Here is my last post about our final weeks in New Zealand. It is a little late as the past few weeks have been busy. To give you the quick version, we have been in California, Colorado and then driven to Montana where we have found a place to live AND I got a full time job. More on what’s happening here in Montana and how I’m feeling about becoming a working mama.
New Zealand Finale
We have now been on US soil for two weeks. It’s amazing how time can fly visiting with family and friends.
I want to share with you the Joy of our final weeks in New Zealand. After finishing the bike tour, we were treated with five days at Ginny and Ross’s house. To me, it felt like we were with family, particularly the way Ginny and Ross would treat Felix as if he was their own grandchild. We got to see how the gardens had grown over the last three and a half months and enjoy eating from them as well. We got to meet the two new calves that were born while we were gone and we go to see the chickens daily which was one of Felix’s favorite things to do. We decided to sell our bikes and ended up selling them to a lovely couple in Wellington. They were so lovely, they even let us stay at their house as the day was running late and we had yet to eat and sort out a place to camp. Speaking of camping, we rented a campervan for our time on the North Island. We rented from a company named Rocket ship/Space ship who name each of their vehicles. Our campervan was named “GONAD”: how lovely. Gonad was later to be nicknamed “Gonaddy”. Felix will still ask about ‘Gonaddy’ if he sees a van that looks similar. It was lovely to wheels and an engine under us, being able to see a bit more and stock up on food. We slept relatively well together in the van, Felix even had his own sleeping spot which gave a little more room to Jason and I. It was a treat!
We first travelled just outside of Wellington to camp at a Department of Conservation (DoC) site. It was a wonderful site with many trails for all of us to enjoy. Some of the campsites we stayed at even had hot springs that were free. We were amazed that we were camping on a Friday night and we had the hot springs to ourselves. We got to go on a rare family hike along the river. It was wonderful to hike as a family as you know it was either biking together or Jason running while Felix and I hike together. We even enjoyed a quick family skinning dip before the sand flies ate us alive!
Next onto Taupo where we stayed at a holiday park and enjoyed the swimming pools and more hot springs near by. It is amazing how many geothermic attractions the North Island has. After Taupo we made our way to Rotarua where Jason raced the Tarawera 100km race. We got there early and were able to explore more hot springs and stay at a few low-key campgrounds on the edge of some beautiful lakes. It was nice to be in one area for a longer period of time. There was a lot of press and activities planned for elite athletes. I was proud to see my Jason in the spotlight. Jason ran a great, yet very tough race. He was doing really well at the beginning, but when I saw him at the 85km mark I was worried. I have never seen him so exhausted and almost defeated but he pressed on and finished the race. He will tell you it was the most challenge race his has done since the 100 miler. He had to walk backwards downhill, he found sticks to use to aid him in s l o w l y running the last parts of the trail, he even laid down to rest for a few minutes. It’s incredible that he pushed on and finished the race. Felix was a trooper throughout the day, waiting and anticipating Daddy to run by and then wait again. I was a proud wife when he came through at the finish line.
The day after the race, we got to hang out with Tim Olson, another professional Ultra runner and his wife Krista. We had a great time driving up to the Coromandal and enjoyed a fabulous dinner together. Tim and Krista left early the next morning to do some exploring before their flight home the next day.
Both Jason and I were feeling we didn’t feel like adventuring too far and our goal was to find a few quite campgrounds with trail access for our final ten days in New Zealand. I wanted to take advantage of Jason’s recovery time to take a long day adventure while he and Felix played and rested together. I ended up going for a five-hour hiking adventure on a lovely misty day. It was spectacular; not only because of the scenery but it was nice to get out on my own. I love my boys dearly, but I also love my time alone in nature.
Our final days in New Zealand were spend in Auckland with our new friend Jean. He graciously invited us into his home (I’m not sure if he really knew what he was in for) and took us around to his favorite places in New Zealand, to include an volcanic island. Jason went running, while Jean and I hiked with Felix to the top of the Volcano. That night, he treated us to an amazing dinner out. It was a fabulous end to time in New Zealand.
POST NZ BLUES…
Since we have been back to North America, both Jason and I have experienced a slight sadness and/or depressed feeling. Not because we are sad to be back. For me it is a bit of sadness of the end of such an incredible journey. We really grew as a family while adventuring in New Zealand. It was a bittersweet end as we were and still are feeling ready to be a little more settled into a routine in a community.
We are currently enjoying some time with friends in Boulder. In the next few days we will be packing up the Truck and making our way to Missoula, Montana. I am excited for a new adventure, yet sad to say Goodbye to Boulder one more time and really sad to leave some very special friends in Colorado. Thank goodness for technology, keeping me in touch with loved ones all over the world.
We will have a big shift of family roles when we settle into Missoula. Jason will be heading back to school part time to start; he’ll continue his running and take on more time with Felix. I will be heading back to work full time which is exciting and I know will require a bit of time to adjust. I have been so fortunate to not only be home with Felix for over two years, but also have had Jason around full time over the last year.
I am ready to take on this next adventure in Missoula. I just have to remind myself to choose happiness, worry less and if all else fails, dance my worries and fears away.