29 August 2010

Five Go Adventuring Again

Remember the Famous Five?? Anne, George, Dick, Julian and Timmy the dog who were always saying things like, "I say, Dick..." and "Jolly good show!" as they rode off on bicycles for glorious picnics with ice lollies and lashings of ginger beer?

This post has nothing to do with that at all. I'm just trying to be clever with the title of this post, where five of us (Mr G, Dash, Miss Fab, Scrag and Mummy) ride off in the Black Stallion for some jolly good adventures, some ice lollies and lashings of... er... H2O???

Rotorua was our Adventure Destination this weekend. The purpose - a work do staying at the Novotel, on the Lakefront. Posh! The weather forecast... heavy rain.

Rotorua is a thermal tourist mecca in the central North Island known locally as RotoVegas and RottenRua. It smells of sulphur, which takes some getting used to, as I warned the kids. But that sulphurous smell has its benefits... mainly that nobody can tell when you have, er, let rip!!

When we arrived in town on Saturday afternoon and it was not raining as had been forecast, clever Mr G said, Let's head straight to the Luge!

The Luge is incredible family FUN. First you go up up up in a gondola with breathtaking views over the town and Lake.

Then you don helmets and line up, up, up and wait for your turn to go down down down the circuitous mountain tracks on these little go-carts (luges) at lifethreatening speeds.

The great thing is that you can take kids up to age six in front of you (which only counts as one ticket) so our eight-ride ticket stretched pretty far.

Daddy and Scrag buddied up and me and Miss Fab braved it out together leaving Dash to adventure on his own. My thrill-seeking son was up for anything and managed pretty well, only crashing once or twice. Eek. But no harm done.

When you get to the bottom of the endless track you jump on... chairlifts! And get taken back up, up, up to the top of the mountain ready to ride again.

This was by far the coolest family thing we have ever done. Maybe even better than the theme parks at the Gold Coast. We had so much fun!! And because we rolled up late in the afternoon by the time we got up to the top for our second ride, guess what... no queues! Just jump back on a luge and off we went.

A Scary Moment (where mummy had to save the day...)
On our second chairlift ride, daddy was ahead with Scrag, and Dash had to go on the chairlift by himself... he jumped on and the lift started to go... without the safety bar being lowered! Dash couldn't reach it and the operator was on his walkie talkie not paying attention, so mummy had to chase the chairlift up the hill and quickly pull the safety bar in place before Dash's chair was out of reach. My heart was hammering. imagine if my little son had had to ride all the way to the top if the mountain with no safety bar?? You can bet Mr G told the manager at the other end. Oh Yes. But thankfully mummy managed to be a hero and RUN. Phew.

Some Cool Moments...

Meeting Mr G's eye as the Five of us swung skywards on the gondola. I knew what he was thinking. Ten years ago we imagined a moment just like this. Ten years ago before we were even engaged, we were on a chairlift and he painted a picture for me of our life together... "There'll be me and the two boys, and you and the girl..."

We always pictured two boys and a girl from that moment. And here we all are. The coolness of telling that story to our kids as we rose up the mountain together...

Waiting for the boys with Olga the Russian princess...

Chairlifting with my girl...

A specially made gluten free omelette for her breakfast... Photo by Miss Fab (her KidsClick Delicious entry)

Miss Fab made the beds in the kids room. So perfectly. She was so proud of herself we didn't have the heart to tell her that the maids would come and rip the sheets off as soon as we were gone...

Cracking up with Mr G as we watched Scrag admire himself as he danced and pranced naked in the full length hotel mirror. That boy is in love with his reflection. But what's not to love???

Some Oh Dear moments...

Realising Too Late that I should have checked the kids' clothes bags to see what Miss Fab had packed for them. No socks. No good shoes. Going out to dinner at a posh restaurant with work colleagues and wearing... a summer dress with pink boots, no stockings. A collared shirt and black pants...over a collared t-shirt and scuffed white trainers. Oh dear.

Realising too late that the bag with the nappies and wipes is sitting on the bedroom floor back in Auckland. We have one nappy and three swimmers to last until morning. Oh dear.

We survived the lack of socks and nappies and my casual approach to packing for a measly one night away.

As the rain poured down a day late, this morning we headed forty minutes south to Taupo, on a whim, to see our dear friends Phil and Nic.

Nic who dragged me out on their boat last summer. Nic who got me biking. Nic who first helped me start getting over myself. They've been living in Taupo but will be returning soon to Auckland. It will be soooo lovely to have them back!

