| An Autumn Holiday |

We took the boys on a mini holiday over ANZAC weekend.

We spent a day in Queenstown, watching boats, climbing trees, and buying wine.

We did our first whole-family walk up Mt Iron (the littlest one made it all the way to the top; the biggest faceplanted onto a rock and is now sporting an impressive black eye), scootered alongside Lake Wanaka, and climbed things we thought we couldn’t climb.

We recharged our batteries, ignored much of the outside world, enjoyed the autumn sunshine, and returned home feeling rather relaxed.

It was blissful.

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Currently: 1 Jan 2016

2Waverley (130)

  1. Listening: at this very moment, to birds chirping in our front yard, and my husband “trimming things” out there. I should be worried – he is an…..enthusiastic trimmer. Earlier, I was getting my dance on with a global top 50 from Spotify because it was sunny and hot which requires, nay, demands, good tunes played a little louder than normal.
  2. Eating: anything from the barbecue, and delicious things from Chelsea Winter’s latest cookbook.
  3. Drinking: lots of water and a cheeky glass (or two) of Little Goat Creek pinot gris. It’s organic, which is a little bit hipster of me, dontcha think?
  4. Wearing: a denim mini I bought from Gap in London about a week before I found out I was pregnant with my biggest monkey, a floaty top from House o’ G, and no shoes. No shoes. Dunedin is HOT.
  5. Feeling: sleepy, and I don’t even have the excuse of being up ’til midnight last night. I made it to 11pm, but couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. My eyes are a bit dry and scratchy…hayfever, you suck.
  6. Weather:  hot. By Dunedin standards, anyway. The sun has shone all day and the sky has been bluest-blue. I’m sure we’ll be getting rain soon, but meh – I’m enjoying the summer regardless.
  7. Wanting: chocolate. Uh-oh.
  8. Needing: sleep, water, and the motivation to do some form of exercise.
  9. Thinking: about the year ahead, and hoping inspiration strikes to ensure something marvellous happens in 2016.
  10. Enjoying: hanging with all three of my boys, the sunshine, and empty washing baskets. And fresh sheets on the bed.

Joining up with top gal Melissa of The Best Nest xx
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There and Back Again: road tripping in New Zealand

14 days, 2400 kilometres, two calm ferry rides, one horrible virus, one broken contact lens, and countless family memories.

Dunedin to Waverley and back again by car, with various side trips along the way.

What a way to spend the school holidays.

Dunedin – Kurow – Lake Tekapo – Christchurch – Blenheim – Waverley – Wellington – Hanmer Springs – Methven – Dunedin

Hakataramea Valley Hakataramea Valley Church of the Good Shepherd, Lake Tekapo Lake Tekapo Lake Tekapo Kaikoura Fur seal, Kaikoura Moa Brewery, Blenheim Moa Brewery, Blenheim Virginia Lake, Wanganui Virginia Lake, Wanganui Virginia Lake, Wanganui Wellington Hanmer Springs Hanmer Springs Hanmer Springs Hanmer Springs Terrace Downs Terrace Downs

Tales of Travel: Fiji

Back in May, Pickle and I had the honour and pleasure of being at a dear friend’s wedding in Fiji. As Tiny had only just started school, we made the difficult decision that he and Tall would stay behind; travelling with just one of my boys was strange and sad, but we were lucky to be travelling with some very good friends who didn’t mind two tag-alongs.

The wedding was held on Plantation Island, which made for a stunning backdrop to our friends’ beautiful, moving ceremony. The bride was carried down the beach by Fijian warriors, and they sealed their 18-year relationship with the sun setting on their heartfelt vows. We sat at tables on the beach and sent lanterns floating off into the sky, and we danced in the sand until the DJ left us in silence. It was so much fun, and such a gorgeous day from start to finish, even though I missed my two biggest boys immensely.

Plantation Island, FijiPlantation Island, Fiji Plantation Island, Fiji Plantation Island, Fiji Plantation Island, Fiji Plantation Island, Fiji Plantation Island, FijiWe only spent two days on Plantation Island, which was enough for Pickle and I; even though our friends were awesome and would have looked after him if I’d asked, I didn’t feel I could go out paddle boarding or exploring by myself. It was also quite expensive to eat and drink, and as there are only a couple of options, the resort had a tendency to charge for everything, knowing we had no choice but to pay for that extra plastic cup to divide up a smoothie. Our accommodation was fine, but the whole resort looked like it needed new paint and a number of repairs (the builders amongst us were horrified at various points!), and their administrative systems were very archaic.

After Plantation Island, we spent four days on Denarau, back on the mainland. This is a man-made island about 20 minutes drive from Nadi Airport, full of resorts and shops aimed at tourists.

We stayed at the Radisson Blu, which was fantastic and well-equipped for children; their swimming pools were well-suited to our group of youngsters, and there were various activities they could get involved in if desired. The rooms were spacious and modern, and the various restaurants were great. Most days we walked to Port Denarau (you can get a bus or a taxi, but we preferred to walk) for breakfast (always at Lulu Bar, Restuarant & Café, who made us things that weren’t on the menu, and did the best smoothies), then spent our afternoons beside the pool. We ordered a few cocktails and enjoyed them poolside, and we had lunch delivered to us while lounging too – we were on holiday, it was cheap, and we were in Fiji! On my last evening, we all booked babysitters and went to Nuku Restaurant & Bar at The Hilton for dinner, which was delicious and a lot of fun.

Denarau, Fiji Denarau, Fiji Denarau, Fiji Denarau, Fiji Denarau, FijiDenarau, Fiji While I was sad to leave the heat and our friends, I was excited to get home and see Tall and Tiny; the holiday was amazing, but it wasn’t the same with half our family missing. Hopefully we’ll get an opportunity to go to Fiji together in the future, as there is so much more of that beautiful country to explore and experiences to be had.