The week of 16-20 January: Our North Island tour! Dad employed me as a tour guide which I happily accepted - with Nick's blessing who stayed home with the boys (a cheaper alternative than us all going). We flew from Christchurch to Wellington where we collected our hire car, a metallic minty green Hyundai Getz. We were all a little nervous about keeping the car safe; Dad crashing trolleys in eyesight of the car hire place wasn't a helpful start! Found a Subway for lunch (thanks Danielle for the GPS without which we would have been entirely lost). After fortifications we were ready to tackle inner city driving to find our hotel, Lodge in the City. The name should have been a clue as to its location when we booked but we hadn't clicked that it actually was located in the middle of town - it was noisy and small and mostly filled with young backpackers. We sure felt out of place so after dumping our bags in the one tiny room, we got out as fast as we could to explore. Te Papa, NZ's national museum, was just around the corner from us and made an interesting afternoon, especially the earthquake house and the Golden Days living junk shop. Off to PaknSave for supplies in the late afternoon where we found some items extraordinarily cheaply - so much so that Dad was persuaded to buy plastic Systema containers for cereal and fudge which we would have to somehow squeeze into our 7kg luggage allowance for the flight back on Friday, to Mom's horror! KFC for tea and then a drive around Evans Bay...anything to avoid spending time at the Lodge! Back there eventually around 7 pm and read and watched TV. Dad struck up a conversation with a guest and shared the gospel - a seed planted which we pray will be watered by others. By around 10 pm we were all in bed although the sleep didn't happen until much later, and even then it seemed that only one person slept at a time what with the violent snailing (that's a combination of snoring and wailing which was amazing to hear, not so easy to sleep to). When Dad finished snoring and woke up, Mom could get to sleep with her own gentler brand of snumphing (that's snoring and hmphing). I had little rest that night.