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!

IMG_1147

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.

IMG_1169

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.

IMG_1171

IMG_1174

 

Linking up with Megan at mnm’s

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.

IMG_1006

IMG_2501

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

IMG_1025

IMG_2515

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

IMG_2523

Working out which trees made the cut

IMG_2525

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.

IMG_1044

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.

IMG_0396

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

IMG_0398

Split Apple Rock – what a lovely spot?
IMG_0478

Amazing windswept undulating west coast beach of Farewell Spit.

IMG_0567

The obligatory “rotting” car – Every exceptionally rural piece of land seems to have one of these!
IMG_0588

Can you spot the face in the rock?

IMG_0605

The very basic facilities are hidden in there.
IMG_0730

Makara Wind Farm from the top of the Marlborough Sounds

Summer, Sun and Santa

Wellington turned on the sun (and a little bit of wind) today for the Santa Parade. We went to town to do some shopping pre-parade and be out of there before the parade madness started, but miss 9 thought she would like to watch.  They are only little once and I decided we needed to savour the moment and indulge her desire, after all the parade is free entertainment. We enjoyed:

IMG_0414
Marching bands

IMG_0423
Runaway Gingerbread-men

IMG_0433

Pipe bands – check out the wee girl in the front row!

IMG_0447
My favourite – Love the latin American vibe of the Battacuda!

IMG_0451
Star wars

IMG_0453
Storm troopers

IMG_0474
High fives

IMG_0479
Minature ponies

IMG_0515
Chinese dragons

IMG_0532
Angelina Ballerina

IMG_0536
The Sallies – Gotta love a real Christmas Carol!

IMG_0541
The big man himself! or is he?

I have to ask, who is the big man of the day for you? Is it Santa or is it Jesus? For us, Christmas, is all about  celebrating the birth of Christ Jesus, the promised Messiah. What an incredible gift we were given when God sent his Son, so that anyone who believes in him shall have Eternal Life.