Weekend in Cambridge

Last weekend I got to stay with friends in their very lovely home in Cambridge.  While I was there I was on a mission to take photos of spring for a photo competition I’m running at work.  So our first little venture out was to a park where there would be plenty of cherry blossoms and hopefully some cute little fluffy ducks.

On the drive back from the park we stopped by the side of the road for some shots of some glorious trees in full blossom.


We had a really lovely walk around the park and I even learnt some history.

For dinner we went to an amazing restaurant called Alpha St.  The food was amazing and I had the most fabulous desert ever.  You pour this hot berry sauce over a stunning ball of white chocolate to reveal the dark chocolate mouse inside.  Not only was it fun but it was very delicious.

  
The next day we drove to the Hamilton Zoo where we got to see some very pretty birds.

  
Meerkats, pigs and giraffes.


Tigers, ducks and a turtle.


A family of monkeys with a really cute baby.


But my favourite was the rhinos because it was their feeding time and we got to see them up real close.


After the zoo we headed back to Cambridge for lunch and then I drove home amongst all the school holiday traffic also heading home.

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Weekend in Whanganui

Last weekend I was lucky enough to be invited to stay with friends in their lovely home in Whanganui.  What a great weekend it was.  A friend picked me up early from work on Friday so we could avoid the Auckland traffic and enjoy a couple of beers at the airport before jumping on the plane.  After possibly one too many beers we boarded the plane and very quickly made friends with the guys in the row in front of us and kept most of the passengers very amused the whole way (it was an intimate little plane).  Something about buying houses, finding a good bar to drink in with lots of homeowners had us in stitches for a long time.

One of our kind hosts picked us up from the airport and took us straight to the supermarket so we could purchase more alcohol.  Whanganui New World had the jackpot of wine selections – they sold BOTH of my faves.  These days it’s getting harder to find one or the other depending on the supermarket and the last supermarket I went in to with the biggest selection of wine ever had neither!

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We had dinner and a few drinks at a lovely neighbours house before settling in for many many laughs and quite a few drinks at the friends’ home.

The next day we drove round Whanganui looking at houses for sale, eating lunch at the Citadel – a very groovy café, walked through an amazing succulent garden many residents had got together and planted.  After dinner we did the real “Netflix and Chill” – I don’t have Netflix so it was cool to see what all the fuss is about.

For a treat on our last day we got taken out to an amazing garden in the countryside.  On the way we stopped at the recycling centre – you have to do your own recycling in Whanganui.  There was an impressive mural on the fence made out of recycled bottle tops.

Last stop before the garden was for a coffee from a funky coffee shop called Article, which sold groovy second hand stuff.  I really wanted to stay for a while and soak it all in, plus wander around the glass blowing gallery next door, but we had no time for such luxuries – we were on a mission to get out to the gardens and have a wee picnic.

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The Paloma Gardens were awesome – fascinating, clever, unusual and beautiful.  There is a large glasshouse with many types of cacti.

There’s even a Garden of Death, not my favourite thing but I have to admit it was a very clever concept and well done.

There is an unusual conservatory type area with chandeliers and a peacock.

Unusual art, beautiful flowers and pottery is everywhere – you could walk for hours to try and see everything but we did a short walk.

Then… just when I thought I’d seen everything the garden had to offer, we crossed to the other side of the driveway and found a fabulous setting for a wedding.

The fence near the entrance has lots of cool phrases painted on it, so even the driveway is fun.

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On the way back to town we stopped at a local pub for a beer and a bite to eat.  Then we went to the Wintergarden and lake to feed the ducks rice – because apparently bread is bad for them, but the ducks don’t know that and didn’t seem all that excited about the rice.

Then it was time to go home.  The flight home was very quiet and subdued compared to the flight down.  But it was on a really old plane which I’m sure had been borrowed from an aircraft museum, it was very cool though and quite spacious.

Xmas Holidays 2015 Day Twenty Two

Saturday 9 January 2016

Today started out with brunch at a garden centre in Albany, catching up with a friend.  As the temperature was already sneaking up I decided to have something refreshing rather than cooked so I ordered the Muesli with yoghurt.  A very unusual order for me but it seemed healthy and the right thing to do.  Turned out to be totally awesome and I’ll be having that next time I go back there.

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After that I went on a couch hunting mission.  Yes it was a mission – nothing was as cheap as I thought it would be and because it was a really hot day I realised many of the fabrics I initially liked made me sweat!!!

Finally after driving round all over the North Shore I found one I liked – it’s versatile, comfy and has a really similar layout to the one I have right now – plus it was on special.

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But then there was the problem of choosing the right colour!!!

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So I got a quote and delivery date and headed off to do some last minute window shopping to be sure I’d found the right one.  And then I found this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I could not believe my eyes – it looked like something out of the movie Frozen – seriously it was for sale and NOT cheap.

Eventually I ended up at the cleanest, nicest, flashest Carl’s Jr for some late lunch.

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Holiday Blog Day 11, New Years Eve

Monday, 31 December

Ahhh the very last day of 2012. I’m glad it’s over. Even though there were many highlights for me this year, ie my big trip to the states, travelling all over New Zealand for work and getting to keep my job after more than a year of uncertainty, there were also some big low points such as Celine Dion cancelling her concerts due to illness (again), and going through the uncertainty of the restructuring at work sure has taken its toll.

Usually on New Years Eve a group of 4 of us go into town and party hard up on K Road, but this year we all decided that wasn’t so much fun the last time we did that so we wanted to do something different – and we did.

Another friend of mine who is over for Xmas from the UK held a party at her sister’s place (very kind sister).  It was the perfect venue – lovely big deck to sit and enjoy a great BBQ, conversation, a bit of dancing and at midnight there was even a great view of the Sky Tower fireworks.

It was a great night with great friends.