© 2017 mikeandbrynne

Sabbath Drive

Sabbath Drive-

Somehow Lily woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Occasionally she reminds us that she really is two. She wanted nothing but to be held by me which made getting everyone ready for church quite a challenge. The only thing that brought a smile to her face was going to see the pigs on the farm. Incidentally she was a gem all through church!  Go figure. 

The highlight of the morning was Stefanos raspberry pancakes which Daisie announced that she would happily indulge in every morning. 

A short drive took us to the Matauri Bay Branch. What a lovely branch. Taylor got to play the piano and the kids thought the two hour block was a fun novelty for vacation. We stayed outside visiting with the members long after the meeting concluded as they encouraged us to just stay in their area for the next few days as they had beautiful uncrowded beaches.

A quick drive down to Matauri Bay confirmed their recommendations. Gorgeous beach with a great surf break. Thankfully, it began to rain just as we arrived otherwise it would have been a serious temptation for the boys to just paddle out!  

We had a long Sunday drive south from the east coast to the west coast. On our way we passed so many places that warranted a tramp and an adventure!  We only had time to stop at two:

1- Whangarei Falls-Beautiful falls right in the city with super easy access. 

2-Waipu Cave-This was another one of New Zealand’s magical surprises–A large unmanned cave just off a dirt road full of stalactites and stalagmites. So dark that it swallowed up our head lamps and so slippery that we dare not take 6 children to  the end of the maze, Waipu Cave offered quite the adventure. Just a short scamper through the water and over rocks  took us to a cavern filled with a Milky Way galaxy of glow worms over our heads. Surreal. Awesome. We tried without success to get a picture in the darkness of these incredible bioluminescent creatures but it was one of those moments you just had to capture and hold in your mind and heart. We were all so sad to leave but with only two kids covered in mud (we were hoping for no more slips and slides) and a long drive still ahead we had to leave further cave exploring for another day. 

In the small towns and villages of New Zealand it is hard to find any grocery stores. On top of that it is almost hard to find anything open past 7p. This has already caused us some grief (remember the top ramen meal–it wasn’t our last). This Sunday evening we ended up with nothing but McDonald’s. I tried to be grateful.  The kids were starving and thought they had received manna from heaven. It was late when we drove into a fog filled Piha and were welcomed into our hostel-Piha Beachstay. I had a little trepidation about having Lily in the hostel but she was lovely and the owner, Geoff, had a whole bin of toys in the front room that she was thrilled with. Luke loved his bunk room with the big boys and it was far too late when they finished playing cards and chess in the common room and called it a night.

Jake loved this sign on the wall in the common room-