After sorting that out I still wasn’t able to get internet on my phone. I walked up the street for ages. I debated crossing the street but decided against it for my first day in Bangkok. Baby steps to this BIG ADVENTURE. I really did not want to be using my medical insurance on my first day!
I was starting to get hungry but I wasn’t feeling brave enough to try any street food. 7 Eleven are like North America’s Startbucks. THEY ARE EVERYWHERE. So I went into 7 Eleven and grabbed some water and dried seaweed. YUMMERS. Solid choice, as I knew I would be eating more food with Pi Loong later that day. Loong came over to my hotel later that afternoon and we grabbed some food at BIG C. It is your everything cheap store (comparable to Wall Mart or Kmart). It has it’s own food court besides all the groceries, clothing, stationary etc. It is your one stop (cheap) shop. Their food court uses the refillable swipe card method payment. So you have to be really good at estimating how much your total meal will cost – or come back within 7 days to spend the remainder of your balance. Pi Loong and I tried to sort out my lack of internet. I decided that if I couldn’t get it on my phone I would try to buy an internet stick. It would mean no whatsapp but at least I would email, google maps and facebook. I quickly nixed the stick idea when I learned that you buy a blank stick and have to pay extra for the internet. That seemed rather odd to me. Would pretty much be like buying a memory card?! Anyways after all that confusion I was still without internet at my finger tips. It really made me realize how much I take internet for granted. I am just so used to always having internet in the home or places to find wifi. I said goodbye to Pi Loong around 10 and got back to my hotel around 11:30ish. I love that there is such a night time atmosphere in Bangkok. Shops are open late and people are out having dinner or at the internet cafes just skyping up a storm. While I was at the internet café emailing and facebooking someone was casually skyping his friend SO LOUDLY beside me. Sure he had his headset on but I felt like I was part of his conversation. His male friend was sitting on his couch in his shorts and t just laughing and loving the catch up… Well that was day 1. I won’t be blogging EVERYDAY but I will try to keep the blog relatively active!
I made it to Thailand and I am excited to share my highs and lows with all of you. LOTS LOTS of highs!
Lots of love to everyone,
ONE year ago today: Sept 16, 2012 I arrived in the Auckland Airport. I have officially lived in New Zealand for 365 days! Today I am in the departure section of the airport as my Visa has expired and my new journey begins!
This day has ARRIVED! I never knew what date it would be–> but September 16th, 2013 sounds perfect to me! I am flying back to Thailand. The place I was born. The place I have visited twice before. THIS TIME I am going alone…sort of. My family will not be joining me for the plane ride or meeting me when I land. I am going on this flight alone BUT WHEN I ARRIVE I am comforted in knowing I have so many friends ready and willing to help me. I have always dreamed of moving to Thailand and I am so overcome with emotions knowing this day is today….well technically TOMORROW with all the flying.
They are beginning to board the plane (hurray!) so I wanted to end this by thanking everyone who has helped me get to the point where I am at now. Passport in hand, smile on my face EXCITED for this journey to begin.
Special thanks to my Kiwi families that I leave behind. I am awful at goodbyes – sorry my hugs were QUICK! We will keep in touch. I LOVE SNAILMAIL almost as much as I love food and sleep 🙂
I tried to pack the cat but she didn’t want to come 😦
All my love to everyone-
Keep smiling and wish me LUCK
xoxoxo Amanda Sumalee
Thank you Thank you THANK YOU to everyone who has taken time out of their life to read my blog! It means the world to me to feel all this love from everyone!
WOW this blog celebrated its first birthday! To me –what is even more amazing is that I have lived in beautiful New Zealand for almost a full year. In 3 days, I will have been a resident for one year! While the time HAS flown by, I have shared in many joyous memories with my Kiwi families and Canadian friends! AND Sumzie 2012-2013 was amazing!
I had always planned, hoped and dreamed of one day moving to THAILAND. I am so happy to share with all of you that MY DREAMS ARE COMING TRUE>>>> I have booked my flight and only have 2 more days left before I fly back to the homeland. Ecstatic doesn’t even begin to explain my emotional state. I am beyond H.A.P.P.Y. I am busily trying to update the blog so that all my NZ posts are online before I leave the country. I will admit to falling MONTHS BEHIND but I have always had the intention of posting as much (if not all) of my travels with you all.
