It was about an hour drive to Mt. Ruapehu. (That is one of the mountains in the the background of the hike J and E did recently.) We borrowed some snow clothes and pieced together what we had.
As soon as we got out of the car I remembered why I was excited to be away from Michigan this winter. I'm not the biggest fan of being cold. So we headed to the chair lift and saw a big sign that says "No Sledding Today." I guess just enough snow had melted to expose some rocks, so it was closed. The bright side is the boys really enjoyed the chair lift. We got down to the snow and it was slushy and slippery and as you can see from the above pic, starting to snow on us. Cohen and I headed into the cafe and Jared and Elias played for a bit in the snow. It wasn't the best quality snow for playing so we enjoyed a tasty lunch in the cafe and figured we would head home.
On our 5 minute walk back to the car the snow turned into ice balls and the wind picked up and blasted it into our faces. It hurt and was hard to see so Jared and I both picked up a crying boy and tried to shield them as we stumbled in the direction of the car. Jared finally stopped the boys and I behind a parked van to shield us and ran for the car. We must have only been standing there about 6 minutes but in that time four different passers-by offered to help us. We must have looked pretty pathetic with both boys crying (Elias was trying to be brave...) and clinging to me and me trying to reassure them we would survive. Just as I was about to board a bus beside us whose driver offered us shelter, Daddy arrived. I was thinking on the way home that this adventure was a bust, I guess even New Zealand can't be perfect, right?
As we drove down the mountain and back to our great little town, Taupo, this is what the weather looked like: