29.03.2010 - 04.04.2010 23 °C
It was a regular-ish week for us filled with routine, airline-induced stress, and cascading water. Let's begin.
Bronte's first soccer practice went off beautifully on Wednesday night. Most of the other girls on her team also attend the same school as Bronte, so there were some familiar faces. It was nice that this activity has started, as with the end of the first term in school, Bronte's Tae Kwondo lessons have also concluded. Having some way to go before we start calling her sensei around the house, she still did really well and enjoyed learning this martial art. We all feel that little bit safer with Bronte around, but have given the nunchuks back to her instructor.
Meanwhile, Jack attended his end of term school disco at Maungatapu Primary. Following in the footsteps of his legendary father, Jack stood with his hands in his pockets looking his best while the party raged around him, thankful that no young kiwi approached him to dance!
Wednesday greeted Tim with some minor airline hassels as he dealt with arranging our return dates (hey, it's only 10 months away!). After issuing a string of explentives to the otherwise empty house, he got the travel agent on it and we're confident good things will happen.
To put some spring back in our step, we set to baking Wednesday night for Bronte and Jack's end of term class parties slated for Thursday. Tim assisted Jack in assembling some peanut butter cookies, while Jenn guided Bronte in the creation of scones. You can see the end result in the photo gallery, but to get a taste you'll need to jump on a plane - just don't change any of your dates after booking as it creates a lucrative revenue-generation opportunity for the airline!
Friday finally arrived and we all rejoiced that the two week holiday had begun as we all need a rest. OK, maybe Tim doesn't need a rest, but the rest of the family certainly does. To celebrate, we jumped in the freshly lubed Capella and headed out to hike along the trail to Wairere Falls. Tim had previously done some recon for this trek, and it turned out to be our favourite. You can see the area overhead here. While not terribly long, the trail to the lookout lead us through lush forest and across very well constructed bridges. At various points along the trail, water dripped down the rock face - it was absolutely gorgeous. The trail climbs steadily upwards, and the final bit just before the lookout was a series of stairs that made us thankful New Zealand society takes their outdoor activities so seriously as to make it easily accessible. Here are some photos followed by a brief video of the trek:
Saturday morning started a bit earlier than ideal, because Tim and Jack headed out to Tom and Deb Smith's place to joing them for a morning on their boat. We departed from Omokoroa Beach and made the short jaunt over to Matakana Island where we hung out on the beach. The afternoon took us downtown to The Strand, where the New Zealand National Jazz Festival was being staged. Winding our way through the sea of people we paused to watch a band do a really good rendition of The Yardbird's "Can't Judge a Book by its Cover". Here it is, happening before your eyes:
That brings us to Sunday. We had the benefit of gaining an hour sleep as Daylight Saving Time just started this morning (in New Zealand the clocks go back by an hour while in Canada you recently put them ahead). It was a day of mild activity for us as we get set to leave for Auckland tomorrow for a few days. We headed back down highway 29 and did another short hike - the Kaimai Summit Loop. The actual loop ended up being pretty short, so we walked further up the trail for a bit before returning to the carpark. Here's a couple of shots:
We're very excited to be picking up Jenn's Mom at the airport - a familiar face is always nice! After seeing some things in Auckland, we'll be heading further south, so forgive us if the next update does not arrive at its usual time. We actually miss some of you back home (no, really!), but we're still having the time of our lives!