A wandering Christmas – Part two

We woke on the morning of Christmas eve and we had one very excited little boy bouncing around the bus with dreams of Santa in his little head. I was extremely happy that we had a busy day ahead that would hopefully give all that energy a good outlet and the ultimate in parenting wins a happy but tired little person who would fall straight to sleep that night. Because owing to limited places to hide presents and limited time away from child to procure and hide said presents I had hidden them all away unwrapped, and unwrapped they still were. A rookie parenting mistake really leaving all the wrapping till Xmas eve.

Our first stop of the day was only accessible an hour and a half either side of low tide which on this day was at ten thirty. So we were on the road bright and early before joining the crowds of people who were also exploring the Cathedral Cave that morning. The cave is a sea cave and access is through private land so there is a small charge to use the road and track down to the beach. After a quick chat with the friendly parking attendant and a pleasant 1 km walk down through the bush we emerged onto a gorgeous beach.


When the tide is in it comes right up to the cliffs where the caves are so there’s only a small window each day where they are able to be explored, we arrived with plenty of time to wander around and I am so glad we did. The first cave you come to is the Cathedral cave and it’s actually two caves that have joined so you can walk in one entrance and out the other. But there are numerous caves as you stroll along the cliffs edge, some large, some small, some very wet and some awfully smelly. And yes in case you were wondering we poked our noses in all of them.

coming out of the cathedral caves
a cave monster
Even the cold, cold water didn’t stop us

This spot was by far my favourite place we visited on the Catlins, it’s truly amazing how nature can create something like this with just the water, the weather and a whole lot of time. I don’t always agree with being charged to visit beaches, they just feel like places that everyone should be free to visit, but in this case I can see why. The number of people who were there in the time we visited and how dangerous it would be if people went on the wrong tide mean it needs to be monitored. And if the $11 we paid helps to preserve this place and keep it as pristine as it was then I am more than happy to pay.

Rock climbing


After the caves we stopped at a couple of short walks, one to the Tautoko Estaury and one to Lake Wilkie. Then all that was left was a stop at a lookout to admire another sweet little beach down and on to where we would spend Xmas day. Papatowai is a DOC site that’s nestled right beside the estuary and we conveniently found a space right by the track to the beach to make camp. The remainder of our day was spent at the beach where we all braved the icy waters for a swim. Then after the food had been set out for Santa and his trusty reindeer, Oliver headed off to bed and fell asleep in the delightfully quick way that only a tired child can.

The big day itself was the most relaxed and enjoyable day. Of course there was the fun of watching Oliver wake to discover the presents under the tree and the joyous excitement of discovering what’s in those parcels. Then after breakfast we headed out for a walk to some waterfalls and a visit to Purakaunui beach. There’s a DOC camp at Purakaunui and it would be an amazing place to stay but it would take a while to get the bus in along the dirt road so really not worth it for the two nights we had. But the beach and the big rocky cliffs beyond are a sight to behold. After a bit of time playing at Purakaunui we headed back to the bus for a late bbq lunch, an afternoon spent playing with Oliver’s new toys, another swim and a bit more yummy food to end our day. This night as we tucked our tired boy into bed he told us it was the best christmas ever. It’s the most wonderful, reassuring thing to know that just the three of us, hanging out at the beach and enjoying each other is really all that he needs to achieve that. That for me is the best Xmas gift I could have received.

Purakaunui Falls
Purakaunui Beach
A boy and a beach


Back at the beach

We had spent three weeks in Nelson and after over two months of travelling it felt like the longest time. Luckily for us the opportunity for work in Blenheim came up and we were on the move again. So we left Nelson on a friday hoping to find somewhere off grid and interesting to spend the weekend. The first spot we stopped at would have been a lovely summer spot, but one of winter’s major drawbacks for us is a lot of grassy camps are just to waterlogged and soft for us now, this one we gave a wide berth as you could clearly see other people had been stuck. We arrived at Rarangi beach just before the sun started to drop and just in time to squeeze in a short walk on the beach. Instantly we knew we had hit the jackpot again in this camping spot. The campsite itself is a perfect winter site – gravel to park on! Though we didn’t quite get a beach view from our spot it was just a few steps away and it’s a glorious rocky affair, with views of the hills and snowy mountains in the distance.


