Monday, December 31, 2007

Annual Auckland Zoo Trip

Every year we go to the Auckland Zoo, between Christmas and New Year. It was a tradition we started way back when, and it's been good, but we thought we might vary it each year. The only problem is I have a set of photo frames, and each year we take a photo of the boys on the concrete elephant, and I still need a couple of slots filled, so until next year at least, we will go again.

Camerons Birthday fell on the Sunday we were away, so we took a 'mini party' with us. He got up and got excited when he saw the cake and balloons, but hadn't realised that under the paper was a present. He had been eyeing up the Mars Mission Set in the lead up to Christmas, so he was pretty pleased to get it.

I happened to be surfing the Trade Me message boards one night last week, and came upon a thread titled "Free tickets to Alvin and the Chipmunks". I clicked it expecting it to be filled with replies, but no, no one had replied, so I jumped in, and then thought it through. We had been talking about staying in Auckland for a night to do a couple of things, so we decided to do it that weekend. We thought we'd do the zoo, and pick up the tickets from the lady (who had won them on the radio station, and didn't have kids) on the Saturday, as we had to be at the theatre at 11am, so there was no way we could have driven from home, over to the North Shore and be at the theatre by then.

We didn't tell the kids what we were doing, just that it was a surprise that we had organised for Camerons birthday. On the way over we saw a billboard and the kids said 'we want to see that", and we replied, 'well, it doesn't come out until Jan 1st, so we'll have to see'. Right up until we were seated, and even when the film started they hadn't realised what they were going to see. Because the freebies were supplied by More FM they were in the theatre, with giveaways. The chick said, 'my birthday is on Christmas Day, and it stinks I have to share presents, does anyone else have a birthday around Christmas Day,' so I jumped up and pointed to Cameron. He got a little pack of goodies, t-shirt, watch, keychain, stickers, so he was pleased, but wouldn't get a photo with the characters.

While looking for something different to do we came across the Amazing Maize Maze, so decided we would do that on our way home on Sunday. It was great fun, although we were probably a bit analytical about it, and came out quite quick. We didn't need help to get out, nor did we need to open our map. We also didn't get to go over the bridge, so Braden and I went back in to go to the bridge, but it was pretty hot by then so we were just happy to get into the shade after that.

Christmas Day (before the year ends)

Christmas Day was quite casual for us, we spent the day with MIL, and 2 x SIL's, at MIL place. We did presents, we kept this one (PS2) till last, as we knew everything else would be forgotten. MIL had done everything for lunch, which was turkey, ham, hot vege, etc, then trifle, cheesecake and fruit salad. Just enough. Then we did the traditional crackers, Braden got a $20 win, so he's excited. Unfortunately the weather turned ick, and we couldn't go try out the cricket set at the school, so we just settled in for the afternoon, had a snooze, played with the toys, and wandered home around 8pm.

Boxing Day, my family came to our place. It was nice that all the siblings could be here, not all the partners, as they were working, but it was a nice casual, just sitting around, BBQ lunch, chilling out.

After lunch, I introduced a new toy. Wow, we had so much fun with this, not only the kids, hubby did too, and all only $2. It was a mega slingshot, really needing 3 people to operate it, (although Jon decided if you were tall enough you could do it yourself) We originally started using it horizontally, but not wanting to break any windows, we decided it was more fun to watch the balloons go up and come down.

As you will see in the photos, this is what the kids were up to in my previous post.