26 April 2011

Places I have been # 7

My man and I 'popped over the ditch' to New Zealand last week... for a wedding and to catch up with family and friends. We had an absolute ball and came home well rested and very well fed and watered.

Thank you to everyone who made our time there so very special.  These times together are never taken for granted, we know just how blessed we are.  They keep our 'happiness meters' buoyant! 

Now, if you're ever in New Zealand and want to drive up north from Auckland... you must make time to stop at the Ascension Wine Estate in Matakana.  I can highly recommend their fabulous food, served by very friendly staff. 

The wedding was wonderful and we danced to the music of the sensational band led by an extremely extrovert and very talented musician/singer.  They were such a treat to listen to that I'd go looking for them weekly (I know they play the pubs in Auckland) if we were around more often. 

Matakana has a Saturday growers' market where you can buy the best ever smoked Salmon (I kid you not!), yummy home made pies (we had a beef and onion family pie), fresh nuts, organic produce, coffee... well, you name it, they've got it.  Just don't go on a long weekend!  There're too many people and too many cars.  Oh, nearly forgot... you can buy scrumptious, old-fashioned (read 'real') ice-cream there too.  And there are arts and crafts shops, and some really trendy clothing and shoe shops!

We had a delicious brunch in Matakana with Arabella and her family on Saturday.  We were on our way back down to Auckland. It took a while to get a table at the Matakana Market Kitchen, but it was definitely worth the wait (I did tell you about these long weekend Saturdays, they're very busy!) and the staff were very obliging and most helpful.  Their homemade flower pot bread was really good!  I had Eggs Benedict with bacon that was sweeter than it was salty.  Yummy. 

We left Arabella's family in Matakana and took what should have been a leisurely drive back to Gulf Harbour where we were to spend the night with 'old' friends...  trouble was, my dear man didn't realise the petrol tank was on empty and we landed up holding our breath until we got to Puhoi where we were sure we'd be able to refuel.  Hmphf!  No petrol for 20kms either which way.  We should have filled up in Warkworth, through which we'd driven quite oblivious to the fact it was our last stop for petrol for a wee while.  Oh well...  So, we ditched the plan to drive on the motorway and took the back road past Waiwera to Orewa where we eventually filled up.  It's a truly beautiful drive and we decided if we had to walk to find a petrol station we might as well have something to look at.

I'll tell you more about our holiday when I post tomorrow, wet washing beckons now... it's done nothing but pour since we arrived back in Sydney and there's a slight break in the weather now so I must take advantage of it.

New Zealand is a truly beautiful country and has so much to write about...

April Blackbird

1 comment:

ChickieChirps said...

AB, what a divine break you describe. How funny to recall the names of little spots like Warkworth, explored on drives I have done in the past myself. I seem to remember sheep there!
So pleased you were able to touch base with Arabella and your little chick.
Love BB