Wednesday, October 24, 2012

New Zealand Reunion: Jelly Belly Factory

 The last few days have been a lot of fun.
Some of my dear New Zealand girls were able to come visit for another reunion...this makes year number 5!  I've been so blessed with incredible friends throughout the years, several being from my experience while teaching abroad in Auckland, New Zealand.  For the last few years I excitedly wait for October and spend hours thinking of new and fun activities for us all to do.  If you'd like to see what we've done in the past click the following links (2011, 2010, 2010, 2010, 2010, 2010, 2010) unfortunately I did not start blogging until after our 2009 adventure, so I'll have to write about our 2008 and 2009 adventures in a flashback friday post sometime.
The next few posts will be dedicated to my "Sweet Az" NZ girls.
Thanks so much for another amazing weekend.
I love you girls so much and count myself extremely blessed to call you all dear friends.

Heather, Katy and her husband, Auka flew into town last Wednesday night.  Last time Katy was out visiting, her and Auka were still working on paperwork to get Auka here from Tonga.  They had been married that previous April...needless to say, it was a long journey getting her husband to the states, so we were all VERY excited to finally meet him.  Since Auka had never been to the San Francisco area before I tried to mix up our "Itinerary of Fun" with something new for everyone each day and some classic repeats for those who had been before.  Dallas was kind enough to pick up Heather, Katy, and Auka from the airport Wednesday night and bring them back to our place where they snuggled with little Daxton and spent time catching up.  Then I drove Katy and Auka down to Dublin to stay with Lisa, who recently moved to the area with her little family.  Then Heather and I proceeded to spend the rest of the night talking until the wee hours of the morning...I wasn't prepared for the sleep deprivation I would be getting over the course of this visit!

The next morning we all met up and drove together to the Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield (about 25 minutes north/east of us.)  None of them had taken the free tour before, so I thought it would be a fun activity that was very different from what we had done before.  
The tour through the factory lasts about 40 minutes as they show you different movie clips from the history and lots of free jelly belly samples.  We had to wait about 10 minutes for the next tour to start, but used the time to feed our little ones.
If you can't tell...Katy and Auka are expecting a little girl very soon.  She is 33 weeks along, which is crazy to think about since I delivered Daxton at 32 weeks.  She was such a trooper throughout our whole trip, no complaints at all, especially with all the walking...I don't know how she does it!?

Daxton was super excited when he saw little Maddie again.  I'm not the only one that has loved our weekly get togethers with Lisa and Maddie.  Have I mentioned that I LOVE that they live here now!?  Daxton was even ok with sharing his "Brobee" doll.  That's friendship, all right.
Daxton loved all the extra attention he got from my friends.  Lots of snuggles and big smiles.  We have discovered that he is quite the flirt with the ladies.  He was very happy to watch all the different colors of the factory and listen to the interesting sounds from machines along the tour.
Photography was not allowed on the tour, only in the waiting area and below in the store and cafe.  I did get to take a few quick shots of some of the pictures that had been created out of jelly bellies.  It was pretty amazing to see the detail involved.  I can say right now, that there is no way I would have the patience to make anything similar.

After the tour we spent time looking through the store and trying all sorts of free samples.  Daxton was in heaven with all the different colors.  Auka was so sweet with Daxton and held him high, so he could see everything around him.  Auka's going to be such a great daddy!
After the Jelly Belly tour we decided to catch a very late lunch back down in Pleasant Hill at Red Robin.  Daxton quickly realized how cute Heather is and wanted to spend lots of time snuggling with her as well.  What a spoiled little man!
After dinner we shopped around the mall and found amazing straighteners for our hair.  Yes, we got suckered into a demonstration and then spent a good twenty minutes talking down the price.  That guy better be pretty happy, because we all ended up buying one...
After shopping we all went back to my apartment to wait for Dallas.  Dallas was such a sweetheart and hurried back from work, so he could watch Daxton for the rest of the evening.  Then Katy, Auka, Heather, and myself were able to go to a movie.  It was the first movie I had seen in a very long time!  It was so nice.  Before we left, Maddie wanted to give Daxton some kisses, but as you can see from the pictures below, he was pretty exhausted.  
Don't worry, Maddie, Daxton still loves ya!
After the movie, the four of us rushed to the Oakland airport to pick up Ashley, who had flown in from Arizona.  From the airport we drove to Dublin to drop off Katy and Auka.  Then Heather, Ashley, and I did a quick midnight grocery shopping, were accused of being drunk by the safeway workers (I guess all the giggling and loud laughter made us look intoxicated??) and bought hair dye to cover up all my grays.  After getting home well after 1am, we started to color my hair, watch an episode of Vampire Diaries, and talk until almost 4am...this time Daxton didn't get the memo that mommy needed extra sleep, because he was up by 6 to eat.
I was exhausted!
Overall it was a pretty good first day to our adventure!

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