Saturday morning passed quickly, Oliver is well used to what new spots mean now and he is quick to jump on his bike, grab Dad and head off to see what they can find. Here there was a playground and pump track just up the road and a cave at the far end of the beach. I made the most of a bit of quiet time at the bus, gave everything a good clean and tidy up, did some baking and enjoyed a small break from the million questions a five year old continually fires your way. After lunch we were keen for a walk so we headed to Wither hills farm park in Blenheim. There are lots of walks in the park and we easily found one to suit our needs. Oliver was charmed by the stepping stones over the stream that we had to cross numerous times and the occasional sighting of some sheep. We squeezed in a short visit to Pollard park to try out the playground before heading back to our spot for the night.

Sunday was another gorgeous sunny day, even the last few nights had not been that cold, I now think the weather was lulling us in to a false sense of security before it delivered another wintry blast. We checked out the Blenheim farmers market in the morning, which was small but had a good range of produce and a few other bits and pieces. Oliver really enjoys shopping at farmers markets now, he’s keen to help pick out the apples he wants and choose the biggest broccoli he can find, like me I think he finds it a far more appealing way to shop than a supermarket. Once we had made it back to the bus with our purchases we decided to head to the end of the beach where the boys had found there cave and then go for a short walk around to a spot called Monkey bay. Monkey bay was tiny but interesting, it had a sea cave that you could walk a small way in to when the tide was out and sea the waves washing through from the other side. Also some more of those views you could just stand and stare at for the longest time.


From Rarangi beach it’s just a short ten minute drive to White’s Bay, a beach we had visited with my parents on our second day in the south island and we did head there for a short time that afternoon to walk on the beautiful sandy beach and explore the rock pools along the edge of the bay. I find it fascinating that these two beaches are so close together yet polar opposites, one white sand and fairly sheltered beach, the other a vast stretch of rocks as far as the eye can see and waves that you can hear crashing in on the beach at night. This diversity and contrast is where a lot of the famed south island beauty lies I think. You don’t have a chance to get bored with the views because they change often.

This weekend made me appreciate our moveable home on a new level. Even when we are having to remain in one spot for work we still have the ability to just head somewhere interesting and spend a few days exploring, no need to pack bags or book accommodation. No extra expense apart from the petrol which in this case we would have used anyway coming to Blenheim for work. Most of all the luxury of having your home with you wherever it is you choose to stop, so whatever the weather brings or what mood strikes you once you are there you are prepared for it all. This freedom means that it doesn’t have to feel like we have stopped travelling for a while, the adventure doesn’t have to pause just because we have.

Standing still for a moment

As our second month on the road drew to a close it was time for a pause in our travels while Wayne did a stint of work. And as much as we are loving travelling in the bus it was nice to park up knowing we would be in one place for more than a few nights. We have been moving fairly consistently for the last two months, most of the time only staying a few nights at each place, so a slightly more long term spot was a new part of our journey. It will be a nice change of pace and I imagine it will ensure we don’t lose our enchantment with the travelling since we will have these times that we have to pause for a bit. We don’t have any big plans for our time here but it kind of suits us to take each day as it comes, means we can make the most of what the weather brings us and what moods we wake up in. The idea of Wayne heading off to work again was the side of this that we were NOT looking forward to. But work is a necessary evil, even when you live the gypsy life so we would cope somehow.

The first day of just Oliver and I hanging out again was surprisingly lovely. The moment when Dad arrived home and Oliver flew out the door to greet him with an ‘I’ve really missed you Daddy’ was even more lovely. We are back to having cold nights, crisp icy mornings but warm sunny days. Which is great, because when your house is super small the outdoors becomes a huge part of your life. The days are easy to fill with bike rides, walks to the park or trips to one of Nelson’s beaches. As well as trying to get in a bit more quiet time at home, playing board games or drawing or just playing with some of the toys that have been largely ignored since moving in to the bus. I remember worrying about how we would fit in toys when we were in the planning stages of this, as it turned out storage is not an issue with our bus so we had ample room for them. But if you are considering this life for your family and won’t have the storage we do, do not worry about cramming in to many toys. Our ever changing environment and the great outdoors are more of a draw card. The odd time that he does get out some of his favourites for a little while it is sweet but doesn’t absorb him the way it used to. Though we do sometimes have a fire engine or a race car tag along with us when we go for a walk, particularly when there is likely to be puddles involved.

