Wine, Sun and an IronDan

March 2013, by Tom

That time again - holiday time!

This time we decided to head up north to spend 3 nights in Havelock North with Andy, Nicky and their two little ones, Ben and Liam. Then the 8 of us (including Lyon) ventured further north to Taupo where Derek, Helen and little Harry joined us for another few nights.

We were fortunate enough to travel in style this time, in the Turner Peugeot - with a roof box to boot. Everything you need for a week with a little one and a dog was piled into the car, no sweat. Aircon, oh, sweet, aircon.

Upon reaching Havelock North, we dropped Lyon off at his concrete retreat, wished him well, and hoped there wouldn't be any permanent mental scarring before continuing on to the Woolshed Apartments where Andy and Nicky had just arrived. It was a lovely 3 room apartment with a private deck. We were sharing a bedroom with Olive, which we hadn't done for a while, and caused a few late night sleeping issues which we blame the molars for. Damn molars! Olive always seems to be teething when we head away on holiday.

We spent the days in Havelock North mostly at the various vineyards. We had a delicious lunch at Craggy Range one day, then hired bikes to bike between a few more the next. Olive's first time in a bicycle seat went well - she enjoyed the morning - but the afternoon was a little much for her and she ended up falling asleep against Gini's back! Luckily Andy wasn't far away in the car and we managed to transport sleepy into Ben's carseat and continued on our way!

The evenings were spent putting feeding the kids, then slowly, one by one, getting them to bed and to sleep. After this was adult time! Dinner, followed by drinks and a couple of games of Seven Wonders - our board game of the moment. Bedtime was usually around midnight, which is quite an achievement given we rarely last past 10pm back home.

On our way to Taupo, we picked up Lyon from his 3 night stay at the kennels, and apart from a little twitchy around the edges and a croaky voice, he seemed ok.

Taupo, as per usual, was a relaxing, sun filled stay. Andy and Nicky stayed in the new "Guest House" with their little ones, which worked out well, giving them some space to spread out, and leaving enough bedrooms in the house so Olive could have her own room. Not that it helped her sleeping so much .. With a mixture of molar pain and a nasty cold just set in, poor little thing didn't have a lot of fun at night (which meant we were a little shattered by the end of the week).

Derek, Helen and Harry joined us for the weekend - and after quickly teaching them Seven Wonders, Derek reigned as champion the games we played. Beginners luck or something else? Not sure. Have to read up on some strategy guides.

Saturday came, and was one of the main reasons for the trip to Taupo - the Ironman was on! We were IronDan's official supporters. Dan's girlfriend Kat (KatRox) was also competing. The atmosphere in town was amazing. Gini and Nicky managed an early start to walk to the start of the swim by 7am. Andy and I walked in with the kids to meet them shortly afterwards. We managed to have brunch before seeing Dan fly through on leg 2 of the bike stage before walking home again for a relax and some lunch. In the afternoon we ventured out again and made camp at the bottom of the hill to watch the running leg (a full marathon) in which they passed by several times on a three loop run.

Finally, Nicky, Derek and I drove back into town to watch the finish - and only just made it in time to run a few hundred meters to catch Dan finish, in an incredible time of 12hrs 15mins. To think that we had a tiring day just trying to follow the race. A pitstop at KFC to get dinner for the troops and the day had come to a close.

Sunday was leaving day. Derek cooked us a tasty breakfast then both families said their adieu's before hitting the road. We were left with peace and quiet. Which felt odd, so we to decided to get packed up and hit the road after lunch. Leaving sunny, hot Taupo behind us, until next time.

All in all, a great but exhausting week away - now we just need some time to recover!

Olive awoke to someone sleeping on her armrest.

Olive awoke to someone sleeping on her armrest.

Tasty lunch for 8.

Tasty lunch for 8.

Hanging with Harry

Hanging with Harry