My name is Charlotte, sometimes known as Ms Lottie, occasionally as The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady. This is my blog, where you'll find me writing a lot about my quilting and textile arts and a little about my family's life in a small seaside town in New Zealand. Haere mai!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Across the Ditch

Hmm, what to write about first?  Well, I guess I better explain where I've been for the last few weeks.  My Dad turned 70 this year and we decided it was time for a family get together.  We haven't all been together in the one place for about six years!  All my immediate family live in Australia now - I have to break out the passport to go visit my brothers and sisters :(  So our little family crossed the ditch (that's what we fondly call the Tasman Sea) and spent ten days on the Sunshine and Gold Coasts of Australia.

The kids were extremely excited to be having a plane ride - they can't remember their last one.  And the first plane we ride on is a little one from Kerikeri to Auckland, just one seat each side of the aisle, which makes is a bit more exciting.

We had to spend a day in Auckland due to a passport issue.  (Warning: check your passport expiry dates CAREFULLY!  It is not good for stress levels to find out you have an expired passport the day before you fly.)  But we made the most of it with a trip to the museum and a trip up the Skytower.

Dad's party was a great success.  The log cabin quilt I've been working on was presented to him.  My eldest sister made half the blocks and on the back are blocks from members of the family with names, handprints and pictures.  He loved it!

This is my Dad, my step-mum and all my immediate siblings.  I don't know how my half-brother managed to get out of this photo, and my step-sister was the one taking the photo.  Of course there were plenty of little children - all cousins - running around too.

We had a trip to Australia Zoo - the home of the late Steve Irwin.  Not cheap, but really worth it for the kids.  Lots of animal experiences.

And a great show where a 4-metre long croc named Graham (not sure if this is a great name for a crocodile) tries to eat his keepers.

Later in the week we borrowed my parent's camping gear and headed to Great Sandy National Park with two of my sisters and their families.  I got to see a snake in the wild.  I think it's a carpet python - not poisonous.  It was hanging out in a tree where we were waiting for the ferry at Tewantin.

Camping at Great Sandy National Park is only accessible by 4WD because the beach is the highway - a little bit different!

We camped and swam and ate and saw a whale and lots of birds - and cleaned out about 2 tonnes of sand from our belongings when we got back.  So much fun.

And there was the obligatory theme park visit.  But I had cut a deal with Hubby!  I took the kids to the zoo while he went swag (a kind of iconic Australian camping bed and tent all rolled into one) shopping, and he took them to Dreamworld while I went fabric shopping.  I reckon I got the better deal!

Phew!  That's enough photos for one day.  I'll show you the few fabric goodies I picked up another day.  We visited my husbands cousins as well so we really filled up on family on this trip.  Now we are getting back to reality.  It's school holidays for the next two weeks so it's an easy transition really.  It's nice to be home, just a little bit cooler!


  1. Wow great family trip!
    I love the photo of the kids at the Sky Tower, their faces......priceless!

  2. I see a little boy who desperately wants his own great big lizard... but I bet it's name wouldn't be Graham. I love the blues in the log cabin quilt against that dry Australian background... looks like a great trip all round.

  3. Wonderful!!! What a great time for you all, and a wonderful experience for the kids. Love the quilt :-)


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