From the beginning... we flew from Wellington to Tauranga, and the Tauranga airport is teeny tiny, so the only planes that go direct are those tiny pencil planes. This would not have been a problem, except that the morning we left Wellington it was so windy that it was hard to even walk in a straight line.... so we boarded our plane, and as we are just sitting on the runway we can already feel the plane swaying side to side in the wind. Then when we start our take-off, it was literally as if someone was shaking the plane side to side and up and down. I've never been in a plane with that much turbulence! It lasted about the first 10 minutes of the flight, and all the passengers were silent. Then finally the turbulence died down and we started to fly smoothly, and you could hear the audible relief from all the passengers on board. Phew. The rest of the flight was just fine.
So we arrived in Tauranga to nice weather, although a little cloudy. We had about 4 hours to kill before we could check in, so we headed towards our hotel and had lunch at the beach. It was kind of cool because they had a surf life saving competition going on, so we watched a bit of that, and went for a little hike around the area. Finally we got to check in, and by that time, we were both so exhausted that we basically slept for the rest of the afternoon!! Apparently walking on the beach in the hot sun takes a lot out of you! We ordered room service for dinner and spent the rest of the night watching the Olympics!
The next day (Valentine's Day) was a little better... we slept in, had pancakes for breakfast and soon after started our day. There's this mountain that's right on the beach where we were staying, so we decided to hike up it! This time I brought my camera and was able to snap some photos! But I must say, I was completely wiped out from this hike! This used to be the kind of thing that Mark and I would RUN up rather than walk, but here, we (and by we, I mean I) needed to take walking breaks in the shade. Boo. Oh well, we made it to the top, and got some nice photos. These two below were taken about 1/3 of the way up.
In more baby news, Mark and I talked baby girl names for the first time this weekend, and this is definitely going to be tougher than I thought. We both have a few we like, and Mark doesn't like some of my favorites and I don't like some of his favorites, but we do agree on some good ones I think. But still, it's hard for me to imagine just picking one favorite and being 100% sure! This is going to take many conversations to figure this one out. :)
Anyway, to end... a few more pictures! I haven't been good about posting pictures lately, but we took a few, these ones are the view from the very top of the mountain! Overall, a very good, relaxing vacation!