December 24, 2010

The Big UK Trip Back – Coming Home

Even before we left we knew the weight we felt in our hearts would be heavy come leaving day. I especially have cried many tears at the thought before we even got to the UK, not sure really how I was going to deal with the goodbyes again and if this would change my feelings about our move.

It was the morning after the wedding and we gathered at Lynn’s house, the family who most had travelled many miles (from either down South or as far as from Turkey) to be at Helen and Leigh’s wedding came to see us before it was time to go. We had arranged to make the trip to Manchester Airport the day before and stay over night at a nearby hotel, just to make the trip that much easier. The fact our flight was leaving at 9am meant it would have been a very early morning for us all with a 3 hour pre check in and a 3 hour car drive!

We dashed around packing, and unpacking, and adding, and stressing, and all the while trying to have last minute conversations with everyone. We felt really bad that we didnt have enough time to catch up with everyone individually, but being together there was actually of benefit, seeing everyone getting along, being happy and united as a family was so lovely. The goodbyes to the extended family were just awful, the build up to the whole thing and then trying not to let the emotions burst to the forefront was stressful.

Once everyone had gone and we had composed ourselves (for the moment anyway) we finished the packing and loaded up the cars. Luckily for us my parents, Michael’s parents and Amy came with us to stay the night down in Manchester too which was just so lovely. The journey down was fine but we hit traffic a few times, the weather turned bad at one point, the worst part was trying to find the way into our hotel! After many times going round and round and round we finally made it just in time to check in, and then head for a meal together before spending the night drinking, reminiscing and laughing.

The morning came too soon, it felt like we hadn’t even been to sleep. Once again we packed, and met everyone before we hopped on the shuttle bus to our terminal. I had to force breakfast down, the wave of sickness at the upcoming goodbyes was just awful. We had all said over and over and over again that we would have no tears at the gate, in a way to try and prepare ourselves for is – typical me, I had to ruin it!!

As we went through the most crazy security (where I had my bag swabbed for drugs!!!)  Bethany was still crying, the man behind the desk asked why she was so sad. After a quick explanation that we now lived in NZ he looked at Bethany and told her that she had the most sensible parents ever, and told us we should never look back!

It took a while to calm down, getting off that tarmac and on our way to Singapore for our next stop over was what we needed to feel like we were finally coming home. After a few Singapore Slings we wound down and managed to get some sleep before finally arriving in Singapore.

We had booked ourselves into a part of Singapore called Sentosa Island. Currently still being developed we can see this place being massively popular as it already holds some amazing attractions the biggest being Universal Studios. As usual the weather was ridiculous and just so humid. After a longer than expected taxi ride we made it to our hotel, and it was simply stunning – Siloso Beach Resort. Situated right on the ocean front we had a lovely room that had this fantastic window with the most lovely view.

We checked in early and made the crazy decision to just ‘have a nap’, and woke up 4 hours later! We wanted to make the most of it all so we quickly got our act together and headed out. The beaches were stunning, the water clear and despite the view of those massive ships out in the ocean it was a really nice place. We sat on some really nice sofa’s sipping cocktails and enjoying food whilst the sun went down.

We then too a walk down to the centre (stopping off for a beer or two along the way to cool down of course!) and went and got tickets to see a show – Songs of the Sea. You probably cant see much from the video but the show was a fantastic water, fire and laser show.

After the amazing show we headed back to the hotel where Michael and Bethany went in the pool for a few hours, I hung out on a hammock just enjoying the sound of the evening. Laying there at 9pm Singapore time watching the bats fly around over the water whist melting at 34 degrees was just crazy!!

We decided to go to bed at 10pm to try and get into some type of routine….er, bad idea! We woke at 3am. All of us up and wide awake, and with breakfast not being served till 7am we were in for a long wait, however thank you room service! The morning was grey and overcast with heavy rain, but still so very hot! Michael and Bethany went in the pool, then we went to a rather strange breakfast. We packed up our cases and left them at reception and headed back out for a wander around. We had plans to do all sorts, the weather had cleared up and the heat was just too much, so we opted to go to the Underwater World just so we could cool off. We knew we had another long haul flight to deal with and we were running out of clean clothes!

Along the way to Underwater World it was very strange to see Monkeys just sitting there in the trees! Underwater World was disappointing sadly. I think that we have seen it all before, and they didn’t have anything new or exciting to offer – and the place was literally jammed. We went to see a sea lion show but it was exactly the same as the one we saw in Flamingo Land. Still it cooled us off and filled in some time – rather be in there than sat at the airport!

We had a great time in Sentosa. In our ‘normal life’ we would never be able to afford to stay here for a longer holiday, the hotel, the resort, the food, the events, everything was just soooo expensive. One cocktail was SD$19 (NZ$19.50)!

Back in the airport we preapred ourselves for the long flight back. Now we were in full ready-to-get-home mode. A storm swelled outside, it lashed with rain , thunder and lightening – that didint help my nerves! Again we managed to sleep and before we knew it we were back on NZ ground, we had one more final flight from Christchurch to Wellington and then the trip we had taken years to plan, a trip we had talked about and got excited about for 11 months since we booked it would be at the end.

Finally landing in Wellington we were greeted by our lovely friend Alina and her little gorgeous girl. They kindly brought us home, we were naturally rather dishevelled and funny looking after such a long flight! Our words didn’t seem to come out correctly although we knew what we had to say! Alina filled the house with pressies and got in the essentials. Our other lovely neighbour and friend Andie popped her head over the fence and said she was bringing homemade pie round for our tea! We couldn’t be surrounded by any better caring people, such a lovely welcome home.

We went and picked up the boys, they had been well behaved and it looked (and sounded like) they had had a great time. Two minutes of being in the door they were both asleep. We sat down to watch some TV and all three of us fell asleep on the sofa at 8pm. Off to bed we went and there we stayed and slept (in such a deep sleep that we didn’t hear any of the fireworks) until just after 8am.

Wow, what a trip this has been. So many amazing moments, so many lovely family and friends, so many many memories…

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