Greetings from an airplane! The team is currently flying over Cedar Rapids, Iowa, according to our pilot. We have begun the long trek to Auckland, New Zealand! Our trip to the other side of the globe started at about 4 AM this morning. Trust me when I say that sleep was hard to come by because everyone was very excited to get going! Everything has gone pretty smooth so far, except for the fact that we left one of our players behind by accident! Our big man, Aaron Murray, was left behind and was forced to catch up by car! The thing that surprised me most about the entire situation was that not one coach or person was mad when informed about the flub. Everyone shared an early morning laugh and we were on our way! He claims that he thought we were leaving at 4:30. Guess someone should have been paying attention! The first leg of the trip consisted of a three hour bus ride from the school to Chicago’s O’Hair Airport. To be completely honest, the ride was a very long and uncomfortable one. Lane and I decided to just stay up all night, and we are paying for that decision now. We are currently on a United Airways flight en route to Los Angeles, California. This particular flight is scheduled to last about 4 hours. When we arrive at LAX, we have a layover of about 10 hours. Some saw this as discouraging, but I am happy that we will have some time away from the plane. Flying 4 hours, and then turning right back around and flying 13 would be an awful experience. Instead of sitting in the airport all day, the coaches have decided to let us check out Venice Beach. We are going to spend a couple hours walking the boardwalk and enjoying the scenery. I am particularly excited for this part of the trip because I have never really had the change to experience California. Last year the Sycamores opened the season at UCLA, but seeing that we were on a business trip, we weren’t allowed to do or see much of anything. Well, I believe that is all for now. I will continue to update the blog as to what and how the team is doing. As always, I have to thank God for the opportunities that he has put in front of me, and in front of us. Not many people can say that they have been able to take part in an event like this. I am very thankful to everyone that made this possible. God Bless.
I recently received an email from my coach informing the team that we will have one day completely to ourselves while in New Zealand! The email went on to provide us with eight different options that we can choose from. There are some very cool things on the list; however, I can obviously only choose one of them. I have created a poll to see what you guys think. In the poll there are all eight options, and underneath them there is information about each activity. I’ve been struggling with this decision and I need help! If you wouldn’t mind, share your thoughts! Thanks again everyone! By the way, I am working on my second “worth while” post. It will be up shortly. Thank you for following the blog!
Destination 1 – WAITOMO GLOWORM CAVES
Travel Time: ~2.5 hours one way
OVERVIEW: Within the legendary limestone caves, discover magical glowworms in the world famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Choose to view them from the safety of a boat, the thrills of black water rafting, or challenge of dry caving. You won’t be disappointed.
OVERVIEW: Discover the real Middle-earth on the most picturesque private farmland near Matamata in the North Island of New Zealand, where you can visit the Hobbiton Movie Set from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogy in a fascinating two-hour guided tour.
OVERVIEW: Take the ferry across the Hauraki Gulf to Auckland’s iconic Rangitoto Island. The youngest of the islands on the Gulf, Rangitoto emerged from the sea around 700 years ago in a series of volcanic explosions. On the island you can choose from a number of hikes to the summit, including the option of exploring lava caves. Return to the historical city of Devonport and watch the sunset from the tunnels and gun emplacements of North Head or the comfort a local restaurant.
Destination 4 – SKY TOWER, MUSEUM, SHOPPING, MISSION BAY
Drive: 40 mins Ferry: 40 mins $14.40
OVERVIEW: Drive or take the ferry to downtown Auckland and hit up the city’s main attraction – the Auckland Sky Tower – to experience spectacular 360 degree views of the city and surrounding areas. Then hop on over to the Auckland Domain and experience the history of the land in Auckland’s War Memorial museum.
From there, it’s an easy walk to Newmarket – a favorite shopping destination, or Parnell, an artsy shopping and café village. And to finish it off, check out the fine dining along Mission Bay and experience some of the best restaurants and cafes that Auckland has to offer.
This is a kind of mix and match day and you can talk with your group about how you want to spend it.
OVERVIEW: Hit up one of New Zealand’s famous black sand beaches and learn how to ride the waves like a pro! When you’re not on the water, there are plenty of other things to do including bush walks, blokarting, horse treks, scenic drives and cafes.
Try the Muriwai Lookout Track. This track has a good surface and winds past mature coastal bush before displaying some of the best views on the west coast from the lookout platform.
2 Hour beginner surf lesson (w/board and wetsuit) – $60 FOR GOOD SWIMMERS ONLY
1 hour board and wetsuit hire – $20
1 hour Blokart hire – $60
Other hire equipment available.
Group discount available depending on size of group
OVERVIEW: Set off up north in the morning and choose from a number of walks or short hikes in the Waiwera area. If it’s not too cold, Wenderholm Regional Park is the perfect place for a picnic lunch! THEN spend the rest of the evening warming up at Waiwera Thermal resort, relaxing in the 100% naturally heated geothermal waters. There are a number of different pools at varied temperatures to suit your liking as well as a movie pool and a bunch of sweet hydroslides. There are also options for sauna and day spa packages.
Cost: Pools entry $26 (group discount may be available)
OVERVIEW: The Manukau Heads are one of Auckland’s best kept secrets. Tucked away on the rural Awhitu peninsula you will be blown away by spectacular views looking back over the city and up to the Waitakere ranges. Take a leisurely drive over the ridgelines of beautiful New Zealand farmland to find yourself in a different world. The black sand beach and quaint light house at the cape won’t disappoint. Experience a slice of the real New Zealand.
