After conference, Ryan and I were wiped!  We had a pretty busy trip to the States, and conference required some very long, we were glad to take a few days to recover on our way home in Taupo.  Max dropped us off as he drove home from conference to Wellington, and we stayed with our friends, Brandon and Jen.

Taupo is right next to Lake Taupo, which is really beautiful.

We joke that somehow we always end up eating at Burger Fuel whenever we are in Taupo.  It's delicious.

On the next day Ryan and I rode bikes over to 'Spa Park', where you can sit in a hot spring!  Ryan has been dreaming about this for a few months now, so it was time to make it happen.  The water is so hot, it actually takes a while before you can get all the way in.

The hot spring is right along the edge of the Waikato River - which is freezing.  So you have to find a happy balance.

We had a nice, chilly bike ride back to Brandon and Jen's.

We happened to be in town at the same time as Jen's mom, so we joined, and celebrated her birthday!  Brandon and Jenn were so wonderful to let us stay with them for the weekend.  We had a great time with them, and learned that Brandon and I actually went to the same elementary school, just a few years apart - isn't that nuts!?

The next morning we woke up nice and early and drove up to the Waitomo glow worm caves.  I've been wanting to make it up there, since it's on all of the "to-do" New Zealand lists.  Anyway, it was really beautiful.  We weren't allowed to take any photos, but it was amazing to see the caves covered in little blue lights from the glow worms.

We rode in these little boats through the cave into the grotto with the glow worms.  I couldn't help but think how creative is our God that would think to create these pretty little worms to live in a cave - maybe never to be seen.

The next day we were intended to fly home bright and early in the morning...but the propeller on our plane wouldn't start!  Not good.  So, we got to stay another day!

The lake in the morning...

And the mountains in the distance.

The sunset that night was so beautiful.

We finally made our flight the next morning, and look at our plane!  It was so tiny.  It felt like a private little tour down the north island.  But we made it safe and sound to windy Wellington :)

**Sorry, I feel like Instagram has hijacked my blog posts, so I apologize if you follow me there :)

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