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Sorry it took so long for me to return to my journal but we have been busy.  This entry might be very long but I will split into two entries, so here goes.....

27/2 Monday

Chris Van Meer had a beauty appointment in Rangiora so I accompanied her, more to have some time to explore, she went for her treatment and would have been about one hour.  I was looking for a book with toilet humour for Bailey as he is getting to that age.  I found one in Paper Plus called Why Dogs Sniff Bottoms.  A hilarious tail about dogs going to a dance and being asked to leave their bottoms at the door, then the fire alarm went off and they all picked the wrong bottom, so now they smell all bottoms to see if they can find their own.  Well written with pictures and I am sure her will love it.

Christine and I went to the Blue Rooster Cafe for coffee.

28/2 Tuesday

Stef had to get a WOF ( MOT) for her car and we took it down to Northwood Shopping Centre in Belfast.  We had a good look round at all the shops before returning for the car.  Went to Esquires for a coffee and they don't do loyalty/business cards, this is the first time this has happened and I don't have a card for my travel journal.

29/2 Wednesday

Stef had been dissappointed with her heair cut and the hairdresser suggested she return today so Mr T and Leo and Baby Cora headed for Chipmunks (a soft play area for small and larger kids.  Plenty of slides and ball swamps galore.  Also a shooting range for ball which used air pressure and the kids in there seemed to be having loads of fun.  The noise was quite bad so Cora's sleep was disturbed but she had lots to look at so she was amused and the time passed quickly, Mum soon appeared and we had survived.

I was in charge of tea tonight so I made a chicken and Brocolli Bake which went down well.

Paula and Cheryl (Stef's friend Kylie's Mum ) came over and we did some quilting.  The men watched football in the other room.

1/3 Thursday

Antz had another golf day, this man has a great job!!!!  We were packing for our week-end away in Geraldine with The family and Chris and Theo.  Tommy spent a lot of time cleaning the bathrooms as Stef's cleaning lady normally does these but Stef is going to ask her to wipe down all the kitchen units tomorrow instead.

Tommy and I won't be returning to Kaiapoi after Geraldine.  We are taking Stef's car on Tuesday and heading off until Friday,  staying 2 nights with SERVAS hosts in Dunedin and then one night in a Motel in Timaru.  Tommy and I have been members of SERVAS for 5 years now and were introdduced by our special friends in Wellington.  We have met many wonderful people through this organisation.

Both children at school today which made the cleaning and packing a lot easier.

2/3 Friday

Quite a fraughtful morning with over-excited children and parents with short tempers trying to get everything done whilst feeding baby, playing a trumpet and organising cars, so the kids were decanted to Nana and Poppa's, they stay at the beginning of Stef's estate and have a wonderful street name of Magnolia Boulevard.

We eventually set off about 11am.  Antz and Tommy with Ella,  Chritine, Theo and Leo, and then Stef, Miss Cora and Myself. 

Stopped after about one hour at Rakaia Salmon World Cafe.  Had lunch and a toilet stop for big kids and smaller alike. 

Set off again and we were following Antz, well he took what I thought was a wrong turni but Stef said he is probably taking the scenis route for you.   But then after about an hour he turned again and headed back to join the other road.  This was a slight detour but the scenery was magical,  the Alps in the distance and they had a dusting of snow.   We all eventually met up in Geralding town centre and Antz said that Stef should have flashed her lights when he took the wrong turning.

Got direction for the Farmyard Hoilday Centre in the I-site and we were to head straight through Geralding until we came to COACH ROAD.  Antz was in front and Theo next and what did they do..... they run past Coach Road.  Stef flashed and blew her horn and flashed again and honked again, no one took a blind bit of notice.  We just pulled over and she phoned A and told him to turn around, so eventually we made it to Farmyard Holiday Park.
By the time we were all together we were laughing so heartily and we were all saying 'well so much for flashing lights eh!!!!!!!'.

Stef had prepared a meal of meatballs yesterday and we had them for dinner tonight, all eating in the cottage which Stef, Antz and the kids had, Theo and Chris and Tommy and I had a studio unit per each couple.  Lovely wee seslf contained unit which would have slept 7 easily.  It had hob and microwave and kettle and fridge, really everything you needed.  We were to be based here from the Friday to the Tuesday.

After dinner we made a fire in the fire pit area and roasted marshmallows.  The younger children had never had them before and Ella and Leo couldn't wait for the next one to be ready and were shouting  to be first for the next roasted one.



3/3 Saturday

Torrential rain overnight which was part of a storm coming over from Sydney, we have got off lightly mind you when we see the photos on the TV of the devastation in NSW.  The north of the North Island has also been hit and some damage reported there.

The day brightened and we headed to Geraldine to explore the farmers market and a woodchopping competition which impressed the men.



The men waited on and watched the lumberjacks and jills and us women went to the supermarket for supplies.   We all bought wine,  I bought a McGuigans Private Bin Merlot, which turned out to be good.  Stef bought more marshmallows for the children too.

When we returned to the camp the quad bikes were set up for the kids and they had a great time with their Dad,  the quads are the only things to be paid for for the kids,  they have animals and playground and donkey rides and they are all free.  The rides are $3 each and Nana and Poppa paid today so Mr T and I will pay tomorrow.



The men also made the fire and toasted the mallows tonight whilst us 'girls' had a glass of wine and bedded baby and some time to chat.

4/3 Sunday

Donkey rides at 9.30 and the children had such a good time, this was all they spoke of for some considerable time today.

The proprietor suggested a ride out to Pleasant Point today (sounds a bit like a place Jessica Fletcher might visit) where there was an historic railway.  Problem is the railway only runs every second week and guess which week this was.  But anyway a very nice village and lovely Legends Pub which is full of memorabillia.











After lunch at Pleasant Point we headed along the road a wee bit to see the Maori Rock Art, but as it had a bit of a climb, Christine and me stayed behind with the car.  Stef took some photos for me and at least I can have a look at them.  This is the place that Billy Connolly spoke of on his journey round New Zealand.





Ella sang the New Zealand National Anthem in Moari for us whilst we were travelling, she says she will sing again so we get it on video for the folks back home.



We then headed to Kakhu Bush and to see the Lime Kiln there.  Antz had a walkabout here and the rest of us headed back.

Will leave it here, back soon.

  • Very good indeed. I'd been wondering what stage of your travels you were up to. Geraldine sure sounds like an interesting place to explore - we didn't see any of the things you saw.
    Hope the rest of your time goes well. Will be watching to hear about Dunedin and the Servas hosts. When do you leave our shores?
    • Go home on 21st, have had a great time and wonderful weather. Speak soon. x
  • I stayed at the Farmyard Holiday Park in Geraldine a long time ago when my boys were young and it was great for children. Sounds like everyone had a good time.
  • How to join

    (Anonymous)
    Hi. I am cruising your blog and can't figure out how to be a follower? Karen Schulz
    • Re: How to join

      Don't think you can 'follow' as such Karen but if you just leave your name or your blog address if you comment I'll know it's you. See you tomorrow night.
  • Great post

    (Anonymous)
    We plan to be in that area next summer. I shall look up these places, they look like fun!
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