A trip down south. A couple of night away and such fun. A breath of fresh (wintery) air.

Hiking in the shadow of our amazing countries tallest mountain. Icebergs on glacial lakes. Sunsets over snow. Steep climbs leading to big views. Swing bridges and handstands. Autumn colours and steep moraines. And a sneaky pic thats got me in it.

We had a lovely day out with friends out in the backwaters of the Hurunui to kick off the Easter weekend. It was a perfect day, sunny but not to hot and we found the coolest domain with a great play area and lots of awesome shade for a picnic lunch.

The kids played for ages before we headed out into the hills to check out a cool camp site and then the river – and a small side stream for the kids to play in.

It was a great day out in an area that is only a couple of hours away but one that we haven’t explored at all before. Such a beautiful backdrop and somewhere we wouldn’t have easily discovered without the invite from friends.

A new year! Is it weird that I believe that even years are luckier than odd years? i have nothing to substantiate this claim, and in fact it’s possible to infer from the years of blogging that odd years may have actually been marginally better. Or may be there are all the same really, with each having its fair shares of highs and lows.

Anyway! It’s an even year and I’m happy about it. I don’t have any huge resolutions. Predominantly because history has taught me I’m terrible at ‘resolutions’ and making changes in general. I start string and about 3 days in give up and refer back to older stronger habits.

So this year I’ve got intentions (resolutions by another name?) They mostly revolve around being calmer and more present, loosing 15kg and getting fit by running and walking more. So, same as every other year really.

We started strong with bike rides and hiking in the hills and going to the library to get out books to read in the evenings rather than web browsing and surfing social media. I have ordered chatbooks for both my own and the kids instagram accounts and my goal is to be mindful of the pictures I post so the albums become pleasantly collated records not a random mumble jumble of images.

The house is clean, I’m on top of the washing (shock!) and we are putting the phones, laptops and tablets down for more engaged time over puzzles and board games. So far so good. It is only day 8 of the new year tho.
Failing so far … still eating far to much chocolate. Blessings … the bakery is still closed so at least I can’t eat to much cake.

Blogging in 2018. My intention for this year is deceptively simple. I want to blog more regularly and take many many more pictures. I will keep up the 12 Monthly Photos of the Kid, and I am hoping to do 12 Months of Adventures – I think it’s my attempt to be mindful of the passing months and not to miss out on doing something, however big or small. Hopefully by the end of each month I’ll have a couple of adventures to choose from. May be. That’s the idea anyway. Call it work in progress.

January started on a high with a trip to Akaroa to have a walk, wander about and eat good food.

In early December we were lucky enough to head up to the North Island for the work christmas party and we tacked on a couple of days in Rotorua while we were up there. We did the whistle-stop tourist tour. The Luge, the volcanic areas and the redwoods.

The thermal volcanic area is amazing, but as the kid would tell you emphatically “it smells awful”. She’s not wrong, those amazing colours have to come from something, and in no small part thats sulphur – which stinks. It’s worth the stink to see it.

The luge is great fun, its a really long track down and the chair lift back up is almost as equally delightful as you meander above the fern trees and between the woods with the birds singing on both sides.

The redwoods are everything I hoped for and more. By the time we got there there were sore feet and hunger complaints and we opted for the tree top walk rather than a couple of hours tramp which id hoped to do. The high walk was great fun, longer than I expected (in a good way!) and not to horrifyingly high or wobbly for a big wuss like me. I did a short walk through the woods after and cannot wait to do more.

We are already planning another trip up at some point in 2018 if we can, a less tourist trip this time doing with lots of tramping, exploring and relaxing.

December 26, 2017 Little Adventures

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We are lucky that half way through the exhausting final few months before christmas the weather gets warmer, the days get longer and lighter and there is even a public holiday that coupled with a teacher only day at school (a new thing for us!) we turned into a 4 day weekend.

One of those days we headed to the beach and enjoyed paddling, drone flying and a walk along the cliffs. Embracing summer and taking time to make the days special.

We had a lovely trip over to the coast a couple of weekends ago. We went primarily as the kid had a gym comp over there but turned it onto a nice couple of family days and walking and exploring. Pictures in reverse order as thats how they loaded and I’m to lazy to move them about. All off my phone as well as we both forgot to take cameras with us! Oops.

The drive over was lovely and went nice and fast, it’s a gorgeous drive although twisty and bendy in parts and requires a lot of concentration. We stopped off at Hokitika Gorge, the beach and then the Air B&B. It was the sweetest little old school villa but warm and cosy and comfy and close to the town centre (and competition gym).

We ate supper at a old school pub with the cutest friendliest pub cat and after we saw glow worms in two seperate grottos – they were amazing! Its like looking at a starry sky, but your staring at a earth bank! After a successful competition we headed to an amazing tree top walk (so high, so very very high) we headed home and stopped at the kids favourite spot on the way for a walk and fresh air.

So lovely to be back in our familiar spaces

We were lucky enough to have a lovely few weeks of summery weather before we headed back home into deepest winter. May seems to be one of the nicest months on the UK now and we got a good run of sunny days and trips to the beach.

Above is the beach at Port Erin, its such a gorgeous bay with a little harbour and a long flat gently sloping beach with no big drop off, Great for kids to paddle and for mums wo watch and not stress to hard.

The kid had a great few trips down here, but the last was the only time I took my camera with me. The pontoon was a huge hit with all the kids (most of the beaches have them for summer time) but on this trip the kid hopped off as soon as it floated. The previous day she had waded out and played with friends only to find that it wobbled more than expected and when she jumped off she discovered the water had gone from mid-chest to chin deep. She was more bothered by the wobbling than the change in depth but decided discretion was the better part of valour the next day!

There were a few jellyfish floating around to look at and the wonderful views and soft sand to make angels in and dig through to find ‘treasures’.

A sunny weekend day and we took the opportunity to explore the blooming woods, mine and local historic water wheel. The mines near the wheel are really interesting, you can walk a few hundred metres into the upper level of one and even in that short distance makes it abundantly clear what a horrible working environment it must have been to work in. The kid was not impressed by it!
We climbed to the top of the wheel and then wandered along the valley. Primroses, bluebells and snowdrops were abundant as well as slowly unfurling fern heads and plenty of dandelions. Blue skies and a bit of sunshine and then a lovely lunch at a local cafe. The Easter holiday flew by. Lots of relaxing and time with family. Far to much chocolate.

A pic from our recent trip to Montreal. Not long after this was taken she abandoned the frame and went out solo.

You cant tell from the pic but it was SO cold, -9 the day this was taken

These were taken (mostly by hubby) at a couple of the different walks we did last week. Water, and waterfalls is a bit of a theme at the moment as we are doing a lot of glen walks. Spring is slowly coming and we are seeing snowdrops peeking out and daffodils starting to bloom.

The kid is loving all the outdoor activities and hiking that we have been able to do. I am really enjoying being able to make sure that being outside, just following a path with no schedule or goal is a regular part of each week. I have noticed it has a positive impact on her school work and attitude when she’s had a dose of outdoor nature exploring and stress free time.

We are doing the Wild Explorers Club assignments which I signed up for a few weeks ago. I wasn’t sure if it would be a hit with the kid or not, but so far she’s loving the little videos every week and having a outdoor explorer ‘goal’ to work towards. This isn’t a sponsored post, just something that Ive found really great for instigating ‘get outdoors’ when its been cold, damp and grey!

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