On the way home the kids all slept briefly... but when they woke and got restless Daddy entertained them by playing the whistling version of "Name that Tune". Hilarious. "If I Only Had a Brain" was unrecognisable. I have no idea how the kids managed to guess so many.

Now we are back, and the kidlets are all tucked up in bed, asleep. It was a great weekend.

But guess what? Yesterday morning I could not be bothered with all the effort required to pack us all up and go out of town for just one night. At that moment, as I let Miss Fab get on with the packing (cos I could not be bothered) I would have quite happily stayed home. And missed out on the best family weekend in ages.

A change of scene was exactly what we all needed. Some family fun and togetherness. As we turned into our street, Dash was leading us all in a chorus of our rappy family motto... "Peace! Unity! Loooove! And having FUN!" Even Scrag was getting in on the act. As we pulled into our driveway we were all still laughing.

It was worth the effort. One night away felt like a whole weekend. It did us gooood.

What's your favourite weekend things to do as a family??

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Amy said...

Gorgeous Simone, and full of the those clear bright happy memories that your children will tuck away forever.

Widge said...

Sounds and looks like an awesome break Simone. Sounds so familiar about the "not being bothered with all the effort too and then having a fab time" love how it works out like that. I think perhaps it's better too because there are no big expectations involved maybe ?
Loving miss fab's poses :)

PaisleyJade said...

Loved sharing the special moments of your weekend with you guys Simone! Absolutely loving your photography - especially the one of Olga the Russian Princess!

Phew for quick mother reflexes with the chair lift!

Sarah (Chez Lee) said...

Good on you for making the effort! It seems so hard to pack up and hit the road when young children are involved and I'm so happy to hear it was all worth it (and relieved the chair lift incident didn't turn into an accident!).

Fab photos and a beautiful story to read of your family love. We went on that luge back in 2008 and LOVED it!

Have a great week :)

meg said...

Ah blissful... I think we need a night away soon too! Love the Russian photo too, sweetness.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like such good fun! My heart was in my mouth reading about you running after Dash's chairlift, a bit like one of those awful dreams when you are trying to run but never go fast enough. Well done Mum!

Leslie said...

Gorgeous photos. It looks like you all had a wonderful time.
.. and that omlette ~ Yummo!!

alicia said...

You are such a fun mama. Will you adopt me? Seriously, great post. Looks like a blast. And your russian princess is a beauty.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I feel the exact same way - that I can't be bothered and I'll just stay at home and hibernate - then we always end up having the best time ever! Glad you had such an awesome weekend away!

Brigitte said...

Gorgeous story and photos - LOVE Olga, she's a beauty! So cool to read about a great family time away, especially when you so easily could not have gone...
I (unfortunately) do that often. But I always end up missing out on the fun and even depriving my husband and kids of some precious family memories.... not cool.
Thanks for sharing your night away with us! X

Gail said...

Sounds fantastic! Definitely worth the effort of just getting everyone out the front door to have great quality time!
Loving the russian doll!She was noticeably absent for Miss O yesterday morning!
And good on your for your heroing antics - I think a mothers heart would lead us to do stuff beyond our own imaginations at times!

Cooking Up Faith said...

Wow, great pictures! Thanks again for adding your link to my discussion on faith based blogs. I've recently added scriptures just for mothers on mine...hope you'll stop by and visit soon!
Big Fat Mama

Anonymous said...

So fun!!!
the effort is so worth it...as I sit here with laundry to fold and a suitcase to pack!
Gotta get to it...The Scientist and I are on a last adventure before school gets back in
What am I doing in blog land you ask???? Procrastinating!!!!

love and light

citymouse said...

Your photos are stunning and make me wish I was there! Amazing what one night away can do!

Stopping by from SITS.

Marshmallow Circus said...

My first time visiting, and so glad I did! What a cool adventure. Thank goodness for hero mommy!

Neetz said...

Awesome....looks like a cool time together!!

By the way I am/was a famous five freak when I was a kid...had ALL of the books... we even used to play it at primary school and I'd always be "George" the tomboy!! :) My friend Kylie would be Timmy the dog!

I even remember the theme song off the tele programme... "We are the famous five, Julian Dick and Anne, George and Timmy the dog...We are the famous five, we're coming after you, whenever there's time...time after time...after timmmmmeeeee...." heehee. xxx

Meghan Maloney Photography said...

Loved this fab post about your weekend away. And that it exceeded your expectations makes it all the more special!

Had to laugh about the lack of nappies and clothes. I can so relate after I forgot to pack any knickers for me for our recent trip away. Happens to the best of us it seems!

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