November 27, 2013

UK Trip 2013 – Goodbye

And so that was it. Another insanely busy, wonderfully magical, emotionally draining time – and we wouldn’t change it for anything!

We said our goodbyes to our homes where we had been kind enough to stay, and we hopped into the car Newcastle bound for the night stay at the airport hotel (with my parents in tow!).

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We hit some traffic along the way but luckily we had the Sat Nav and were able to re-route and head through inner Newcastle…the rain was the first we had had since being there – must have been depicting our mood!

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We were so lucky to have our parents come stay the night too, and Amy was also staying with us in our room. Visiting us later were Michel, Galina and Ady, and Helen, Nick, Joseph and Katy. We all sat and had a meal together – the girls couldn’t believe the size of the sundae they got at the end of the meal!!!

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With tears in our eyes we said our farewells to Michel, Galina and Ady. It was so lovely to see them, and being able to borrow their car whilst we were there hugely appreciated! Then it was back to our room for some drinks and relaxing.

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The first of the hard goodbyes…retreating to the room we all relaxed and had some drinks together.

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The churned up pain you get from knowing you are going to say goodbye to those you love burns right through you, it’s a constant dull ache, a pain that never gets any easier, that pain of not knowing when you will see each other again. Helen and I avoided eye contact for quite some time, I knew it would only take one look for us to lose the plot and it sure did as we stood on the steps of the hotel holding onto each other. When you love someone so much the hardest thing ever is to let them go. It absolutely broke me, the poor woman on the hotel reception even came to check I was OK after they went! I have even just blubbed my way through writing this just remembering it!

It was farewell for now at least anyway. Thank you guys for being there, we love you so much and missed you the second you left.

Back in the room we finished our drinks, having more cuddles before the inevitable day was upon us.

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Airports are the place of magic and heart break. The euphoric feeling you get when you arrive (or have arrivals) is a complete opposite to the utter devastation you feel when you are leaving (or have leavers). It’s so difficult to pull yourself together to not only get yourself sorted for security checks but to also be that brave strong parent for the child weeping uncontrollably next to you. The guilt I feel from these moments stays with me, the good times of course out number this one horrendous moment, but at this one moment it cuts through you like no other.

Farewell dear family, though not physically by our sides we always hold you in our thoughts and in our hearts. Thank you for all you did whilst we were there – we love you.

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The flights back were with their ups and downs (quite literally!). One of our flights connected with Virgin Atlantic – and that was a wonderful experience. The cabin crew were lovely and made sure we got a whole row to ourselves so Bethany could sleep. Their meals were fab and the seats more spacious and comfy.

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Air New Zealand however offered very poor service – they got the meals wrong and cabin crew non attentive (a complete opposite to the journey out).

The flight from Newcastle to London was late leaving (and we didn’t have seats booked together!) so as we boarded our plane to the Shanghai connection (which we had to run through the airport like crazy people to make the connection and then be ‘those people’ – the late ones that everyone hates) we were told our bags hadn’t made it, but would follow out on the next flight. Shanghai airport was awful, no proper resting areas, nothing for children to do, and apart from one Burger King all the places to eat were listed in native language – with our very different dietary requirements we were unable to find anything eat. Arriving at Auckland we were told our bags were lost and to complete forms, the rigmarole of getting through customs was a nightmare.

Finally we arrived back into a beautiful bright Wellington and waiting at the gate was my beautiful friend Alina smiling as brightly as Wellington. Back home we had messages and food and meals from all our lovely friends – we had missed home surprisingly more than we realised. After a quick shower there was no time to rest however – we had rabbits and dogs to collect from the kennels!

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Finally we were all reunited, where we promptly all fell onto our bed (boys also) and slept for the rest of the day. 3 days later we got our baggage, damaged with items broken – very grateful that it actually arrived at all as it went on its own little adventure and got lost for some time!

Thank you for having us family, friends and England – we loved every moment!!

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