****Shameless plug, but if any of Max or Sully's friends want to send them a letter or note, they'd love to hear from you (Ohhhh, hello Dartmouth Crescent & John English/James W Hill schools - I'm looking at you!!). You can mail it to us at: 18 Fendalton Road Christchurch, New Zealand 8014 Thanks! ***
It's a Friday here in Christchurch when I'm writing this. Early afternoon. Jodi and I are quietly enjoying the last few minutes of peace until we have to go and pick up the kids from camp. Yep, it's summer holidays now, so the boys and their cousins have spent the past 5 days at a sleepover camp. A Christmas present from Aunt Jo-Jo and Uncle Brendan. To the boys, of course. But almost certainly to me as well. Ha. Don't get me wrong, I've missed them...but only during those times that I've actually allowed myself to think about them!?
But also...5 days kid free.
After 4.5 months of full on 24/7.
I'll just let that sit there for a few minutes...
Yep, it was glorious. Glorious.
We did lots of adulting things with a core group of Jodi & Brendan's friends (Hi! - Brent, Belinda, Steve & Keiva). Amazing food, wine, gin, guns and Cards Against Humanity. Not necessarily in that order.
Hanging with my sister, her family and friends has been exactly what I expected and needed. It's been chill. They've taken care of us. Entertained us. And allowed us to just be.
We spent 8 days camping at Kaiteriteri over the Christmas break. Kaiteriteri is at the north part of the south island, right at the entrance of the Abel Tasman trail. Being there brought back a bunch of memories as Sully and I hiked the Abel Tasman the last time we were here, 6 years ago. A 51 km hike that we did over 4 days. Probably my second favourite hike ever.
But camping though?...really it was more like glamping. Complete with 12 mountain bikes, an espresso machine and 3 refrigerators. It was a crazy and fun way to spend Christmas. Mountain biking, jumping off bridges, swimming in the ocean, sitting around a Christmas tree painted on a sheet and opening gifts. It was crazy and chaotic and fun and perfect. A Christmas that I'm certain the boys will remember forever. Sully even saying as much. Why not? Spending every hour of every day outside with your cousins, getting up to pretty much whatever you want. No responsibilities except for doing the dishes. Perfection for an 8 or 11 year old.
Christchurch has been interesting. Not the city. I've been here 4 times before. But more how I'm spending my days and trying to keep busy and my mind occupied. I've gone from full on planning mode and travel guide all day every day, to essentially thinking about what time I'll workout, have my chai latte and wondering what I can binge watch on Netflix (recos, please!). As ridiculous as it sounds, it's been a bit of an adjustment not having to do anything. Learning to shut my mind off and just relax. I'm sure I'll have it figured out about a day before we leave for Sri Lanka. There has also been a whole bunch of road biking and yoga. Brendan is a legend on the bike and Brent, Glen and his mates aren't far behind him. He's dragged me out and they've kicked my butt up and down the hills around the coast here. I'm game though...it gives me a chance to clear my head. The climbs are deadly, however once at the top, the views are stunning.
My in-laws are arriving tomorrow. Mary & Dave or Gaga & Papa, to those most lucky. They'll be here for 2 weeks and we couldn't be more excited. I'm sure they are as well. We have some fun planned for them, but frankly I'm certain they'll be happy just hanging with Sully and Max. They leave on Feb. 1st and then are planning on meeting up with us again in Sri Lanka.
But that's tomorrow. For now, I'm going to focus on where my feet are...and enjoy the last hour of bliss. The chaos of 5 cousins will be banging down our door soon enough.
And I can't wait.
Well, maybe just a bit longer...