One to Grow On

December 7, 2009

Not a Historical Document

Filed under: Uncategorized — midway2go @ 6:29 pm

Ummm, that's okay, we'll go somewhere else

Post-flight recovery

Learning about centrifugal force, homeschool style

one of the banked curves on the luge track

our guide and story teller welcome us to the Tamiki village

a warrior challenging us on arrival to the village

Rory flies!

Rory takes his place on Mario Race Cart
Truckin’ Mam with Nora steering, too

This is just going to be a short, well, rant about a few things.  Let’s start with this blog.  I have very mixed feelings about doing a blog at all.  It takes lots of time to write an entry, and I have to find a way to keep the kids happy while I work on it.  That usually means tv or Nintendo DS, and we didn’t come on this trip to stay plugged into electronic devices.  On the other hand,  I really enjoy the writing, and I love the feedback from you all an the idea that the kids and I can go back through this after we’re home.   AND, I can’t make the photos go where I want them to be.  The captions get lost all the time, too.  Basically, it’s not nearly as polished looking as I would like, and despite my desir to update nightly, the planets and stars only come into alignment (internet plus good kid activities) maybe once a week. 

Second point:  rearing kids on the road is a lot like rearing kids at home.  Good days, hard days.  Luckily the kids take in turn to be, um, challenging, but it is a real bummer to be in a part of the world with some of the best trails. long and short,  and have a grumpy kid who refuses to get out of the car. 

Okay, that’s enough writing without photos.  I would like to catch up, if I can, so this may be long…

After Auckland we went to Rotorua, a town in the mountains by a lake, historically famous for hot springs and thermal pools and more recently for insane “adventure” opportunities, like bungee jumping, abseiling (still don’t know what that one is), canyoning (basically white water rafting without the raft)…  the list  goes on and on.  It gets rave reviews, but I thought it was like a commercial Yellowstone crossed with Gaitlinburg, Tennessee.  Now, some people may love that.  Me, not so much.   We did stay at a great campsite, on the shores of Blue Lake, with tons of kids and a couple great playgrounds.  We met a wonderful American family who are in the process of moving  from Australia to Singapore.  Rory and Nora really enjoyed playing with their girls, and they were kind enough to offer to have us visit when we wash up in Singapore.  Very kind folks.  

Our first day of adventure saw us screaming down a huge hill on luges.  It was great.  Rory and Nora had a blast.  We flew, I mean really hauled down the hill, and not one waiver did we sign.  If Nora had been 6 months older she could have driven herself.  Nuts, ut really fun.  At the top there was a lady who was a little nervous.  She kept asking, “But it can’t wreck or flip or anything?  I mean, I can’t get hurt?”  Well… yes, and yes.  But it was fun.  Let’s see if I can get the photos to load:

Hmmm.  Well, look around for them.  Not only did we get to ride the luge we got to take a gondolaup the mountain, and a chairlit after each luge ride.  Lots of up in the air excitement. 

The next day we passed time in town.  One hitch in our geddy-up here in NZ is that most coffeeshops use a soymilk that contains gluten.  That puts a serious cramp in our steamed soymilk habit.  Well, we found a cafe that was glad to use the soymilk I happened to have in my backpack to make “fluffies” for the kids.  Complete with cocoa powder sprinkles and marshmellows these have become the hallmark of a good time for the kids.  Whoo-hoo, get your fluffies!

Rory and Nora had their hearts set on Zorbing, being strapped inside a clear ball suspended within another clear ball and rolled down a hill.  But, shucks, Nora was 6 months to young…  so Rory used his birthday money from Aunt Paige to fly.  Yep.  Amazing for him.  The post-flight adrenaline rush was over-shadowed only by the adrenaline crash.  Poor guy couldn’t decide if he wanted to throw-up or go to sleep. 

 He made do with some cuddling on the ride up to the Tamaki village, a Maori show followed by a hangi, a traditional feast cooked buried oin the ground with heated rocks.  Now, usually,  I tend to turn my nose up at these “traditional culture” on display.  I mean, if it were such authentic culture then I should be able to spot it on the street corner, right?  Isn’t it really just Imaginary Noble Savage trotted out to keep the tourists happy?  But, the other part of my mind says, maybe it’s more of a living history exhibit?  Maybe it’s a way to document and preserve dances and song, if not in the most authentic way, at least in a pubic one.  In the end, the best show in town was offering a “recession Beater” special.  My ticket was outrageously expensive, but the kids just cost $1 per year of age.  And they were able to cater to our food allergies.  Well, raise the Lord and pass the kumara!  (That’s the locversion of sweet potato).  I don’t think they anticipated our 8 year old eating his body weight in chicken, lamb and potoatoes.  You would have thought he hadn’t seen meat in years.  Bless his heart.  Nora did herself proud with the pavlova, a NZ specialtywhich takes soft merangue to new sugary heights.  I will say that for what it was they did a great job of making it totally interactive.  Each of the 4 buses made up its own tribe, and we had to elect our own chief.  THen of the four chiefs of the visiting villages one was chosen to represent all the visitng tribes.  We were the Weka Waka, the canoe tribe.  I represented our tribe in a game of coordination.  Unfortunately it hinged on the ability to tell right from left in a hurry, so I was the 3rd of 7 to be eliminated.  It was worth it, though, to hear Rory holler out into the quiet, “Allright, Mom!  You rock!”  Thanks, honey.  You rock, too.  THe games and challenges were fun, and the haka, the traditional challenge dance, was so cool I wanted them to do it again.  All in all, better than I expected and Rory didn’t have to be fed for days after.

Rory really took to the tongue-thrusting thing

okay, we all like the tongue-thrusting

As usual, my dreams of getting up to date are dashed on the rocks of reality.  The kids can’t take anymore!  SO, tune in later for lots of geothermal activity, faulty detours and amazing waterfalls.



  1. I’m not sure how you feel about switching to a new site but I’ve been happy with blogger. It’s pretty easy to use and get a feel for and I’ve never had any problems with uploading pictures. The one downside is that you can only upload 5 at a time. But you can upload pictures, start a post, and save it to post another time when you’ve got more time to write.

    I’m loving reading about what you guys are up to. As always, I’m just in awe of you!


    Comment by Susan Perkins — December 7, 2009 @ 9:40 pm

  2. whereever it happens, i vote you keep it up, besides it gives mom something to do while the kids are playing – ha

    Comment by Randy King — December 8, 2009 @ 9:22 am

  3. Don’t stop!

    Comment by Jill — December 8, 2009 @ 2:59 pm

  4. Keep it up! You’re doing great and I know it IS so difficult to do!
    But it’s worth it.
    And all I can say about your latest adventures is WOW!

    Comment by Shelly — December 8, 2009 @ 9:03 pm

  5. Thank you for the photos and words! Home schooling 24 – 7 can’t be easy. I think you missed a snowfall in Kansas. Does that make you feel better? Love, Grandma Barbara

    Comment by Grandma Barbara — December 9, 2009 @ 7:13 pm

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