Our first Easter in Auckland was certainly different to those we’ve experienced back home.
For a start, there were no lunches, dinners or catch-ups with family (well apart from our own little family). But there were loads of phone calls and emails, which helped to make up for that.
We decided not to book a break out of town, mainly because we’d been warned that everyone in Auckland would have the same idea, and the traffic would be horrendous. (After being trapped in a traffic jam last Thursday, as thousands of Aucklanders tried to leave the city, I was pleased we’d taken our friends’ advice!)
Instead, we booked a stay at SKYCITY, the Skytower hotel. Our kids are obsessed with the Skytower, so we knew they would love it. We got a great deal, and the bonus was that it was just up the road. So we got a holiday without the trauma of a long drive with antsy kids. They didn’t even get the chance to ask: Are we there yet?
The quick and easy trip meant more time for swimming, movies, and eating and drinking far too much. Also, the novelty of staying in a hotel again, complete with the attractions of room service and Sky television, was certainly a hit!
We were a bit mean and didn’t tell the kids our plans. Instead, we packed a bag in secret, and then told them to grab their teddies because we were going for a long drive. (They hate long drives!)
Imagine their surprise when we turned into the Skytower, just up the road, and stopped the car. They hadn’t even twigged there was a hotel there! H. almost wet herself with excitement when she found out we were staying there!
To be honest, the hotel itself wasn’t posh (there’s another called SKYCITY Grand, which is meant to be more luxurious), but we enjoyed a break from routine, and staying somewhere different took our minds off being away from home.
A bonus was being able to watch people leap off the tower as we relaxed by the outdoor heated pool – okay that’s a lie, the kids relaxed and made instant friends, while I shivered on the deck watching them. They also loved watching orange-clad people walk along the glass edge of the Skytower above us, like so many spiders.
Back home, there has been computer time, DVD time, and a whole lot of cooking. Not to mention chocolate consumption for the kids.
Easter Tuesday meant back to work, which is always tricky when you have kids home on school holidays. I’m lucky that I have a few days organised for them with vacation care, which is where they are today.
The holiday programs are great over here. The kids get to do fun things like ride the ferry, climb mountains, explore caves, visit attractions like underwater world and the zoo, go ice-skating, disco bowling and more.
They love it, and it gives me a chance to get my work done without constant cries of:
“Can I play on your computer?”
“Muuuum, C. hurt me/changed the channel/is being mean to me!” (And vice versa).
“It’s not fair you get to play on your computer!” (Yes, that’s what I’m doing. Playing.)
“Can we go to the park/pool/movies?”
“When are you going to be finished?"
Praying for a fluffie and a muffin ...oh look, it worked!
The buffet breakfast - all you could eat, and C. didn't stop until he was stuffed!
Street art and a safety message. It's to warn pedestrians not to step out into traffic without looking. Believe it or not they do it all the time! In Auckland, 70 per cent of pedestrian accidents are due to this.
Hanging out at the hotel
C. loved watching Sky television from the comfort of his bed
So did H.
My water baby!