Ummm....about that last post..ya know, the one where I was going to set a goal..now/today/this very moment...well I did not. But I read a book about it. I will do it though.
Anyhoo, about that holiday...it began with me cleaning the house so it wasn't so trashy to walk into on return. I vacuumed, washed, cleaned and polished floors, toilets, corners etc etc. So fun. Deane was at work, so the mama organised the packing, then the packing of the van. We decided to take the (unwarranted/unregistered) van because it is a full time four wheel drive, with very good tyres and the roads 'down south' were (in my head) full of black ice/ice snow/slush and other hazards especially designed to maim or kill my children. Also there is more room in the van...simple. What we did not realise, till on the road to Christchurch, at night, is the tail lights of the van do not work...at all. Hmmmm....I did not have many fingernails left.
We arrived in Christchurch and found our apartment, Orari which -as it turned out- was opposite the art gallery, (we did not find the time to actually get there??!!!??). The apartment was warm, tidy and with three bedrooms, enough space for us all. And as a bonus, we could walk every where so did not have to stress about the van being ticketed for hundreds and hundreds of moula.
Regarding the ANTARCTIC CENTER, of Christchurch. My opinion only so please disregard if you absolutely love it, it was a bit of a rip off...I guess because it caters to the tourist. We paid $140 to just enter...and although it was informative..for the kids...it seemed to be all about penguins. Little blue penguins actually....yep, they are sweet, it is fun to watch them being fed...and it's better than seeing them squashed on the road (usually near the 'beware of little blue penguins crossing' signs). We experienced an antarctic snow storm...(a very loud minute of storm), and a ride on a haggland antarctic truck thing. Deane and I went for a coffee with the short person while the kids kept lining up for more rides. We experienced an Antarctic photo..($35) and the Antarctic gift shop. We have done 'it' and wont need to go again.
I refuse to cook on holiday, so we ate out for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We have decided we love Indian food...even the fussys will at the very least eat the rice.
We only visited Deane's boat once.We waited in the car while he crawled through the monolith and came out dirty fifteen minutes later. We danced in the car.
We left Christchurch on Friday morning making our way down to Hamner Springs. The stunning scenery I wont even attempt to describe...it will just sound naf. Anyhoo, rolling tussock hills, snow capped mountains, blah blah blah. I spent my formative years in the wee wee town of Twizel, so I am very drawn to tussocky hills, snow capped mountains etc. I feel at home. I have never had the Hamner experience before, and I must say..I love the village...I was looking around for a house we could buy...schools the kids would go to etc. We spent quite a few hours of our time soaking our bods in those wonderful thermal pools. We were hamner tourists for a day and a half. We walked through the town, ate at the cafes and restaurants..oh..heres a free pointer...NEVER eat at a place called Jollie Jacks. Of course, you can go there if you want...I'm not one to tell ya what to do...but be prepared to wait..(nearly 2hours...). We would have gone...but they bought out food for one kid (overcooked), so we thought it was all going to happen...but that was just the teaser...it ended up about one (hungry) kid being given it's food (undercooked, overcooked...)per 20mins. Anyhoo, worst food encounter EVER!...
Did we complain?..Nup..(too tired, too late etc)...as good NZ'ers, we paid up (113) and walked out, never to return.
We drove up to the local ski field, well to within 5k of it anyway. We did not carry chains and the road was flippin scary. We did park up and the kids played in the snow. Never having experienced more than a patch of summer snow up on Whakapapa, they learnt a few things....one being, feet get cold, really cold when wearing canvas street shoes, with no socks. They learnt that snow is wet, and the old classic; don't eat yellow snow..(one of them, I wont mention who, peed in it..)
I want to move down south, I want to live amongst the rolling tussock, the clear skies, the crisp air....