Well, this was the day we had come especially for.
So we were up early to be on the road to pick up Estela and be over in St Albans by 9:30am.
We had booked with other home educating families to spend an hour being entertained by Jim Weiss.
He is a story teller from the USA and he is brilliant. He began by telling Aesop’s fable of ‘The hare and the tortoise’. He became the hare and the tortoise and had the whole audience totally engrossed – the wee ones were giggling very loudly at his antics.
He then branched into a longer tale set in the Renaissance beginning with Cosimo de Medici and how he began banking and lending libraries through to Lorenzo de Medici and Michelangelo. It was great. He finished with a quick funny story. We were all sad when it finished. We bought a couple of his cd’s which he signed for the girls. I also ordered a heap more as I was sop impressed with the educational value of them.
We then headed into the city, found a park and boarded the tram again. Our ticket lasted for two days so we thought we would make the most of it. We had decided to get off in New Regent St for lunch. It was the first street mall in NZ back in 1936, it also had memories for me as Tim’s father’s cousin owned a restaurant there for many years called The Coffee Pot. Sadly only one shop in the whole street is originally owned and that is the optometrist. It is a beautiful street, mirror imaged and decorated with beautiful mosaic tiles.
We found a wee place and enjoyed a plate of nachos. We then boarded the tram again and got off in Cathedral Square. The children had lots of fun running about. It was absolutely freezing so they needed to to keep warm!
They met up with the Town Cryer and had a chat with him.
We had a quick look in the Cathedral, watched the giant chess game, found the bathrooms which were up two stories so the children once again had to fight over who was going to push the buttons on the lift. I mean to say – what a big thrill it is to push lift buttons-!! You would think my children were totally deprived the way they go on about who is to push what button and when
After a sit down at Starbucks, yes, there is yet another in the Square we hopped back on the tram and made our way back to the car. Went to visit some prospective Japanese wwoofers but they were not home so called into see Christine and Les. Then it was time to zip back to Alvin & Vonnie’s. Popping into the supermarket briefly to grab food for dinner. I gave Estela a fast run down of the proceedings and then she took the children to a nearby playground while I freshened myself up and headed off to the afternoon session with Jim Weiss.
It was a 2 hour session for educators so there were teachers, librarians and home school parents. It was brilliant. Made my trip down there so worth while. He is a great teacher and an inspiration. From there I took my dear friend Erena (she had come down from Auckland as she was the one responsible for bringing Jim out to NZ and was organising the tour) out to dinner at the Crown Plaza. We had a lovely couple of hours chatting and chilling in a delightfully comfortable atmosphere with a live pianist gently playing in the background. Just what she needed after such a stressful day.
I was back home by 10:30. All in bed but Mahalia was still awake cuz she was missing me I snuggled her down and then zipped Estela back home. She was staying only 5 mins away so very convenient. I was very grateful for her help in baby-sitting – just made my time that much easier and enjoyable.
I was up at 5am because I couldn’t sleep. So I was able to say good-bye to Alvin & Vonnie as they both left for work at 7am. The children and I packed up the car. It was a wet and dull day. I had been rather nervous about going into a carpark building because the Safari is such a high vehicle. But I braved it and we were fine. So we wound our way to the top floor and once again fought over lift buttons. Made it through to Hereford St and into Drexel’s Breakfast restaurant at exactly 9:30am. Christine was waiting for us and was pleasantly surprised that we had arrived right on our booked time. We spent a lovely couple of hours there. The children enjoyed their breakfast and then were given pencils and pictures to colour so Christine and I were able to chat and enjoy our food. What a brilliant place it was too. Thoroughly recommend it to anyone visiting Chch. You gotta book though as it is so popular.
We finally moved ourselves as the morning was nearly gone and we had to head north. We did a spot of shopping and then loaded ourselves back into the Safari. On the way out of the city I stopped and loaded up with veges at our favourite vege stall in Northwoods, then a last fuel stop and we were out there. It was a long road north. I was feeling quite sleepy again. Had to stop a couple of times to rest my eyes. Stopped for 10mins in Kaikoura to visit a friend. We got to Ward at around 6pm. We were staying with Jan & Talbot on their new farm.
It was lovely to see them and see where they are now living. The children were very happy to be eating ‘normal’ home cooked food again. Jan had hired ‘Happy Feet’ for them so we all watched that after dinner. We all slept very well. I heard the children up bright and early entertaining Talbot I took a little longer to pull myself out of bed. After a leisurely breakfast we went for an explore of the property. It is just lovely. They are getting ready to plant an organic vineyard so there is earthworks and mud everywhere but it is still a lovely vantage with a view of Mount Tapuaenuku
After we had packed up the car Jan took us to Ward to a new cafe for morning tea. It was a great place for the children to play. They have an old cray boat there which of course my three spent ages on.
We dropped Jan back at her gate and headed to Blenheim. I was going to do a few jobs but I decided to flag them and just go home. We picked up Granny, some groceries and fuel and left town around 12:30pm. Unusual for me to be travelling home at that time of day. It was great to get home early and unpack at a decent hour of the day though.
Shannie was so pleased to get home that as soon as we crossed our boundary cattle stop she gave a rousing cheer She manged to help me unpack the car for a few minutes and then she was up to her chickens and sussing out her two new baby pigeons.
I was glad that I had thought to buy a cooked chook at the supermarket so we had a very yummy dinner after the children watched ‘Charlotte’s Web’
There’s no place like home