Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Air New Zealand decorated a Boeing 777 plane with pictures depicting the movie of the Hobbit.  It landed at Wellington Airport which was quite a feat in that the runway is very short and usually large planes are not allowed.
Wellington became the Middle of Middle Earth for a few weeks leading up to the premier of the film.

The activities started on Saturday afternoon with a Hobbit Artisan Market at the park next to Te Papa Museum.

At the end of Courtenay Place near the Embassy Theater they placed a mural surrounding the building.

The red carpet went from Taranaki Street 500 meters down to the Embassy Theater.  Peter Jackson was there along with some of the stars such as Elijah Woods, Kate Blanchet, the twin Hobbits, and many of the dwarfs who are starring in the movie.  They are so made up in the movie that it was hard to recognize which star played which character.

Three nights before the premier they played that three Lord of the Ring movies outside in the park.

We went to the red carpet around 1:00 p.m. on November 28th and  already all the places next to the red carpet were taken.  We ended up going next to the stage at the end of the red carpet.  There were over 100,000 people who attended.

Kate Blanchet was there with her sons.

Wellington Airport was transformed with the Hobbiton Village surrounding the luggage belt.

Golum was also at the airport to greet the passengers.

November 28, 2012

Monday, December 3, 2012


Even though the New Zealanders don't celebrate Thanksgiving the American Senior Couples do.  Twelve of the Senior Couples from the North Island gather at the Institute Building for Thanksgiving which included turkey (cost $85.00), mashed potatoes, green salad and jello salad with the jello from America, rolls, and pumpkin pies (the canned pumpkin was also from the United States).  It was held the day after Thanksgiving which was technically Thanksgiving in the United States.  It is always nice to remember the traditional holidays.

All of our children got together at Kevin and Jeanette's, so we had the opportunity of use Skype to see all of them also celebrating Thanksgiving together.  We are indeed thankful for the 4 wonderful children we have been blessed with and the fantastic spouses they have married.  We are also blessed with 9 super cute grandchildren and look forward to meeting the two youngest (Miles and Bethany) when we return the end of February.

November 22, 2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Halloween isn't a big holiday in Wellington so the Primary President ask certain families to have candy for trick or treating.  We had the opportunity of being one of the families and it was fun to be able to see the children all dressed up in their costumes. 

Humprey's and Butters's Family

Charles Turner

Desiree Turner and Aria

Brunt Family

Newest Brundt Baby

Charles and Odin

Thomson's and Howard's

October 31, 2012

Hamilton Temple Trip - Young Adults

It is early morning and we are preparing to leave for a temple trip to the Hamilton Temple.  Guy who is standing next to Don just received his mission call to Portugal and he is going to the temple for the first time.  The rest are going to do baptisms and confirmations.  The ones that went were Guy, Zeerona, Chelsea, Jasmine, Grace, Destiny and Alison and the McVey's and the Overton's. We rented a 12 person van to accommodate all of us. 

We packed a lunch and stopped at a table next to the road for lunch.   When we arrived at Hamilton we stayed at some old church dorms.  The men were on the second floor and the women were on the first floor.  It was old but it only cost $10.00 for the night and we had to bring all of our own bedding and towels.

This is the group before entering the temple.

Friday night we went to the Hamilton Gardens but didn't get to stay very long because it was closing and the guard was nice enough to let us go in for just a minute.

Guy is standing outside after he has gone through the temple for the first time. 

Of course we had to stop at The Big Apple Cafe for an ice cream cone on the way home.  The ice cream in New Zealand is the best ice cream that we have ever tasted.

October 26, 2012

Saturday, October 20, 2012

New Zealand Birds and Flowers

This bird looks like it has a hat on but it kept moving so fast that it was hard to get a good picture.

This is outside of the Cafe Espanlade in the park.

October 20, 2013

Palmerston North

This is a view of the river and golf course in Palmerston North.  We went there Saturday for the monthly senior couples dinner.  This is a view from Anzac Park.

Before lunch we all went to the Rugby Museum located in the center of town.

Afterward we went to a small cafe which is only open for breakfast and lunch and is located in the middle of a beautiful park.

October 20, 2013