Mt Maunganui Beach & Sun

December 2014, by Gini

It was the Turners year for Christmas so the Mt Maunganui timeshares were booked. This time there would be five cousins and eight adults with four bedrooms. A recipe for a full on week of family. We decided to break up the journey with a few days in Taupo before reaching the Bay of Plenty. Paul, Lauren & the Turner boys joined us. We managed a few recreational adventures like the AC baths which are fantastic for all kids and a few train rides in town before Lisa, Graham & Milla and the Grandparents joined us for lunch. It was lovely to see Olive & Ali picking up where they left off in August - Olive being Ali’s number one fan (apart from Lachie of course!) before we knew it we had all made it to Fairway lodge, beach and the sun.

Over the course of the week the kids opened a present a day or sometimes more! so they weren’t overwhelmed and to keep them occupied but the main source of fun was 1# the trampoline 2# sand & water at the beach and 3# cousins. If the kids were happy playing the grown ups were too.

Mum & Dad amazingly bought the Nespresso machine, which was brilliant as we all battled bad night sleeps throughout the week, apart from the grandparents! I never thought I needed caffeine but yes, yes I do in the morning, it just helped kick start the day. Tom and I alternated early morning buggy walks with Iris, as she was an early riser and night waker - cheeky monkey! but on the up side we enjoyed the quiet sunrises along the beach. We also managed the annual walk around the Mount and the boys ran up the Mount as part of the ‘King of the Mount’ race too- madness!

Most days consisted of Trampoline fun, putting on sun cream, chasing kids with hats, reading books and lots of eating. The best part of the holiday was seeing all the cousins having fun together. Milla loved Olive’s sparkly Elsa dress and always wanted to give Iris cuddles. Lachie was keen on cuddles with Iris too. Olive and Ali got on really well playing all sorts of games, the bird puppets comes to mind where they were flying around eating worms and then nesting and sleeping. Olive at times didn’t quite understand when Ali wanted ‘alone time’ as she would request ‘alone time with Ali’ and she got quite exhausted with 12 hours of cousin time pretty much everyday. It was wonderful to catch them having little conversations and often dinners for two.

The beach experience wasn’t what we thought it would be, we envisaged swimming with both kids (a little naive) but none of the kids went swimming apart from Milla was happy paddling, all that exposure at home I guess. Instead the kids were happy finding a really big hole (that someone else had dug) and setting in to build castles or playing with water. There were moments where three kids would be playing happily on one castle which was wonderful.

We managed to drive over to catchup with my cousins at Aunty Margaret & Uncle Kevin’s place in Matamata and I had a strange thought that this could be our kids and us in a few decades! As a kid we always holidayed with them but living in different cities meant as the years went by it was hard to keep up a strong relationship. I hope this doesn’t happen to our kids.

Christmas day arrived far too early but brought the adults secret Santa gifts and lots of lovely gifts for the kids. Olive and Ali got scooters which they loved using on the nearby carpark and we all had a go on Ali’s scooter which can take Adults! - Both Tom and I want one now.

After a fantastic and sunny week it was time to depart and go to a wedding! Lucie & Rory were getting married in Otaki on the 27th so we combined it with travelling back, which was lucky as the traffic the other way was terrible. Olive (for the first time) travelled with Nan & Grandad all the way back to Wellington and was suppose to stay the night there. It took her until 11pm to fall asleep on their bed and then later waking at 4am to be driven home to Karori quite upset. It was a big day, a big ask for our little Olive - Hopefully there will be a next time if the grandparents aren’t too scarred!

Iris came with us to the wedding, which as it turned out had lots of babies and kids running a muck. It was at Jenny’s farm which was stunning, with wisteria vines creating the aisle in which Luce walked down. The food was scrummy, beer selection great and a fairy tale setup inside a marquee. I was able to catchup with old friends from school, which was lovely to see how so many are still the same lovely people and we laughed at the best man’s speech and got to enjoy a little of Rory’s speech before the call came that we were needed back in Wellington. Iris hadn’t been very happy sleeping in the buggy so we called it a night at 9pm. With clear skies, the dew had settled on the grass and as we drove out of the orchard, we had a bit of trouble getting up a small hill. The waiters came to our aid and we were off!

The next few days we enjoyed BBQs with family and friends and enjoyed having the greater Turner families all in one place. The cousins had a ball, as if they knew that family is so special.  We can see that every year it will get better and better seeing our kids have more fun with each other. Christmas is booked for 2016!