New Zealand. Day four.


That morning we were all in great need of relaxation. The past few days were go, go, go, and our bodies needed a break. We slept in, had our traditional NZ breakfast of juice, toast, and yogurt, and just were lazy. We took the kids to the school across the street to play on their playground. I walked Willow all around the schools campus and tried to imagine if we lived there. The school was so small but unique. Several sections were joined together by one common area outside. After playing and exploring the school, we went back to the house for naps. By mid afternoon, we were ready for a bit more site seeing and headed to Kariotahi Beach. Otherwise known as, the hottest beach on planet Earth. I'm not kidding. I had burn marks on my feet thanks to the black sand. But, it was crazy beautiful. Once we got close to the water, the sand was much cooler. Canaan had a serious meltdown. The kid hates sand with a real passion. Thankfully, we found a giant rock to sit on and eat a snack. Why can't we have beaches this beautiful in Mississippi. It's not fair one bit.

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  photo IMG_9400.jpg photo IMG_9404.jpg photo IMG_9420.jpg photo newzealand-063.jpg photo newzealand-060.jpg photo newzealand-065.jpg^trying to convince C to walk on the sand. He just wasn't having it.  photo newzealand-064.jpg photo newzealand-061.jpg^still offended by the sand and cold water photo newzealand-062.jpg photo newzealand-066.jpg

  photo newzealand-070.jpg photo newzealand-071.jpg photo newzealand-068.jpg photo newzealand-067.jpg^I remember asking Josh to snap a pic of me and Willow with Ocean. C had stolen the show with his fit, and I needed a minute to just stop and enjoy the ocean, the view, and as always, that furious NZ wind. I looked both ways and saw nothing but beach for miles and miles. I turned around and saw nothing but Mountains for miles and miles. Beach on one side, Mountains (or giant hills) on the other. I couldn't help but be in awe of the artistry of our Creator and just how small I am. So humbling.

Job 12:7-10 : “But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.

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And then we found a giant rock. C was happy his feet weren't touching sand. Momma was happy to sit and rest. Daddy happy to eat a snack. Willow happy to finally fall asleep. Mudgy happy to be with C. It was a good moment.  photo newzealand-072.jpg

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The sand may not have been my favorite, but overall, I loved this beach. Surprise, Surprise. You can see in the pic above some cars parked on the sand. At one point, one car was practically in the water. The sand is so dense you could easily drive on it. And although C wasn't a fan of the sand, I still wish I could go back to this place daily. On the drive back to our NZ I took a lot of Go Pro film. I tried so hard to take mental pictures of the rolling hills and a lush green farm land. I'm so glad I made myself pay so much attention, because as I type this, I can close my eyes and still see it all. I can remember the wind beating against my arm hanging out of the car. OH goodness, take me back. (yeah, I will probably end every post with that sentence. I just miss it okay.)


New Zealand. Day two & three.

Day Two might be one of my all time favorite days in NZ, and one of my most disgusting ha! We started our day at Piha beach to see Lion Rock. It was breath taking to say the least. This beach was my favorite out of all the ones we visited. I could have spent every day here the entire time we were in NZ and been perfectly happy. The sand was as soft as butter. The water was clear and crisp and chilly. The drive down had amazing views. Geez, I want to go back right this second. We spent a good bit of time here exploring, then we had delicious pizza at a little cafe right off the beach.  photo newzealand-018.jpg photo newzealand-021.jpg photo newzealand-022.jpg photo newzealand-023.jpg photo newzealand-019.jpg photo newzealand-024.jpg photo newzealand-025.jpg photo newzealand-027.jpg photo newzealand-028.jpg photo newzealand-029.jpg

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and I wish I knew who this cute couple was!  photo newzealand-026.jpg
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After Piha beach, we drove up and down a very curvy mountain range (atleast it felt like mountains) to get to our hiking destination in the Waitakere Range. We were pulling into the parking area when C lost his lunch. It was everywhere. He lost it multiple times. (you're welcome for that mental picture). We ruled that it was a combination of greasy pizza and car sickness. THANKFULLY, I had back up clothes. After wiping everything down with baby wipes and germ x, we set out to do some hiking, and C was back to his chipper self. Willow was exhausted, but not napping so I went ahead of the group a few times to calm her. I didn't take many pictures of the beautiful scenery due to rocking Willow, but thankfully Josh got a good bit on our Go Pro. Even though my arms felt like lead, I'm so glad we did this hike. I wish so badly we had trees like those here. After our hike, we headed back to the house for naps and dinner.  photo newzealand-041.jpg


This day was filled with flowers, after flowers, after flowers. We spent the morning wandering around Auckland Botanic Gardens. Holy cow, this place was beautiful. C wasn't really into it, go figure, (except for the mini river bed) but we still really enjoyed it.  photo newzealand-049.jpg

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 After lunch at their cafe, we then went to The Auckland Winter Gardens. I remember a few things about this place. It was hot. It was beautiful. I rocked Willow to sleep in the carrier, and that was blissful in cool shade (in the photo below I walked her underneath that giant green bush on the right) We walked up a giant hill to a museum that ended up being too expensive to visit, and then I nursed Willow on its front steps. And that might be one of my favorite moments of the whole trip. It was a stunning view. The wind was blowing fiercely (which felt amazing on that hot day). It was so peaceful, just me and her. I remember closing my eyes and trying my hardest to remember it all. The smell, the wind, the view. Pictures didn't do that view justice. I may have silently cried from exhaustion and happiness and thankfulness. I just kept praising the Lord for that little moment of regrouping, and praising Him for blessing us with that trip. Those giant steps were built just for me and that moment.
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Like I said, those photos don't do that view justice. Take me back!

We finished this day with delicious pizza and trip to a local park for C to get in some serious sliding time.