Sunday, January 27, 2013


The school holidays are drawing to a close. One week left. I don't look forward to the rush around in the morning before school routines, making school lunches, nagging at the kids to get dressed, have they got everything in their bags, etc etc.  I am going to miss the sleep ins, the flexibility of the holidays, the relaxed days of mucking about doing not much at all. I am looking forward to some quiet child free time, crafting on my own, the food in the pantry lasting longer and not hearing "what are we going to do?" every 1/2 hour or so.

These holidays have gone quite fast for me. Normally the summer holidays drag on and the kids get scratchy and bored and tired of each other. I think that we have had a really good balance of doing stuff and not doing stuff to make the kids have a good time enough to not get overly bored or frustrated.

Our highlight of the holidays was going camping for the first time as a family.
Our friend Danielle asked us and came up with a solution for us not having a tent so I said, heck why not! And it was the best decision ever!!

I must admit I was a bit apprehensive about how the kids would be, since this was their first time camping. It was also the first time since I had been camping since I was a teenager so I was a little worried about how I would like it too!!

So on Dec 27th we headed off to Parakai Springs Camping Ground. Undecided how long we would stay and going with a fully flexible mind.

There was between 3 and 8 tents in our group the whole time. Loads of kids and adults to keep all of us busy and entertained. We stayed until Jan 2nd.

Sleeping in a tent was such a great novelty! The kids really loved it. Plus it's fun to play with torches when it gets dark!!

Watergun fights were a daily occurrence. There were a few ice fights in there as well!

Camp fires were a must have, even though on night three were were told by camp management that we weren't allowed any more. I sorta became un-official fire starter. We didn't have any paper so the kids were sent on dry leaf and stick collecting explorations. Just so you guys know ... eucalyptus leaves burn really well and smell nice too!!

With camp fires comes marshmellow toasting! mmmmm YUMMY!

And then there was the swimming! I am pretty nervous when it comes to water and my kids. Camping at the beach would have been a stressful horrible time for me I think. Camping at Parakai was AWESOME. When we went swimming EVERYONE went to the pool together. It was so much fun. The kids loved it. Much better than freaking out about the kids with the beach near by!!

One of the last days we drove out to the Macadamia Nut Farm - Mac Nut Farms. The Macadamia ice cream and milkshakes were soooo yummy!! There is a little walk where you can head down to this amazing Lily Pond. It was just really cool there. And lovely to head away from camp for the day.

Of course we also had lots of just chillin' and relaxing time. I don't think I did half as much reading as I would have liked (and probably drank a bit too much cider!)

All in all it was a fabulous holiday. We loved it so much we are looking into getting our own tent and everything for next year!!!


Anonymous said...

How totally wonderful! Good on you for taking that step and going camping with your kids for the first time. They will so remember this time with fondness, made all that much better by being part of a group. Awesome stuff xoxox

Leonie said...

Awesome Tracy! It looks like a great place to go!
We are planning to go camping next summer after a couple of years off. It is such fun.

PaisleyJade said...

Sounds like you had such a great time! I grew up camping with my family but we havent plucked up enough courage to do it yet with our tribe.

Alisa said...

Looks like you had a blast Tracy. I love a good camping adventure.

We went the last two summers and LOVED it.. but sadly this year due to our camping friends not being able to go we don't get to this summer. Maybe next year.

Sima J said...

Fun :-)What a great idea :-) I love/hate camping it is a pain to set up/pack down but it's so much fun if you can be bothered to make the effort! :-)

jacksta said...

so glad you had a relaxing time. Especially after a busy year setting up shop. xx

mandyb said...

such a fun trip...loved seeing your pics on fb!!!!

and esp love that pic of you at the end reading!!!

enjoying sending those kids back to school and some YOU time xx

Neetz said...

Glad you guys had a ball! :) We love camping..its awesome! xxxx

Debbie Buckland said...

I can't wait till the 4th when the kids go back to school and NOT looking forward to the nagging etc either. But the thing I don't like most is the Waitangi Day break and the teachers struck that we will have after that. Just not fair really I just get them out of my hair and I have to have them home again. Agh!

Jenny said...

Just wonderful Tracy and I'm so pleased that you had a great time

Brenda said...

Hi Tracy,
Im here from NZ Paper chase hook up. I Love your pics especially the watergun ones, camping out with the kids is so much fun. Looks like everyone had a ball. lol at the too much cider, but thats just part of it huh. Happy memories.