Surrendering to play this Labour Weekend

Yes we have chores to do and some of them are getting accomplished, but on the whole we have been making the most of this long weekend to spend some good quality time together as a family. Dan and I are feeling shattered and sometimes the unstoppable energy of our children is simply exhausting to watch; but when we get out and do something together we all (mostly!) feel energized. So yesterday, after doing a clear-out and putting together some things to donate for the upcoming school fair, we went over to the school field to play.

Give children a big open field to play in and their spirits come alive. All tension evaporates and leaves behind smiles and laughter. It’s also a bonus that our local field (the school field) has a couple of flying foxes, a sand-pit, adventure playground and swings. It’s also surrounded in bush, teeming with bird-life and winding walkways. We are very fortunate indeed. Whilst we were there the school care-taker came up to say hello, as he lives next to the school, and told us about the wonderful community vegetable patch that’s been started up. It’s amazing what people can achieve when they pull together. LOVE IT!

We had great fun and Alice loved watching us whizz past on the flying fox, whilst chomping on grass and daises like a happy calf grazing in a lush field.

Flying fox

Today we packed up the car as though we were going on holiday and headed out. First stop was Karori swimming pool, where the hydro slide (new in 2010) and spa (that children are permitted to go in) are real winners. There’s also a great range of small pools for the little’uns, with shallow, warm pools and slightly deeper ones to practice swimming. Charlotte and Sophie are quite game on these days and enjoyed swimming in the cooler, large pool too. Charlotte was trying to give her Daddy a few pointers on freestyle 😉 Alice is so at home in the water and totally unfazed.

We normally head to the pool nearer our home (the Spray Pool in Kilbirnie), but after meeting up with Meghan and her family (of MNM’s blog) last weekend, we are favouring Karori. The air temperature feels warmer and the slide is a real hit. Plus the spa pool definitely raises the body temperature, making a dip in the cooler pool a little easier.

Before Alice conked out for shut-eye in the pool we headed off to Zealandia (formerly Karori Sanctuary) for a lovely lunch and a look around the fabulous exhibition. We were all feeling too tired for walking far, so after lunch we picked up a couple of cheap pocket kites from the gift shop and spent half an hour making the most of the wind.

Kite flying at Karori

We have joined up as members, so that we can pop in and out without feeling the pressure to get our monies worth – as a single visit for a family isn’t that cheap. It’s such a worthwhile project to support and the 500 year vision to restore the valley to it’s pre-human level of flora and fauna is inspirational. The predator proof fence that encircles the sanctuary is visible in some of these photographs.

Kite flying at Zealandia

As we headed homeward we made the impromptu decision to stop at Carlucci Land for a game of mini-golf.

Carlucci Land mini-golf

I wish I’d taken the decent camera with me as there are hundreds of captivating things to capture. Never mind, I made do with my phone camera. Every time we visit there’s a new sculpture or some development to further add to the appeal.

Carlucci Land sculptures

There are plans for a coffee machine to be installed and once that’s in place, Carlucci Land will be bustling with visitors who will want to linger for much more than the mini-golf. The water fall flowing down to the outdoor seating area makes for a very scenic and atmospheric spot for a cuppa.

Water fall at Carlucci Land and outdoor seating area

We had a fun game (well Alice and I watched – with Alice tasting random stones, trying to eat the golf ball and climbing on the sculptures). It’s great to go to a mini-golf place not JUST for the golf. The sculptures are what make it for me. It’s wonderful to see so much ‘junk’ turned into art – very, very inspiring.

Playing golf at Carlucci Land

Tomorrow is Labour Day and us girls are looking forward to having the man of the house home for an extra day. He’s absolutely exhausted from working to midnight and beyond most night’s last week and could do with some catch up naps – but if the past two day’s are anything to go by the chance of a nap is not looking very likely! He’s off out tonight to play a game of soccer, which will at least give him some ‘man time’ from all the squawking in the house. Poor love, his girls run him ragged. Let’s just hope they look after him well in his old age!

I said to him today, ‘We’re not even in our forties yet and the grey hairs are beginning to play peek-a-boo in my browns and your hair is thinning at the temples.’ Children hey, they keep us young in spirit but definitely contribute to the ageing process on a physical level. I’m so enjoying the ‘Encouragement for the Journey‘ series on Cate’s ‘Moments of Whimsey’ blog. I shall have to refer back to some of the great guest posts being contributed as the year’s go by!

Encouragement of the Journey

For now, Dan and I are surrendering to play and trying to get the chores done in between!