Sunday, October 20, 2013

A birthday to remember 

I don't know about Jason, but this is my favorite birthday that he's ever had. Friday night we went out for dinner and found a decent Mexican food joint, which was a good omen if I've ever seen one. We rented a movie for our first time ever since we've been here, we actually went hog wild and got three ('cause ya know, they had to twist our arms to get 3 for $10 instead of 1 for $8).  The next morning was his traditional sausage egg burrito breakfast then we hit the road to Arthur's Pass.  On the way we stopped at Castle Rock Hill, which is not just a stop along the way but is a destination all on its own. We're talking serious kid heaven material. If the colossal amount of pictures doesn't prove that it was amazing, then nothing else will.

Maddox found us the perfect picnic spot. He searched long and hard but found the perfect patch of grass that met his specific criteria. We ate chicken croissant sandwiches (ya know, a step up from PB&J for the birthday boy) then sang happy birthday (but not too loud because that would be embarrassing to a certain 11 year old) and enjoyed homemade from scratch lemon cupcakes. This is quite notable since it's my first ever homemade from scratch cupcakes. And they were divine.

Honestly, my favorite thing in the whole entire world is to sit back in the sun, soak up the view and watch my kids play.  It was hard to pack up and leave, but I knew good things lay ahead.  Like REALLY good.  We hiked up to Devil's Punchbowl falls and were awestruck. 

Waterfalls are so mesmerizing and the power is frightening. You could hear the roar before you even begin the trail and once you're up there you can barely hear each other speak.  We were drenched by the mist and just stood there soaking it all in. Literally.

Kylie found one dry corner of the lookout platform and was so sweet to keep Ryder out of the water. Mama was too busy taking pictures.

They spent a good chunk of time throwing rocks and sticks into the waterfall.  Which soon turned into throwing boulders and tree trunks, because watching stuff get washed down a roaring river just never gets old.

We took another trail to some different falls which were far less majestic and a bit anti-climatic, but it's never a bad time when you get to explore in nature with the family.

They took these rock throwing challenges very seriously. Loved their level of excitement.

Gosh, I really could never get tired of seeing these smiling faces.  Let it be known that this is the first hike that we didn't hear a single complaint. Maybe we'll chalk it up to wearing the right shoes, or maybe it's because Jason said that was all he wanted for his birthday. That and some deodorant, not the roll on kind but the $13 stick kind. It's the small things in life.

On the way home we stopped at Flock Hill which is just down the road from Castle Rock Hill and just so happens to be where they filmed the scene for the final battle of Narnia.

Not to be confused with the Sound of Music.

Another amazing day come and gone.  So grateful for this birthday boy who sacrificed so much to make this dream here a reality. Happy birthday, Jay, love you!


Ali said...

A lovely story Jamie! There are certain photos that look really similar to some of my scenery around here :-). Cool!

Hoping you have a great week ahead

Kelly said...

You are giving your kids such a magical childhood.

shayna said...

Those are some SERIOUSLY amazing photos - keep em comin! Your a lucky girl :)

Vonda G. said...

Not Shayna, it Vonda :)

Chelsea said...

amazing! One day your kids are going to be in shock that they lived in a place so magical. How cool. I hope they remember it vividly, but if not, its a darn good thing their mom never misses a shot! Can't wait to thumb through your 2013/14 blurb book....

Janessa said...

Incredible! Every trip you go on I think, "How will they ever top this one?" and it seems like they just get more and more amazing. Total bonus that there was no fighting and complaining this time! Happy birthday to Jason indeed! I'm so glad you've got such mad photog skills. I think I can practically say I've lived in NZ now.

Jodee said...

Holy cow this place is gorgeous! What a fun birthday adventure. I just love all the simple pleasures you guys get to experience together. IT's the best!