Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Luge in Rotorua-Happy 6th Birthday Amelia!!!!

Today is Amelia Rose's birthday. So we decided to celebrate it the New Zealand way with an adventure experience. We rode the tram up the mountain, put on stinky, smelly helmets, got instructions on how to ride a luge car and then took off down the mountain.
Amelia was just old enough to ride a luge car by herself. She was pretty excited (6 yrs. old is great).

The ride down was gorgeous, all through the trees.

She was pretty nervous but she did great by herself.

Even Grandma Honey took a ride down. She thought it was so fun she bought us all another pass so that we could do it again.

The kids got passes from some people leaving so while they went down again with BJ my mom and I got a snack to share. My brother in law (Wally) told me that one of the things I had to do while in NZ was get an L & P to drink. It's sort of a fizzy lemon drink. It was really good and the kids loved it.

I love my mom (adore is more like it) and I was so grateful and happy to spend a week with her and my dad in NZ. BTW--I know she looks like my sister instead of my mom. Believe it or not, she's in her 60's.

What a fun beginning to a fantastic birthday. We love you Amelia!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Rainbow Springs

After doing the Zorb we headed over to Rainbow Springs to feed the rainbow trout. There is a beautiful walking trail along the stream where the rainbow trout swim, along with lots of native animals as well as the infamous "kiwi bird". At the end of the trail there is a natural spring where you can fill up your water bottles for a taste of the most deliciously clean water.

Green stone is native in New Zealand. It's beautiful and is made into lots of Maori jewelry. It's expensive so this big boy is worth a pretty penny--we had to touch it.

The Bath House in Rotorua

Rotorua became known for the bathhouses that were created using the heat from the volcanos. People came from all over the world to stay for weeks and months at a time to sit in the hot sulfur water because they believed that it would heal their ailments. I think I'd feel pretty good sitting around in hot baths every day too! At some point the local volcano errupted and destoyed a lot of the area as well as killed many people. The Maori's believed that the Volcano came because of all of the greed that had come to the area. This bath house was really beautiful and they are now refurbishing it to look like it once did.

Hinemutu--The Pa in Rotorua

Rotorua is full of hot water springs caused by the local volcano's. The area smells like sulfur. People used to come from all over to sit in the springs. It was believed that the water would heal your infirmities. My dad served a mission here in New Zealand. He spent a day by himself in Rotorua waiting for his new companion to arrive. This building is called a Pa. It's a gathering Holy place where the leaders of the the Maori people would meet. My dad has a picture of himself standing here in front of the Pa from his mission. His goal is to have each grandson standing here in front of the Pa just as he did. It was pretty cool to have Cardon and Jace do this.

As the Europeans came to the island, they brought with them Christianity. We had the privilege to see and old Christian church that depicted Christ walking on the water. It was so beautiful because the glass had Christ etched onto it but the water and land behind it were real.

This is a typical Moari Tiki statue. They were hand carved to keep away evil spirits.

The Drift Cars in Rotorua

My dad took us over to the drift cars so that me and BJ could race Cardon. A hair net was a must before putting on the stinky, sweaty helmet. Cardon was just sure that he was going to beat us, but these cars were super fast and powerful and every movement on the wheel really affected the car. So needless to say.............

I WON!!!!!

The Agridome in Rotorua

The kids loved the Agridome. A sheep herder showed us all the different kinds of sheep in New Zealand and what their wool was used for and then showed us how the dogs were trained to keep the sheep in line. Brinly and Amelia got to go on stage and milk a cow and then Cardon got to go on stage and feed the baby lambs.

Thank you Grandpa!!!!!!!