Happy Birthday Fred, the smell of Egg 🍳 and locking yourself in the loo

So, on Friday our eldest turned 11. Congratulations to us! We’ve kept him alive for this long πŸ˜‚ As it was our last day in the van, we sang happy birthday with his candles on a bacon butty for breakfast, his favourite meal, I think he liked it 😊


We spent the morning in Rotorua. If you haven’t been, then you might not know that it’s well known for its geothermal activity and hot pools… which go hand in hand with the whiff of sulphur. And if you think back to those chemistry lessons, you’ll know that it’s a rather immense smell of Egg. After a while, you don’t even notice it (or so I’m told πŸ˜†). Mind you it’s still slightly more pleasant smelling than travelling with sick boy in your van πŸ™ˆπŸ˜‚

It’s also an area well known for being the adventure capital of the world 😊

We went on the gondola up Mount Ngongotaha, and came down on the Luge ride- it’s well exciting! The boys loved it, even Sid who sat on my knee and I think would have gone faster if he’d had the controls πŸ˜‰


It’s also home to the Mountain Biking festival Crankworx and it was awesome to see parts of the course and bikers on there, a bit different to our ambles along the canal back home πŸ˜‚

Also known as RotoVegas 😁 -it’s where Mark and I spent our 2nd wedding anniversary, doing a skydive here almost 19 years ago 😍 Awwww ❀



Then on to Tauranga, where we had to part with Big Bertha the Campervan. She’s done us proud! A total of about 2000km I think. And we only broke 2 cups and 1 glass with our driving πŸ˜πŸ˜‚Β  (I say our, it was Me 😁)

We got in the Airbnb house, and the first thing that Joe needs is a wee. The rest of us are frantically unloading Bertha (we’re a bit later than we’re supposed to be) and as I’m flinging the 6th bag of clothes in the hallway I hear a little voice, coming from the only bathroom in the house, “Mum, the lock’s stuck”… and 3 seconds later, “Mum, it’s come off in my hand”… πŸ™ˆ

Mark pops round to the bathroom window, which is nowhere near big enough to hoist Joe through. I’m still taking crap out of Bertha- it’s amazing how much stuff we got in there! And I’m thinking how lucky I am to have four lovely sons who provide so much awesome Blog fodder πŸ˜‚


The owner of Big Bertha (Craig of Whitianga Coastal Campers- lovely guy) managed to get Joe out with the canny use of some pliers. Phew.

And here we are, in our home of 4 weeks! It’s a fabulous 50’s Bach, 2 minutes from the bars and restaurants and 5 minutes from the beach 😊

Comes with surfboard, bikes, washing machine (woohooooooooo) and even an outside loo!

Which reminds me. Small snippet of advice for you lot: when indoor toilet is occupied, and you decide to use the outdoor one, and you check that there is a light and toilet roll, and you sit down with a big sigh of relief… don’t start to think about spiders lurking beneath the toilet seat because it WILL make you jump up, whether or not you are part-way through a pee. πŸ˜πŸ˜‚πŸ˜

The Zats have arrived. Welcome to The Mount 😁


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