We are also taking advantage of being close to a major centre to make sure we are ready to spend the winter in the bus. Our first few real frosts arrived this week and they were shockingly cold, there was ice on the inside of our big roof hatch one morning and it has spurred us on to get things done that we hadn’t gotten around to yet. First on the list was a bit of an upgrade for our winter bedding, Tauranga winter’s are quite mild so a good quality extra blanket for Oliver’s bed and a woolen underlay for ours, plus flannelette sheets all round were definitely called for. We have introduced Oliver to the joy of a hot water bottle and he slides into bed with sighs of delight at the cosy warmth of the sheets. Before we leave Nelson and head towards the colder end of the island we will cross a few more jobs off our list in the hopes that it will make the cold more bearable. I feel like we have jumped head first in to what is probably the most challenging part of living in a bus, doing it in winter. We have a fair bit of insulation in our roof but none in the walls or floor. A whole lot of windows to let our heat out and collect condensation overnight. As well as a few spots, like the hatch to the garage under our bed, where you can actually feel little draughts of cold air seeping in when it’s really icy. But I tell my self that if it gets too much to bear as we head further down the South Island that we can always drive back to Nelson, there is quite a community of people who live full time in there motor homes who choose to winter over here so it must be bearable. And we will be all the wiser and better equipped to make decisions for next winter. For now though we are loving the views of the mountains as day by day they are coated in thicker blankets of snow. Making plans for our first trip to play in the snow and all the adventure that will bring. For now we are enjoying this chance to catch our breath and dive a bit deeper in to this gorgeous part of the country.





It’s getting very, very cold….

When we left Kaiteriteri we had two and a half weeks to play with before we planned to be back in Nelson to do a bit of work. So we decided to head towards the Nelson Lakes national park. Our first night out we stayed at a freedom camping spot in the Moutere valley, it was a fairly basic affair, a long drop toilet which I was very grateful we didn’t have to use as it was in such a shocking state and a big grassy area next to the river. It was the first free spot we had found in a while as the Nelson area is not very freedom camping friendly and it felt good to get a free night in. As the day drew to a close the drop in temperature was much more pronounced here than what it had been on the coast and we got the feeling that this would be a growing trend for the next part of our travels.

It was raining the next day as we headed to Lake Rotoroa, so Oliver and I decided to follow behind Wayne in case we stumbled across something to do on the way. Oliver finds it quite amusing convoying this way with Wayne, there is normally a running commentary from the back seat about what he see’s the bus doing. We can also talk to each other on our walkie talkies which is a rather amusing way for a young boy to pass the time, this all serves to make our travelling not seem separate even though we aren’t in the same vehicles. Though to be honest I don’t mind having to drive the car and be apart when we move on from places. I did wonder if I would dislike it, but it is actually nice in some ways to have space from each other every now and then. And on the days where the roads are going to be steep or windy and the bus is going to be moving quite slowly it is good to have the option to just go ahead and find something to do to amuse ourselves at our destination. It was good we were together on this particular day because we found an old railway tunnel to walk through, a short enough walk to be achievable in the drizzly day we had but still an interesting break from the driving.

After that it was just a short drive on to Lake Rotoroa and by the time we got there the rain was quite heavy. The campsite unfortunately turned out to be quite water logged and deciding we didn’t want to risk the bus becoming a permanent fixture we found a spot to park up in the car park by the boat ramp so we could have lunch then formulate a new plan. But while we ate and then killed time watching a movie in the hopes the rain would clear long enough for us to at least look at the lake, we decided that the whole place was pretty empty, there were not even many day visitors around and those that came just snapped a picture and left.  So we spent the night there anyway just parked in the day visitors car park instead of the campsite. A little hard for me since on some deep, deep level I am a bit of a rule follower, but the worst that was going to happen is we be asked to move on if someone came to check on the camp – which they in the end did not. Once again the rain cleared suddenly in the late afternoon revealing a gorgeous view of mountains across the far end of the lake.


The next day we hired a canadian canoe and spent a pleasant morning paddling on the lake in the misty but fine day that we had woken to. Even shrouded in clouds this lake was a little slice of paradise. The overwhelmingly green colour of the bush told it’s story of a place that see’s it’s fair share of rain. Spongy bright green moss wrapped around the trunks of the trees and across the ground, softer lighter green moss hanging from the branches. The lake itself is crisp and crystal clear. Just to top it all off it is home to the friendliest fantails I have ever come across. More than once they landed on my shoes or pants legs, flying so tantalizingly close you would swear that if you just held out your hand they would sit there for just a second before flittering away with a cheeky little chirp.


