Flying Away – So Long New Zealand

Well, it has been 4 full weeks of traveling New Zealand and we have boarded our plane home.  We have explored both islands of New Zealand and seen some incredible things.

From the still present earthquake damage of Christ Church to the majestic beauty of the mountains and oceans, we have seen so much of this country and yet have only scratched the surface.

Traveling with our children has been tough but rewarding and we have seen them grow so much on this long holiday.

For now, we board our first flight from Auckland to Las Angeles in hope of getting some sleep along the way.

IMG_1323.JPG

Our first plan of attack to airport and flight survival is being realistic.  Our children are 3 years and 9 months old.

We always get to the airport super early.    It was so interesting to see our flight status as “Relax” (a term that is used by my husband would not have the same effect”

NZ Day 31

I don’t like spending any more time here than I need to but I also know feeding, diaper changes, security, feeding them again, finding a place to play, and so on takes a lot of time.

NZ Day 31

We found this quiet out of the way little spot, super clean and the wall toys entertained both kids!  Now that Scarlet is crawling and of course putting EVERYTHING in her mouth, finding a good hangout location is a little more tricky/requires WAY more paying attention to what the hands put in the mouth!!

We play to our sons wants a little more when we travel.  So when he says he wants a $9 smoothie, we go with it.  A fed child is always a happier child.

NZ 31_0009.jpg

And yes, he loved it, and yes, he did require cleaning after…

NZ Day 31

We also know that he loves to watch anything with wheels so we try to find a spot to park with a good window view.

NZ 31_0007.jpg

Beyond that, we just try and have fun.  We play with toys and usually find other traveling families to hang out with so our kids can play and we get to have Adult conversations!

NZ 31_0008.jpg

For long flights, we book our seats with no one in front of us and the ability to get a bassinet on the wall.  When we first flew to Australia Scarlet was 6 1/2 months old and not crawling yet.  The bassinet on the wall was AMAZING.  Now that she is 9 months, she is so much more mobile. I desperately tried to keep her in it so I could eat dinner but she just moves too much.  It was still great once she fell asleep but I had to keep one eye open if she woke up and wanted out.

Our other survival method for these crazy long flights is to take advantage of screen time.  As much as I might hate Roland totally zoning out with a screen and the tantrum that ensues when it is withdrawn, it does help us all get through such a long journey.

We are so fortunate out children are excellent travelers.  Any child will cry, complain, run, and just be a kid because they ARE A KID.  Our kids are by no means perfect and I still feel like crap when they cry, scream, throw food, kick the back of a seat and so on and so on but they are just trying to cope with the boring plane as best as they can and the more you fight it the worse it will be.

Keep little tools and tricks (Like a Busy Book) with you and survival is possible.

What are your go to survival tips for traveling with kids?

Good Bye Beast 2.0 – Auckland, New Zealand

Today we say goodbye to “The Beast 2.0”

We woke to some spectacular fog.  A truly beautiful gift from mother nature on this early morning.

Every minute the landscape changed.

NZ Day 29NZ Day 29NZ Day 29NZ Day 29

Today we return “The Beast 2.0” our camper that has been our home for the last month.

Rock Star Illman 2

Our plan of attack for returning the motorhome was going to be far less stressful than how we did things in Australia.

Step 1: get other people OUT of the camper.

SO, while I packed and Scarlet slept, Dan took Roland to the Museum of Transportation and Technology.

 

NZ Day 29NZ Day 29NZ Day 29NZ Day 29NZ Day 29NZ Day 29NZ Day 29

Step 2: Get everything into carrying bags of some kind.  This was not our final packing.  We still have a few days in a hotel and access to laundry.  I separated the dirty and clean clothing. Kept the “electronics” together and bagged up the leftovers (our hotel has a mini kitchen too).

Once the boys were back we ate a quick lunch with leftovers in the fridge and headed off to the hotel.

Step 3: Drop off all our stuff at the hotel BEFORE dropping off the camper. It was SO much easier dropping everything off there and leave Dan with the kids.

 

Step 4: I dropped off the camper and simply walked the 1Km back to the hotel!  We had extra liability insurance so there was no walk around to check for damage and we had also purchased the express return package so I did not need to fuel up or dump water/sewage.  Easy Peasy.

I spied this while returning the camper.  This place looks interesting….perhaps tomorrow.