Thank you for the continued support. I bask in the love and support from all those that care for me! Looking forward to celebrating the blog’s 2nd anniversary with everyone 🙂
Stay happy and never stop dreaming!
xoxo Love you all,
—>Thank you so much to Lolly for typing this out for me! She did a wonderful job as my special guest blogger!
So… Amanda and I were lucky enough to be given free (VIP) X-Factor tickets last minute! How lucky! It was my first week in NZ so I had no idea where we were or where we were heading! We Jumped in the car and headed into town- we parked up, walked to the Sky Tower City all keen to go in, running exactly on time to then find out we were in completely the WRONG place and part of town! We then had a mad scram back to the car and I must admit (sorry Amanda!) a rather hair- raising ride to another part of town! By this time we were running late, it was pitch black and it was a slightly scary part of town! So we parked up the car and found ourselves wandering around an almost derelict industrial estate. Fortunately a very helpful young lad saw us wandering around aimlessly and asked us if were we OK, we said we were looking for the X-Factor and he pointed us in the right direction. Pheeeew! We got there just in time and stood close to the stage!
It was pretty cool seeing the studio and all the work that goes into a show like the X-Factor! Lots of crew running around and pretty strict audience participation rules!! It was also interesting to see the judges. Daniel Beddingfield was a bit of a Diva, being a typical polite English girl and him also being English, I was appalled by his behaviour! Tut Tut! There was so some pre-recording which ruined my image of it all being live, but if it was otherwise I can see how doing it all live would be madness! The acts were quite impressive and I quite liked Jackie (who went on to win the competition) and Moorhouse! Then a guy came onto stage with his guitar, and lone be hold, it was Benny- only the helpful young lad who showed us the way! We had met a contestant for the X-Factor, at the X-Factor and not even recognised him! CRINGE! Now my favourite contestant, a nice guy! We had a great night swaying our glow sticks and clapping for acts I didn’t know much about!! Thanks muchly Amanda x
Didn’t Lolly do a great job with typing her first blog entry? The only things I wanted to add were: the filming of the show was in Henderson. Not near downtown Auckland AT ALL. The warehouse looking building was dimly lit and the gps wasn’t able to locate it exactly. We circled around the block a few times before deciding to get out and walk around. We snuck through a chained up fence to try to find the entrance way of the building. We were very sketched because there was absolutely NO SIGNAGE for the event. When a young man with a guitar approached us to help navigate we appreciated his help. WE WERE LATER SHOCKED to realize that he was one of the contestants!…AND he would go on to become one of the top 4 contestants!
When we arrived in the building I was surprised to see how small the place was. On TV they make the building and audience seem massive. Now I realize it is just creative filming angles and the way they light the seats. ALSO they strongly encourage audience participation. Lots of things that I believed were filmed “live” are actually shot before the show airs and then just edited into place when the show is being broadcast SO “Live TV” is really NOT completely live. As someone who loves watching DVD special features on tv shows and films; I loved being a part of the audience. I learned a lot of little insider secrets to TV filming! Also – my personal opinion is that all the singers performed BETTER live then what it comes across over the tv. I had never really paid attention to the show, when the kids were watching it in the house. I did not know the contestants well but after watching them sing live, then hearing them on the tv, I don’t think their talents are really given the justice they all deserve. Especially Jackie’s performance; in the room the tone in her voice was so strong and powerful and that didn’t translate as well on tv.
So glad Lolly and I got to go see X Factor New Zealand’s live show . We had fun that night and she did an excellent job on this post. A memorable experience!
Thanks for reading!!! KeEP sMiLInG 🙂 Amanda Sumalee
A few weeks ago my 10 year old son (who I Au Pair for in New Zealand) presented me with this homemade story….I could not stop smiling! I hope it brightens your day too 🙂 I am mailing this to Canada so I can keep it forever!
[Amanda Once upon a time there was a orphanage and a orphan called Amanda. and no one wanted her until the Henshaws and they said we will take her the end.]
I wanted to share that picture for two reasons:
#1 To express how much the boys and I have bonded, and how great of an experience Au Pairing can be.
