In September, my sisters Roxy and Cindy, and Larry and I joined my brother Craig and his family for a great vacation to the Cooke Islands for the wedding of Craig and Betsy’s son, Ben. It was an amazing trip with the first week spent on the beautiful island of Rarotonga and the second week seeing the sights of New Zealand. Mike wasn’t able to join us, he and daughter Kait had gone to New Zealand in the Spring.
Rarotonga reminds one of Gilligan’s Island – our waterfront apartment was on a lagoon with the sand and water right off our deck. We stayed at the Avana Waterfront Apartments which we highly recommend for the friendliest service on the island – we enjoyed our little home on the island. One of our best memories was attending the traditional Maori church at the end of our lane – we were told we would really enjoy the singing and we sure did! The wedding was beautiful and Helen’s family was lots of fun.
At the end of the week, we flew to New Zealand with Craig as our travel guide. We visited the geothermal pits at Rotorua’s Hell’s Gate where we enjoyed a mud/sulphur bath. We visited the Te Puia Cultural Center where we learned about the Maori’s, New Zealand’s native tribe and ate a lunch cooked in a geothermal pit. Then on to Napier, the coastal city where Ben and Helen live. There we toured the TeMata Winery where Ben works and also were invited to a wonderful New Zealand dinner at the home of Helen’s family. It was a great trip, we can’t wait to go back and I greatly appreciated Adam and Mike taking on the eNews duties in the weeks just before the Fall Festival so Larry & I could enjoy our vacation!