 

NZ Day 29

Kelly Talton’s Sea Life Aquarium – Auckland, New Zealand

When your 3 and your days starts out by seeing a Shark Boat, you know you’re going to have a good day!

Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium is perfectly located right on the shores of Auckland.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We started our tour with the Scott Base exhibit.  It looked really interesting with all sorts of artifacts and reconstructed rooms.  Roland, however, had no interest so I have no pictures for you.

He did, however, love the Penguins!  These King Penguins are huge!  They can weigh as much as 20 kg or 44 lbs (That’s bigger than Roland!)

And if that wasn’t enough, they have huge fluffy babies!!!!!

NZ Day 27

NZ Day 27

There are also Gentoo Penguins, they are the fastest swimming penguin out there!

NZ Day 27

NZ Day 27

We were mesmerized watching them swim around the large tank.  I was surprised how cold the glass was but I guess that is real temperatures for them.  It was also real snow in their enclosure.

Past the Penguins we found these cool looking globes.  They gave such a good view into the tanks.

NZ Day 27

Not too far into the Aquarium, we found the kids area.  By now Roland was on full over stimulation mode or something because we couldn’t keep him still.  There were these cool stations with colouring pages of fish and this wall was lit up with an aquarium scene.  There were even a few spots you could touch the wall and things would happen.

NZ Day 27

What you could do was colour your very own fish, scan it below and it would start swimming on the wall!  How awesome is that!!

NZ Day 27

Roland, however, was not interested apparently.  This is the room we lost him in and somehow he snuck out of the room.  It didn’t take long to find him, however.  He simply made his way to the play area because he “needs to play” as he always says.

NZ Day 27

The cafe was well situated with the play area and lots of fish to see.

NZ Day 27NZ Day 27NZ Day 27

Both Roland and Scarlet really enjoyed the underwater viewing tunnels.  Scarlet should have napped, as she usually does, in the carrier as we walked around but she did not take her eyes off those fish.  In face, Roland liked it so much we went around on the loop more than once!

The tour was rounded out with a few for aquariums and a seahorse exhibit.

We really enjoyed this place.  We spent a few hours and easily could have spent more just playing in the kid’s area.  Our tickets did allow re-entry so we didn’t feel the need to stay for lunch.  Parking was limited and not the best for motorhomes.  We also saved some money by getting out tickets online the night before we went.

 

 

Sheepworld – New Zealand

NZ Day 26

NZ Day 26

Not to far north of Auckland, you can find a place called Sheepworld.

Now I know what your thinking.  “HA! Sheepworld!  Isn’t that ALL of New Zealand already?!?!”

Well, your kind of right.  Back in the early 1980s, there were over 70 million sheep.  The numbers have declined to about 27 million since though.

We’ve seen our share of sheep along the way and we through it would be a great day to actually learn about Sheep Farming.

There was a lot more to this place than just sheep though.

We found a whole farm full of pigs, ponies, goats, bunnies, alpaca, deer, cows…

Oh and birds.  Yeah.  Roland is not a big fan of most birds.  he enjoys pointing them out, seeing them from afar or approaching on his terms.

 

NZ Day 26

This duck has the most perfect duck shadow, silly I know, but I just love it!

NZ Day 26

 

However, when the birds are accustom to being fed by every single person holding a brown paper bag….

We tried to get Roland chasing the birds like a Dinosaur to scare them off.  Sometimes it worked.  This kid does not like birds!

You can buy these bags of food that is safe for the animals to eat.  Super cheap and lots of fun.  We had a great time feeding everyone.

NZ Day 26

The thing that truly makes the Sheepworld is the show they run twice a day.  This is where you learn about farming.

We got to watch the sheep get rounded up and herded into the show barn.  It turns out there are two dogs.  The well-known dog that goes out, runs fast and silent, convincing the sheep where to go with nothing more than a stare.

NZ Day 26

Then there is the loud guy.  Best for close quarters and great at getting the sheep to go places they would rather not.

NZ Day 26

That’s this guy on the right.  A mix of English Fox Hound, Labrador and Whippit or Greyhound.  They are loud, fast and driven.

Enter in our new friend Teryn.

NZ Day 26

She even got us working.  We helped to sort the sheep by colour.

NZ Day 26

 

She taught us all about the markings used to keep track of gender, age, and ownership of each sheep. Then she sheared a sheep for us.  You can make some pretty good money sheering sheep but you gotta be fast, it’s piece work and hard work.

