We went to Mt Ruapehu at the weekend. Ella and Bethan have never even seen snow before, and skiing's one of my favourite things so I'd like to get them into it. Rach was also keen to have another go at skiing.
We left as early as we could on Saturday morning (about 9 o'clock in the end, which isn't bad for us) and drove down with a couple of stops on the way. We got to the mountain about 1 o'clock, and decided that since the last lessons of the day start at 2, we'd just hire a sled for $20 and go up to Mead's Wall and slide about.
Betty and Ella were both quite excited to see the snow (well, Ella was), and then it actually started snowing! None of the girls had ever seen this happen before, so it got very VERY exciting.
Here's Betty in the snow:
She got a bit unhappy about it all later on, as she got a bit wet and cold, and wasn't really into sledding that much.
Ella, after some initial trepidation, loved the sled. She trudged up to the top of the slope with one or the other of her parents dozens of times.
Here's me pushing Ella around:
Here's Ella and Rach in the sled in the distance:
Here's Betty trying to get us to hurry up:
Sledding was pretty good fun, even in the falling snow, but eventually we listened to Betty and took off down the mountain, pausing only for Ella to scam some mini-Moro bars off some snowboarding guys.
We drove to Turangi (about half an hour) to the place we were staying: Creel Lodge. I'm not sure why I picked this place, but man was it a good pick!
Here's our two-bedroom cabin (more like a house):
The kids are good at relaxing after a hard afternoon dealing with snow and sleeping in the car:
Here's Ella to show us the inside:
This place was nothing short of amazing. The grounds are incredible, full of massive trees and carved ponga logs. The back of the place has a gate onto the riverbank path (of the Tongariro River), where we went for a walk and watched dudes in their waders fly-fishing.
We got fish and chips for dinner, which are some of the best I've had for a long, long time.
We had originally meant to go back to Hams on Sunday, but Rach decided we might as well go back up the mountain if the weather was good. It was, so we did.
This time, we got the Discover Ski package for Ella (ski gear plus a lesson):
We'd also brought my (long-term borrowed from Emma) skis with us, so Rach could have a go:
She cleverly saved money AND got extra exercise by not buying any lift tickets and just walking up to the top of Happy Valley and skiing back down. I did this once, which was more than enough for me.
You can see how sunny it was - this meant that Betty enjoyed herself a lot more than she did the day before:
So that was our snow weekend. Could've gone a lot worse I reckon.