So here in no particular order are some of our loveliest holiday memories:
On the way up we stopped for sushi at our new go-to sushi place in Taupo and then checking out Huka Falls - the boys were super impressed with the volume of water that goes over the falls - no small amount at 200,000 litres a second which is enough to fill 5 Olympic swimming pools in a minute - far out!
Catching up with our lovely friends at Punnet Cafe in Tamahere - this place has been a favourite of ours for a while but since they upgraded the kid's play area late last year it's even higher in the coolness stakes now. We had to wait an AGE for our food but they let us know this right up front, they still served the kid's meals super quick, kept our drinks filled and brought us two plates of fresh strawberries to munch on in the meantime - you can't ask for more than that! The boys were gifted these awesome Harlow Caps from my friend's new store 'The Boy's Store' - they didn't leave their heads the whole holidays! If you haven't already you should definitely check out their fab gear for boys aged 0-5!
Admiring the Christmas lights at Templeview - I'm not sure what we were thinking going on Christmas Eve as it was rather packed - and when you have the Festival of the Lights in New Plyouth to compare to most other things seem a little tame by comparison - but anyway it was still something fun to do together and staying up later on Christmas Eve did seem to help little bodies sleep in till a semi-respectable hour (6.30am)!
Family cricket - my parents have such a wonderfully big lawn that cricket is a must-do summer activity. And it's made even better when Poppa got out and mowed us an actual cricket strip! Our usual rule of play is 2 overs batting each and if you get out you lose 4 runs - we gave the boys a handicap and generally this all worked out pretty evenly during the games!
The delightful taste of Bundaberg Spiced Ginger Beer - holy wow it was Christmas in a mouthful - I do hope we can try it again next year!
We had a lovely evening catching up with our dear friends Tracey and Dayne and being in awe of Dayne's mum's awesome pavlova decorating skills!
The photos below capturing the essence of our Christmas Day - which included a lovely walk together, introducing the kids to badminton and volleyball, mulled wine (my annual tradition) and the incredible taste of Chelsea Winter's gluten-free chocolate cheesecake for Christmas dessert.
It was a wonderful day full of simple pleasures and uninterrupted family time - the best kind of Christmas there is!