Tag Archives: napier

Charming weekend in Hawkes Bay

Rhythm is born in all of us.
~ Ginger Rogers

Last Thursday, J and I flew down to Napier for the annual Art Deco Festival. J’s first time; my third. As individuals we are both happy travellers – as a couple we are learning to allow our separate interests to mingle and create experiences which delight us.

While J can never say yes quick enough to salty sand and water, my tummy is the one I think of satisfying, more so than any Vitamin D deficiencies. He loves films; I love farmers’ markets. He poses, unabashed, for the camera. I am still learning not to apologise before asking if someone can take a photo for us … and not to hurry J when he is taking a photo of me, because I get shy holding a pose in public. He is a relaxed person and puts people around him at ease. I work hard to relax … and when I don’t I too often make the mistake of working harder still >.<

But we’ve always, since our first short trip away together, travelled well together. Through him I go on more walks, swims and adventures – through me he eats and travels more and has an increasing capacity for spicy food.

Over the weekend, we had just about the perfect combination of activities for both of us. We stayed at an Airbnb retreat in Te Awanga, about 25 driving minutes away from Napier – at a cosy pad where we could hear the rolling waves from the beach just behind us. It wasn’t an ideal swimmers’ beach but was lovely to spend the first part of a morning there.

We watched sparkling vintage cars roll by …

ate some scrumptious food

danced to live music with a beautiful crowd …

savoured some visual feasts …

visited the one and only Hawkes Bay Farmers’ Market

took in the sights at Te Mata Peak

and certainly a highlight was meeting with the lovely Fiona whose writing inspires me; and her family, in her dream home! It was a wonderful evening for J and me both.

We also went Deco shopping, watched a special screening of the delightful and humorous 1937 film “Shall We Dance”, and had a bit of down time just chillin’, which we both needed.

:-) Till we meet again, charming Hawkes Bay, stay sunny, strong and wonderful.

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In lieu of food, I bring you weekend photos

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
~ Henry David Thoreau

Hello, strangers, from the Land of Busy. That’s where I’ve been hangin’ out lately. You know, those times when major decisions need to be made, your laundry pile suddenly looks like a mini Everest, and all your friends seem to get married, give birth, visit from overseas, etc all at the same time?! That is happening to me at the moment. Read: wonderful and exciting/hideous and tiring all at once. But I am not complaining. I’m merely trying to apologise [or make excuses] for not popping in with a recipe or something yummy in the last few days…

Though you probably wouldn’t have found my rambles on salmon bagels/juicy plums on the go/instant noodles/various takeaways that exciting anyway, right? ;-)

In the meantime, I thought I’d share some photos from a recent trip to Napier for Art Deco Weekend! I enjoyed myself immensely with a great bunch of friends and friends-of-friends. There was plenty of sun, a mass picnic, a vintage car parade (and a short ride in a vintage car), hot chocolate/live jazz, lots of dancing (or attempting to dance…), a nice assortment of handsome men in uniform, etc… oh and we visited an excellent farmers’ market in Hastings on Sunday where I found gorgeous walnut brittle, biersticks, great vegetables (see pics below) and delightful decaf coffee. I felt like I was gliding along a stage set/time machine preview all weekend. On Saturday night we drove with the windows down, the stars above looking like a shower of white pepper across an inky soup, and the wind so strong I thought of holding down my eyelashes so they didn’t pull away…

Till next time, eat well and keep smiling!

Charmed my socks off again

Sometimes it does us a power of good to remind ourselves that we live on two volcanic rocks where two tectonic plates meet, in a somewhat lonely stretch of windswept ocean just above the Roaring Forties. If you want drama – you’ve come to the right place.
~ Sir Geoffrey Palmer

Oh Napier, you charming, strong place.

This is a city rebuilt (you can read about the 1931 earthquake here) – when I eventually read about the quake on my second short trip there last year, I began to understand what I loved so much about this city when I first met it, even without knowing its people, streets or history.

After I read the story, walked more around the city and gazed at its buildings – it all made sense and the beauty of the place became more pronounced. I am attracted to things/stories, I find, of redemption and ‘building back better’ (like I am often attracted to people with a rough background and have made a decision to conquer it). There’s something inspiring about this, something beautiful about scars, determination and courage. Napier oozed strength and community in a way I had sensed even before knowing its history…

I have lovely memories of Art Deco Festival last year too, where we ate Rush Munro’s ice cream, danced barefoot to live jazz, marvelled at everyone’s costumes, took in the sight of the majestic art deco buildings and cars…

I flew there again yesterday morning – by myself this time, for the weekend. This time, there were no crowds, no car parade, no live jazz – of course, Art Deco doesn’t take place year round.

This time, I listened to the waves at Marine Parade, gazed at fantails, checked out the museum, and walked around without a map (I did meet up today with a super couple I met last year, aunt and uncle to my friend Jono, and we went on nature walks). I also bought a bottle of Hawke’s Bay syrah which shall make an appearance at an appropriate event sometime…

I ate pears and the best yoghurt I’ve ever eaten in my life to date for dinner last night, and went to bed at 6pm.

First day at my new job tomorrow… wish me luck!

And to you, have a wonderful Monday.

PS. I don’t want to put other cities down, but Wellington really has the best cafes in New Zealand. For the coffee alone, I am SO delighted to be back!