So, off we went the next morning to the animal park. Remember, we are still in the whop-whops... So we showed up to what is a working farm that you can walk around and feed the animals grain. Josiah loved it! The farmer was very friendly and even let Josiah feed the pig... He told us it was truly a "face only a mother could love." And boy, was he right! Josiah opted to just look and wave at the pig. We walked around in the drizzle as Josiah tried continuously to pet the chickens and eyed the turkey and ostrich. He loved it!
We then drove up to Dunedin and checked into the holiday park. It was a short walk to the beach, but with the drizzle in the air, we decided to go downtown and explore the city instead. It was a bustling city with some fun architecture. The highlight for us would be the next day when we visited the Cadbury chocolate factory. When we came home from exploring the city, we were glued to the TV at the horrific tragedy that was unfolding in Japan. Our hearts are broken for the Japanese and we are praying for the safety of those who are there. We then heard about the tsunami warning for NZ and the tragedy hit a little closer to home. Here we were a stones throw from the beach and there was a tsunami warning. However, we were on the east side of the south island-opposite from where the tsunami would hit first. We were so thankful, although we did make sure we knew which hill to go up first in case of sirens. By Friday morning, the warning had been downgraded to a marine advisory, which meant no beach time or swimming, but otherwise, we were out of danger.
We enjoyed the busy Dunedin farmers market with tons of fresh and locally grown fruits and veg as well as really yummy lamb kabobs. The market is located outside the beautiful Dunedin train station. It was fun exploring the train station as well. Then we toured the Cadbury chocolate factory. Oh my, the smell of chocolate was amazing. They hand out samples the whole 45 minute tour. We kept feeding little bites to Josiah so he wouldn't talk over the guide. By the end of the tour he was in a chocolate daze.
We ended our evening in Oamaru, a quiet little beach town south of Christchurch. It is best known for it's colonies of penguins. We waited for an hour to see the shy yellow-eyed penguin. We only were able to see one, but it was so neat to see it in the wild, in its natural environment. Josiah entertained all the people watching by waving and yelling hi to every passing bird and the sea lions on the beach.
We are ecstatic about our hotel for the evening, after staying in quite a few holiday parks or hotels with only showers, we have missed baths, so we sprung for a jet tub and king bed in the newest hotel in Oamaru. The owners of the hotel are also very friendly and helpful. It is awesome! If you are ever in the area, you should definitely stay here!
Tomorrow, we head north towards Christchurch.
The Olsen's <><