Get a Taste of Rural New Zealand
Pukokohe, Pokeno – travel south to friendly country villages along State Highway 1. They welcome travellers with tempting food options, local produce and craft stores.
Target Bakehouse,(named one of Auckland’s top 5) 231 Manukau Rd, Pukekohe
In Pukekohe, check out 23-year-old Cambodian baker Nap Ly’s gold award-winning mince and cheese pie. He also recommends his chicken and vegetable pie. Baking is in the family blood as his dad and partner are in Pukekohe, while brothers run bakeries in Warkworth, K Rd and Forrest Hill.
Pokeno is a favourite stop known for its generous servings of icecream, its locally produced bacon and sausages and friendly country village atmosphere.
OVERVIEW: From Native kauri and nikau forest to tall cliffs and black beaches, the Waitakere Ranges offer a diverse and handsome landscape west of Auckland. A rich network of tracks explore the low hills, and the black iron sand beaches from Whatipu in the south to Piha further north.
If you enjoy being in the midst of nature a day in the Waitaks is perfect for you. Choose from various hiking trails to suit your level and interests or climb some trees at Tree Adventures.
Cost: Tree Adventures prices range $16 -40 (there’s group discounts)
OVERVIEW: Want to experience the beaches of Narnia first hand? Or dig your own hot pool in the sand at low tide? Then this is the right choice for you.
Cathedral cove is only a short 45 min walk from the road, and it is the very place that Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy appeared back in Narnia after being transported out of the train station in Prince Caspian. This distinct and stunning coast line is well worth the visit.
Hot Water Beach hosts a unique geothermal phenomenon with volcanic hot springs heating the water under the sand. Arrive an hour before low tide and create your own spa in the sand while the chilly waves crash over you. It’s quite the experience!
Aug 5 2013 arr at Hotwater Beach 10:30am low tide 11.25am
The Coromandel Peninsular is home to many of New Zealand’s top holiday locations and is a pleasant drive from Auckland with plenty of quaint kiwi towns to stop off at along the way.
Today one of the best coaches/basketball minds I’ve ever known decided to hang it up. My dad, Dave Mahurin, stepped down as the head boys basketball coach at Rockville High School. To be honest, this came as a complete shock to me. There for awhile he acted as if he was excited for the challenge his team faced for this upcoming year. I guess he decided that he needed some time to relax for once! This past year was my Dad’s 24th year overall and his 11th year at the helm of the Rox. There isn’t really anything that I can say in this post that can describe how important he was to so many people throughout those years. All of the guys that I played with not only viewed him as coach, but as a second dad as well. He wasn’t only considered with wins and losses, he was concerned with forming a tight-knit relationship with his guys. I can honestly say that I began in his program a boy, and came out a man. My time on his team was something special that I will never forget.
Coach Mahurin got his first varsity coaching job during the 1993-1994 season at Adams Central High School. Adams Central is a very small little school located just south of Fort Wayne. In his two years there he went 24-20 while at the same time taking home a sectional championship. I wish I could remember those days! After two years at Adams Central, our family packed up and moved south to Terre Haute, Indiana. Dad took a coaching job at South Vermillion High School. During his time there, he racked up a total of 65 wins. At SV, dad coached some of the better players that I remember watching as a kid. He coached guys like Dana Scifres and Jake Webber, personal idols for me at that age. As a kid I remember not being able to wait to play for him at South Vermillion. I loved it there. I can remember going to every game with my mom not being able to sit still. So when he came home and told us that we were moving to Rockville, needless to say I was very upset.
Little did I know at the time that he would become one of, if not the greatest coach in Rockville history. Dad was able to accomplish feats that no other coach had even ever come close to. In eleven years, he won 165 games. He also attained 5 sectional championships; putting his total count at six. He also won the schools first regional and semi-state titles. His most important feat though was reaching the 1A State Finals. Although the Rox were defeated in a great game, what it did for the community was remarkable. I have never seen a town rally around a team as it did that year. I am proud that both my father and brother played such an integral part of that run. It is truly amazing what they were able to accomplish. They always rub it in my face when I am home, and rightly so!
I am so proud of what my dad was able to accomplish during his years as head coach. If I could go back in time, I would in a heartbeat. As I said before, his program turned boys into men. That is exactly what he did for me and countless others. There were many times that outsiders attempted to tarnish what he has done in his time as head coach, but I am delighted to say that they were just not able to do it. The legacy that he has built at Rockville High School will last forever, like it or not. No one can deny the winning tradition that he left behind. I personally believe that no one will ever be able to fill these shoes. While I am sad that I won’t be able to make my usual Friday night jaunt down to the Rock-a-dome to watch him coach, I know that he will be much happier with some time to relax. He will now be able to come watch my brother and I play at Indiana Wesleyan. He will also have time to see my sister play as she begins her career at Lincoln Trail. I guess he was just at a point where you have to step back and think about yourself for once. I commend him for doing so, and I couldn’t be more proud to call him Dad. Lastly, I want to say Congratulations on an amazing career and I wish him luck in whatever he decides to do next!
As many of you know, our basketball team at Indiana Wesleyan is headed to Auckland, New Zealand in about a week. I have decided to start this blog to help everyone at home keep up with what is going on! Not only is this a basketball trip, but it is a mission trip as well. Feel free to follow along as we continue to spread the idea of being #fearless to the other side of the world!