I'm a big traditions girl, it's just not Valentine's day without fondue and pink hot chocolate or Halloween without our mystery dinner and I was worried it wouldn't feel like New Years eve without our crepes...and now that I think about it, all these traditions are centered around food, not sure what that says about me...but honestly we had such an amazing day that crepes were the last thing on my mind. On our way to the next destination we stopped to see Fox Glacier. I mean, a jungle road on the way to see a glacier, New Zealand you've really out done yourself this time.
And I have no photos to document it, but let it be known that we visited Lake Matheson. Another one of those "don't worry, walking 45 minutes in the rain will totally be worth it when we get there" fails. The snow capped peaks of Mt Cook can't be perfectly reflected in the mirrored lake when it is being pelted with rain. But we did have some pretty relevant discussions along the way like the on-going debate about the dog we never agreed to and Kylie's 2016 birthday wish list. The lake was a disappointment, but all was forgiven as we were spoiled with more beautiful scenery as we forged on to our destination, Punakaiki, or "the pancake rocks.
We stopped for groceries and Domino's pizza and as I was pushing my cart loaded with salt & vinegar chips and bananas (a common theme this trip) through the parking lot I realized at that very moment the weather was perfect. Like drop everything and head to the beach perfect. Because you know it could change at the drop of a hat. We hurried to our cute little cottage (this one was on the good end of the sleeping situation spectrum), threw our swimsuits on in a rush and inhaled the salty sea air just in time as the sun hit that golden hour. I remember turning to Kylie and saying that I couldn't think of anywhere else in the world that I would rather be (she put up a good argument for Times Square, but admitted defeat since it wasn't New Year's eve in New York until the next night). It was everything good in the world all wrapped up in that moment. And then a huge wave came, Jason and I were yelling at each other to make sure we saved the electronics, Maddox was crying that his flippers got washed out to sea, Kylie and Jayden were mad that all their towels and change of clothes were soaking wet, Ryder was in hysterics and two teenage girls just laughed as they witnessed it all. So that moment, along with my dreams of sparklers on the beach were sort of dashed, but I didn't let it dull the way I felt.
We decided to make a quick stop at the pancake rocks. I thought it would be a quick peek, snap a picture and say we'd been there sort of thing so when Jayden said he just wanted to wait in the car I didn't put up too much of a fight. After all the poor kid had nothing to wear and his bare skin was covered in goosebumps. But we got there and it seriously blew us away so after about 15 minutes Jason went back to fetch Jayden. He came back with him swallowed up in Jason's jacket and tears in his eyes because we had been gone so long and he thought we were never coming back. So sad. It felt good to have him there as we just stood together taking it all in. The blow holes were incredible, the waves are so powerful it scares you. The kids say it was their favorite part of the trip, well a tie with the tubes and luge if we're being fair. We went back, took hot baths then went for a pajama clad walk to see glow worms. While stumbling through the dark with Maddox on my back and Kylie huddling close since she couldn't stop thinking about a scary story we told earlier, I just couldn't stop thinking about how much I love this little tribe of mine. We rung in the new year with hot cocoa, a side of Owen Wilson and Jackie Chan and some Weka birds that kept coming to the door. And nobody even missed the crepes.
The next day on our way out we stopped at a cave. I was out the minute I stepped blindly into cold muddy water, but Jason and the kids (sans Ryder who sat out with me) spent some time exploring.
This stretch of road is ranked as one of the top most beautiful highways in the world, and for good reason. Unfortunately no penguin sightings.
We stopped at the Cape Foulwind seal colony, but honestly after Kaikoura where we were practically tripping over seals, we've turned into snobs. While all the other tourists were oohing and aahing over seals you could barely see hundreds of feet below, we turned up our noses and said poo-poo to you. Not really, but we've been so spoiled that unfortunately we're not as easily impressed.
And Ryder was my only willing victim to come with me in the wind and rain to see the lighthouse. Everyone else opted to stay in the car and play electronics. Spoiled I tell you.
Sometimes it's the simple things that get them the most excited. And seriously, rain then sun, rain then sun, it's exhausting keeping up with the weather.
And back on the road in the rain, which can sometimes be unnerving on those steep winding roads. But this crag was pretty cool. We couldn't wait to get to our next destination where we could unpack and unwind for 7 whole days.