Monday, July 21, 2014

Easter holidays: Part 2

It has taken me a while to get around to this... As always, there's so much to see and do, yet so little time. Autumn was showing her true colours in Canberra – it was stunning!

The War Memorial Museum.

Old Parliament House. The girls went back in time to experience the 'technology' used in offices waaay back in the 80s.

We braved the cold and attended the dawn service on ANZAC Day. Somehow, amongst the huge crowd we managed to get seats up the front only metres from Kate and Will.

There was an impromptu family reunion (minus a couple of people) when we all got together to celebrate Terry's birthday. One of the highlights for the girls was meeting their second cousins Mitchell and Henry. Or is that their first cousins twice removed? Maybe you could explain it to me one more time Yvonne?

One more spot of indulgence at the ice-cream bar in the Sydney Qantas lounge before heading home.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Another day at the office

Well, not quite. A couple of weeks ago I went along to Gibbs Farm as part of a team building day at work. Gibbs Farm is the setting for a sculpture collection on a privately owned property overlooking the Kaipara Harbour.

It's a balanced mix of culture and nature. Very cool!

I just loved feeding this guy. I could have watched him use his tongue to strip the leaves off branches all day [sigh].

Although entry to Gibbs Farm is entirely free, it is only open one day a month by prior appointment. It is not open on weekends, public holidays or school holidays – well that does make getting back there kind of tricky, but I am going to try. 

Friday, May 30, 2014

Easter holidays: Part 1

I started writing this post quite a while ago but have only gotten around to fine tuning it now. That's why it starts with Recently...

... we decided to holiday in Sydney. I can count the number of times I have been to Sydney on one hand – it's sad, but true. In fact, the last time I was there I was pregnant with Ava and Eadie still has the scars on the top of her feet from where she slipped on the ramp going down to the beach at Bondi [sigh].

There really weren't many long faces, I just happened to capture one here.

Hanging out at the Manly beach with a few thousand of our closest friends ;)

St Mary's. My kids can count on one hand the number of times they have been inside a church. They were interested to hear me explain the stations of the cross. I guess you could say that was an Easter lesson – tick!

We just couldn't get enough of Circular Quay. It's so beautiful! Sydney was really pedestrian friendly too. Each night we were in bed by 8:30 – all of us! We were just so exhausted from pounding the pavement.

Can you see everyone in the photo (below). There are four people.

At one of the art galleries, the name of which escapes me.

I really liked the funky paint job on this building. We went to explore Oxford Street but were left feeling a bit disappointed. Apparently the rent increase has affected shop owners : (

On our last morning we had a couple of hours to kill so we went back to the Queen Victoria building on George Street. Very cool indeed. 

Goodbye Sydney. We love you!

Coming soon (I hope). Part 2: Canberra.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Biking with friends

Last weekend we took to the tracks near Waihi to cycle the Hauraki Rail Trail. Some people would think coordinating six adults, eight kids and 14 bikes was a recipe for disaster, but we would prove them wrong.

This was, in fact, our third attempt to do the trip. The first time around I broke my arm so that put an end to our plans. The second time cyclone Lusi was looming and we took heed of the severe weather warnings. Really, we decided it would not be a good look if we lot stuck in the storm and needed rescuing with all those kids and ended up on the six o'clock news for all the wrong reasons!

Finally, on our third attempt, we finally got there. The weather could not have been more perfect. The kids were all brilliant considering there was little (or no) preparation.

With the first leg completed we decided we had earned a coffee so took a break at Waikino train station. The kids also scored an ice cream.

The final part of our ride took us through the old goldfields train tunnel. It was about 1km in length and quite dark inside making it difficult to see oncoming cyclists and pedestrians who didn't have lights and/or reflectors.

We got through to the other side, re-grouped, then turned around and came back again.

Mission accomplished!

We back tracked to the halfway point for lunch, encouraging tired, hungry kids along the way. Pizza and a beer!

Some people were happy to take the train from Waikino back to Waihi while others cycled the last leg. Of course the race was on to see who would win. Needless to say, it wasn't me. Those last couple of hills really slowed me down but I hear it was pretty close at the finish line.

Back at the log cabin. There wasn't much room left in the hot tub.