Jess loved the purple tiger leo... but given that I'd made it in a size 3 for Ana and really, at 15, she's a tad old to be a tiger. But, sucker loving mom that I am, I conceded that a leo involving some purple tiger lycra in it somewhere could be possible. So after a rummage in the stash, she wore this at Nationals: purple velvet tiger
Well, I went to the WOW show in Wellington. You guys so have to get to this - it was awesome. I went with my big sis and we had a great time sight seeing in our nation's capital (which turned on some sunshine just for us, lol) and seeing the WOW awards show.
Wellington Harbour from the Botanic Gardens at the top of the cable car.
This jigsaw puzzle view normally has the cable car front and centre - but then you wouldn't be able to see the city, would you?
So that was the middle Sunday of the holidays. It was a great day, well worth the wait.
Then it was time to hop on a plane to Dunedin, where Cadbury World and the 2012 NZ Gymsports National Championships waited for the onslaught of hundreds of gymnasts from Aerobics, Rhythmics and Trampoline.
Cadbury World was great - Tink is still talking about it. And they do give you lots of chocolate along the way! Heaven, just heaven. Did you know, during cruise ship season, 7,000 people a day take a Cadbury World tour? Seems I am not the only chocoholic out there...
The Edgar Centre was a great venue, and Nationals was great. We got to see the opening and closing ceremonies and attended every single day (that's what you get for doing two gymsports codes!).
Bit fuzzy, I'm sorry, but the little blue figure 3rd in from the orange clad people is Tink at the opening ceremony on the Wednesday.
While Jess was competing RG Level 6 on the Wednesday and Thursday, this was Tink:
The infamous orange shirt of a Nationals volunteer! She and I spent the first two mornings on the merchandise counter, where we got to talk to pretty much everyone there.
Jess in start pose for Rope (her second apparatus on the Wed) - Ball was her first, but I missed getting a photo.
Clubs routine on the Thursday.
Jess was extremely happy with her RG Nationals - 3 good routines, no drops and finishing with the music. Her scores were ok, but there were many higher scores awarded.
However, on Thursday I got to take these photos:
One absolutely over the moon gymnast, with her bronze medal for Ball - and way to go Shani for the silver!
Jess ended up 10th overall (3rd year in the top ten!!) and squeaked in for a proficiency pin. Jess wanted desperately to have no drops, win a medal and gain her proficiency pin - and she did it! She is still happy. Plus she got to hang out with her RG friends from all over the country.
Then on to the Aerobics, starting on the Friday. For this we had heats and finals, with top 8 in each category going through to finals. The girls were automatically through as there were less than 8 in their categories.
A very fuzzy photo of Tink, waiting with the Auckland coach Amy and the Aerobics marshall, for her routine in the Step 4 heats. Tink rocked her heats routine, she was amazing and ended up sitting 3rd going in to the final that night.
An even fuzzier photo of Tink waiting to go on for her finals routine. She looked stunning. Unfortunately she glitched her opening sequence, while the other girls upped their game, and Tink ended the competition 5th overall. WAY TO GO TINKERBELLE!!!
Meanwhile, in Step 6, Jess did her trademark neat and tidy routine in the heats to head into the final the next day in first place.
On Saturday, Jess went out and did another neat and tidy routine, but with way more intensity and she rocked her way to...
...yup, a gold medal, one of two won by the AKL Aerobics team. Woohoo Jess.
This was followed by a fun closing ceremony, and Nationals was done. Kudos to Gymsports NZ for a great event, and the girls are looking forward to 2013 in the Hawkes Bay.
Sunday dawned bright and sunny - a welcome change from the cold greyness of the previous 5 days. We had the day to ourselves so we packed ourselves into our trusty Rent-a-Dent (whom I can recommend), said goodbye to the great people, service and motel that was the Adrian Motel and headed out for some Otago scenery.
We headed for the Otago Peninsula, where Tink wanted to visit:
The landmark Larnach Castle, with its lovely gardens and great vistas. Tink really enjoyed it and we're glad she insisted we go.
Then it was Grandma's turn, so we carried on around the coast to:
The Penguin Place, where we got to see, up close, the Yellow Eyed Penguins on their nests. This breeding ground, on a private farm, is well worth the visit. Scientists have been monitoring here for nearly 30 years, and the family who run the Penguin Place have been conserving and restoring the habitat for the last 15 or so years. These nutty birds nest well away from the beach, and trek back and forth daily during the breeding season.
Then we headed back to the city, then out along the other coast starting at St Clair and we went for a "Sunday drive" out as far as the Taieri River mouth. It was very pretty, with the surf and beach settlements along the way.
At St Clair we walked along the esplanade, and the girls took this video to show how rough the surf was (it was spraying up over the railings):
Then it was time to head for the airport and our flight back to Auckland and reality.