Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Farewell to the Queen of the Skies

We were privileged to be able to properly have a sentimental up-close-and-personal farewell to the iconic Boeing 747-400 wide body commercial airliner from the Air New Zealand fleet on Saturday.

Gosh, I remember when I first flew on a jumbo jet and just walking down the aisle was an amazing experience. I was so small, and it was so big! 3-4-3 seat configuration - mindblowingly wide.

I've also been very fortunate to have travelled upstairs in the iconic "hump". I've got one specific memory when I was on one of my business trips to India and being stuck on the tarmac because of a delay. One of the cabin crew had the decency to open up the bar, and I knew for a fact that they did not do that downstairs. We were very grateful, and not phased at all by the delay :-)

It was neat to be be able to sit here, right at the front of the plane.

Then when we were at the back of the plane we discovered an area that was quite a surprise - the cabin crew resting quarters. For some reason I thought about the mile high club when we were here.

We were able to explore the aircraft at our leisure, and it was good to be able to do so, since we would probably never have the opportunity again.

We were taken on the tarmac via bus that was escorted by a security van. I would have preferred to walk the 500 meters, but I guess it would be too difficult to control.

We had waited a fair bit prior to boarding the bus out here, but it was great that AirNZ treated us like customers and provided snacks and beverages identical to those in flight.

Thanks, Air NZ - and farewell to the grand Boeing 747. It's the end of an era.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Kids in the back yard

Last month we had the family over at our new place for lunch. Michelle came up from Tauranga with her beautiful children, and we were fortunate it didn't bucket down with rain that day. So the kids were able to run around out the back in the common area with the neighbour's dog. Here are some photos from that day in August shot with my new nifty fifty lens. I look at these photos and they makes me smile; love seeing the cousins together, love seeing their happy faces.

Kien found a dead bumble bee in the garden, and he was facinated by it. He showed everyone.

This look of determination on Sophie's face is adorable.

We look forward to having everyone over again for a combined celebration in November!

Sydney - part deux

The last of our 3 day jaunt to Sydney consisted of us going to a few hot spots, namely Bondi Beach, Sydney Opera House, and the botanical gardens.

Bondi Beach

It is just one of those famous beaches you have to visit while in Sydney. Even though the sky was blue and the sun as shining it wasn't a particularly warm day, but that did not stop the droves of near naked or skimpy-bikini cladded youngsters strutting around there. We couldn't find a parking space anywhere near the beach, so we stopped at end of the stretch at the top of the hill.

Kien was just itching to run around, so we let him lose.

He collected rocks to throw into the surf.

He also befriended this couple, and when Kien is on a roll he becomes animated and very chatty. They engaged with him, which was a relief, because I never know if he's annoying or endearing people when he does that.

The Opera House

I've seen this structure a few times now, but I'm still amazed by it's beauty.

We had breakfast/lunch in the sun after we checked out of the hotel on Monday.

Kien wanted to run and chase the cheeky seagulls that terrorised anyone attempting to eat their meal.

After breakfast/lunch we went for a walk around.

We shaded from the sun and had a rest in the botanical gardens situated right next to the opera house. It was such a fabulous spot.

Kien likes to gather twigs and things to build a camp fire. So he spent ages doing that.

We then headed to the airport, stopping at this great playground to kill some time...

...and then our holiday was no more.


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