Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Day four: The search for a suburb continues....

Today Mark trotted off to work and us girls hit the North Shore once again armed with our map and morning tea.

Yesterday we "did" the mall. (As only four girls can :-)

Today we started with a trip up through Dairy Flat, beautiful rural country which reminded me of home (North Canterbury) and up north to Red Beach and Orewa.

I remember Orewa well from my early high school days up in Warkworth. It's very touristy but a gorgeous beach,,,in summer! It has a quaint little village centre with beachy shops and two fantastic playgrounds, so the girls inform me. Pohutukawa grow all along the beachfront, which I absolutely love. I can't wait when the are in full bloom to show the girls our native Christmas Tree.

Despite being a dreary, grey day it was warm enough for a few snaps against the lovely view. 
You can certainly see more of Whangaparaoa on a clear day.
Looking down over Orewa beach

I have decided that if we were to live north I would definitely consider Red Beach. Has a 
very forward thinking and innovative primary school too which is a bonus.

After a break and play at these coastal locations we ventured back to Albany for lunch. I managed to find the worst coffee in North Shore. At least I found it in the first week and got it over and done with. LOL
I will be on the search for the best coffee, as I promised my best friend from Rangiora that we would have a coffee date when she visited me. Anyone out there know where I an find it???

Caitlin did a brilliant job for the next hour co-piloting with the map as we checked out the following areas for housing consideration. Glenfield, Bayview, Windy Ridge, Birkdale, Marlborough and few others forgotten.
With a final bribe of an ice cream we managed to get back to our Albany accommodation exhausted.

As the evening approached we were pleased to see  a little sun. Knowing that Canterbury was shivering in the cold we took the opportunity explore the facilities available to us while we stay at "Cassa Bella". We found the playground, Tennis court and playground and even a gym to get my post baby figure sorted out....................yeah whatever!!!!!! LOL
If it was summer I know we'd be using these facilities!!

I will be pleased when this driving around is over. 
I'm sure we will do lots of driving as a family over the next few months, but it will be for a different purpose and we'll have settled into our own place by then :-) 
Once we know which areas we prefer or "feel good" to us we can then get some real estate agents helping with the actual house search. Rental properties to start with, and then we can look for properties for sale at a more leisurely pace.

Keeping oneself busy is a good way of avoiding homesickness. 

Tomorrow the driving must continue. I will be searching the "Bays".  Not sure if we can afford to live on that side. But I will search high and low cause it's gorgeous over there!
I have promised the kids that after a morning of driving we will do something exciting  .............................Chipmunks was Molly's request. 

A massage and facial would suit me.... :-)

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Treacys Have Landed

Watch out Auckland....we have arrived!

My eyes hurt....I've stopped crying now, but gee whizz we shed a few on leaving Canterbury!!
Sunday morning we arrived at Christchurch Airport with two very large, piled high trolleys of luggage. Leaving Rangiora and saying goodbye to Mark's family was hard enough....but we discovered many more lovely people at the airport to shed a tear with.

Despite the sky consumed with foggy clouds the take off and the flight was surprisingly smooth and being the nervous traveller that I have become (only after a shocking landing at Wellington few years ago), I actually enjoyed it. Watching Molly's face as she experienced the thrill of flying for the first time was a wonderful distraction. Phoebe fed, slept and then chatted throughout. 
Caitlin recovered quickly from the ChCh Security officer confiscating her school scissors that were considered too sharp and large!!! Harrowing experience for her :-(
She soon cheered up as the Sky tower came into view....or the "Macdonalds Tower" as Molly yelled out to everyone on board. She assumed it must belong to the golden arches franchise as we did inform her that there were some very large Macdonalds restaurants up North. (HeeHee)

Walking through Auckland airport was family with smiles or hugs for us! We felt a little numb. Mark and I wondering for a small moment whether we had made the right decision.

Our  "Cassa Bella" house is very nice, comfortable and has everything we need.....thank you Irwin! Molly was over the moon to find channel 45 on Sky was available!!! LOL

Interesting how your priorities change when leaving one home for another. I did manage to make the babies bed, an important task to get done quickly on arrival. But the following photo shows how important it was to get "online". LOL
Well, at least it did mean I could chat with folks back home and let them now we were happy and settled. :-)

Since then we have stocked the larder....from the biggest Pak n Save the kids will probably ever visit and have started the hunt for a house to rent. 
The cats have calmed down and made themselves comfortably at home which is a relief.
Gone into Mark's work and introduced the girls to his workmates and scribbled on the whiteboard in his office. Phoebe was a hit...maybe I'll have some baby sitters????

HUGE day for Jaz (me) and the girls tomorrow; Mark starts work and I will have my first driving lesson in the North Shore. I think I might be borrowing Mark's GPS for a week, but the lovely lady commentating is particularly annoying and might drive me over the edge....well let's hope not. We picked up my car today. It had arrived safe and sound and I'm glad to have it with me. 

The exploring can begin....

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Rental Property

What does a woman, man, their three girls and two cats do when their house sells quickly and there are a few weeks before they leave for Auckland?
Buy a vacant rental property...of course!
Despite a gloomy economic outlook by most, we had cash buyers fall in love with our King St villa on the second open home. Not too surprising really, as this happened to us only two years prior, but it did mean that after a quick settlement we suddenly needed somewhere to live before venturing up north.

It was in the same week that we put an offer on and bought a cute little 3 bedroom house on West Belt, Rangiora. We have camped here now for a few weeks, on borrowed furniture and dressing each day out of suitcases. Fun? Well....character building.  I am surprised by the things I miss. Not the fancy appliances from my kitchen (although a cheese grater will be a novelty again) but little personal items, photos, comforting belongs that make a home and represent our family. 
Still the rental property allowed us to put our sale money into a good investment and it really has been better than living in a motel...I think!

The eve of our leave is getting closer. Caitlin and Molly both have their last days tomorrow and are apprehensive. I have spent the entire week saying goodbye to people in a variety of ways and Mark and I both agreed this evening that it is emotionally draining.

I also waved goodbye to my car this week. It is currently being railed up to Mark's new work premises for us to pick up shortly after our own arrival on Sunday. Molly cried, thinking she might never see it again. A quick chat of reassurance and she was fine :-)

Family members move into our rental with us tomorrow and will continue on as our tenants when we leave. We are ever grateful to them and others for lending furniture etc these past weeks.

Only 3 sleeps to go!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

So our journey began with Crown Removal company coming and packing our things around us. It was a very bizarre experience as my 'treasures' disappeared into boxes leaving only beds, suitcases, t.v and a couch to live on for a couple of nights.

On the third day of packing a huge container arrived that seemed to consume the entire driveway. All our belongings were about to head to Lyttleton and forwarded on to the Auckland Crown Storage Warehouse. These removal boys were so fast and efficient that I quickly  placed six month old Phoebe carefully outside the house to avoid her also being whipped away, tightly wrapped and shipped to Auckland. Morning tea in the sun!!! :-)

Our short, but productive time at the King St villa was over.

The next leg of our journey would begin at our newly acquired rental property on WEst Belt, Rangiora

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The countdown begins

One week to go for the Treacy family. Mark's job is taking us up to the North Shore, Auckland at the end of the month.

Here is what we left....100 King St, Rangiora. Our beautiful villa that only took two years to renovate. We were all a bit sad to say goodbye to this beauty.
Sam the dog has gone off to a friend's house in Christchurch and supposedly settling in well. Getting lots of love and two walks a day.

Caitlin and Molly are having their last week at school and preschool. A sad but exciting weekend approaches them.

Eight sleeps to go until our new lives in Auckland.


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