From the lake it was just a quick trip to Murchison where we would stay for two nights. Murchison is only a small town but with a NZMCA camp right in the small town centre it was a great place to base ourselves. A short stroll to the shops if you need supplies, a small playground and even a skate park and bike track just down the road, these things are all a priority when travelling with a bike mad young boy. Unfortunately there was more of the wet stuff around during our time in Murchison so we had a bit of a quieter time. We did visit New Zealand’s longest swing bridge, the bridge itself was very, very long and a bit of fun. But I’m not sure it was worth the $10 an adult when what is on the other side is a lot of muddy tracks, a lot of blackberry and a ton of small biting insects. The upside to the rain is a bit of down time in the bus, it is tempting to be very, very busy all the time as if this was a holiday and you are trying to cram in the fun times while you can. Now that we are nearly two months in to this new life it is really necessary to make sure we do have some quiet days, too much all the time leads to one exhausted, grumpy little boy, not ideal when confined to a small space together. Our days are also continuing to get cooler and cooler, so a slow morning where we light the fire and stay cozy in the bus for a bit longer holds more appeal now. These moments are just as great as the things we are doing and the places we are seeing. It feels like such a luxury to have all this time together, to not wake up to a house that Wayne left while we were still fast asleep, to have no pressing jobs to do, no kindy to get Oliver to. It also feels like something that we want a lot more of in our life, even when we steer our lives back in a more conventional direction. But for now we will just enjoy what we currently have and keep wandering.


Caves, waterfalls and mazes, Oh my!

As soon as we arrived at our camp at Port Tarakohe, just past Takaka I knew this was a place we would enjoy spending time in. We were staying at an NZMCA camp and the location was gorgeous, view of the water, large area for Oliver to ride his bike and close to plenty of bush walks.


On our trip in I had seen a sign that said Labrinth Rocks, so we decided this was a great thing to check out with the afternoon we had left. If you are in this area with children (or are just in touch with your inner child) you must check this spot out! It is a natural rock formation that is basically a maze and hidden throughout the rocks and trees are all sorts of toys. We spent a good hour walking, spotting hidden treasures and playing a hilarious game of hide and seek. Some parents have clearly had a laugh while hiding toys with there children. I’m undecided which is my favourite, the severly underdressed barbie, the lego man perched in the skull or the many toys artfully suspended in branches – poised for action.


The next day we were up early and on our way to our first walk of the day. Something I haven’t mentioned about Wayne is he has a bit of a fascination with tunnels and caves. If there’s one within walking distance it’s normally on the agenda for us to go see it. Todays cave was the Rawhiti Cave and had a suggested time frame of two hours return. The track followed the river for a while before climbing steeply for around half an hour. Oliver was like a little mountain goat scrambling up the track, literally leaving me in the dust in this rush to get to the cave, maybe the obsession runs in the family? Once there the climb proved to be worth it, Rawhiti cave is a phytokarst where plants and calcium work together to ‘grow’ the stalagtites and stalagmites. It’s large and open and the water dripping down from the ceiling as the morning sun streams in is quite a pretty picture.


Once we had rested a bit back at the bus we headed to Wainui Falls. As we drove to the start of the track we got our first look at the golden sandy beaches that give Golden Bay its name. And as we followed the well maintained and obviously well used track to the waterfall we got our first look at the lush rainforest, full of Nikau palms that is common in this area. It is so different to the bush we are used to walking in, it’s so green and vibrant, so alive. It was a pleasant and easy walk to the falls with a swing bridge to cross just to make it a bit more interesting for Oliver.


That night we took advantage of the fact that the boat club next to our camp opens for dinner on a sunday night and wandered over for a meal. The people who ran the restaurant were all very friendly and full of tips for places to see and things to do while we are in the area. They made Oliver a little man made out of marshmallows to go with his ice cream sundae and let him ride in the service elevator downstairs when we left. I truly think the people we are meeting along the way are just as much a treasured part of this journey as the sights we are seeing. I love to think about what it is teaching Oliver meeting people like this, kind, helpful people who go out of there way to make a small childs day just that little bit more special. I hope it teaches him that we are only strangers until someone makes the effort to smile and say hello. And that no matter how different people might appear from the outside, once you say hello it isn’t hard to find common ground.

