Thursday, February 11, 2016

Taupo Bungy Jump and Cliffhanger Swing....

Hello Everyone,

We have been enjoying immensely the space here at Oma's friends house in Hamilton.  Celia has been gracious in letting the circus crash at her ranch house for this week.  The house sits on top of a hill with grass all around, in the middle of a bunch of cow pastures.   There are a ton of windows/doors that all open up completely to make the living room and indoor/outdoor feel.  It is so nice to sit on the couches and feel the breeze blow through the house and hear the cicadas outside in the bush.  The kids have been having picnics and jumping on the trampoline and running around the house.  They are really appreciating being able to just go outside and roam.  Thank you so much Celia for opening your doors and sharing your little piece of heaven during your most busiest time (opening your new school on Monday)... Love being back in the country with all the sounds of the birds, owls, crickets (everywhere), dogs barking, cows mooing and the smells wafting about.

Picnics are a girls best friend!

 Say hello to my little friend... Salem.  Can you see his eyes above my watch?

Alexia has started to take my camera and is now loving to take pictures... Most of the time she comes out with some really spectacular shots... These are just around the house, but I think I need to start keeping a page of Tristan and Alexia's best shots and let them decide what to post... Maybe then their blog will get some use...  

  Alexia's photo...
 Photo by Alexia
 Alexia Photo
 Alexia Photo
Again Alexia...

Finally able to wash blankie and let her dry... As I am hanging this torn, shredded, piece of love I have tears streaming... Thinking how do I hold onto the youth of my littlest and last one to grow up.. wanting and struggling to save the image and Idea of her being so little, cuddly and incredible edible... okay you know what I mean.
Holding on by threads... Reaching out for ideas on how to salvage blankie... I am not sure if I am having a hard time because of the sadness that Alina will feel when she is hugging her last thread and patch of her security blanket... Or if it because I am not ready for my last little peanut to start growing up.. Just like blankie I am holding on strong to her youth but both blankie and I are showing our wear from being dragged along, as little Alina shows us we can't stand in her way but can only hang on by threads and be there for her to wrap around her for support as she grows and grows and grows... I'm still hanging on by threads..

We left Lake Taupo on Tuesday after some activities.  Road trips are always a favorite for us... Hee Hee... here is a lovely shot of the moods in the car.  Can you guess...
 Guess I am a little grumpy.. So funny Chris!

Our last stop on the way out was to go back to the Taupo Bungy and make one last go of it.  It is known to be the highest bungy in New Zealand and one of the longest/highest swings.  When you are standing on top of the platform looking down the first thing I said to myself is, "Oh hell no!"

... but after you watch a few people do the swing it looks 'doable' but my stomach was still in knots just thinking about it... did I mention to anyone that I am afraid of heights... okay maybe not small heights but I HATE the feeling of falling and leaving your stomach and heart at the top of the platform and then waiting for it to catch up to you.  The one good thing about this location is the stunning beauty of the river below.  The platform sits 155 feet off the river and when you look down into the crystal clear turquoise water below you can actually see the fish and the bottom of the river.  I can't put it into words the contrast of the stunning beauty of the river with the white limestone cliffs that shade it, and the green vegetation that drapes over the sides like a canopy or toupee to top it off.   Then as you are staring and absorbing the scene there come these majestic little white doves that flutter on and off the cliff like little butterflies.  They seem so small, with the blue contrast of the water below, they seem to glow as they are gliding in and out of their nests.

I would have to say it is never dull when Oma comes along for the ride.  There is nothing that seems to stop her.  We were standing there watching Lexi and Tristan do this the day before and then the guy next to Oma and I looked at Oma and said, "Are you going to do this?" and then proceeds to laugh... hee hee... guess who got the last laugh.  Chris and I were thinking to ourselves, "Oh god, doesn't he know that he can't say that to her."  We just knew now there was no way she wasn't going on the swing.  Not that there was any hesitation before and she said it looked fun and that she would go... As I am standing there shaking in my shoes barely able to look over the edge... Oma taps me on the shoulder and shrugs and says... "You will be okay, you can do this, I will do it too."

So the next day we came back and tried to go but they were all booked up so we are making our reservations for the next day and he makes us go and read the disclaimer board and medical conditions board so that we understand who shouldn't go... and then we come back to the counter and he is asking Oma if she has any injuries or if her hips or legs ever hurt and then she says "naw, just a replacement hip that a few Advil at night cures".. and he looks at her, wait ... what... you have a hip replacement???  "Yes, but come on it is fine!  I can do this and it is no problem!"   in other words she is saying, "Young man, you don't know who you are messing with and I will be going on this ride no mater what and will love it!  So here is my paper and I will see your butt tomorrow!"  

