WOW! it’s still crazy to think we are in New Zealand but what makes it even better is to be spending it with FAMILY! : ) My sister, Lisa and her Fiance Jake Pipe, arrived from Aspen, Colorado Christmas day to Whangamata, where Jake’s parents live to celebrate the holiday season. I can’t imagine a better gift than this!
While we were waiting for my sister and Jake to arrive, Trevor and I explored the town of Whangamata and were kindly taken under the wings of Jake’s family, Rob, Pam, and Alice (Jake’s sister) by way of dinners and outings with their friends. They said it is”the New Zealand way”…. We were so appreciative to spend time with them…BEFORE Jake and Lisa got here. The kindness and openness really helped us settle right in. Thank you Rob and Pam and Alice for being so accepting of us and sharing your world!
We had already been invited to Rob and Pam’s house for dinner at their house the second day we were here….They also invited us on their regular Thursday night Thai food dinner at the local RSA (Return and Services Association), similar to the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) in the US. Thursday nights are Pam’s nights off from cooking : )
Christmas day at the Pipe’s house – Jake and Lisa arrived Christmas day and picked us up to share Christmas with Jake’s family at their house. We toasted with champagne, opened presents and then had an amazing dinner outside with their friends Dave and Michelle.
Christmas dinner – WOW…so much food!!! Dave and Michelle are good friends of the Pipe family and their kids are all overseas so they joined us for dinner.
Lisa and Jake were kind enough to bring some stuff for our boat in an extra suitcase…it was a big hassle for them and we are so appreciate for them to have gone through all the little steps to get us these items….this was our Christmas presents to each other…or really for the boat! Thank you Lisa and Jake for doing all this for us : )
It is truly amazing to be able to spend this holiday season with family and meeting new family as well. We know it takes a lot of resources to come to see us in New Zealand are so blessed to have Jake and his family here and of course..my beloved sister! We love you and words can’t express how much it means to us that you are here with us!
We of course miss the rest of our families too! And all of our friends back home…. We wish you all the very best Holiday and hope this new years brings joy, health, and lots of adventure…whatever that may be for you!