Happy New Year to you all!!
Hope you are all well and happy, and ready to embrace another year.
Tomorrow we will have been on holiday for two weeks. TOF returns to work on Monday the 9th and I have another week of holiday left, and I am sure I will happily spend the time pottering about. We do not go away for a holiday we do Day Trips which suits us fine. With our lads no longer at home or at school we are no longer tied to having to be away when EVERYONE else is. So doing the odd day trip is our preference at this time of the year. Apart from that, I have been catching up with friends in a very leisurely way, and it has been brilliant.
One of those catch ups was with these two gorgeous friends of mine, Denise and Vicki. I met these two when our babies were at Kindergarten so about 18 or so years now. Every time I get together with them I have the very best time. This photo was taken at about 10:30am a couple of days after Christmas so we were toasting that with some rather yummy bubbles. As you do!! Vicki's daughter made us lunch, which was followed with a sour cream cake and later on with more refreshments we had ANOTHER cake!! I think I got home in time for my dinner - tis a sign of time well spent don't you agree?
Even tho' I am on holiday I am still doing my weekly Airport job, so you could say I am having a working holiday, or not. Saves my boss having to leave his family of four kids to do it and I have the time. Anyway, I have driven past this vision for so many weeks and I finally had time to stop long enough to take a photo of a Farmers obvious good humor. It is either Hay or Silage, but being a townie and all I can neither confirm or deny which it is. It makes me smile every time I drive past.
I also drive past this gorgeous trio. The big lad on the left enjoyed a scratch in between his horns. Off to the Airport I continued and performed my duties and then I headed back homeward bound.
But I got side tracked as I often do by the sight of some calves in a flowery paddock. Then I decided I should stop in and visit my potter friend Dawn as I was after all in her neck of the woods!
Her man had made me a ring out of an old teaspoon. I had cut it to length and he then made it ring shaped for me as per my instructions. PERFECTION!! I then made the spoon head part into a necklace adding a sterling silver faerie to it and a long chain. Needless to say I am now on the hunt for more old silver cutlery.
I want to make something like this next, a bracelet using two handles. This is actually my friend Vicki's daughters, but I am inspired. Google jewellery made from spoons and be prepared to be blown away!!
After a lovely catch up with Dawn I began my little drive home again. Apparently the Bunnies out her way are 'Breeding like Rabbits', and I was lucky enough to see some babies frolicking on the road side.
Such a shame that things this cute are considered a PEST!! But there are gazillions of these fluff bums running around on the farmland out that way, all destined to get culled soon.
TOF and I were dropping the Spare at a friends place (he was off to a three day music festival) out in Hinuera, which is not far from Matamata, which is not far from the Hobbition film set. TOF isn't the slightest bit interested in going to Hobbiton so I suggested we go to the Information Centre in Matamata, which is the next best thing and FREE.
OMG it was so good,
and now I just know I NEED to visit the film set.
So we sat in the Hobbit seat in the middle of the main drag like Tourists!! Well when in Rome and all that.
One of my Christmas presents from TOF was the Gnome planter so I got some potted colour to go in it. Then when I placed it in the garden I discovered my Pineapple plant, not an actual Pineapple Plant, just has the name, was starting to flower.
We did another day trip over to Mount Maunganui but stopped on the Kaimai Range to soak up the view. The plan was to catch up with some friends of ours that have a holiday home over there.
We met our friends on the beach. Perfect Summers day with wispy clouds and Sea gulls having the time of their life in the light breeze.
The beach was glorious down where they were, uncrowded and dog friendly (top photo). Where the hill is in that photo is the Mount itself, the most popular and crowded part of this stretch of golden sand. The bottom photo is of Pilot Bay which is around the back of the beach in the Harbor, and a gorgeous spot.
The Mount is a busy thriving place, with mega mansions and apartment blocks of pure luxury. Tug boats were tied up at the wharf and TOF agreed to a selfie in the sunshine. We left the Mount and headed to Katikati an area known for growing things like Kiwi Fruit. We stopped at a cafe for some lunch before continuing on with our day trip.
