Every year we always say we're going to cut back on Christmas gifts for the kids. But then every year I find an art supply kit that Maddox would love, or a pair of shoes Kylie would die over, or a video game that went on sale and then we all know if you buy an extra present for one kid then you have to even the playing field and it all snowballs from there. But this year we stuck to our guns and instead of mountains of toys that were bound to be forgotten or broken by the next week, we decided to spend the money creating lasting memories. We planned a 2 1/2 week tour of the south island and while every family vacation has a special place in my heart, this will always be my favorite. We saw the most amazing scenery and besides the occasional bars of reception on my phone as we passed through small towns, we were completely unplugged and disconnected from the world and completely plugged in and connected to our family. No distractions, just us, nature and a few rowdy games of Catch Phrase. Our first stop was Lake Tekapo and besides the suitcases that kept falling on Jayden's head, the eye candy along the way made the trip pretty enjoyable.
I've come to term with the fact that I'm getting old, but I realize that while taking scenic drives is my cup o' tea it's not that thrilling for the kids. So they were so excited to take a break from strolling through wildflower meadows and spend the day enjoying some real fun at the tube park.
When the sun comes out the lake transforms into the most amazing color of blue, it's totally mesmerizing.
Something about this picture looks like they're standing in front of a pull down backdrop at the JC Penny potrait studio. It really is that picture perfect here.
Don't mind that Jayden desperately needs to use the bathroom, this was the view from the Mt. John observation deck at the Mackenzie basin dark sky reserve. One of the best places in the world to see stars, so obviously I was devastated that it was cloudy both of the nights that we stayed. I even woke up several times throughout the night to peek out the window. What did I tell you, I'm old like that.
I loved playing games together and just hanging out in the evenings. It's funny, at home I think I can't survive without my alone time in the evenings and a chance for me to recharge, but I found that spending quality time with the family rejuvenated me more than watching delayed episodes of Modern Family alone on my laptop. So our first two days were definitely off to a good start.