Loving: Summer Days, Cider & Fresh Tomatoes

I wholeheartedly believe that no matter what is happening in your life, there is always something you can be thankful for..no matter how simple it is.

Summer Days

I have been loving these Summer days, enjoying my children more than ever and the many adventures we have enjoyed together. We haven’t had a lot of fantastic, you can’t beat Wellington on a good day kind of days, but we have made the most of the ones we have had. I’m going to miss the holidays. What a blessed time it has been!

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Cider

My darling husband does not like beer, the taste has just never tickled his buds. Over the past couple of Summers, we have grown to like Ciders and we regularly try different ones. We both agree that Rekorderlig is a pretty fine specimen. It certainly seems to make a fine summers drink on a hot day, especially after a good stint out in the garden.

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Tomatoes

Tomatoes are one of my favourite fruit. A few years back, I took a photo in a market in Marseille (France), I have come to realise the vegetables in it, make up the bulk of the vegetables I most like to eat. Front and centre is tomatoes! Is it any wonder, I must have tomatoes in my garden every summer? Tomorrow, we will eat the first of the cherry tomatoes from our garden. I can’t wait for the Isle of Capri ones to start ripening.

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Linking up with Megan at mnm’s

Enjoying the School Holidays

We have had the most enjoyable school holidays since school holidays have mattered again in my adult life.  As a general rule, I seem to spend the holidays counting down the days until the start of school again. Instead, Mr 10 informed me at some stage today that it was 94 hours until the school year started. I have been having so much fun with my kids, I almost don’t want the holidays to end.

As we went into these holidays, I was quite nervous about having such a long time at home.  We normally head away for at least three weeks, however, we have only been away for one week.  So, we have had to fill in significantly more time than usual.  I had originally planned to get the school pool key, but I completely forgot on the day they were handing them out – I’m kind of relieved because the weather hasn’t really been swimming weather anyway.

Is it the age of my children? Is it that we found plenty to do? has something changed within me?  I’m not really sure of the answer, but I can tell you, I have genuinely enjoyed hanging with my kids these school holidays.

So, I guess you are wondering what we have been up to, here’s a wee pictorial of a few the things we have done:

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We took the kids to Wellington Birdman competition, however, it was a cold, grey day and as you can see, we didn’t get close enough to really see what was happening.  We did however, enjoy a lovely lunch at Macs Brewery Bar followed by a gelato in the car sheltering from the rain.  Hmm, I thought it was supposed to be Summer!!!

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We visited Staglands.  I had never taken my children there, and if I add the years together since I last went, I must have been in standard 3.  See I’m refusing to acknowledge the number of years!  These bunnies caused great delight, as did the baby Kune Kune that were running round and the many other animals.  The children also enjoyed exploring the old “village”.

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The children decided this peacock was trying to impress the duck!

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This cheeky young goat seemed to pose for photos.

Our trip out to Staglands seemed to be a success, even if I did have to wash the interior of the car when we arrived home, thanks to a child who forgot to mention they were feeling a little unwell.

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We took a trip up the coast to the wonderful Marine Gardens at Raumati.  Right beside the beach, an easy walk to a great coffee and this fantastic water park kept the kids entertained for hours, they had an absolute ball…just a shame we left the Bacon and Egg pie for our picnic sitting on the freezer in the garage.

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Today, turned out to be one of those spectacular – You can’t beat wellington on a good day kind of days, so we headed round to the fabulous Sorching Bay and enjoyed some time playing on the beach as well as lunch at the ever wonderful Sorch-O-Rama. Not to mention, a stop at Te Papa on the way home.

I love that we have filled our holidays with visiting our region, exploring the free and not so free activities and places to visit. I love how my children have enjoyed each of the activities I have suggested. I love that the weather although not always what we wanted for the summer hasn’t been a barrier to us having an enjoyable holiday. I love that we haven’t spent hours at the shopping mall. I love that we have been able to take friends along to several of these activities. I love Wellington and the wider Wellington region….so much to see and do!

Kaitoke Regional Park

This summer, we are making a bit more of an effort to get out and enjoy the wonderful region we live in!  Wellington offers so much more than just the city.

I spent the first few years of my life in a little village nestled in the hills just out from Upper Hutt, the hills were our playground and Kaitoke was a favourite family picnic spot.  Memories of hot summers days, the swing bridge and frolicking in the river are alive and well in my head. My darling husband had never visited and neither had my precious children, so we decided that we should take them out and show them around.  Saturday morning wasn’t exactly hot and summery, but we packed up a picnic anyway and headed north on the motorway.

IMG_2470As it was a bit chilly when we arrived there, we decided it was best to go for a walk, and explore some of what the park has to offer. We opted to walk across the swing bridge, through the forest and Rivendell. Mr 10 loves The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings movies, so is quite taken with the idea of visiting some of the locations around the country.

IMG_2480We were amazed by the size and forms of some of the trees.  The children think this one must have been burrowed out by a wild boar, I don’t know, but it was impressive.

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So pretty, I find hills and rivers so much more interesting than beaches.

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Are you a dwarf, hobbit, human or elf height?

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Working out which trees made the cut

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More Rivendell.

By the time we had finished our walk the weather had cleared a little and we enjoyed a picnic in the sun.  We then played on the river bank a little before heading off to check out the camping area and a couple of other swimming holes (no swimming this time though).  We think we will plan to take the tent up to Kaitoke some time soon to enjoy some more of the park.

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Summer holidays!

Our Summer holiday was a new adventure for our family this  year.  Normally, we head north to the warmth of the Bay of Plenty to visit family and camp up there.  As our planned renovations aren’t quite at the point we had hoped, and we didn’t need to be slogging it out at home, we decided at the last minute to join some friends in Puponga (at the base of Farewell Spit).  Our friends invited us to join them in camping on a piece of land owned by one of their family members.  On the land are many fruit trees, fields of long grass and some very basic facilities (read long drop and an out door shower).  As we are more your glamping type and prefer a facility where we can have daily hot showers etc,  we decided we could survive up to four days and would have a few days in motels afterwards.  We had a fantastic time despite the random assortment of weather and thoroughly enjoyed exploring a part of New Zealand, we are unfamiliar with. Here’s a little of what we saw along the way.

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Raindrops on the river at Pelorus Bridge. We were in search of the hobbit!

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Split Apple Rock – what a lovely spot?
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Amazing windswept undulating west coast beach of Farewell Spit.

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The obligatory “rotting” car – Every exceptionally rural piece of land seems to have one of these!
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Can you spot the face in the rock?

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The very basic facilities are hidden in there.
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Makara Wind Farm from the top of the Marlborough Sounds