NZ Day 26

After all that work, HA! we got rewarded with the cutest experience you could hope for on a sheep farm.  Just look at the enjoyment of Roland’s face!

 

We spend at least a few hours here with the show and wandering around.  So, we headed into the aptly named Farmer’s Wife Cafe.

NZ Day 26NZ Day 26

Tomato soup with scones (cheese and onion jam!) yum!NZ Day 26

Dan said the Shephard’s Burger is quite possibly the best he has had yet (he didn’t know it was lamb either)

NZ Day 26

Plenty for the kids to play with,  Roland gave Scarlet this one.  See the purple dress below?  I bought that one for Scalet.  I’m thinking First Birthday.

 

NZ Day 26

We had a great day and now we drive back to Auckland.  We don’t have much planned for the rest of the trip.  We will go to an aquarium and generally hang around the area.

NZ Day 26

Auckland Habour View

NZ Day 26

I don’t think I have ever seen this many boats.

NZ Day 26

I don’t know what it is but we get such a kick out of driving over a bridge.  Perhaps it’s Roland’s excitement.

 

 

Getting into HOT WATER (Beach) – New Zealand

After leaving Hobbiton we headed out to the East Coast in search of the Hot Water Beach.

Located on the Coromandel Paninsula and known for having natural hot springs right under the sand at low tide, this would be an interesting way to spend a day at the beach.

Getting there is almost just as much fun too.  These mountains were definitely formed by volcanos (I’m guessing).  The area is quite remote and there are rest stops that double as an emergency helipad.

NZ Day 23NZ Day 23

NZ Day 23

NZ Day 25

Endless changing views

NZ Day 25

Mountains to climb up and down

NZ Day 25

Hair Pin Turns

NZ Day 25

Clifs that threatin land slides

NZ Day 25

Mirrors to see around the corner

NZ Day 25

NZ Day 25

Don’t worry, the kids have a fantastic view too.

When you finally arrive at Hot Water Beach, you will see the beautiful beach from up high.  There are three different parking lots and I suggest you drive all the way to the farthest.  Here you will find a few resturants, cold showers and bathrooms.  There are also a few places to hire a shovel.  You might need one if you are early but there are so many people digging that you can grab a pool, pre dug, when others leave.  You can also simply use your hands, or anything you might have handy. (We brought a large serving spoon and a collander to dig our holes)

NZ Day 24

Hot Water Beach

Pack a bag and get ready for a day at the beach!

NZ Day 24

Roland took this photo, he’s stepping up his skills!

 

NZ Day 24

Steaming hot water will help you forget about the 14C weather.

NZ Day 24

Water seeps up  through the sand at up to 64C.  HOT!

Kid’s didnt seem too sure, lol.  Actually they had quite a bit of fun.  A word of caution, though.  The water in some pools is hotter than others and some of the water naturally coming up from the sand can get as hot as 64 decrees Celcius.

You CAN get a burn from this water!!!  Mind your children carfully!!

NZ Day 24NZ Day 24

NZ Day 24

Plenty of pools ready to go or simply dig your own.

Kids had a great time today, digging in the sand, splashing in the water and I even got a quick swim in the ocean.  We grabbed lunch at one of the local spots before heading out.

Roland knows how you might look if you actually need to find this sign!!! He is soooo tired.  Apparent we played way past nap time and he is in meltdown mode.  He was also super HANGRY too.

He is soooo tired.  We played way past nap time and he is in meltdown mode.  He was also super HANGRY too.

Bonus to traveling in the camper: you can get your food to go and eat in a quiet low stimulation environment.  Plus you have your own TV with his favourite movie already loaded!!!

 

NZ Day 24

 

Middle-Earth – New Zealand

Most people have seen or at least heard of, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.  Most recently The Hobbit movies were filmed and all the movies were filmed in New Zealand.

It’s really no surprise when you think about it.  Middle Earth is an old world with the flare of magic, towering trees, and mountains.  Green hillsides and horse-drawn carts.

Although the movie was filmed all over both the North and South Island, here in the north was where the Hobbits live.

And you can visit the Shire.

NZ Day 23

Walk down the very path where Frodo ran yelling “I’m Going On An Adventure!”

and enter into the Shire, home to 300 Hobbits who live in 44 Hobbit Holes.

