Thursday, January 19, 2012

A fortnight's trippin' in the North: Tukituki Camp

All of my siblings are married with multiple children, and as a collective we're becoming quite a pack -- too large to comfortably stay at any one of our homes for any length of time. This New Year, four of the five children in my immediate family, with their spouses and offspring, joined my parents at a super-cheap camp site ($8 per adult, per night) set up for large groups;

Tukituki:
Having left the monster in Hamilton (although we were still limping from the battle...Haki the most), we were free to enjoy our summer camp reunion.  And it rained...and rained.  With four sets of preschoolers (plus two schoolies) confined indoors, away from home routines, it rained.

And that was okay.

I can't help but smile as I look back over the photos.
(Esky, far left)
Even though much of what we undertook proved quite a task to execute...it was glorious (e.g. Haki made and flipped stacks and stacks of pancakes for his morning on breakfast...with a fork.  The next picture is not of that breakfast).
Here's our family, camped out in our mini-fortress:
(Esky, Ivy and Haki)

The star of the week?  A pile of old mattresses in the corner of the main hall;
Used as: forts, jumping platforms, sliding pads, crash pads, a napping zone, and a "mountain," I think of all that went down during the week at Tukituki, I would not be surprised if these musty old softies were what was remembered most fondly by the kiddilicks in years to come.

Tukituki is close to the National Aquarium;
(me and Esky)
(Esky, still watching the turtles)
The giant sea turtle, seahorses and "Nemo" especially impressed a hyper Esky.

Back at camp, we face-painted;
(me in the light green, up front...yeah, there's officially a queue to me)
Aunty Mariah led bake-time;
There was always something to do;
Or something to watch;
...and watch;
We ventured out to Splash Planet, too (on another mediocre weather day, but who cares?!).  "Tiny Town" was Esky's favourite feature;

(Me watching Esky run through a tunnel)
I looooooved taking Esky down hydroslides for the first time!  I loved going down hydroslides with my nieces, nephews...and husband!  We hadn't done that together before, and our anniversary was the day we spent splashin'. 

It was also high time I got my girl in a li'l boat with me (I used to row religiously);
Uncle Jeremy, Aunty Yvonne and Nana set up a treasure hunt for the pack in a field of haybales.  See the pack run:
Run, Esky!
Success!
 
This picture of my nephew is one of my favourites from the entire week:

The girls continued to amuse each other during wait-times (this wait-time = the search was on for one final bag of treasure hunt candy in a very big field);


On one semi-fine day (late in the piece), in the absence of any hose, the uncles carried pots of water to the water slide;
On our final day there (more magic happened after we moved on to our next stop), we roasted S'mores...and the same nephew is the subject is one of my other favourte photos (and I haven't even seen the photos taken by my talented brother-in-law on the fancy schmance camera yet!)
Final swings on the tyre swing:
My sister...with three children -- not-a-one being one of her three.  Love it.
  (Ivy on Erika's lap, playing with her cousin's shirt)
Here's one of the talented brothers-in-law I was telling you about (it was in small type, you should read that stuff y'know)...I haven't even seen this photo...
...from the front yet.

So yes, there will be a post script to this post at a later date.  Embrace it.

Final notes:
  • Golly, there are a lot of ants up North. 
  • My siblings married good people.
  • My husband is "good people" and is a legend for being so at home amongst my blood and their loved ones.  Oh man, I adore you, Honey.
Even going into that week with fatigma and a weary digestive system, I felt energised and grateful to be near this bunch.  Gosh I love 'em.

Final chapter, up next:  A wedding.  A wedding where Esky is a reluctant flower girl. Aw.
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