This is how we travelled:
The kids both slept some of the 7 hour journey which made things easier. Theo was happy to watch Toy Story in the iPod, which made things even easier. Sadie on the other hand, was not always as happy as in the above picture.
I loved the autumn colours just north of Taupo.
These are some of the stops we made on the way:
On the way up we stopped at a park in Hunterville for lunch, and later another park in Taupo so that Nat could take a nap while I played with the kids. The park in Taupo had the most amazing autumn leaves that were great to play with, but I'd left my camera in the car.
On the way back we stopped at the National Army Museum in Waiouru for a general leg stretch.
This is where we stayed:
This is one of the student dorms at The Church College of New Zealand in Templeview. The Church College is shutting down, I think this is the last year. They stopped accepting students a few years ago and are waiting for the last ones to graduate. So anyway they have empty dorms there now, 5-10 min walk from the temple. $5 pppn to stay, with under 4's free. How could we not? Especially being the only ones there for the week.
There was a room for everyone, and the puzzle, and plenty to spare. (Sadie's, Theo's, Ours, and Theo in the hallway). Theo rode his bike up and down that hall all day.
When Nat's mum went in the bathroom when she visited one day she said "You could have family..." Then stopped. What exactly could we do as a family in a bathroom like this?
The kitchen facilities were limited. Meaning, a fridge and a microwave. We got by pretty well.
This is what we did with our evenings:
This is how far we got on the puzzle. It totally killed me, because 90% of the joy is finishing the puzzle. But when Nat is your co-puzzler, he becomes the alternate entertainment and more than makes up that other 10%. I had grabbed two 500 piece puzzles that I was familiar with, when Nat said something like, "That's not very many pieces". So I switched for two 1000 piece puzzles I was not familiar with, and this is what we got. When we first started laying it out Nat said "There are a million of them!". Maybe next time.
Oh and we also watched the latest episodes of The Office and Community. Our week wasn't as screen free as I had thought it would be, because Nat had loaded up the iPod with the goods.
Sorry if that was too much for you! P.S. I was totally annoyed when I realised we didn't get a family photo at the temple! There for a week and never once! Doh!