The set was built for the Lord Of The Rings movies and torn down after production was finished.  So when the land owner was approached for the filming of The Hobbit movies, he suggested that the set should be built for a more permanent purpose, allowing people to visit after filming was compleat.  There is even one Hobbit Hole that you can enter!

Take a walk through the community garden and see what’s growing.

NZ Day 23

Do you see that tree, the smaller one on the top of the hill?

It is a very special and unique tree.

NZ Day 23

The tree you see up there on the left is not actually real.  It has over 200,000 fake leaves on it and every few years someone has to go and repaint each one.

NZ Day 23

There are also some VERY real trees.  A few, in fact, are over 100 years old.  This one, below, started to loose a few limbs while people were on tour so it needed a trim.

NZ Day 23

Down the hill and over a bridge you will find  The Green Dragon Inn.  You can put your feet up by the fire, have a drink or even dress the part for some pictures.

 

The area around The Shire is just as breathtaking.  The locations is actually w working sheep farm.  They have a special kind of sheep known for having twin lambs and they are just about ready to pop!

NZ Day 23

Naturally, there is a gift shop and a cafe.

NZ Day 23NZ Day 23

It is from here that you actually start and end your tour.  From the ticketing office, you will hop on a bus to take you on your way.

NZ Day 23

 

With breakfast at the cafe and the tour, we spent a solid 4 hours here.  The tour is one of the more expensive things we have done but it is well worth it.

 

There are a few different places to stay if you are in a campervan like us.  There are even people in the area who have put their driveway up for rent on the Campermate app.

We chose to stay at the Opal Hot Springs and Holiday Park. (they have three different pools and two are natural hot springs!)

P6057892.JPG

Glow Magots in Witomo – New Zealand

NZ Day 22

Disclaimer: I have done my best to remember the history about the cave and the Maori Tribe who lived here.  This is my interpretation and it may not be fully accurate.

The legend of the Ruakuri Cave or Den of Dogs dates back some 400 or 500 years ago when the Maori people discovered the cave while hunting.

Picture this.  You are out hunting.  Returning with freshly caught birds for dinner, you proudly head back home.  As you pass by a cave some ugly scary looking creatures lunge out at you. You’ve never seen anything like them before. They are growling, snarling, and running after you.

The story goes that while hunting, a warrior passed by the cave opening and some dogs (rather vicious looking ones) came lunging out after him.  Afraid for his life, he threw the freshly caught birds to the dogs and ran back to tell the Chief.  The unhappy Chief, at losing his supper, sent his men back to kill the dogs.

The dogs became supper and they made a cape for the chief out of the hides.  The chief wore this cape and it became a symbol of his strength and ability to win land battles.

The cave being good shelter on journies to and from the ocean and was also a good strategic location where you could launch an attack or see one coming.  The cave also became a sacred burial ground for the Maori and is where that chief (Tanetinorau) was buried.

To read more I recommend a file I found dated April 29, 1989.

http://www.ruht.co.nz/documents/publications/archive/Ruakuri_cave_wahi_tapu.pdf

 

NZ Day 22

Tours started operating out of this cave back in 1904.  The only dry entrance into the cave was the burial ground.  Out of respect, the cave was closed in 1988 until it was reopened in 2005 with a brand new entrance. NZ Day 22

The wheelchair accessible spiral ramp was carved straight down into the earth.  It is lit and descends down to a large stone with dripping water.  Here it is suggested that you wash your hands before and after visiting the cave, to wash away any negative energy.

Guided through the formations, you will see “Curtains”, “Cauliflower”, “popcorn” and more.  There is even a whale bone that has been discovered.  Still under water and with more rock being carved away, perhaps more ancient animal bones will be discovered.

 

NZ Day 22

stalactite and cave curtains 

NZ Day 22

NZ Day 22

“popcorn”

NZ Day 22

Sea Shel embedded in the rock shows how this was once the sea floor.

NZ Day 22

New stalactite starting to form

NZ Day 22

 

During our tour, we came upon this pipe.  Oddly located, or so you might think.  We were asked to guess what it was for…

NZ Day 22

 

You could see daylight, so far away it was merely a dot.

NZ Day 22

It turns out that the supplies for the new path and the new lights needed a way to get to the workers.  You see.  The people working here had to swim to work.  The only dry entrance was sacred and off limits, so swimming was the only way in or out.

