Wednesday 23 December.
We'd been in Palmerston North since the Saturday, and Rocky had a list of activities a mile long to complete during our week-long stay.
Top of the to-do was a walk up the Kahuterawa Valley. Rocky had chosen this instead of having a birthday party in Auckland.
We'd iced a store-bought cake (no time for baking, there were books to be read and friends to see), and Di packed a picnic of fruit, tea, bread and tomatoes, and Grommy's plum jam.
It was a hilarious drive up to the track. We tried to play Travis' complicated version of I Spy, which consisted of him setting us easy, medium or hard clues and us coming up with the most stupid answers we could. Much fun.
The weather was not so good as we started out. It was windy, cold and looked like rain. We needed jerseys and coats. I complained summer had gone away. Again.
We took the Back Track, and after about 20 minutes walking reached the spot, a largish clearing where a big rock jutted out over the stream. The sun came out. And stayed out. Our friends arrived with a tin of pie, sweets and sandwiches. The kids had a treasure hunt, shared their lollies with each other, hiffed rocks into the stream, and attempted to swim in the freezing water.
I love those days that exceed expectation. This one was perfect.