A spontaneous (well planned) surprise drive to Christchurch!

Well the day began with waking up and breakfast. But I have to set the story up right first. You see a few days before, we and all the Granneman family had organised and given Bob for his 31st birthday a Heli Hike up Franz Joseph Glacier. However due to weather conditions, which you can read about in the blog here, the flight was rescheduled and then cancelled three times. So we were left with no present for Bob, slight dilemma…

To add even more information, this was to be our last day with Bob and Leonne. The plan according to Bob was that we would wake, take our time with breakfast and slowly drive to Arthurs Pass. There they would then make their way slowly through the mountain ranges towards Christchurch, but then stay a few hours out of the city for the night and drive in the next day, which was in fact his birthday. All the while Alex and I would drive back to Greymouth, back north to Punukaki Rocks and continue north, driving a different way along the north part of the South Island. This was what Bob had put together as everyone’s plan for the coming days and in the lead up, he had not budged on his decisions.

So when it came to breakfast time, Bob was very chilled out and definitely took his time.

But what Bob didn’t know was that Alex, Leonne and I, along with everyone in the family, had planned a different itinerary for the day. And he was going to find out when his plate of breakfast was placed in front of him.

So we told Bob to sit down and relax, that we would make breakfast today. We had some candles all the way carried from Australia ready to place in his toast, when we realised we had no way of lighting it. The campers kitchen had electric stoves and we had no lighter in sight, shit!

But lucky eough another couple were cooking in the kitchen and we had noticed they smoked, Ha Ha! So when Bob went out to get something from the car, Alex quickly asked if we could borrow the lighted for the surprise.

When the eggs were done, Alex plated everything up, lit the candle, with me coughing a little to mask the noise, as Bob was just on the other side of a wall, and we walked into him signing.

At first Bob’s response was ‘um guys my birthday is tomorrow…’. But as we explained to him that his plan of parting ways today was in fact not going to happen, that we would all be driving to Christchurch, staying in a nice place and going out for a fancy dinner to celebrate, he had a big smile on his face. You were very much surprised weren’t you Bob?

And really he’d had no idea! Although he had come close to discovering our plan, and Bob we may have forgotten to tell you this part so here it is.

A few days prior when the Heli Hike had been cancelled for the third and last time, we were all sitting in a café having coffee. I was taking advantage of the Wi-Fi and confirming the Airbnb we had booked for the night in Christchurch, when Bob then leaned over and said oooo can I have a look at what your doing. Now anyone who know’s Bob knows he likes to see what you are doing on your phone, so this was normal. However I had the Airbnb confirmation on my screen and my immediate reaction was to pull away. A big smile spread across your face Bob when you thought, ooooo why don’t you want me to see your screen. However I came up with a brilliant lie right on the spot. I said I had been looking at something private, like my bank account or something and I was convincing enough that he left it alone and even felt bad I think for trying to see.

So when we finally revealed the surprise to you at breakfast, I did forget to tell you this part and I am sorry for making you feel bad, but it was so worth it!

And so after a nice breakfast, we all headed back and packed up, now with a bit more pace given we had a bit of driving to do that day.

After departing Greymouth we drove along Arthurs Pass, stopping at the iconic spot for pictures and then going for a small hike to look at the view afterwards.



The rest of the morning was spent driving through the mountains along beautiful cliffed roads and through picturesque set towns.

Once we arrived in Christchurch it was mid afternoon and we checked out our Airbnb. It was a massive house that could fit 12 people, so we definitely had enough choice for beds. We threw on some washing, relaxed a little after the long drive and then headed out for an evening of fun!

Our first stop was to a bar for some drinks. We passed a few on the way to the restaurant, however they were packed and a bit commercial. We then stumbled onto a beautiful little street with old windowed shops and funky bars. We ended up going into The Institution  and having a few rounds of cocktails and beers.





After our refreshments we then headed to Francesca’s Italian just around the corner. There we had a delicious meal with some Prosecco to celebrate the big 3.1!


The evening would have continued out, but we decided to head back to the house and continue drinks there. So back we went and out came the bottle of Sambuca again for one last night.


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