27 December 2013

Things I'm Loving: Road trips, Cool chicks, Pedal power and Traditions



I wholeheartedly believe that no matter what is happening in your life, there is always something you can be thankful for..no matter how simple it is.

A quick trip is a good trip

The thought of a seven hour journey up the country used to fill me with dread when the kids were younger. These days it's a breeze. A quick loo stop at Mangaweka gave us our first chance (after driving this way every year) to jump in the old DC-3 plane on the side of the road and take a peek inside. A gorgeous cloudless sky made for an impressive view of Mt Ruapehu on the journey through the centre of the island. And a quick trip to Macca's in Otorohanga satisfied the hungry troops - this was a bit of a treat for Noah after his amazing school report. I was really hoping to try Georgie Pie for the first time since its big comeback but no such luck as they had no pies cooked (slackers!) so I guess we'll have to save that for another day! And then we were back on the road, by 1.15pm we were driving up Nana and Poppa's driveway and exhaling with the thought that now the holiday could really begin.



Arriving to a juicy roast chicken dinner and a glass of Lindauer Fraise. 
It was just the welcome we needed

Two pooped people after the trip north - and yussss we made it to the end of a long year!

Cool chicks and candy canes

I was so blessed to have the opportunity to meet up with 3 totally delightful ladies last weekend - Cait, Leonie and Dee - despite having been bloggy friends for a few years, I'd never actually met Dee before in real life so I was pretty excited about that! Our get-together included the gaggle of kids that goes with four families all pitching up for the afternoon - and not all the kids were actually there either! We met up at Cait's place which backs onto the gorgeous Taitua Arboretum - you can read about our fun walk in the woods at the Arboretum two summers ago here: if you go down to the woods today. Cait kindly crazily agreed to host us all for the afternoon and the kids had a ball doing a candy cane treasure hunt that her oldest two boys had arranged down on the edge of the arboretum. After some afternoon tea for the hungry hunters, most of the kids jumped in the pool and created merry havoc while we stood around chatting in the glorious Waikato sunshine.

Kids lining up to hear the rules of the treasure hunt

 The spoils

Fun in the pool

Had to actually pinch myself to believe I was hanging out with these lovely ladies: 
From left Dee, Leonie, Cait and moi!

Pedal power

Mark, with his fantastic packing skills, somehow managed to fit both the boys bikes into the car along with clothes for all four of us for 10 days as well as all the Chrissy presents (I knew there was a reason why I married that man!). We always take the opportunity to encourage as much practice as we can with the kids' biking whilst we have the luxury of the long flat roads around Matangi where Nana and Poppa live, as there's not a whole lot of opportunity for riding around our hilly neighbourhood in Wellington that's for sure. When Noah got his new 20" bike for his birthday we figured it must be about time for Mylo to move up from the running bike to Noah's old bike with the training wheels back on. We took both the boys down to Karori Park at the end of winter but it was nothing short of a dismal failure, and Mylo had pretty much refused to even consider the possibility of going on it ever since.








But we pushed the point by only bringing the pedal bike and encouraging him to get on and out for a ride the first afternoon we got here. By the end of the first session, he didn't really need the hand at the back. By the second session, he was riding along happily on his own, and by the third session we were running to keep up with him. It has made my heart swell to see the two boys biking along together chatting merrily away.

Traditions

If there's one thing that's a guarantee with our Christmas holiday, it's a pilgrimage to the beautiful themed gardens in Hamilton. I think we have been every single year we've been coming to Nana and Poppa's for Christmas, and we have so many lovely memories of seeing the kids growing year by year on our various excursions.




















I think it's obvious from these pictures that this trip has been just the right mix of fun adventures and relaxation we desperately needed. And this was only the first three days!

How have your holidays been so far? Totally chilled and relaxing or full of adventure and fun - I hope it's been just the right mix of both!

Here's how you can join in this week:

Link up below with your blog post telling us what you're loving, and grab the Things I'm Loving button below for your post too. Don't forget to share the love by visiting all the other lovelies who have joined in - the linky is open till same time next week!







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