#2 Just to reiterate HOW MUCH I love children. I love love love how expressive they are; so able to tap into their emotions. How creative they are. How imaginative and curious they are!
Deciding to become an Au Pair has been one of the best decisions of my life. I wanted the opportunity to travel and work with children. Being able to live and experience a “Kiwi lifestyle” has been amazing. I have always loved children and I am so happy my passion for a career in this field continues to grow. I would recommend Au Pairing to anyone adventurous enough to leave the comforts of their home! I have always been fond of children and quickly form bonds with them. These boys have been no exception. They will forever be part of my life.
While I was babysitting the boys tonight, the 10 year old asked me a very important question, “Would you rather be in our family or yours?” I carefully explained that if I had always been in his family – I wouldn’t have the brothers I have now. I wouldn’t have the friends and parents I have now. My whole life would be completely different. I quickly followed that up with, we will always be a family NOW. I have a Canadian family and a Kiwi family. I knew he was pleased by my answer because he gave me the cutest hug and smile ever!!
Besides all the memories; I have adorable pictures and recorded quotes the boys have shared. I am so happy that the older I get, and the closer I become to becoming a mother, the easier it’s becoming to save and preserve children’s’ things. Digital pictures, scanners, scrapbooking, iphones, video cameras that aren’t MASSIVE… There are so many more ways to capture and share the memories. Yay! One of my favourite things to do is look at old photos and videos of myself as a child.
Originally I had planned to post the picture and nothing else. I am glad I decided on this little blurb to follow it up. I hope this post gave you a reason to smile.
Tomorrow is my day off and I am excited to spend the day sailing with my Kiwi-Mom! Aren’t Sundays (off) great?!
There is always a reason to smile,
xoxo Amanda Sumalee
I had mentioned to my Kiwi Momma that I really wanted to attend an All Blacks game and that it was on my New Zealand bucket list. For my “Going Away Celebration” my generous Kiwi family treated me to a family night out at Eden Park! The Rugby game was All Blacks vs France and the first game of the 2013 season. The family along with friends all donned All Blacks gear and happily ate dinner before departing for the evening’s event.
It was definitely an honour to be among the enthusiastic crowd cheering on their Kiwis. I am proud to say I saw the team dance The Haka! The fans cheered so loudly! Here is a really short (and shaky) video of the end of The Haka: http://youtu.be/jk5-gE9ux1s. I wish that it lasted a LOT longer. OR that they performed it twice!! I felt like it was over in seconds! At times the game was a nail biter. We weren’t able to secure an early lead so there was always a bit of fear….thankfully New Zealand claimed a 23-13 win. After the game we were able to successfully weave through the traffic to arrive safely home. The game was being broadcasted on cable and we watched it on TV. It was a great reminder of how much more exciting and atmospheric experiencing sporting events live really is!
I know that I am very fortunate that one of the only rugby games I have been to was an ALL BLACKS game in New Zealand. I am so appreciative for my Kiwi family and all the experiences we have shared together!
Hey Everyone!!! Over the past few weeks I have begun to sort through my things. I have dropped some clothes off in the charity bins and started to build my package of items I need to mail back to Canada. I came across my journal that only had 1 entry in it. I had high hopes to maintain an updated blog and journal during my travels. It looks like I was only able to do one out of the two things well. Something about reading my own writing and being able physically turn the pages is so appealing. I PLANNNN on trying again to keep a journal for my days in Thailand. Journaling is something I keep trying and failing at. For those interested in reading how my first 10 days were in New Zealand can read my journal entry below:
Tues Sept 25th, 2012 8:22pm
WOW! I have already been in New Zealand for over 1 week. After all the stress and money put into this adventure – I am actually able to finally live it. I must take note that CC remembered how much I love Hello Kitty and bought me this adorable journal. How awesome would it be if I was able to keep a journal and a blog these next few years. I know I have tried in the past…I really like the idea of having a travel journal that I can read back down the road.
Looking back on how much time and thought I put into packing my luggage grr Groin; I really wish I had packed warmer clothes. It’s not quite summer here and I never really – well never thought about how windy it would be! I have worn long sleeves every day since I have arrived. I am SO MAD at myself for not packing more hoodies.
