Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Mellow weekend

Last weekend felt like we were on holiday again. We were busy on Saturday morning. I was faffing around decorating cupcakes for the party at Oma Rapeti, Kien's old daycare. It has been 5 years since they established themselves, and Kien was one of the founding pupils. He loved that place and all the teachers there. Whenever we go back it feels so homely and inviting. So for their fifth birthday celebrations it was high tea, in the morning. I forgot to take any photos, especially of my cupcakes, that Jef said flew off the cake stand before any other plates were touched. Bright red roses with sprinkles work their magic on impressionable youngsters every time! Anyway, photo of the day goes to Jef (the only photo) is of Kien playing in the cool basket - I love that thing, and would totally have one if we had some room.

Saturday afternoon we took the ferry over to Waiheke Island. Stayed at Anna and Joe's place near Palm Beach. We were lucky that the weather turned out to be quite lovely on Saturday - not that we did much of anything. We just lazed around and cooked and ate and drank and it was a merry time indeed.

On Sunday we had reservations at Tantalus Estate. Joe is Head Chef there, and they got a really positive write-up in the gastronomy section of the Denizen. So of course, do we need an excuse to go and try it out?!?

We were seated overlooking the gardens and vineyard proper. There were also vats below us that *we think* are used for brewing specialty beers. At one point the sun was streaming through the windows and the maitre d' had to open up the sliding doors that connected to the courtyard. It was fabulous.

We'll definitely be back to sample more from the menu. I know its not like me (hahahaha) but I had stuffed myself all morning full of food so I wasn't as hungry as I could have been. I'm saving myself for next time!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

While still on school holidays...

So we are now in the second week of the school holidays, and after coming back from Samoa it has been a tad difficult to settle back in. However I can't really complain, considering I do have Tuesdays off. When its school holidays I get to spend the entire day with Kien, and yesterday he really wanted to go to the Auckland Domain. That's my boy, after my own heart!

Today I decided to take Kien to work with me. He'll go to school holiday programme for the rest of the week but I wanted him to have a different experience, and also I miss him and want to spend more time with him. He was great; so well behaved. I put him out the back in the casual breakout room, which also happens to have lots of toys (to inject more "fun" into the workplace). Perfect for kids!

Monday, September 26, 2016


Sorry, for some reason those pics did not show up so I've just fixed them up now and reposting.

Trying to get this post up as fast as possible. A more detailed one will be going up later on when I have more time. We are currently in Apia - caught a shuttle in here from our resort, which is called Return to Paradise and is really far away from anywhere. Internet in scarce there too.

Anyway, here's some photos for the time being just to say hello and tell you all we are alive and well, in a place called Paradise.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

And so I run...

It's pretty hard to escape my head. I'm an over thinker from way back and tend to analyse stuff to the enth degree, which, despite it sounding like I'm a brain box that processes information in unique life giving ways, it's in fact the opposite. Draining, life sucking, endless looping of absolute tediousness. I've suffered this ailment for as long as I can remember, but I didn't recognise it to be a hindrance until later on in my life...especially when it's stopping me from sleeping. I go through bouts of insomnia often; so much so that I've got enough teas, potions, lotions, and herbal remedies in my cupboards to make a small donkey happy (or maybe not so happy, depending on the particular donkey's personality type).

My best remedy however is exercise. I do it because I want to sleep. I also do it because I love to eat, but mainly because I have to sleep. But here I am, running like a beast whenever I get a chance, and here I am, wide awake at 2:07am. I've got a lot on my plate at the moment, but nothing unusually unpleasant or tricky...just the same old, same old juggling as one does when trying to orchestrate a bunch of people to get a task done. It's like herding cats!

I'm not upset or anything. I don't even have anything particularly interesting to think about. I'd just like it that I'm not tired from catching only a few zzzzz per night.

Anyway, seeing as I'm sorta talking about running here are some photos from my training sessions over winter.

Right, time for a cuppa. Chamomile, anyone?

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

School field trip

My first field trip with Kien's school was last Friday. We went to Butterfly Creek with 3 classes. 2 buses turned up to pick us up, and they were both the bendy bus type so we only filled half of each bus.

We got to Butterfly Creek around 10am and had our morning tea while logistics were getting sorted by the teachers. I must say, it is quite nice to not be involved in organising anything, but instead being organised for. How refreshing!

I had been assigned a group of 6 kids. They were very cute! We went to the Dinosaur Kingdom for a briefing about habitats.

We then headed for the train. We were the first group on the train.

After the train we went through to the farm.

Then to the butterfly house (which some kids freaked out in since they got scared of the fluttering around their heads) so we didn't stay in there for long. We passed through the crocodile enclosure and then went back to the Dinosaur Kingdom for lunch.

After lunch we were back at the crocodile enclosure for the show.

Then that was it. We got back on the bus and played "Eye Spy" all the way back to school.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Whakapapa and Taranaki Falls

I began this blog post yesterday on the drive home but was too tired to finish it. I'm now back at my desk, back at work, back to Auckland and every time I need a break (or have a break) I update the post a bit more. Its nice to think that just yesterday we were out there in the snow :-).

It was a slow start this morning as we lazily crawled out of bed well past eight o'clock. Last night we walked into the township. It seemed like a good idea when we decided to go. Being on holiday I relaxed my eating restrictions - meaning I've consumed more empty calories these last 3 days than I have for an entire month. That's okay, back to marathon training mode tomorrow. So we had to do some exercise to work off all that food. We didn't get back to our room until late; walking in the heavy rain on the way back.

Kings Ohakune provides complementary continental breakfast, and staying true to the holiday spirit I treated myself to multiple bowls of dried fruit muesli. Yum yum.

We've been fortunate to have much better weather today. We decided to go for a tramp to see a waterfall.

Driving to Whakapapa the views were fabulous. We stopped a few times on the state highway to take pictures.

Close to the village we stopped for snow fighting.

On the Taranaki waterfall trail - breathtakingly beautiful. I literally had to stop and remind myself how grateful I am for having these experiences. I mean, how magical is this?

The trial goes through the forest, over bridges and along streams with snow caped stones.

We finally made it to the waterfall.

On the way back it started to snow. Walking through the alpine grassland with snow kissing your rosy checks is wonderful. I wasn't carrying a 17kg load on my back so I guess I enjoyed the experience a lot more than my counterpart.

The Chateau looked amazing in the distance.

And then it was all over. Back in the car and its homeward bound. A brief and fantastic getaway.


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