Brad and I were sitting at the Hasting Top ten Holiday Park this past weekend with some of the other parents from Skyler's soccer team. We were in shorts and t-shirts, as the weather was 75 degrees. The kids were busy doing their best belly flops in the pool. We were enjoying our ice cold beers, and I faintly heard some catchy music in the background. So I listened harder and heard this " I wish you a Merry Christmas..I wish you a Merry Christmas...". Brad and I turned to each other with eyes wide open and smiles on our faces. It is still a surreal feeling for us Midwest and East coast Americans to associate Christmas with warm weather. I have to constantly remind myself that it is Christmas time, and that I need to be getting ready for the Holidays. We do not have the daily reminders that the states has. There are no slavation army bell ringers at every store, homes are not decorated with red and green lights, the radio stations do not play Christmas songs, and no holiday parties at the schools. To some this may sound Bah humbug, but to others the Christmas season here is just perfect. There is nothing draining here about the Holidays. Warm weather, sunshine, the beach, and extraordinary scenery take the place of shopping and spending. However, we do miss the exciting anticipation, and Christmas buzz that hangs in the air back home. We will be getting our fill of Christmas craziness that the states is so known for in a few days as we head back home to be with family, that we so dearly miss.
So you might be wondering what Christmas in NZ looks like. Well here is an example......
This was a trip we took last holiday break with some good friends. Kuratau, a quaint little community on the SW corner of Lake Taupo. We rented a house together and biked, hiked, ran, swam and kayaked all week long. It is a rough life we live here in NZ.
|The road heading into Kuratau.|
|Owen and good buddy Chester|
|This was a storm we watched from the beach rolling in from the east.|
|Owen riding a wave|
|Walking home from the beach.|
|Trying to get Sky back on her surf board, she has been so busy with her running and soccer that her surfboard has been collecting dust in the garage.|
|Sky had her best season with cross country this year, a few first place finishes and placed in the top ten in the overall Taranaki championship|
|My view from one of my runs near Mt. Maunganui.|
|Our annual Halloween Party was great fun. We managed to get close to 20 houses this year for the kids to trick or treat.|
|Our Thanksgiving Dinner with 100 of our closest friends!! Hosted by The Viners, friends of ours that moved here from KY.|
|Their new minature pony.|
|Skylers not so normal Thanksgiving meal. Fresh strawberries, sushi, and potato casserole.|
|The grommets from Boardriders.|
|Lindsey and her horse Buddy.|
|Sky was the MVP of the U11 Taranaki Girls Represenative Team|
|A view of Oakura from up above.|
|Cape Kidnappers in the background.|
|The town is known for its art deco buildings. There was a earthquake that leveled the town in 1933, and the town was rebuilt using art deco architecture.|
|The New Zealand Christmas Tree. The Pohutakawa.|