I was a raspberry picker for 2 summers as a teenager. It's hot, prickly, sweaty, tiring work. And it seriously put me off eating raspberries for a fair few years. But when we ended up in the raspberry patch picking this year, the fast-picking techniques all flooded back to me. And we left with four full ice cream containers in a short space of time.
Breakfast the next day with yoghurt and fresh-picked raspberries had never tasted so good!
Jaunt around Hamilton Lake
It was probably a little ambitious doing a late afternoon walk right round the lake (4km) after we'd both done exercise that morning and we'd also taken Noah out on 2 separate bike rides that day.
Poor wee soul was rather flagging by the end of it, but he was a real trooper as long as we kept him in food, he seemed to find the reserves he needed to battle on.
I can't believe I lived in the Waikato for five years and have visited it most Christmases since but have never once walked the lake! A lovely spot.
Family bike rides
Two years ago at Christmas, a little 3 year old got a Mocka running bike and tore up and down the country roads on it. One year ago, a 4 year old was learning how to ride his first real bike with training wheels. This year, a big 5 year old has been zooming up and down country lanes with mum and dad and we have been loving the thrill of all getting out together on our bikes.
Boys driving mower
No trip to Nana and Poppa's would be complete without a ride on Poppa's mower. They.love.it.
A trip to Auckland zoo, zoo, zoo
This year we decided to make more of the opportunity at being at this end of the country to stay with my friend Andrea and family for a couple of days and take the kids to a couple of iconic Auckland spots. Firstly the zoo.
It's massive compared to our 'Best LITTLE zoo in the world' in Wellington. After 3 hours we still hadn't quite seen everything, but little feet were flagging so a drive over the Harbour Bridge on the motorway resulted in a good forty winks to tide them over for the rest of the day.
Best animals spotted: Burma the elephant, flamingos, rhino, hippo, alligators, and seals, none of which we have in Wellington! And the noise the gibbons made: hilarious! Although it was a bit much for Noah and he ended up with his fingers over his ears!
We arrived just on opening time which turned out to be a bright idea to combat the crowds we knew would be arriving on a rainy Auckland Friday.Wow, we totally loved our encounter with stingrays, penguins, sharks, turtles and other cool things aquatic!
And we were treated royally staying at Andrea and Andrew's place (or should that be palace) overlooking Grey Lynn Park...it was a lovely mini break away, apart from a little guy who decided that midnight would be the perfect time to get up four times in an hour...sigh...and up for the day at 5:45am..I guess we'll be home soon enough to have to deal with it properly then.
And now we're seeing in the New Year with our darling Gee Gee (Great Grandma). Hopefully the rain will hold off long enough for us so we can make our annual pilgrimage to the Pukekura Park Festival of Lights too.
Happy New Year y'all!