On Friday we were expecting a family of 7 adults from Hangzhou in China. When they arrived there were 6 adults and 4 children which was quite a surprise. Only one of the party spoke any English but that did not seem to hinder communication. They were a very happy family and the children were lovely and very well behaved.
We prepared a 4 course banquet for them with lots of seafood. They thoroughly enjoyed it with lots of clapping, smiles, photo taking and general approval not to mention many toasts! They were great fun to have as guests and the children loved running around the garden and looking at the stars at night. One of the party was a sweet elderly lady who was the grandmother. Together we went on an exploration of the garden and she was really delighted when I gave her one of our gorgeous new peaches. Our fruit trees are very young and this our first crop. They had a very busy schedule worked out and by the time they reached us had already had a very full day. The flew in from Shanghei at 6.45 in the morning and then did a full day touring around the Coromandel Peninsula. We were expecting them to arrive at 4pm and have dinner at 7 but they didn't arrive until nearly 10pm so it was a very late night for us all. Luckily the banquet we had prepared was already and just needed some last minute cooking so we were still able to present it all in good fashion although it was somewhat delayed. We thought they would be keen to have a lay in but not a bit of it.
Breakfast was ordered for 6am (we compromised and agreed on 6.30). They ate a hearty breakfast of blueberry muffins, a very large fresh fruit platter and a dozen baked eggs wrapped in bacon washed down with a choice of OJ, coffee or green tea. The family enjoyed taking lots of photos of each platter of food as it was delivered to the table. Each platter was also heralded with a round of applause. We were in not doubt - they really enjoyed themselves.
After a photo shoot outside with us all taking lots of photos of each other and us all as a group there were lots of hugs and kisses and invitations to Hangzhou and promises of a return visit. Although fleeting, it was a great visit and although they arrived as strangers they certainly left as friends.