Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Labor (I mean "Labour") Day weekend

We're so spoiled here. I feel like we need to take a trip at least once a month. We haven't taken a trip as a family since our vacation to the states in July and I was beginning to feel deprived. Which pretty much means I'm never going to survive real life when we move back. I keep thinking we've seen pretty much everything in the South Island, and then we discover some place new that blows us away. Our Labor day weekend getaway started out with plastic Mario caps in McDonald's happy meals, which is pretty much a good omen if I've ever seen one.

We flipped a U-turn when we saw this bouncy house outside a cute cafe that advertised real fruit ice cream. The kids got some awesome static hair while I sat in the sun eating everyone's ice cream and pondering how sexy Jason's calves looked while he changed the tail light on the car. It was an above average pit stop, I would say.

And the thing about road trips here is that getting there is half the fun. You never know what you might stumble across, like these canola fields for days...

Nobody wanted to get out of the car for a picture. I think Jason felt sorry for me because there were all these other couples taking pictures of each other in the flowers and then there I was by my lonesome taking pictures of empty fields. So he offered to take my picture. Which I always feel awkward taking pictures by myself. So hey. Here's a picture of me standing in front of some flowers. With my hands in my back pocket because I have no idea where to put them.

And then Ryder joined me. He's always up for an adventure. And he probably felt sorry for me too.

Our first stop was Lake Tekapo. We went here last summer and were anxious for an excuse to come back. It's such a beautiful lake that changes colors depending on what angle you look at it. The funny thing is that it was actually warmer this time than it was during the summer months. I'm really hoping this summer is good to us, the weather last summer was just cruel.

The sun was out but the water was still freezing, these are glacier lakes after all. But the kids are always up for a good dare. Jayden and Maddox won an extra scoop of ice cream for going all the way under. I think it took them a good three hours before they finally thawed out.

Maddox learned the fine art of skipping rocks and has joined the ranks with the older kids. It's always a fun way to pass the time.

This area of the high country is known as the Lakes District for all of the incredible blue lakes. Lake Pukaki is my favorite. It is actually one of my favorite spots in the whole south island, and you can imagine how hard that is to narrow down. The stunning snow capped "Aoraki" Mount Cook (the tallest mountain in all of Australasia) is the perfect backdrop to this turquoise lake. It's just postcard perfect.

This cheeky monkey proved to be the best little travel companion this trip. He was always the first to volunteer to get out at the scenic look out points while all the other kids preferred to stay in the car and play their electronics. He was just so happy the entire time, travelling is so much more enjoyable now that he is getting older. I mean, just look at that face.

We picked up some fresh fish from the salmon farm. It was delicious. I still can't believe I like fish. We found a cute little holiday home (they call them a "bach") in Twizel. We always say a prayer before we start a trip and it was Maddox's turn to say it. He prayed that the house we were staying at would be nice. I knew what he meant. He wasn't wishing for marble bathrooms and plasma tv's, he was simply hoping there wouldn't be mold growing in the shower and that no one would walk away with a communicable disease. We've stayed at some pretty sketchy places along the way, but thankfully this one was pretty decent.

After dinner the kids groaned when we told them that we were taking a scenic drive. I know how they feel. I haven't always shared the same interests as an 80 year old grandma. Sure I took up crocheting years ago, but the scenic drives are a new thing. I remember my grandparents always wanting to take scenic drives and I just never understood the thrill. But now I do and hopefully one day they'll at least be able to look back at the pictures and appreciate the beauty.

It was so windy. This lake had some pretty impressive waves, you would think it was the ocean.

And you know I've got to say it..."a perfect ending to a perfect day". You've come to expect that from me by now, it's sorta my tag line whenever sunsets are involved.


Ali said...

Love being a (latent) passenger on your road trips Jamie! Beautiful scenery and beautiful people to share it with!

Janessa said...

Since when did Ryder get all big?! He totally transformed from a little guy to one of the big kids in this post! What a cutie!!! Love all the pics of yet another amazing Young adventure. Those canola fields are amazing. I'm glad Jason and Ryder kind of felt sorry for you. You know I would have been right there taking cheesy pictures (with all the other couples???). You know how to fly solo like a pro though! Nice picture!!! The lake pictures are fabulous! Makes me kind of sad that we're just saying goodbye to our lake season. With brave swimmers like you've got, who needs warm water though?! At least you know the waters too cold to sustain snail larva. There are perks.

Ronnie said...

Oh man these posts are making me miss you and that beautiful place so so much. I want to fly back right about...now!