We have been frantically working at getting situated here in New Zealand, getting the boat ready for us to leave it for a month and hoping to have it all set so that when we get back we can go exploring up at the bay of islands and back down to Aukland and then some backpacking... we haven't figured out our timing as of yet... trying to make it work for family visits, the off season for New Zealand's summer vacation and then also the best time for weather and WARMTH both in the water and out. While we were here we met up with Lil' Explorers and have had a great time hanging with them. Lots of park time for the kids and one night of mad Uno and cookies... deadly combination.. I think the marina was wondering what all the shouting was all about. They offered to take us up to the local glow worm caves for a little exploration. They have a car so with 2 trips we were all there... our 4 kids and their 5... Such a blast to get back into nature and do some hiking, little bit of rock climbing and then the caves. The only two requirements that they said to explore the caves were surf shorts and torches (flashlights) because 5 feet into the cave there is ZERO visibility. So excited these caves have little worms that glow green when they are hungry to attract the bugs into their silk strings. The hungrier they are the brighter they glow. So we pack our lunch for our picnic in the meadow... get our shorts on in 50 degree weather... grab our angry small girls because they are already freezing and not wanting to walk through frozen river water in dark caves... but that is what parenting is all about. Forcing your children to be miserable their entire childhood right? Courage picks us up with their oldest daughter Cassidy and we are to hike in and meet the rest of the clan in the first cave, Mom Shannon, then Integrity, Vitality, Valiant, Innocence and Intrepid has really bad asthma so he decided to sit this one out.. he had already gone the day before. We get to the cave and start going in and OMG... the Fricking Torches... of course the circus forgot our torches and Courage (dad) wasn't kidding when he said it is darker than dark... Well we had at least one flashlight to share for the 8 of us until we caught up with the rest of the group deeper into the cave...
Well it is always a small adventure when you go with the Tzortzis clan and the kids had even more fun trying to share the flashlights. It was so fun being in the caves and then when you turn the lights out the ceiling glows with green dots like the night sky or the peter pan ride in Disneyland. It is a little cold (you can see your breath in the light) and the water was extremely refreshing shall we say..
After climbing through the first two caves it was time for a little lunch and field play.
Chris, Courage and Cassidy decided to brave the last cave... it was rumored to be the deepest and would be up to your chest to wade through... UGH no thanks and carrying all the little kids through that freezing water or making them swim... Okay for that one I would even consider calling CPS on me... Hee hee... Anyway Shannon and the kids and I were having a nice chat when I looked up and saw two big white bears heading our way... Oh wait that is Chris and Courage with their shirts off looking a little lost. They had gone through the cave and ended up coming out on the other side of the hill so they were a little turned around but eventually heard the children and figured it must be our clan. In the cave they had encountered an eel... that they say was REALLY large.. of course it was dark but.... Yuck! Definitely glad I skipped that one, no regrets.
Today is Sunday.. We are going to focus on school, possibility of buying a car, and still more boat tune ups this week. Hopefully in the mix we can have a day or two to go out and explore more of what this beautiful town has to offer. I pinch myself every morning thinking that my life is a dream and I will have to wake up soon... For now I will keep enjoying the dream.
Hugs and love to all,