The next day we followed one of the suggestions we had been given and did a walk at the Grove. It’s a very short but very worthwhile thing to do in this area. Lovely bush to walk through, lots of interesting rock formations and a great view from the top.


Our three nights here went so quickly because there was simply so much to do. It had all been great and as if to finish it all off nicely on our last night as we went for our evening walk down past the boat ramps we saw a seal sleeping on the rocks in the last of the days sun. It was the first time Oliver had seen a seal that close up and there is something about there big beautiful eyes that never gets old for me. Truly the perfect ending to three perfect days.



Sailing Away

I have only ever visited the south island three times, the first time to kayak in the Marlborough sounds as a teenager, never going further than Picton. The second time to stay with a friend in Queenstown for a week in my early twenties and the third time with Wayne the year before we had Oliver. We spent three weeks travelling as much of the south as we could cover with a little three man tent and atrocious weather. But each of these trips had always left me wanting to see more. The south island is just stunningly beautiful, looking at all the pretty pictures of it can’t prepare you for how gorgeous it is when you are actually amongst it. And if you enjoy walking, tramping and exploring then the south island is like hitting the jackpot as far as we are concerned.

So we woke the morning of our ferry crossing very excited and very glad that though there was still quite a wind blowing the sea looked relatively calm and a smooth crossing looked like a good possibility. I can remember my second time crossing the cook strait was very rough and I really didn’t relish the thought of enduring that with Oliver in tow. So after making our way through a bit of morning traffic and then getting lined up and loaded on the ferry we made our way up in to the boat to find Wayne. Of course even though we had fed Oliver at 6am it was now nearly 8am and he was busy telling me how starving he was. Luckily for him a second breakfast was in ready supply today, so we cruised out of Wellington harbour in style eating a hot breakfast. The morning flew by with us taking turns to walk Oliver around the boat and keep him occupied. Before we knew it we were sailing in to Picton and being asked to return to our cars and get ready to drive off again. One of the reasons we had opted for a quick trip to the South Island is that my parents had been on holiday there for the last six weeks, as it had worked out we managed to cross a couple of days before they came back and we were meeting them once we came off the ferry to spend a couple of nights together. The prospect of seeing his Nana and Grandad again had Oliver very, very excited.

It was a quick trip from Picton to Whatamango Bay where we would stay for our first two nights. It was wonderful to see Oliver back with his Nana and Grandad again, there really is nothing like watching your child enjoy a close, loving relationship with their grandparents and it is the part of this whole trip that gives me the most misgivings, the fact that he will not see these two special people for such a long time. But for the short time that we had together we made the most of just being in each others company. And I truly feel that the time we have spent living together has given us a much closer relationship and different dynamic now that it is over.

We woke the next day determined to make the most of our only full day together and all managed to squeeze in to our car for a trip around to White Bay. Once there we did the Black Jack track up to a lookout and then looping back down to the beach again. It was a bit hazy and cloudy while we were at the top but I imagine on a clear day the views would be incredible.


Then after we looped back around and walked down to the bay a little time exploring the beach was called for. Oliver was in the water before I even had time to get my shoes off and would have probably been happy to stay the rest of the day.


It was a pleasant drive to Picton from here for a very late lunch and then a visit to the playground before driving back to camp. Our last night together was lovely, just making the most of our time together all aware that it would be a long time before we got more. And the next morning we got up early for a quick goodbye before Nana and Grandad left to catch the ferry. Oliver again surprised me and took it all in his stride. He is completely aware that this goodbye was different to the others and that he is going to miss his grandparents like crazy. But after a little chat once they left and a big cuddle with Mum he was quite happy to get on with his day. Already this journey is teaching him resiliency and how to cope with big change, skills he will use for the rest of his life. And now this journey feels like it has truly begun, we are on our own a long way from where home used to be and so far with only a loose plan of where we go next. I keep thinking that I should be worried about all the unknowns and what ifs that are down our path, and I keep amazing myself with how completely confident and relaxed I am. Not in an I’m on holiday kind of way, this is definitely not a holiday, it’s already a way of life.

