Holidays always meant the long trek north on state highway one, windows down trying to shelter from the stifling heat of the long New Zealand summer. Inevitably there were queues. Everyone leaving at the same time with their families for the school break.
Our halfway stop was the 'Uncles' hamburger bar in Wellsford. "The mighty metropolis," as Dad liked to joke. We loved this stop for burgers with pineapple - Hawaiian burgers - or American Hot Dogs, with a lime shake. It kept the tummies from rumbling until we made it to the end of the journey. When we finally arrived, Dad would send us boys running up to the bach to check for dead mice so Mum didn't get a fright.
Then there was the unpacking. Though it wasn't normally too long before we were released to race down to the ocean and into the tide. We might spot other families arriving, or perhaps our friends the Cormacks across the way.
First thing on arriving at the beach we would see how much sand had been deposited, or taken away since last year, then into that clear salty water again. And it felt like nothing had really changed. That life was one long summer holiday interspersed with school years, rather than the other way round.