So, holy cow, what a weekend!
Friday afternoon, Gracie went home with a friend, and I was invited over for some wine. Which was very familiar – that’s been known to happen at home, too, sometimes. Her friends were really cute and their moms were so nice. I LOVED talking to people other than a Ferguson or someone who works in a shop. It was really fun, and we talked about doing it again before too long. Yay – maybe mom is making friends!
Saturday, I thought we were just going to my favorite park here, but we took a quick little detour and went into the CBD (Central Business District – downtown) so the girls and Mark could take a ride on the Skyscreamer, a reverse bungy swing that FLINGS you up into the air and then flails you around until the propulsion slows down. I posted the whole video on Facebook, which recorded Mark and the girls’ faces, but it doesn’t really do it justice. To stand on the ground and watch it is really unsettling. I love me a roller coaster, but this did not appeal to me at all. But the pictures are heee-larious. Here are just a couple for your enjoyment.
I’m pleased to report that everyone had a great time and wants to go again…
Later that afternoon we made our way to Cornwall Park, the largest park in Auckland. It’s a working farm, so has paddocks full of sheep (and lambs!) and cattle. Footpaths cut through all the paddocks, so you’re meandering amongst the livestock. It’s pretty cool. AND it’s lambing season, so there are little baby lambs everywhere. Last year when Mark and I were here, the park really affected me. We were watching all these people walk through these paddocks and the only thing they were concerned about is whether or not they securely latched the gate so the animals (mostly sheep) wouldn’t be able to get out. They basically ignored the animals, and it really struck me that if there were sheep walking around the largest public park in any American city, those sheep would not be ignored. Fraternities would use them for hazing, people would hog tie them, people would shear them, gangs would use them for initiations, people would kill them. People would mess with the sheep, simply because they could. But here, there’s an understanding that these are not your sheep, so you should just leave them alone. Respect them, sure, but don’t mess with them. THEY’RE NOT YOUR SHEEP. So – yesterday, we went to the park, saw the lambs, and I was still blown away that people just leave the sheep and lambs alone. Even our girls!
And yesterday, there were cattle out, too. Moo…
Later, Mark and I went to the St. Mary’s College fundraiser for Gracie’s school. It was a “Meet the Makers” event – wineries and breweries were on hand for samples, plus a silent auction. We left before the live auction, but had a nice time. Talked to a couple people, but didn’t really meet anyone. But it was nice to get out just us – it’s been a while.
And then this morning, we got up to hike Rangitoto, the volcano across the Hauraki Gulf. We took the ferry over and then hiked up Auckland’s newest and largest volcano. It’s about a 4 mile round-trip hike through a bunch of lava fields. The girls were troopers. Tate (who won the whiney complaining contest this morning) won the hike – her long legs help her fly up a mountainside. And then she asks Mom what took her so long. She’s adorable. The views from the top were amazing and so well worth the exertion.
I was thrilled to get out of the city and take the girls’ new hiking shoes on a test run. I’m happy to report they work! Nobody has blisters, nobody fell off the side of a mountain, nobody complained during the hike, so we’ll be taking them back out on longer hikes before too long. I cannot wait. A quiet afternoon at home getting ready for their FOURTH week of school. Time is flying by.
And the adventure continues…