No sooner had we landed back onto Aotearoa’s (New Zealand) god’s own before we were heading back toward the airport to catch a domestic flight north to Wellington, our nations Capital.

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Cousin Barry was going to be igniting 50 candles to celebrate the turning half a century and being close, we were keen to share the experience of witnessing him having the puff to blow out soo many wicks.

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However, this was not a usual party to be had at a pub, local hall or at ones residence.  After touching down we then by car traveled north to a lodge called ‘Harrods’ situated in a small village Rangataua located at the southern ends of both the Tongariro National Park and Rangataua State Forest.

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dsc08414-1280x853It adjacents the Southwestern slope of the active volcano Mount Ruapehu, right up the guts of the North Island and here we were amongst the landscape splendure – what a way to get over jet lag!

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Other friends soon arrived and it didn’t take long before the scene was set with a blazing log fire, glass of plonk and intermingled conversations.  We just spoke louder as hypo kids echoed the sound of play and contributed to the atmosphere in readiness to give Barry a birthday bash worth remembering.

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Finding the chocolate cake hidden in the cupboard was by accident.  Sticking my finger in wasn’t.  If anyone questioned who the culprit was, point to any kid was my strategy.

No-one noticed in the long run.

It was great to be able to play with kids like a big kid.

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