Before I get too far into this, I want to note just HOW GENEROUS the Whitleys were to ME. They graciously offered to move me into their home and allowed me to stay in their home. FREE of any payments. No rent! No food! No I.o.u or pay at a later date was ever expected from me. I was even allowed to have a garage sale to try and sell my stuff. There are good people in the world and this family is proof of it. They have been beyond generous to me and I can’t thank them enough for all they have done to get me to the point where I am now in my life. Just amazing! The remainder of my stuff is stored in their house so I could save of storage fees. I am beyond blessed to have them in my life. It is so exciting that they will be COMING here in 4 months!
Emzie has been so good to me since I arrived. She brought me warm clothes, and bought me warmer bedding and hot water bottle. She has tried to make me as comfortable and as warm as possible. She even brought me gloves and cut the tips off so I could text and type! OUR FAMILIES are so different! I always call her the princesses in the castle coming to rescue the damsel in distress. Her host family treated her arrival a bit more “welcoming” and tried to ensure that she was as comfortable as possible. My family isn’t as financially secure as Em’s fam and their living accommodations aren’t as ideal. We are living in Mount Roskill, New Zealand but are trying to find a house in the North Shore for November. I am hoping it all works out smoothly as I am looking forward to moving to the North Shore. It will be closer to Emzie and out of here. Let’s just say my family does not walk around their neighbourhood at night…
Our Sumzie 2012 adventures have been exciting thus far. We drove to Piha beach which was about a 1 hour drive. We climbed Lion’s Rock and were rewarded with a gorgeous view. We tried to not let the strong winds dampen our beach experience! We’ve also walked around the viaduct and seen a little bit of Mission Bay. We strolled around downtown Auckland for post cards and hoodies but came away with nothing. We weren’t worried because we know we will be doing much more shopping in the future.
OBSERVATIONS off the top of my head:
People here are super friendly
Food is expensive
Gas is expensive
The lanes are narrow and cars tend to park on the road making it HARDER to keep the traffic flowing
The water tastes different
My hair is wavier here
My skin is really dry and my nails seem to be growing faster
It’s a very diverse; lots of different cultures and religions that all seem to blend together well
For having only been here 10 days I feel like I have adjusted nicely. It has been hard with the time zone difference to stay connected with people. I am not allowed to use my phone at all from 7:30-4:00 (but usually closer to 5pm) during the day. Other than that I feel pretty good. The girls are both sick right now but I am hoping my immune system is strong enough not to catch their cold. Understanding the kiwi accent can be hard at times but it’s not too difficult. I just find myself saying, “pardon” when I can’t understand – so they can repeat it to me again.
So besides being cold ALL THE TIME and the house not having heat, and the door being kept open every night I am doing pretty well. I am REALLY thankful that I have a travel buddy here with me. Great travel buddy and built in morale support.
I am so thankful I moved on from that situation and found the Kiwi family that I did. I love my family and am not shy about my love for their cat Magic 🙂 My adventures in New Zealand will be ending in a month (or so) and I will begin many new adventures in my homeland! I am sad to be leaving my Kiwi Fam Jam but am so excited for the next step!!!! Thank you to everyone who continues to support me and read Brown Eyed Girl!
This is my journey, MY LIFE. I am beyond excited but scared to death about finally going to Thailand. Wherever it takes me, and whatever I discover will be my story. Curiosity is the strongest feeling pulling me back to my place of birth.
While at the doctors I had to fill out the standard personal information form. One of the questions was ethnicity/nationality. It stumped me. I starred at it for what felt like eternity. I questioned myself as to what I should write down. I KNEW I should write down Thai, but I really wanted to put Canadian. Had someone been with me, I would have definitely written down whatever they suggested. I did not have wi-fi at the time but as soon as I got home I asked my Aunt what she thought I should have done. The same feelings were brought up again while filling out a New Zealand census form. I had to write down my nationality and place of residency….I was born in Thailand but lived my whole life in Canada. If Thai-Canadian was an option there would have been no need for hesitation.
