Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Adventures Continue...

(Julie Anne is the queen of documenting trips in the sand...)


On our way to destination one (Mt Maunganui), we made an obligatory stop at the giant L&P bottle.

L&P stands for ‘Lemon & Paeroa’, and it’s a delightful fizzy drink that we have become well acquainted with. It's slogan is "World Famous in New Zealand", and so far it's ONLY available here. Paeroa is the name of the town that it was initially manufactured in, but now it's manufactured by Coca-Cola. Normally I would not be a fan of this wealthy company taking over cute innocent L&P, but L&P could potentially break out of NZ if it's owned by a multi-national corporation, right?! Here's to hopin!

Next stop: Mt Maunganui! It's the name of the town as well as the extinct volcanic cone (aka The Mount). The town is actually on the sand bar that connects the Mount to the mainland.

We climbed to the top...

Then trekked down (and stopped to do some chin-ups on the way)...

We accidentally took the road totally LESS TRAVELED on the way down. It was an old trail that wasn't maintained at all. The boards that were intended to frame the dirt to form steps had turned into hurdles... but it was still fun.

Once we reached the base of the mount, we took the 30-minute walking track all the way around it. It was a beautiful walk with the exception of these rather sickly looking sheep...

The plan following the mount was to bum around Papamoa beach (which is about 15 minutes away from Mt Maunganui). However, the weather turned to rot, so we decided instead to call up Nat’s parents, Jim & Alison (the ones we spent Christmas with). They were staying at a little cabin ON Papamoa beach, so it worked out perfectly. We still got to see Papamoa beach…PLUS we got to spend time with some of our favourite people on the planet.

During our visit with Jim & Alison, the sun came out to play! At this glorious sight, Jim & Alison suggested we grab our beach gear, and join them on the stretch of beach behind their cabin. SCORE!

This is Mout Maunganui as seen from the beach...

Lowell and I tested out some of the waves with our boogy boards (which unintentionally are perfectly coordinated with our rash tops).

The waves have to be battled in order to get far enough out to catch anything. This was a challenge in itself!

I didn’t last long because it was the first time I attempted this activity with a 2 piece, and I spent more time trying to prevent myself from mooning the world than I did scouting out the perfect waves. Mental note taken: 2 pieces just plum aren’t practical for beach activities.

No hard feelings though, I enjoyed basking in the sun (while fully lathered with SPF 45 and a rash top) with the others.

Lowell, who’s swimming trunks (aka TOGS) were fortunately well fastened, couldn’t get enough of the waves. I think that boogy board suits him!

When Lowell finally joined us on the beach, we were met with a little treat:


Oh I’m sorry, were we on the set of some male Baywatch program?!?!

These young men ran past us, stopped a few metres away, turned around, and ran in front of us again.

Now I’m going to compare this scandalous moment to the serene occasion of a wedding. You know how it’s so awesome to watch the groom’s reaction when the bride walks down the aisle? Well, it was equally delightful to focus on Alison’s reaction as the young men raced by. She’s just so subtle!

You see why we love this lady so much??

After our beach activities, we joined Jim & Alison for a BBQ on their little deck.

Following the yummy BBQ, we continued down the road to Rotorua where our (Canadian) friend, Joni, was house sitting. Many fun adventures were to be had with her. Adventures that involve giant balls and famous mountains!!


Julie Anne said...

Ahahaha! Too funny! It was quite convenient that the group of guys decided to turn around right after they passed us so that you could oh so subtly get a picture when they came back for round two. ;o)

me said...

The first time I went surfing I wore a two-piece. The lining of the bottoms filled up with about 3 pounds of sand when I got to the shore. Awesome. Imagine me realizing this only after I've stood up out of the water. Imagine me trying to get the sand out- in public.

Love reading your blog!

Bloggy Mama said...

Alison, I see you peeking ;)
Looks fabulous, Julie. Nice waves, Lowell. I can't show this to Justin or he'd be on the next plane coming to join you!
What a blessing it is to have found family in NZ.

Shelley said...

Julie, i love the picture where you're fighting the wave. Your facial expression is hilarious!
Be sure to bring a nose plug when you go to Rotorua...the sulfur smell can be a little overpowering :)