Letters from Paradise

20 June 2022

Dearest Lou

Here I am finally, in New Zealand, very relieved to be here. As you know, we got our first choice quarantine hotel, Millbrook Resort, and the location is truly stunning. There are mountains in every direction you look and we have a view out onto the golf course nearby. I can see the sun sparkling on the morning frost but we are toasty warm in our room.

I am hoping that the trauma of the plane travel will wear off after a few days and we will be none the worse for it. Of course we have to return…but that is well into the future and the point of this is to truly enjoy our time in paradise! 12 hours on a flight with hundreds of other people is such an enormous change from sheltering in place at home. Everyone was wearing masks and gloves and the crew were very considerate, but I found it a little hard to breathe. We were very happy to get to Auckland and be able to access our 4 hour private room before taking the local quarantine flight to Queenstown. What do you think of the view from the aircraft? We are staying in the flat bit on the centre right of the picture and north of the river.

Oh, I nearly forgot to tell you, Air New Zealand has just the best safety briefing video. They make them specially for the airline; this one was all about the All Black rugby team. My those men are good looking!

Lots of love

Mom

23 June 2022

Dearest Lou

First COVID-19 test survived, we will get the results in two days. Given that we were careful for 2 months prior to coming, because we didn’t want to risk anything impacting on this trip, I am sure we will be fine. However, there is nothing like having a cotton bud stuck into the back of your nose till you gag to make you a little stressed.

The food is quite amazing, just as good as the pictures on the web suggested. It is made onsite at the restaurant here and I can’t wait to get out and eat in it in a social setting. I had to put a picture on Facebook for my friends of our dessert, with all sorts of edible flowers decorating the mashed potato!

I hope that Randy & Kristen aren’t bouncing off the walls too much in the current shelter-in-place restrictions in San Fran; give them lots of hugs and kisses from Grandma and tell them I miss them so much.

Lots of love

Mom

26 June 2022

Dearest Lou

Our test returned a negative, as we knew it would, but we were still very thankful to get the results. We were starting to chafe around the edges a bit; your Pop is so darn keen to get out there and have a go on that golf course.  A negative test means that he can finally get out with his clubs, keeping proper social distancing and wearing a mask of course. I will be quite relieved to have some quiet time to myself in our apartment. It is such a long time since we have had any time on our own. I am not sure if Pop notices but I really miss it! And I will take myself for a distanced walk around the perimeter of the golf course and enjoy breathing in the fresh air.

How are those two little rug-rats doing? I hope Randy’s temperature has cleared. When you were his age your temperature would spike for no apparent reason and I would be so worried, then the next day you would be leaping around again.

Lots of love

Mom

30 June 2022

Dearest Lou

Four more days to go on our countdown to freedom. I have been absolutely loving wandering around the grounds here. The temperatures warm up during the day and, so far, every single day has been sunny. I can see the snow on Coronet Peak, which is the local ski field. I am even more looking forward to being outside the quarantine facility because then I won’t have to wear a mask and I will know that no-one around me is infectious. Every so often I think about the huge hole in our bank balance being created by this trip but I know that it is the right thing to do. We so needed the break and to remember that it is possible to live in a world that isn’t constrained by virus fears.

That’s no good at all that Kristen is a bit off colour too, will you be booking in for a telehealth checkup? I know I shouldn’t be saying that because you are the Mom and I am the nosy Grandmom thinking I know best. But I do love those kids SOOOO much.

Lots of love to you all

Mom

4 June 2022

Dearest Lou

Freedom at last and I can’t tell you how wonderful it is. We are staying at the Matakauri Lodge, right on Lake Wakatipu with views to the mountains on the other side. And does the weather ever change fast here – one morning the mountains have snow on their tops, two days later it is warm and there is only snow really high up. Lake Wakatipu is so beautiful, but I don’t think I will be going swimming in it. The locals say it doesn’t get above 60F even in summer! I shudder to think what it is like in winter. Every day a steamer chuffs across the lake, blowing out some black smoke as it goes. I am not sure this is such a good thing, are they not worried about pollution here?

We decided on Matakauri to be somewhere quiet and a bit out of town, because lots of people would be completely overwhelming after so long with so many distancing restrictions. Pop is a bit sorry to have left the Millbrook golf course, but we have a rental car and he can go to one of the many golf courses in the area and try out a different one each day if he wants.

Tonight we are going to the ‘Rata’ restaurant in central Queenstown, and have booked a separate booth for the two of us with designated 2m distancing from every other table. It cost a bomb but it is quite the celebration – a night out on the town for the first time in…can it really be over 2 years? Rata is a really pretty New Zealand flower, very red (I looked it up online). I don’t think there is any flowering at the moment. I am looking forward to walking in the woods here, which I plan to do tomorrow (in my snow boots of course). There is a nice walk up to a gondola from which you can see over Queenstown. Pop is telling me I should do a bungy jump but I am telling him that I am 70 and my bungy jumping days are over J

Lots of love

Mom

5 June 2022

Dearest Lou

I just can’t believe it, the kids have COVID? I am so sorry and scared for you all. How could it have happened? And how come you didn’t tell me you were worried about it? I guess you were wanting us to get our taste of freedom but it is such a shock. Will Mike lose his job if he can’t go to work for the 4 week stand down period? Oh, please God don’t let you all get sick. I feel so so far away. I checked with Air New Zealand but they can’t get us onto a flight until 30 July at the earliest. Please let us do a Zoom tonight so I can see you all?

More love than you can imagine

Mom

Published by janecshearer

I'm a self-employed life enthusiast living in Gibbston, New Zealand

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