Next stop was Athenree to visit my cousin Annette (right of me) as she and her hubby live in this slice of paradise. Her sister Suzanne (left of me) was out from Australia so it was super nice to catch up with her as well. These two ladies are real gems and our catch up was a good one. Next time I go over I shall stay as Annette has a couple of very inviting guest rooms.
Not only is my cousins home lovely, which just happens to back onto a harbor with beautiful views, but the garden is beautiful too.
We took a drive through Waihi Beach but drove up the hill to the RSA car park to take photos. The entire coast must have been bathed in Sunshine that day, with pale blue sky and dark inviting sea, many a kiwi holiday maker was out enjoying what our little country has to offer!!
I love the drive home from the East coast across the Hauraki Plains when I am a passenger, the scenery is for ever changing.
TOF on the other hand while busy being the driver was admiring the scenery in front of him, a pretty nice fishing boat that we were following!!
Next thing you know it was the LAST DAY of 2016, New Years Eve!! We were invited out to our friends place in Raglan, so our next day trip was to the West Coast. We watched a NYE Parade in the main street before heading to a Cambodian Restaurant for dinner. Little old Raglan was humming with holiday makers, just like the East Coast. Us Kiwis love our beaches that is for sure.
As the night sky fell we wandered back to our friends house for drinks, nibbles and chatter. This is the view from one of their decks over town.
We saw in the New Year to the sound of Fireworks!! I do love a good Firework Display and this one did not disappoint.
So what did you do on New Years Eve? I am surprised we were still awake. It was 1am when I drove us back to Hamilton.
On the 3rd day of this year I was at Auckland International Airport waving my baby boy off as he and his girlfriend were flying off on a brief overseas holiday. Her mum Amanda and I get on super well so I went with her to drop our kids off. They were heading to Hong Kong with a connecting flight (with the girlfriends dad piloting the plane) to Qatar. They are going to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Switzerland, London, and Amsterdam. Such fun times for them, with a request from me for plenty of photos!!
It was only about 8:30am when we left the Airport so we mums decided to go check out Butterfly Creek. Only the cafe was open at that time which was perfect for a bacon and egg breakfast!!
With breakfast done we felt we may as well check out the Butterflies! And they were beautiful. So many colourful Butterflies in various sizes that occasionally would land on your head!
There was also pretty little birds, what sort I do not know (HELP Goody your Danny will know) flitting about, and some little Monkeys in a large cage.
In another part there were these two large Crocs that I felt incredibly sorry for. This is the closest I will ever get to these magnificent creatures which I think would be best left in the wild.
There was also a variety of Lizards on show,
lets just call them all 'Lizzy'.
I had a Dinosaur encounter outside as we were leaving.
We ventured into Auckland City where I admired this bit or art on a meter box. Lots of boutique shopping everywhere, not a Charity shop to be found, not that we were actually looking. But we got adventurous and made our way over the Harbor Bridge to a FANTASTIC place.
Junk and Disorderly!!
A brilliant second hand shop we had both heard about, full to the brim with GOODIES!!! I wanted the huge Lotus Flower seat for my garden, but 1. the car was too small and 2. Amanda said NO!!
I could have spent hours there, and I know I need to go back. The only down side was the price tickets, big city pricing for sure. But I guess if you look hard enough a bargain would be found, and if you are like me, if I really like something I can part with money to have it. But I really have to LOVE IT.
This is the view of Auckland City as we drove onto the Harbour bridge heading back to the motorway for home, Hamilton, my nice smaller sized city.
Apart from Day Tripping and visiting there has been a lot of rest and relaxation. Oh and throwing food at Sheba trying to get a humorous action shot!!
So we have all welcomed another year, let's give it our best shot. Be happy, be well, be kind and most of all take this year by it's short and curlies and make the very most of every minute it gives you. Enjoy life my friends, we only get to do this once!!