Saturday, November 10, 2012

Country Style Golf

We're coming down the home stretch on our trip. Boo-hoo. Thankfully Wellington cooperated today with a nice, if breezy (as usual) day so we could spend most of it outside.

Caroline wanted to do some shopping, always a nice thing post-birth, so the whole fam headed downtown. The fellows went off with Max in the pram, armed with the nappy bag and a bottle of Caroline. We headed for the shops.

The next meet-up was at a restaurant called Leurven, a Belgian-style eatery. I did not have my camera so you'll have to believe me when I say the food was great! Max, meanwhile, had been fed, changed and enjoyed a speedy walk through downtown as the guys headed to the restaurant from cousin Livvy's flat. We'd ordered their food (mussels, done two different ways, which they pronounced delicious. We females had to take them at their word since none of us like those particular bivalves or whatever they are.)

Back home again, Caroline and Max headed off for naps and Ty suggested heading over the hill to a little country golf course. Fifteen minutes along a winding road, down into a valley with bush-clad hills all around and this is what you get...

Built on someone's farm, this little 9-hole golf course is a classic example of a New Zealand rural icon. Sure it's old, and the greens are somewhat challenging

 but these are the nearest neighbors,

there's hardly ever a crowd and it's close. You aren't allowed to wear your gumboots though. There's a sign on the door that says so.

It was a perfect way to spend a couple of hours.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Just Walking

With gas, or petrol as its referred to over here, running at about $8 per gallon ($2.11/litre), we're doing a lot of walking around. This is not a difficult thing to do in a neighborhood with lots of hills and stunning views for when the legs are burning.

Looking south-east

Goddy making sure the pram doesn't get away from him on a steep hill

It turns out that one of Caroline's favorite loop walks just happens to go past a little cafe that has the best date scones on the planet. But, we discovered they only bake them on Tuesdays, so on Wednesday when we strolled past we were forced to get something different. The coffee-walnut slice was a pretty fine substitute.
At the Gipps St. Deli

We also went past a neighborhood park that was the site of the local school's running sports day. That brought back memories of cheering on our boys as they spent an afternoon in the fresh air, competing in all sorts of events and enjoying time outside. Notice how the kids are all wearing sun hats.

"Now listen up, chaps. Here's the drill..."

Yesterday Caroline and I walked around the corner, with Max in the pram, to visit the Plunket nurse. Plunket is an organization that is devoted to new mothers and babies, doing regular development check-ups, running playcenters and support groups and generally being a resource for any question a new mum might have. I think the nurses must vie for a national chipper-and-jovial award for they are all such nice women and make sure that each mum knows that she has the most wonderful baby ever born. Of course, that is not a hard job with Max.

Cute baby alert!!!

Today the wind is howling from the north and the skies are gray. Well, there's an occasional patch of blue but the atmosphere is moving around so fast that it gets covered up really quickly. We took a trip out to where Ty works (by car, not walking this time!) Poor fellow is going to be quite ruddy cheeked at the end of the day - the sports park that he takes care of is exposed to the full brunt of the wind.

Of course, I forgot my camera so you'll have to imagine him out there in his steel-capped work boots, black cargo shorts and wooly jersey, striding up and down behind a field line marker, making the boundaries for a tag rugby field. His hair, which is in need to a trim, was blowing sideways, forward and back, sometimes all at the same time as the wind swirled around. The park is at the bottom of a steep, bush-clad hill which gives a lovely outlook. The personnel that use the park are not always so lovely, so we're told. But Ty and his workmates have it looking really spiffy.

We also stopped at a bakery to get lunch. This particular bakery makes the best eccles cakes on the planet. I have been through eccles cakes withdrawl since leaving NZ.  I tell you, this town has a lot going for it.