Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Cruise, Tattoos, And A Baby's Bruise

It's been a long time since Tash got tattooed.  In between being pregnant and breastfeeding any appointment she's had has always fallen through.

Last weekend (Nov 23/24) was the NZ Tattoo and Art Festival in New Plymouth.  An artist she wanted work from was coming over from the States so i proposed we go and she can get tattooed.  It was her birthday weekend too - perfect!  Yet shortly beforehand said artist pulls out and Javier Rodriguez, who I have been trying to get an appointment with for nearly two years, announces he is coming!  So once again its me getting the ink and Tash has to wait a little longer.

In an attempt to make the weekend about her and Esme's birthday I booked a people mover for Friday but had nothing else planned so we could make it up as the kids determined or people wanted.

It was about a 5 hour drive up to New Plymouth but such a lovely drive it really didn't matter.  We got within an hour of our destination and made a call to a few hotels.  Thinking we had found somewhere just to lay our heads we realised we'd pretty much lucked out and got a bargain price for a two bed family room with full facilities.  It was gorgeous.  And we even all got a swim in the pool in the morning.

We found an amazing Moroccan cafe for breakfast and I'm not exaggerating when I say I had the best cooked breakfast of my life!

I spent a few hours getting tattooed, we had a wander round, said hi to a few friends, then made for home with all three kids exhausted.  A little diversion took us around Mount Teranaki, it was just a shame that cloud cover obscured its highest point.

We stumbled across another hidden gem of a cafe on the way home and enjoyed a little more kiwi hospitality with a side of the biggest fucking burger of my life!

Sunday was Esme's birthday, and with both her and Alfie having birthday money from Auntie Michie we hit the toy shop.  Many hours later we left thoroughly exhausted, Alfie with a collection of bin man lorries and a collection of Trash Pack toys and Esme with a JCB digger in a pink buggy.  Love the way that girl works! Lol. Massive thanks Michie, they love their pressies!

Lunch was held at one of our favourites, the Chocolate Fish Cafe (which you really need the car to get to) and we then hit the beach for a little.  It was a stunning day, just tarnished somewhat when Olive back arched out of my arms when I was knealt down holding both her and Esme.  I'm pleased to say she bounces as well as the other two.  I say that now, at the time it was far less relaxed about the incident!

And so Monday rolled around which was Tash's birthday.  We woke bleary eyed after a night of continually prodding the baby to make sure she was still alive and responding correctly.  Tash worked,  Alfie and Esme bought her some flowers, and we met her after work for food at Sweet Mothers Kitchen.  Yes, eating is all that we do out here.  With so many gorgeous food places it's a guaranteed pleaser!  Even Olive agrees.  She's fast approaching 6 months and grabs at food whenever you let your guard down!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Moving to Maupuia

Its crazy to think back at how far we've come in just ten weeks.  We came here having never visited with the aim of setting up life and pretty much 'starting over' in the 10 weeks we had during our rental at Bruges Ave.

We've done well; Wellington very quickly felt like home, Tash has found work (actually quicker than maybe we wanted), Alfie is at kindy, and on Monday we moved into our 'permanent' home.

Its a very dated property, but it ticks all the right boxes.  Plus the landlord is good and doesn't mind the kids being kids (because it's dated).  It was a leading contender just cos it has a big garage and it was cheap.  But that view had us right from the start.  We can just about see the end of the runway so get to watch the planes still, and I can even see Miramar wharf where I'll fish from.  I cannot wait to be able to pop out for a few hours fishing with Alfie!  Tash can even watch us from the deck!  There is even a veggie patch in the garden!

So last weekend we rented a van and moved our few things across.  Slowly this week our new stuff has started arriving.   The gorgeous mangowood and reclaimed teak table, our new new bed, and the kids new (to them) beds.

We're floating around in a mass of space and sleeping in sleeping bags at the moment.  But its OK, the boat got in this week and so I'll have my Ducati soon!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Happy 4th Birthday Alfie B!

Tuesday was Alfie's birthday.  With Tash at work we opted to do some cool stuff the weekend before, and had kinda purposely not visited Wellington zoo so that we'd have it as an option for this day.

Tash got to feed a giraffe so she was happy, Esme got to jump on a trampoline so she was happy, and Alfie got to see the monkeys so he was chuffed too.

We spent Sunday shopping. He needed a lunch box, Esme needed shoes, Tash needed a dining table, and (after all that) I needed a rest!

It's not often Alfie asks for much but he wanted this little wooden car to paint at the kids shop we go to.  So we got it for him for his birthday.  He was over the moon when he unwrapped it two days later, even more so than the totally awesome ballistic hot wheels thing Tash had bought.

So he spent his birthday morning (Tuesday 12 Nov) painting his car.  We hit 'Hey George' for his favourite pizza and chips on the way into town to visit Te Papa (the museum) where he and Esme played giant connect four.

After being out and about all day with the three I was wrecked by the time we met Tash for his birthday meal.  Clearly he was too as he was asleep before we got to dessert!!

Massive thanks to all the friends and family who sent him a message, he was very happy to reach four!

Monday, November 04, 2013

Big Rocks and Tying Knots.

Tash and I got married in 2007.  Due to one thing and another Tash ended up buying her own wedding ring.  So it was on my mind to put a proper ring on her finger to celebrate the start of our lives together in New Zealand.

I kept some money aside, and a week after arriving she selected her chosen band.  A few weeks ago she got the call to say it was ready for collection and so we wandered down Cuba St and finally put a proper ring on her finger a few Saturdays ago.  Looks great, especially with a croinut in hand!

In other rock and knot news I took Alfie rock climbing on Sunday.  It was the first time he'd done it with ropes and a harness, and once he had himself sorted he was flying up and down the wall.  By the end of the short time we were there he'd made it right to the top!  It was great to see him problem solving and working out how to get higher.  And when he got down after reaching the top he exclaimed to me 'Yes! Daddy, I did it!!'.  I was so pleased for him I couldn't say no when he asked for an ice cream as we wandered home along the waterfront.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Walk for Your Food!

One of the places we really looked forward to visiting in Miramar was the Chocolate Fish Cafe.  It has a great reputation, but is the other side of the peninsula and no bus goes round that way.

So last Monday (28th Oct) was labour day over here and so with Tash already enjoying a day off work we decided to tackle the walk across to it. 

It was a true adventure, we had to treck up and over the peninsula and deal with all manner of obstacles.  The recent weather had left the track slippery, and even thrown a few fallen trees in our way.

It was a total blast though, maybe took us 90 minutes to walk to, and Esme was an absolute trooper and walked the whole way!  The views across the bay were simply stunning too!

When we got there we got lucky and landed a table and were then treated to the most tasty lunch!  Outside is nice and open and there are loads of little bikes and trikes to play on.  It was chaos inside and out but truly brilliant and an amazing vibe to it.

We knew there was no way we could trek back over and so we walked around the bay to get home.  Around the bay are loads of little secluded beach areas.  Great to fish from and look just perfect for a family BBQ.  In the wander home we passed a family who were doing just that, you might even be able to see them in one of the photos.

The rain held off and was just quite simply a perfect day.  One where you really appreciate whats around you and feel so lucky to be here!