Friday, January 16, 2009

Summer in New Zealand: Week 2

Packed up the kids and went camping at Kaitoke Regional Park, which was the filming location for 
Rivendell and the Fords of Isen in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Set up tents by the river and went tramping
in native bush forest, which is filled with fern trees - a national emblem of New Zealand.

Mom watching over Carter as he fights through the jungle to save his auntie Stella!

Deven shows off his latest acquired artwork - a temporary site installation
via SPF 30 - by his buddy James.

James and Deven conquer the river, but despite their efforts, sandflies are abound! But the crystal clear water
and bright, warm sun made it a perfect day.

Deven demonstrates his cannonball jump into the refreshing Pakuratahi River.

Sophia manages to find a comfortable spot in the Pakuratahi River, which drains into the larger Hutt River.

Deven, Rick and Carter stand on a swing bridge over the Hutt River, which provides most of the municipal
water for Wellington.

Snuggled up in a sleeping bag, Sophia sleeps with her eye's partially open...or is she awake and spying on me
with her little tiger?

Roasted Leg of New Zealand Lamb! Made with garlic, lemon and rosemary - not too shabby for a first time try.

The family enjoying a home made dinner of roasted lamb, smashed red potatoes, broccoli and of course some vino!

Sophia and I made some delicious peanut butter cookies.

After a morning run, I saw Carter awake in his parents bed through the window.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Summer in New Zealand: Week 1

After a 12-hour flight from LA to Auckland, I boarded a 12 person plane for an hour
flight to the river town of Wanganui to visit my sister and her family. The town is 
located on the west coast of the North Island, about 7 hours south of Auckland. 

My first day with the kids: Carter-2, Deven-10, and Sophia-8. I arrived on a sunny New Year's Eve day
and being with the kids made it one of the best yet!

Little Carter fell asleep at a picnic outing on New Year's Day.

The other kids, Sophia, James, Mika, and Deven had heaps of fun climbing trees via New Zealand!

Sophia and her adopted auntie Alice, who is a glass artist and the hip mother of James.

The day after New Year's Day is a holiday in New Zealand, so we had a bbq at the house. Carter approves
of the sausage-on-a-stick and being surrounded by the women of Wanganui: Mom - artist extraordinaire,
Alice - a glass artist, Sheila - a painter and her mother April - a ceramicist. 

Me and the little one. When he isn't sucking on his index and middle finger, his favorite word for 
EVERYTHING is Nooooooo!

Sophia couldn't resist the last little bit of pink marshmallow on her cheek.

Even in summer it rains, but the kids make it fun and entertaining during an outing to the farmer's market.

Uuuugh! Carter struggles as he attempts to open up a tin box from the wrong side.
But he doesn't know it and he just looks so stinking cute!