When the doctor looked me over she asked me where I was from? I told her Canada and she immediately gave me this look of disbelief. This cold glare like I was trying to lie to her. I could feel her looking my whole body over. I FELT obligated to tell I have lived in Canada all my life but I was born in Thailand. Why do I have to feel so defensive when stating that I am Canadian? It’s as if her glare was her warning to tell me the truth or she would not continue the exam. When I told her I lived in Canada practically my whole life she told me I had ASIAN ears, was I from the Philippines? I had to restate that I was born in Thailand but lived in Canada virtually my whole life. I know the atmosphere of a doctor’s office always comes off as intrusive but I felt beyond uncomfortable and defensive.
I have never met an adoptee who doesn’t wonder about their origins. Adoptees share a unique bond: we are consumed by our loneliness. We don’t openly talk about it but it’s apparent. My life never had a defining moment of a “big reveal” of my adoption story. My parents never had to tell me on my 18th birthday (like someone I knew), or sit me down for any big discussion. There was no need for suspicious thoughts as I was always aware I wasn’t their biological child. I was brown and EVERYONE else in my Dad and Mom’s family are Caucasian. No matter how loved you are, being adopted harvests a visceral feeling of loneliness . Every adoptee has a shared experience of rejection followed by loss. I am not saying the heavy rainstorm can’t create a magnificent rainbow…but a rainbow is impossible without the rain.
I am not wanting to delve too deeply in this conversation now because I would like to try as best as possible to put my thoughts into an array of posts. Divide my thoughts up.
These posts about my adoption are personal. I would like to make them as honest and raw as possible without breaching my own level of comfort. It is not my intention to hurt anyone’s’ feelings. I hope to be as honest as possible. Maybe sharing my thoughts on the topic can help others open up about their experiences. Reading about other peoples’ journeys has helped me to heal. I have amassed some notes from books I have read and hope to post my thoughts on my newly acquired information in upcoming post.
PLEASE comment or message me privately to share your thoughts. I would love to hear suggestions or personal stories from my readers. I have never been a member of an adoptee support group but have read about some in the United States of America. Anyone have any information on online ones? xo
Today I made the big leap by purchasing the domain name: amansuma.com
Translation: typing in amansuma.wordpress.com or amansuma.com will bring you to this website. I also lifted the search engine block I had on this blog. So now if people are searching things on the web, a link to this blog could show up! Oh tres fancy!
When I purchased my plane ticket to New Zealand back in 2012, I knew I wanted to create a blog or website. I wanted a creative outlet that would help me stay connected with others, through my writing and photography. The outpouring of encouragement made me nervous. I was fearful that my motivations towards the blog would decline as time went on. I remained hopeful but apprehensive. Before I left I had promised everyone I would do my best! It feels good to have kept that promise.
Since Sept 9, 2012 I have published 45 posts and attracted over 1,170 views! That is unbelievable. I never expected so many people to take an interest in my life. The origination of this blog was to share my travel experience with those I love. Knowing that they are still invested in my life feels amazing. I started off not wanting to make the blog too personal…just in case people beside those I knew read it. I have progressively made the blog more personal. I welcome others to read my blog! I do get nervous about my privacy and sometimes need to remind myself it is no longer just people I know reading it.
I try very hard to keep my Kiwi-family has anonymous as possible. I am conscious to not post close up pictures of their face or reveal any personal information. I also try to use my friends’ nicknames whenever publishing stories about them. I want the focus of this blog to remain around my thoughts and views. My updates should become more frequent and more personal as I prepare to head off to Thailand!
I hope my constant template changing doesn’t bother everyone. I am haven’t found one yet that I have fallen in love with. I am trying to find one that looks great and is also easy to navigate around when wanting to post pictures into my blogs. I am finding some templates far easier than others. With new ones coming out monthly I am always excited for the updates. By no means do I call myself a proficient blogger but I will keep trying to hone my craft!
I want to wrap this up by thanking everyone who reads the blogs. Every time I look at the view count I smile!
xo Amanda Sumalee
*For family and friends who love my photos, my Facebook is once again up to date!
Happy Happy Happy Happy Easter…or what I used to write in EVERY Easter card–> HOPPY EASTER! The four day weekend is here. Emzie and I have been counting down the days until the Easter Carnival. Over the last month we had been debating on using the time off to fly to: Christ Church, Queenstown or Wellington but never bought flights to anywhere.