So Cool!  I stood in the back and whispered to Lexi... I am apologizing now for when I am Oma's age and just letting you know that there is now way I will be able to do this type of stuff when I am her age... I would have a heart attack.  She says, "It's okay mom, I know you are a sissy and I didn't expect you to even be able to do it now... " What the heck man... The pressure ... I gotta do it now.

Oma, happy as can be and excited... no fear.  Now I see where the kids get it from!  Thank God!


Oma and Chris Swinging Kiwi Style!

   Okay so here we go!  
Just to clear the air I knew completely that this operation is top notch and that I was going to be completely safe.  I just have that fear of falling... nightmare really.  I have now watched Alexia and Tristan do this the day or two before.  I just watched Oma, for crying out loud, and Chris do this... I know it will be fun it is just that initial 100 foot free fall drop that I wasn't looking forward to.  I was definitely looking forward to the 154' swing span once you are down there. It truly is beautiful.  So I am starting to walk to the guys to get my equipment on and Oma is patting me on the back saying... you can do this, it is not that bad and a lot of fun.  Thanks Oma...   She is an amazing woman.. if you all haven't gathered by now.  I am down on the platform and am trying to not look at my extremely high drop down, so the guys that work there are great... they tease you and keep you distracted and talking so you don't think about it and then have you look at cameras and wave and then they start a count down and while you are thinking they are going to release you at some point... BAM!! they hit that damn button and down you go when you are least expecting it... Thank God they do that... otherwise the anticipation just kills you.   I LOVED IT>>> but don't think you will see me next time with the bungy cord on my ankles.. that is for the wee ones who are definitely more courageous and braver than I had ever imagined or dreamed I would have been at their age!

This is me afterwards... so I survived.

My swing... okay so not so bad, but I was still shaking when I was filming the kids bungy jumping 15 minutes later... UGH.. such a sissy.

So now that Oma and Mom are out of the way the kids and Chris are getting ready for the real event that they were looking forward to... The Bungy Jump.  I don't have any pictures so the only thing I can do is send you the hyper link to check it out... please do it is a lot of fun and you can see what I am talking about clearly....   

I have to tell you there is no way that you would ever see me standing with my toes over the side of that platform and then free falling down 154' to the river water.  I know that the spring up and down would be killer and incredibly intense.  So I am at a spot where I think I am able to catch the best vantage point because I got to get this on film.... I can't be on the platform to film but if I could be in two places at once this would be the time I would want to.  Chris said that it was super cool because Tristan got up there, went to the edge, looked over, and just dropped.  No hesitation and NO FEAR>>>  

Tristan's Bundy Jump

And then Alexia went... of course again there is no deliberation or hesitation or fear with this girl... is it sibling competition????, or just ballsy Alexia doing it because she can.  I think this girl has no fear and is ready to take on the world.  I never would have even contemplated doing this when I was 13... It is fantastic and I am so proud that they both have the courage to make that leap of faith and laugh in the face of an adrenaline rush and enjoy every minute of it.  So Cool.  

Chris said that Alexia watched Tristan go, and then when it was her turn, she got up, scooted to the edge, put her toes over, said, "Feel the rhythm, Feel the Rhyme, then she jumped... no hesitation, didn't even finish the Cool Runnings saying, a pure adrenaline rush through and through laughing all the way down till that final bounce back up.

Alexia's Bungy Jump

Now the kids are at the bottom in the river waiting for Chris in the boat shack, playing with some stray dog, no worries.  After the bungy jump they are picked up by a little boat that is at the bottom and they need to walk back up the cliff to where we are to meet us.  They are waiting here to watch their good ole dad jump and then come back up with him.... 

Of course, Chris has had so much fun and pride watching these two scoot off the ledge with no fear and enjoying it all way... not to say it was a let down but he says that he got more enjoyment from watching the kids make the leap than he did from his own jump.  It was pretty cool but once you got the idea in your head that there is something that is going to stop you from making a bad fall it was really fun.  When you dive you have that fear of not landing it right and feeling it... with this you know you can't land it wrong and if you do you probably wouldn't know it anyway..  Hmmmm

Chris's bungy jump.. with a swan dive and double twist on the up swing.

Now I wonder what can top this and will all of our adventures be a little hum drum for these guys... we are truly getting spoiled down under.

Anyway, hope all your days are filled with a swan dive and ending with a double twist.

Hugs and love to everyone,


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