The wanderings begin

Now it’s finally happening, we are officially living in a bus, travelling the country. Of course the big decision is where do we go first? We decided a little while ago that we would travel the south island first and when we set a leaving date we booked a ferry crossing and planned for a fairly quick trip to Wellington so we would have a couple of days to hang out and explore the capital. It all went pretty much as we had hoped, we spent our first night in Taupo so we wouldn’t have too much driving on the first day. The next morning we spent a bit of time at the playground to run off some of Oliver’s endless energy before a big drive to Himatangi beach. Being in the car we travel a bit faster than Wayne does in the bus so we arrived before him. So it was an easy choice to find the beach and go for a bit of a walk while we waited for the bus to arrive.

It was quite a windy afternoon and they drive cars along the beach at Himatangi, so it was quite an exhilarating walk. Just what we needed after a long drive and a not so exciting day for a four year old. And a vital reminder for me that this is why we are doing this, for these moments we will get to share together now all the time.


Our night at Himatangi was our first experience of what you call a pop or park over property. We joined the NZ Motor home association and along with that gives you access to a whole lot of different options for places to park your self contained vehicles, one of those options is other members who have enough room on their properties will let you stay at their property for a small fee, in this case $5 and for that grand sum we also plugged in to their power for the night and enjoyed a cuppa and a bit of a chat with the older couple after Oliver was asleep. Very quickly it has become clear to us that we will not lack for social interaction on the road, if anything I would say we will have more than before.

The next morning after a bit of a morning bike ride we left Himatangi and headed towards Wellington. We decided to stop at the tram museum on the outskirts of Wellington and take a tram ride to the beach and back. Oliver is fairly keen on trains so this was definitely for his benefit, but it was actually really interesting for us to. A small but well set out little display on the history of trams in Wellington and then the actual tram ride takes you down to a the beach where you can hop off, go for a walk or picnic and catch a later tram back to your car when you are finished.



Once we had arrived back at the station it was just a short drive further in to Wellington where we would stay for a couple of nights. This time in a domain that allows freedom camping and luckily for us had big enough spaces for us to fit in. We decided on arriving that we had done enough driving for the day so spent the afternoon playing at the playground that was literally right next to where we were parked and a little walk to explore where we were staying.

The next day we headed in to the city to do a bit of sightseeing. Wellington isn’t somewhere we have spent much time so we were keen to see some of it while we were passing through. Our first plan was to catch a ride on the cable car, with a nearly five year old boy in tow any large vehicle you can ride in is sure to be a hit and this one was no exception. From there we caught a free shuttle to Zealandia which is an area in Wellington that is protected by a predator free fence, the idea of these is that you eliminate all the possums, cats, rats, mice and stoats – all the introduced pests that kill our native bird life or destroy the native bush that the birds use as their habitats. Once you get rid of all the pests the bush can regenerate and the bird life can thrive, giving the opportunity for birds, that in some cases only live off shore on islands that we have managed to keep predator free to establish a population on the mainland again. It was perhaps a bit too much a tourist’s version of a bush walk for our tastes but had an easter egg hunt going on so was a great way for Oliver to feel like he wasn’t missing out on all the easter fun because we had run away in a bus. After that we went for a little bit of a drive to a lookout and around Oriental Bay, which although windy was very beautiful.

We were staying in the same spot again that night and it was wonderful to be able to head home to the bus in the afternoon and have a bit of a rest, watch the kite surfers who were making the most of the wind that had picked up during the day and do a few little chores. The next day was our last full day in the north island and we wanted to move the bus to a spot a little bit closer to the ferry terminal since our sailing was at 8am. This proved not as easy as we had thought, the first place we checked out wasn’t big enough for us and the second though it was big, was also busy and just a car park by a marina so not ideal for Oliver. We left the bus there and went off to grab some lunch and something fun for Oliver after a morning of driving around a city. But while we were out we decided that actually this wouldn’t suit us and Wayne had an idea of a spot we could park from when he used to do long haul truck driving, it was just a little spot in an industrial area but it was perfect for our needs. We had one other camper parked up with us and it was close to a cycle path so we had a good ride before dinner to finish off our day. And as if mother nature knew that for us the next day was the start of a new chapter as we headed off to the south island she put on a fantastic sunset to end the day with. And though we had really enjoyed our time in Wellington we were looking forward to a complete change of pace and to actively slowing our lives down to enjoy our time together.