All these virtues were met with reward on Sunday.
Patience was Charli waiting a year to grow the 110cm minimum height requirement to go on the simulator rides at Te Papa museum; The Deep Ride and The High Ride. On Sunday morning the tape measure did not lie. It revealed the extra Weet-bix in the morning had successfully assisted with those all important extra millimetres. Charli was so excited and Sophie was so pleased for her too.
Dan went on with her, whilst I kept Sophie company, and they were not disappointed. Charli said The Deep Ride was fun and she learned a lot.
- From ‘Our Space’ at Te Papa:
‘Around 80% of New Zealand’s territory is under water. But more people have travelled to the moon than have explored the depths around the Brothers underwater volcano.
Almost two kilometres deep in the Kermadec Arc, the Brothers volcano is one of the most spectacular hunting grounds for underwater volcanic activity and weird deep-sea critters.
With renowned scientist and adventurer Dr Cornel de Ronde to guide you, join the hunt for deep-sea black smokers and erupting volcanoes from the safety of our deep-sea vehicle simulator.’
And The High Ride left Dan shaking and sweating, whilst Charli was high as a kite on adrenaline. At the end of the ride the operator said, ‘Well someone really enjoyed that ride!’ and Charli piped up, at the top of her lungs, ‘Yeh! That was ME!’.
From ‘Our Space’ at Te Papa:
Imagine the most exciting clips from the Our Space media bank.
The thrills of extreme sports, free running, flying foxes.
The nostalgia of trundling over cattlestops, sliding down grassy hills.
Clips that ride back in time.
Clips that go all around and under New Zealand.
Now imagine you enter the Wall and live these scenes first hand.
That’s the High Ride.
After the thrills and spills we enjoyed surveying the weekend events surrounding the current Formula One exhibition. The girls sat in a racing kart and Dan picked up a leaflet, discovering that for children, age six and up, there are racing karts and clubs to join (he was enthusiastically egging Charli on for a weekend spin on the track!). I am betting on getting my first gray hairs before I turn forty at this rate!
They also sat, with amazing concentration (second virtuous act of the day), for half an hour or so designing their own race cars as part of the F1 design competition. For their efforts they were each given a smart pull-back racing car (which Sophie then delighted in letting rip across the foyer nearly tripping up a few passers by – we quickly retreated to a quiet corner!). Charli’s interesting feature was a lollipop steering wheel – presumably to give the driver sustained energy and concentration with a sugar rush high as the car spins around the track. Sophie called her car, ‘Whale Car’ as it was able to go under water.
After such a fun morning we headed off for a Yum Cha lunch, followed by ice-cream, before heading home feeling quite soporific. The weather had turned to overcast with the outlook of rain and it was hard to motivate ourselves to do anything, though we knew that a good walk would sort us out. After two week’s of sun and no rain down on the coast the garden was hanging out for a downpour, but we didn’t know what to do with ourselves. We muttered the word ‘walk’ half-heartedly, but it was Charli who really took the word and put it into action. With trainers on she flung open the front door and said, ‘Come on!’. We walked down the hill looking at the track running up the other side of the valley with foreboding. There was a mean southerly blowing through the valley, but we knew we’d be sheltered in the bush.
Here is where the virtue of motivation came into play. Charli and Sophie strode up the track, leaving Dan and I in their footsteps, hearing the occasional call of, ‘Come on Mum and Dad!’. We’ve often told them of all the three or four day tramps we’ve done around New Zealand and how one day, when they are old enough, we’d take them – but we have also admitted that by the time they are strong enough we will probably be trailing behind – rendezvousing at a later point at a hut for the night.
So, we pulled ourselves up the hill, with Dan wondering when his post soccer legs (from the day before) were going to ease up. But, after ten minutes or so we felt that euphoric lift that fresh air and exercise never fail to bring and our bodies fell into rhythm with the contours of the land. By the time we reached the top (and were reunited with the howling southerly) we felt truly alive and the post lunch lethargy was long forgotten.
The walk took us an hour, beginning to end, and we were so impressed with the girls striding it out with such stamina. Thanks to Charli’s motivational spirit we all felt immensely alive and refreshed. We got home before the rain descended and tucked into a hearty dinner of home-made, gourmet burgers and salad.