All good things come to an end, and this week our friends flew back to Brisbane.
Luckily, not before we had time to do some more eating, drinking and exploring!
On Sunday night, we walked to a popular local pub called The Drake, for their two-for-one Sunday night feeds.
The Drake apparently used to be waterfront in the old days, before the area was reclaimed for Victoria Park and surrounds.
They don't serve kids' meals, but the waitress immediately offered to split two adult serves of fish and chips between the kids. They tore into their meals without delay and pronounced the food: Lovely. High praise indeed from the picky Rugrats!
The adult boys took the opportunity to sample a selection of NZ beers and ales, while the grown-up girls were far more sedate and stuck to cider.
We shared a couple of platters, which contained mouthwatering morsels like char sui pork belly, filo prawn twisters, and crab bites. All delicious! The only problem was there wasn't enough of it. (We can be greedy like that!)
The following evening, R. took the opportunity to cook a huge roast dinner. Now R. is an extremely talented chef, so this was indeed a treat. I felt guilty, watching a typical Auckland sunset, chatting, and nursing a glass of wine, as R. wielded his magic in the kitchen. And the results were delicious: Pepper and garlic roast beef, Yorkshire puddings, roasted Kumara, potato, peas, corn, and gravy made from scratch. Sigh.
Later, we shared a box of naughty goodies which L. picked up at The Bakeshop in Ponsonby.
Did I mention, L. has regularly tidied and cleaned, and R. has watched the kids while we she and I have gone shopping? I wish they could have moved in and stayed permanently.
And so do the kids.
The day the family left, the kids were miserable, especially H. "My life is boring now I only have C. to play with," she wailed.
Luckily, their distress didn't last too long. Because when it was time to drop them at school, we were met at the gate by shivering teachers. hovering under umbrellas.
Builders (our school is growing every week) had accidentally blown up a mains fuse, and the school had no electricity - meaning no heating, lights or phones.
They were sending home as many students as possible, due to the extreme cold. And because I work from home (damn!) mine could come back with me.
But I honestly couldn't have had it on my conscience to leave them there. It was a typical Auckland morning, freezing and rainy, and we were all shivering by the time we made it back to the car.
An unexpected day off school is like winning the lottery when you're a kid, so a day at home helped ease the loss of their mates - at least a little bit.
And finally, Husband and I celebrated nine years of happily wedded bliss this week. Okay, not all of it was blissful - this is real life after all, and bringing up small humans, not to mention producing them, can be extremly painful. But we are very happy together, and I struck gold the day I met him (even if he does hog the duvet.)
We don't have a babysitter at the moment, so instead of dinner, I met Husband for a delicious seafood lunch in Ponsonby while the kids were at school. (Scampi linguini, caprese salade, and a glass of Marlborough Pinot Gris. Divine.)
Tonight, we enjoyed a quiet night in, but we're hoping to do something fun as a family to celebrate on the weekend.
After all, isn't that what you do if you're a couple of old marrieds?