We have been made to feel very welcome by various friends, family and neighbours of Simone and Tyrone.  On Tuesday, we were invited to lunch with Simone and her friend Tanya, at the Sylvia Park shopping mall in Auckland.  Of course everyone there was rushing about doing their last minute Christmas shopping, but it was great to see all the lovely shops and Christmas decorations. 

That evening Amy and Lee (the next door neighbours) came over to dinner, so that we at least knew a couple of friendly faces in the area.

The next day was time for Simone and Tyrone to fly off to Australia to begin their holidays, hopefully safe in the knowledge that we will care for their house and dogs whilst they are away.

On Christmas Eve, after we had taken the dogs for a walk, Amy dropped by to say that she was going out to the bank and to ask if we would like to go with her and she would show us the coast on the eastern side of Auckland.  We jumped at the chance and were able to take some lovely photos and get a feel of the nearby countryside.  We ended up at a lovely craft market in Howick village, where I bought some long-stemmed roses.

Then it was back to the house to play ball with Max and Jessie!