Now, a lot of the new paths are concrete, something you’re not going to send under water.  So, they would use this pipe as a delivery system.  Dropping the dry concrete down to be mixed up below and used for the construction.

I give credit to the keepers of this cave as they have put so much effort into minimizing the impact people have on its natural state.

 

NZ Day 22

 

NZ Day 22

Spoiler alert (they weren’t real people)

Waitomo is known well for its glow worms.  There is, however, no such thing as a glow worm (other than the toy I had growing up).  They are actually fly larva or maggots.  Not such an appealing name or thought.

This is the best picture I can muster with the good old iPhone.  There are these beautiful little glowing dots like stars on the walls and roof of the cave.  The boss of this tour company is known to spend all night trying to photograph these little beauties.  It takes a full 30 min exposure to try and capture something of good quality.

NZ Day 22

 

Now I’m sorry but I’m gonna wreck the little glow maggots a little further for you.

Yes, they are beautiful and Yes, you should go see them.

The glow is produced by their kidneys as they excrete waste.  They have glowing butts.

They actually use this glowing to attract food.  As they are maggots and stuck in one place they require food to come to them.  They actually make these hanging threads covered in more gross nastiness with neurotoxins mixed in.  As the prey gets stuck and shocked, the maggot will vomit on it and suck out the insides that turn to goo.

Yeah, sorry, but I warned you.  They are still super cool to see. Just watch your head.

Now back to some lovely cave formations…

This hole in the cave is actually being made from the bottom up.  Sorry, I cannot remember what it is called.  The picture is of water dripping down onto us.

NZ Day 22

A rare family picture.  Scarlet is sleeping but still made it in!

NZ Day 22

This is Demi.  She was our tour guide and Roland’s new best friend.

 

NZ Day 22

Being a little nervous of the dark new world we dragged him into, he was feeling unsure of his surrounding.  Naturally, he wanted nothing but to hold mom’s hand.  Since I was already wearing Scarlet and the path is narrow, this proved to be doable but awkward.

In steps Demi.  She talked to Roland, offered to hold his hand and then won him over with the offer of pushing a button.

With his new best friend, off he went.  Happy as a clam, holding her hand and listening to every word she said.  He stayed on the path, kept his hands to himself and was the best behaved little man we had ever seen.  Demi is now our new best friend too!

 

Roland’s 3rd Birthday – New Zealand

Today my little boy turns 3 and he says he’s not little anymore.  This independent, stubborn, social and loving kid is becoming a seasoned traveler before most of us have ever been on an airplane.  Travel can be hard on kids.  Long hours sitting in the car, disruption of the routine, new places every day, sleeping in new places, but he is thriving.  Learning new words, eating different foods, seeing new animals and experiencing the world around him in every possible way.  He is learning how to explore and push himself into new and exciting experiences.  This is why I travel with my kids (That and I like doing all those things too.)

Today we decided that the best gift we would give him was time.  Time to play.  Time to swim.  Time to eat.  Time to simply be a kid doing kid things.  That and eat cake.

So, we booked ourselves into the Waitomo Top 10 Holiday Park for two nights and spent the whole (thankfully sunny and warm) day playing and doing whatever Roland wanted.

NZ Day 21

Riding a bike

NZ Day 21

Playing with toys

 

NZ Day 21

Playing at the park

NZ Day 21

Wearing his new Camera Shirt

 

NZ Day 21

Getting excited over who know what.

Getting Daddy a coffee and drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows.

And last but not least.  Eating cake.

NZ Day 21NZ Day 21

 

1930 Architecture – Hastings, New Zealand

We stayed in a small campground on the East coast.  You can hear the waves crashing on the shore some 50 ft away.  It poured rain all night and looks as though it will do the same for the rest of today as well.  The place we are staying happens to have a little restaurant that is open for breakfast and lunch, the Snapper Cafe.  I expected the typical home cooked, greasy spoon, dinner food but what I got was something totally unexpected.

This is Roland’s Muesli.  It has flower petals.  It is beautiful, to say the least!

NZ Day 20

We finally got a chance to check out the beach.  It is hard to see for all the rain but it is long and narrow.  Apparently, they have a patrol during the summer to keep swimmers safe.  The beach itself is made of small smooth pebbles and it quite soft to walk on.

