23 November 2018
We all woke up shortly after 08:00 and Cornelia came in for a cuddle and a tickle, before we all got up. I have a “flexibility game“ that I brought with me, but we have not used it at all since May, largely because we have not been anywhere spacious enough. However, given Ian’s sore neck and shoulders, it felt like the right time to start. Cornelia had great fun picking cards from the deck, each of which had a different stretch or exercise on it. So all three of us spent 15 minutes doing various exercises, much to Cornelia’s great delight. We are going to try and do this every day, and I have a deck of strength cards too which we will try to use regularly. (I know, we REALLY know how to have fun…!)
Whilst Cornelia finished her breakfast and played with her Lego, Ian and I looked at the numerous excursions. Lizzie (who lived in New Zealand for a while) had just messaged me to say how amazing the swimming with dolphins experience was, so I very much wanted to do this. Ian was interested in the day trip to Cape Reinga, which was a coach journey up to the most northerly tip of New Zealand, followed by a drive down Ninety Mile Beach, which is in fact a highway on the sand. We would stop for lunch, do you some sand boarding, and it sounded great, despite the early start and long day of driving.
Once we were ready to leave for the beach, we stopped off at reception to take their advice on the best trips. We had also decided to stay for two more nights here, because we think we will love it. The receptionist, Tabatha, and her colleague were very helpful and we ended up booking a “value“ experience combining both the dolphin boat adventure and the Cape Reinga trip. Initially, Tabatha thought we would have to move units if we wanted to stay for two more nights, as someone called John had booked into unit 2 (our current home) and he could not be moved. We quickly discovered that John is the owner of the holiday park and Ian and I were horrified to think that the owner would prevent paying customers from staying in their chosen unit! Luckily for us, he cancelled the booking as we were chatting, so we were quickly booked in. Hurrah!
Once all of this was done, we walked the kilometre to Long Beach which was, as its name suggests, a beautiful long sandy beach in a bay that is recommended for swimming. Ian and Cornelia went to explore the rock pool and play on the beach, while I enjoyed an hour of sunbathing. What a treat! The sea looked incredibly inviting and I also took advantage to go for a swim. It was pretty chilly, but well worth the initial shiver! I swam right across the bay and back again in the choppy waters. It was, as always, exhilarating.
We decided not to have a full lunch, but snacked on bananas and satsumas instead, so that we could have an early tea and get Cornelia to bed in readiness for an early start in the morning. Once Daddy had been turned into a mermaid, we walked back to the campsite where Cornelia and I enjoyed an ice cream each – she’s discovered Cornettos – and then she was a Ninja Warrior again, completing several rounds of the obstacle course in the playground.
I went back to our unit and changed to go out for a run. Typically, it started raining as soon as I set off, but given the hilly course, I found it quite refreshing. The run that Sharon had recommended was shorter than she thought, but it was so hilly that I didn’t mind in the slightest. It was so rewarding, getting to the top of the hill and seeing Long Beach and the sea far below. I stopped en route to catch my breath and take some photos, as well as to watch a brightly coloured parrot flying around.
I said to Ian that he definitely had to go for a run, as I knew he’d enjoy the hills, despite his sore Achilles. I think he was happy to be booted out, although the run didn’t miraculously heal his heel, and he hobbled back in.
Cornelia had just finished watching Lilo and Stitch, her DVD choice for the evening, and while Ian showered, I made a yummy chicken risotto for me and Ian, while Bugsy had a healthy supper of chicken, potatoes and broccoli.
Despite managing to get her ready for bed earlier than usual, she suddenly passed the point of being happy-tired and had a complete screaming meltdown, mainly due to me removing “Baldy” a small yellow ball that she had thrown into my face deliberately. I was not going to return it to her, and she was mad about it. And she screamed and screamed and screamed. And I sat with her, calmly repeating that Baldy would be returned in the morning, and that I had taken him away because she had deliberately tried to hurt me. This tantrum lasted for nearly half an hour until she was completely exhausted, and went through her usual cycle of sobbing and apologising, before collapsing into bed and falling asleep. Overtired! It must’ve been nearly 22:00 by the time she went to sleep. So much for our early-to-bed plan! 😳