Tuesday, September 6, 2011

No Food, Just Snow and Views

I didn’t do ANY cooking or baking this past week.  Nothing.  Everything I have fed my food baby has been prepared by someone else.  Also, I've consumed a lot of Nutella.  Just how bad exactly is it for you?  Not too bad, right?  Oh, no don't tell me, I'd rather stay blissfully ignorant with my head firmly stuck in the ground.  Totally a good strategy for healthy living.
This weekend Jonno's little bro Rob flew up to Wellington and we drove up to Mt. Ruapehu for some good old fashioned fun in the snow.  You know it's gonna be a fun weekend when this is the face that is grinning at you from the back seat...
He may look slightly munted here, but that's just Rob.  He's the King of Shenanigans, with the haircut to prove it.  Jonno drove up til Levin, where we stopped at "Plenty Fast Food" and got basically buckets of fried foods.  I throw up a little in my mouth now as I remember what I ate, ick ick ick! 

The mountain was absolutely spectacular, and we could not have had better weather, not that this photo really does it justice.
Maybe this one is a better picture of what we were heading towards on Saturday - glory!

Looks like a family roadtrip of ye olde days.

Look at that happy smiling face.  What he doesn't know is much he will be hurting, and where he will be hurting in T minus six hours.  Prepare for PainFest 2011!!  Note Mount Doom in the background.  I love living in Hobbit Country!

I don't love it when my face all distorted.  Or at least that's what it looks like to me here.
Look how wide my cheeks are...must have been all the squintingness into the bright fiery sun that I was doing.  Also, could I have a more goofy smile?!

Now, I am a snowboarder and have been for about 12 years now.  I have my own board, affectionately named The Green Monster (it's a Boston Red Sox thing).  But the thing that I seem to forget everytime a coconut before going snowboarding is literally how damn much of a pain in the bum it is!  All that sitting/falling on the ground just to strap one foot into the bindings does not a happy posterior make.  And then having to push oneself up from the sitting position into standing whilst both feet are strapped to your plank without faceplanting - yeah that's a real joy.  There's really no way to do it gracefully.  A couple years back I perfected strapping in while still standing up, and then promptly lost that skill as soon as I finished my last run for that season.  I haven't re-acquired it yet. 

The only thing we could do once we got home from the snow was figure out which hotpool to go to - drive half an hour to the cheaper one with only one large public pool or slog it out for an hour and a half in the car for the fancy hot pool complex in Taupo?  Cheap and public it was!  Good thing we were early too - by the time we left after an hour of soaking away the bruises there were heaps of kids there, splashing around, ruining the serenity.  Not that we were there for the serenity.  Nah, our main goal was to cook ourselves pink as prawns.  My maths&physics husband and engineering bro-in-law had an in-depth discussion about how the natural hot springs (pictured above) transferred heat to the chlorinated pool next to them - that just made my head ache along with the rest of my body!! 

On Sunday we took the long leisurely way back down to Wellington, stopping in pretty much every small town along the way to eat or drink something.  We may have imbibed at dinner the night before, so between that and the ski pain we were feeling the effects of ... life, and needed constant refueling just to stay mobile.

They painted the Ohakune carrot black for the Rugby World Cup strung flags of all the RWC countries on every available surface.  New Zealand takes its rugby hosting duties seriously!  We stopped at The Chocolate Eclair Shop, in Ohakune (next to the BP) and honestly I don't know how they stay in business, because they sell the nicest, lightest eclairs and pastries at ridiculously low prices.  It cost us $5.20 for three pastries.  Seriously shop people, charge more, you deserve it! 

Jonno stopped the car so we could look over the edge of this bridge, which we decided to go under,  you know, as you do, in order to better see the bottom of the gorge.  Typical Baker behaviour.  Just wait til I tell your mother, boys!  *shakes fist*
They look way too pleased with themselves. 

Next we stopped in Mangaweka to check out the DC-10 flying through the cafe courtyard.
You know, coz that's normal, to hang a plane out at a cafe.  I have to say the Kiwis really know how to make things worthy of stops on a roadtrip.  It seems like every town has its own icon to stop and take a photo of.

Jonno requested I take this photo of the cockpit.  What a boy!
I love how old and vintagey it looks - much better than how a normal photo of the cockpit would look, because let's face it - a plane that has been around for 50 years is not in the prettiest condition. 

On the home stretch, we stopped at the lookout on the Kapiti coast, just in case we hadn't been reminded enough of how gorgeous New Zealand really is and how lucky we are to live here!

Maybe this week I'll actually get around to doing something food-related.  Hmm, the Rugby World Cup starts on Friday, that's kind of like football, right?  Well then the only answer is Football Nachos!!

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