Thursday, March 24, 2011

visitors and torn ligaments

Alisa mentioned in a recent post that we just had family visitors. This was actually our second visit from family members since we moved to New Zealand. The first visit was a quick overnight stay by my aunt and uncle, Vicki and Jerry, who had planned a trip to Fiji, Australia, and New Zealand even before we had moved here. So our visit from Vicki and Jerry was sweet but short as they had accommodation planned in places other than Auckland.

Last month's visit was from Lucky, one of my brothers, who had been planning for some time to come visit us and see New Zealand. At the last minute, he was joined by Tiffany (one of my many cousins), who is a flight attendant and flew here stand by.

When Lucky made his plans to come, we planned a trip to see some sights around the North Island. We went to the Coromandel Peninsula, which is a beautiful coastal area about 2-3 hours from Auckland. The Coromandel has beautiful beaches and a forested coastal mountain range. We enjoyed a couple nights in Whitianga, where we went to Hot Water Beach, which has a hot spring that flows out of the beach right in the surf. We also did a glass bottom boat tour, which took us to Cathedral Cove (filming location in one of the Chronicles of Narnia movies). We also got in a quick snorkel and looked at the marine life through the bottom of the boat.

After the Coromandel, we moved on for a night near Rotorua. In Rotorua, we enjoyed doing "The Luge", which involves taking a gondola ride up a mountain and carting down a concrete track. We enjoyed some hot mineral pools, and we also kayaked on Lake Tarawera.

The next destination was Lake Taupo. We had just arrived at our holiday home (bach) when trouble happened. We had been working on potty training for a few weeks before the trip, and the kids had actually been doing very well on the trip. But we arrived at this house, and Alisa went to find Max, who was on a spiral staircase and had peed his pants. Alisa can't remember exactly how it occurred, but she picked up Max and slipped in his pee, which was trailing down the stairs. Fortunately, she did not land on her stomach, and baby Tyrone (at least that's what I call him, for now) was just fine. But her ankle and shin got worked over. Just to add insult to injury, Max and Maya both pooped their pants within a half hour of Alisa injuring her ankle. It was a crazy hour. Alisa spent that evening on a bed and couldn't put any weight on her foot without unbearable pain.

The next morning, we ended our trip (just one day early) and headed back to Auckland. A trip to the doctor with accompanying x-ray revealed she hadn't broken anything, and later a physical therapist indicated she had a partial ligament tear. After a few days of resting the ankle, Alisa was able to get around on crutches. Our ward and friends really took care of us while Alisa recovered, and she gradually got more mobile over the next week. We were actually fortunate to have some other visitors (Devin and Ivan; Alisa got to know Devin while at BYU). Devin and Ivan were on a long trip through NZ and stayed two nights with us. While I was at work during the day and out of town for work one night, they provided great help to Alisa during the first few days after her ankle injury. A month later, the ankle is still weak, but she's getting around okay.

So it was a wild end to the trip, but we enjoyed a great week with Lucky and Tiffany. On our return to Auckland, Tiffany flew back to the US. Lucky went on a quick trip to Queenstown by himself and had a great time touring Milford Sound and doing a few of the extreme adventures available in Queenstown. We loved having our visitors and enjoyed a great trip with Lucky and Tiffany, even if it ended with some craziness. At least, we can promise some great memories for visitors that make the long trek to see us in NZ.

Walking along Piha Beach
Cooks Beach (near Whitianga)
Alisa loves to get ice cream for the kids so she can help them finish it (not that the kids don't enjoy it too)
View from the highway between Coromandel Town and Whitianga
Max and watermelon
Glass bottom boat tour in Whitianga
Maya with Tiffany
We got in a quick swim while on the boat tour
Skyline Gondola at Rotorua
"The Luge"- Alisa had to skip the luge but Max and Maya really enjoyed it.  
Taking the lift back up for another luge run
Lucky with Maya on the lift
Blakc swan on Lake Tarawera (near Rotorua)
Huka Falls, near Lake Taupo
The infamous staircase where Alisa slipped from about half way down the metal stairs.  
We had a rest stop at the Hamilton Temple on the way back to Auckland