My family graciously invited both of us to join them at their batch in Taupo. (It took me at least a month to figure out “a batch” is what I know to be a “cottage”). Emma and I strongly considered going and helping the kids hunt for all their Easter treats! After weighing all the pros of cons we chose to stay in town. We have both already been to Taupo and weren’t keen on the petrol bill. The total commute time would be around 4 hours one-way. Stopping off at the free Mud Pools was the only real attraction we were keen on seeing along the way.
I picked Emzie up Thursday night so we could do our grocery shop; as most will be closed on Friday and Sunday. We have my house to ourselves all weekend so we picked up some drinks and happily continued our Full House marathon. The episodes NEVER get old!!!
There is a Mahons Amusement Park for all of the Easter Weekend. Em has been stoked for the ferris wheel and I am pumped for my FAVOURITE ride the zipper. The rides begin at 9:30 and run to 10pm. I enjoyed my little morning sleep in. I was welcomed to a exceptionally prepared breakfast sandwich of: avo, ham, tomotoa, cheese all things I have wanted on a burger!!! We googled the Carnival to find out what rides would be there and how to get the most bang for our buck! We got an email notifying us that there was a $45 unlimited rides wristband. We arrived 12PM ready to ride the rides. TO OUR UNAMUSEMENT the wristmband deal did NOT begin until 7:00pm. Tickets were $1.20/each with each ride averaging 6tickets OR a bundle pack at $160… “I do NOT know who would do that unless you had a massive family. And if you had that big a family you probably shouldn’t go” -em
Both of us felt it was in our best interest to stay IN TOWN for 7hrs so we would not waste gas driving home and back AND having to sacrifice our prime parking spot! (Later that evening we discovered there was plenty of parking had we wanted to leave and come back).
How did we fill up 7 whole hours? We revisited all the tourist shops we have visited numerous times before. MOSTLY we walked all around downtown trying to search for CHICKEN WINGS –not buffalo– NO definitely not the same I was informed. She had a craving and we tried so hard to fulfill it.We were also trying very hard to not get stuck paying the 15% surcharge taxed on during public holidays! We realized it would be like us tipping on any bill in Victoria bit we were NOT having it. We found a place where we didn’t have to tip.We finally (after my legs felt numb and wobbly and Emma thought she was going to eat me) settled on an Italian restaurant. We shared a mushroom, free range pork, on a white base pizza, with a side of fries and aoli. It was the first pizza I had without tomato sauce and it was incredibly delicious. With my Amsterdam Beer (delish) and Em’s diet coke we were quite satisfied with our solid decisions.
“But really at that point, I would have eaten cheap Chinese food..but not at that place we went to withAna and Kaik” -Emzie
We prolonged our comfy eating environment and slowly made our way back to the car in our last few hrs of waiting… all in the name of saving money. Nothing left to do BUT NAP. Good thing we were both blessed with the shortness of limbs so we could each somewhat comfortably curl up and hide from the public. “It wasn’t uncomfortable but it wasn’t comfortable, there are worst situations.” – Emzie We slept for about an hour and then only had 1 hour left before 6:30. At that point we we couldn’t stall any longer and were so anxious to have free reign of the rides. How many times did Em ask if it was time to go or what time is it??? Well I lost count after 7 hours of her eager eager eagerness.
The rides were awesome! The Zipper ride wasn’t available but I fell madly in love with the Super-Loops. Can’t say Em liked hanging upside down too much but I LOVED being suspended in the air! After we exhausted ourselves from riding all the rides we drove home. We arrived home to a phone text from my Kiwi-Mom hinting that the Easter bunny may have left me some Easter treats. Love me some sugary treats.
Saturday was a lounging day. We filled our day with lots more Full House, cupcake baking and a delicious Easter dinner. Emzie’s honey ham was cooked to perfection. Can’t believe we still have another 2 more days off. Life is good.
Wishing everyone a fabulous weekend!
Buddha Blessings to Everyone,
….Cous Cous your Mom is in my thoughts. Wishing her a very speedy recovery. Love you babe!