01 January 2012

Illuminating the old, seeing in the new

There's nothing like lighting up the last night of the year in glorious colour before heralding in the dawn light of the new. 


To start the day, a five-hour drive south took us through the very best of the back of beyond of our currently rain drenched countryside. The windscreen wipers got a fair workout on full blast at points during the trip.


To ward off the onset of cabin fever upon reaching our rain-soaked destination, we decided a dip at the Todd Energy Aquatic Centre was in order. Mark and Noah rode the hydroslide time after time, while I followed Mylo from the toddler pool to the wave pool, to the warm pool, to the toddler pool time after time. That boy has some ants in his pants!

I'm what's called a fair-weather swim friend, so you're unlikely to get me in the water unless it's over 30 degrees. It was somewhat of a shock to the system going between the various temperature of the pools, I'd just get used to the lovely enveloping warmth of the warmest pool and I'd be forced to brace the shivering temps of the wave pool that was 10 degrees cooler. Brr. Oh the things we do for love!

Noah made us roar with laughter on our way to the pool. He'd been looking out the car window, wishing out loud that there was a sign to say the pool wasn't far away, when Dad pointed out a small road sign saying exactly that. Noah's comeback: 'Oh silly me, I shoulda looked with my lookers'. Brilliant!


No trip to New Plymouth at this time of the year is complete without a trip to the Pukekura Park Festival of Lights. We'd ummed and ahhed about whether to take the littlest guy out with us as he'd only had a quickfire half hour nap in the car and had been up since 5.20am...the story of the holiday so far! But family fun on this last day of the year reigned over routine and we headed out all together in the end. The weather was pretty iffy, and when we arrived down at the miniature trains it looked all boarded up, and we sadly made to walk away. But just then the lights came on, a door opened, and a little steam train chug chugged its way out to greet us. The boys were totally made up to be able have a ride before we headed into the park to dodge between the raindrops and see the 'pwetty lights' as Mylo called them.


There were some intriguing sights to be seen this year, like lampshades and chairs strung randomly high up in the trees


And eerie, wintry scenes projected onto the ground going slowly round in circles left us spinning and giddy as we followed them around and around.






We'd pretty much spent all our spare change on the $1 train rides and hadn't brought our wallets, but we somehow managed to scrounge up another $2 for glow sticks which kept the smallest troops entertained for the rest of the night as darkness fell.



And on our way out the park, we all jumped out of our skins when Grimace the Gorilla (a real-life dressed up gorilla) came swinging through the trees at us with his best Tarzan impression. Noah giggled nervously before fighting his fear and pulling faces right back at him.

Check out those sexy pink underpants!


Two happy, high-on-life little people snuggled easily into bed for the last time this year, followed by two happy but weary big people mere minutes later. It's probably something of a small crime to be asleep by 10pm on New Years Eve and to not have even drunk a drop to celebrate the end of the old and the start of the new.

If so, I'll quite happily do my time for it, not regretting for once my head hitting the soft pillow signalling the end to another year rather than watching it slowly slip away on the minutes of a ticking clock.

To be honest, I'm longing to find the time to sit quietly and ponder the year gone by, and to consider prayerfully and thoughtfully the year ahead, but with all the good will in the world I know that it probably won't be today, tomorrow, or maybe even this week while we are still high on holiday mode. And I'm trying to tell myself that that's actually ok. To just go with the flow.

Flow. Yeah, I'm still learning how to go with it. It doesn't always come naturally to my brain, but I'm learning.

Happy 1st day of 2012 to you and yours.

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