NZ Day 20

As is was pouring down buckets of rain, we decided to head out for a drive through this area’s towns.

The interesting thing about this area is an earthquake in 1931.  It was a 7.8.  It shifted the sea floor up and out.  It devastated Napier and Hastings.  It remains the worst natural disaster in this nation’s history.

There is so much added land from the earthquake that they were able to build an airport among other things.

Basically, everything affected was torn down and replaced with the style of the 30’s.

 

NZ Day 20

Downtown Hastings

NZ Day 20

NZ Day 20

Notice how it says Established and not built.

NZ Day 20

It looks as tough there was one very popular architect who provided the new plans for all the buildings.

NZ Day 20

This is a water feature in the center of downtown Hastings.  The traffic flows in one direction on either side.  What we didn’t notice on first glance are the working train tracks that run right down the middle of that water feature!

There is also current work being done around Hastings.  This is a first for me.  A tire as a temporary roundabout.  Love the ingenuity.

NZ Day 20

 

We also saw this little gem riding around.  I have seen something like if online.  It is likely peddle driven and qualifies as a bike.  Such a great idea for dealing with weather.

NZ Day 20

Just enough space for one!

While some towns have prospered, rebuilt or repurposed to stay alive, we do see evidence of the towns who have moved on.

NZ Day 20

There are still people who are holding on and keep these small places from becoming a ghost town.

NZ Day 20

Many of their buildings, however, have seen better days.

NZ Day 20

They are found if the most beautiful of settings.  Surrounded by mountains or valleys, the scenery is breathtaking everywhere we go.

NZ Day 20NZ Day 20

NZ Day 20

NZ Day 20

NZ Day 20

Geothermal is the way to go in this part of the world.

NZ Day 20NZ Day 20NZ Day 20

 

The Place With The Longest Name – New Zeland

Today we finished our long drive to the long name.  How long it is?  Well, it’s world record setting.

We started our morning in Dannevirke.  A small town made up of roughly 6000 people plus plenty of cattle and sheep.  Settled in 1872 by a few  Danish, Norwegian and Swedish settlers, the name comes from a  Viking fortification line in Denmark which had recently fallen into German hands in the German-Danish War of 1864.

NZ Day 19

 

If you remember from my last post, I told you that this place looked like something special as we drove in.  Despite the rain overnight and the misty, rainy, wet conditions of the morning, I filled my pocket with carrots and we headed off.

NZ Day 19NZ Day 19NZ Day 19

NZ Day 19NZ Day 19NZ Day 19NZ Day 19NZ Day 19

 

After our morning run around the park, grocery shopping, and a late McD’s Breakfast we headed out for the Longest Place Name.

The roads were lightly traveled and many reviews complained about the long drive to get to the long name.  We were well prepared.  We knew there would be nothing but farms in the area.

This is Dan’s Black Swan Event:

NZ Day 19

So again you are probably wondering how long it the name of this place and why don’t I just write it.  Well, it’s so long that they don’t even want to try and put it on the information signs.

NZ Day 19

 

Naturally, we hear sheep.  Then we SAW sheep and not just one or two.

NZ Day 19

Then we saw a poor logging truck slowly navigating the traffic jam.

We did think it was odd to see this small flock of sheep all on their own.  They were hesitant about coming any closer (Roland didn’t help with his excitement.)

Eventually, the rest of the flock caught up, along with the herding dog and Sheppard.

So this is the place with the longest name.  It is the name of the hill you can see in the background.  There are 85 characters in this name and the Maori name is translated to English as “the place where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, who slid, climbed and swallowed mountains, known as ‘landeater’, played his flute to his loved one.”

 

NZ Day 19

You might wonder just how we managed to get 3 out of 4 of us into this picture.

No, Scarlet did not take the photo.  I actually have a monopod (tripods take too much room).  I have found some pretty cool ways to prop it up and used the 10 sec. timer.  I was getting tired by the time we got this one!

With this mission completed, we headed the rest of the way to the east coast, stopping near Hastings.    Our drive was filled with laughs.  Here is Roland.  He insisted on getting Daddy a cookie when we made a stop for fuel (knowing full well he would get one too).  The then insisted on having me take his picture while he ate his cookie too.  This kid is too much.

 

Tonight I can hear the Ocean Waves crashing and I think of home as I look at the game Othello

NZ Day 19