Monday, September 9, 2013

Botanical Garden

What a fantastic Spring weekend!  It was shorts weather in *cold* little Dunedin.  Yea, you hear that, shorts!!  Bodie and I had the morning to ourselves and thought we should spend it at one of our favourite places in Dunedin, the Botanical Gardens (about 2 minutes from our house). 

There is so much to do here! Obviously there is a playground, but there is a train, duck feeding station (with free food), aviary, thousands of different plants, bridges, trails, cafe and the glorious view!!  And have I mentioned how AMAZING the weather was?!

Some info: The Dunedin Botanic Garden is New Zealand's first botanic garden and holds the status of Garden of International Significance. It has hill views from sunny lawns, more than 6,800 plant species and the song of wild native bellbirds, wood pigeons and tui.  The Garden celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2013, marking its position as New Zealand’s first botanic garden. It occupies 28 hectares in North Dunedin at an altitude of 25 – 85 metres above sea level.

The train that operates is 100% charity run and has been operating for the past 20 years!  It's affordable ($2 adult, $1 child - over 5, under free).  All the operators are volunteers and they are advertising for drivers!  http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/247794/charity-clocks-20-years-service

Bodie and I went to the park in the late morning.  He took his scooter (no bikes allowed) and when we got there and he kept wanting to race (so I was chasing after him) I thought "Dang, why didn't I bring my scooter"?!  Anyways, he rode around the entire garden and had no inclination to play on the playground.  Instead, he wanted to go for a walk along the trails and look for Dinosaurs.  I have to say it was one of the best hour walks I've ever had.  Bodie was holding my hand and we were singing songs and imagining dragons and dinosaurs swinging around in the trees.  So fun!  At one point Bodie said "Mom, there's a swing can I swing on it".  I didn't see the swing at first because it was vines out of a tree that were hanging down.  So he spent a good half an hour jumping off the bank and swinging on this vine.  It was so cool.  For some reason I kept thinking about The Giving Tree.  I must get that book!


Anyways, at lunch time we decided to go home for lunch and then come back with my scooter (and Simon).  We had such a great time.  We found ramps and we did tricks.  We were hot and tired so we got ice cream and water at the cafe.  Then Bodie found a 'friend' and the two of them played for AGES.  All in all it was once again a great day at the Botanical Gardens (or 'tanical garden as said by the Bodie)!

Here are a ton of pictures. 


 Bodie and I were racing to the bridge...
 I'm gaining on him!
 Ah, photo finish and I had to jump off due to a 1 yr old toddling out.
 So Bodie jumped off..



 
Train.

 Trying to catch some air

 


 Air man, definite air!  hoot!
 
 Bodie was so cute.  He tried to 'get air' and ended up just hopping on his scooter.  Good effort though!  One time he jumped up and pulled the scooter back and landed on his bottom.  Bruised ego and bit of tears, but he was fine.  Luckly he had on his helmet b/c his head smacked the pavement!

 
Bodie and his friend spiderman tumbling in the grass.
 


 I don't know if you can see it but this tree is crawling with children.  Probably 10+ in it, Bodie included.
 
 
 
 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Del Sol! A restraunt for kids!

A new restaurant has opened up in Dunedin.  Simon's mom and Del had some friends in town so we decided to book a table for 6pm.  I was a little apprehensive with Bodie b/c he isn't the best at sitting still for long amounts of time.  When we got there I was so relieved!  The place was totally kid friendly!  I think every table had kids at it!  The place is really loud, so if your kid is loud, no one hears him.  In saying that, if you want to go somewhere to have a good chat, this isn't the place.  You can't really hear people at the other end of the table without yelling!  They also have big sombreros that you can wear and that is fun for the kids... and adults)!.  The d├ęcor is really cool.  It's an old building and they managed to make it look like a Mexican restaurant but keeping the quant old style charm of the old building.  The drinks were great and the food was greater!  Everyone at the table enjoyed their meal.  I got a pulled pork tostada, which is basically pulled pork nachos.  And it had bits of cracklin' in it!  Unlike most NZ food, the pork had a kick to it and the avocado went well with it, cooling it down a bit.  By the time we were finished with the food, kids were running all over the place.  We were out of there by 730pm and it looked like most of the other kids were too.  The clientele also changed from 7pm or so. 

So, if you feel like a good family dinner that isn't too expensive (minus drinks) then check it out!  On Moray Place across from the Rialto!  http://www.delsolnz.co.nz/