December 15, 2006

Countdown to Christmas

I can't believe it's now 2007 and I've been away from home a whole year! A lot has happened in these last few months. I've become really lazy and domesticated again and have totally neglected my blog.
The last month has been absolutely jam-packed. Work got incredibly busy in the lead-up to the summer (i.e. Christmas) holidays but it was worth it to have a full 3 weeks off to do whatever i wanted. I was so excited about Christmas because Mam and Dad decided around late October that they were going to make the long long trip over to spend the holidays with me. I spent the month before they arrived planning a trip of the country and the weeks turned into days, it felt like Christmases of old with the level of anticipation that built up. I was slightly disappointed that my two brothers had decided not to come (for various reasons) but figured that it was a hell of a journey and would put a pretty big dent in their pockets. I had NO idea of what was coming.......
One Monday morning in mid-December, I made my way to work as usual, sleepy and not really relishing the day ahead. As I was walking up to the main entrance of the hospital I heard a male voice behind me calling me. I turned around and saw a young guy with blonde hair and, not being fully awake, thought to myself "He's the head off Brian..." Next thing, my older brother Kieran stepped out from behind him and I nearly keeled over with the shock!!! It took me at least an hour to take in the fact that they were here. I had NO CLUE of what they were plotting, but it was the best CHristmas present I could have asked for!
Unfortunately, while they were here, I had to work - right up until 22nd but we did manage to pack in some fun stuff at the wknds. I'd been meaning to do a skydive since I arrived in NZ, and when Brian got here it seemed like the perfect time to do it. So, we headed off to Taupo one weekend to do the 15,000ft jump - the highest you can do! We had an absolutely perfect day for it, the sun was shining, the sky was blue and there wasnt really any wind to speak of. We had to spend an hour before the jump getting ready, watching a DVD and getting kitted out. We were introduced to our instructors and had to saying stupid things into their camera before hopping on the plane.
As we climbed higher and higher and the ground became a distant blur of colour, the adrenaline started pumping. Peter, my instructor, was really helping by saying things like "Hmm...Im not really sure where this strap goes, but we should be okay!!" LOL! I was first out of the plane. The door opened and the air rushed into the plane deafening me. Peter gently eased us towards the edge and before I knew it we were off! The next minute is indescribable - we dropped through the air at a ridiculous speed. The force of the wind whipped my cheeks back to my ears. In my DVD it looks like I'm enjoying every minute of it, but I was really TERRIFIED!!
Once the chute was pulled, we wheeled slowly in circles back down towards the jump centre. Lake Taupo looks so beautiful below us, glinting in the sun. I was on a complete natural high after! It was one of the best things Ive ever experienced! It was a really bonding thing to do with Brian also. He loved every minute of it as much as I did. The rest of the weekend was a come down from those 3 minutes. I took Kie and Brian to Roturua to the geothermal park that myself and Andy visited back in August, and they loved that! It is a pretty spectacular place when you first see it. We also visited Huka Falls. The next morning was spent in the Polynesian Spa - I love this place!
We spent the week before Christmas just catching up and swopping stories, hanging out with my friends here, me still not fully believing taht they were here. As the 22nd approached, the feeling of excitement started to build again as I got ready for Mam and Dad's arrival!!!!!!

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