Posts Tagged With: IEP

Hello Wine Country

Us on the tour

If you’re going into wine country than the only way to start off the weekend is by visiting wineries.  Courtesy of a winemaker flatmate – we were given the insider scoop on what would be the best tour to book in the region.  The tour started off with silly questions such as what kind of wine do you like…hmm, is ALL somehow the wrong answer?  Well I hope not as that’s what the 5 of us chimed in with.  We like red…we like white…we like New Zealand wine and so on.  Turns out we were a van full of girls that were not picky about the wine we drink – BIG SURPRISE!

All afternoon, we drove from winery to winery and sampled the best the region had to offer.  At each winery we started out with whites and finished with reds.  In between all the drinking we stopped for a delicious lunch at Elephant Hill.  I followed that up with chocolate snacks after tasting #3 (what’s a girl to do…they were looking at me from the counter screaming “mmm…chocolate!”) and then finished off the day with a little wine and cheese while basking in the autumn sunlight.  It was a great first day in Napier.  I was surrounded by good company, nice food, and great wine – what more could I ask for.

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Categories: NEW ZEALAND, nz: napier | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Wrong Side of the Road

As if we'd forget to "Keep Left"

Our Rental Car

It’s funny how things end up working out for my Easter roadtrip.  Due to a lot of interesting circumstances, my hand was forced and I was going to have to finally drive in New Zealand.  I was splitting driving duties with another fellow Canadian who was a first timer as well and we were going to have to quickly get used to driving on the wrong side of road. 

Loaded with maps, a GPS, and extra insurance we hit the road.  The roadtrip was a great introduction to driving in New Zealand if we ignore the issues with roundabouts and not one but two run-ins with the New Zealand police.  What happened at the first roundabout is something that will remain with the 3 people who were in the car and all I’m willing to say is that it added an extra hour to our roadtrip and there might have been a moment where my life flashed before my eyes.  The police…well that’s a whole other story.

Police Officer story #1  involved a routine drinking driving roadblock where everyone in the car stared at the instrument the cop shoved into my driving buddy’s face.  The driver stared back at the lady cop with a blank and slightly grossed out look and we could tell she was wondering how she was going to get away with not putting her mouth on this unhygienic instrument.  The police officer clued in and then chimed in with instructions right before my driving buddy orally violated the breathalyzer. 

Posing with our car

As for the second cop story…let’s just say that there were 3 major driving violations that started out with the police officer pulling us over and saying, “wow, there were some scary moments back there!”.  He broke out laughing when we blamed the GPS for breaking the speed limit amongst other things and after a quick chat about who we were and where we were from, he proceeded to give us directions to our bach and sent us on our way without a ticket or warning in sight.   From Wellington to Napier, we had made it safe and sound without any major incidents and gave us moments that we’d laugh about all weekend long.

Categories: NEW ZEALAND, nz: wellington | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

An Education…

The simple pleasures of life are nothing more than a movie and chai lattes with friends.  My trip into Welly this time around was different from all the rest as I refrained from gallivanting around town and spent quality time with good friends.  Like always, our conversations revolve around trying to figure out this so-called life.  Hours of chit-chat have led me to the conclusion that we can’t agree on whether its possible for guys and girls to be friends…there’s a plan man amongst us…never boldly question a kiwi man about lingerie (again anyway)…there’s masculine females and feminine males…and if it’s cold then go to “bid”.

All the above and more are a result of motor mouths and listening faces.  In a weird sort of way its like my very own coming of age story and how my partners in conversational crime have come to change my life.  What’s even stranger is that I can’t wait until my next visit to Welly so we can all pick up where we left off.  It’s good to finally find people who help you laugh at the drama that everyday life brings.

Categories: NEW ZEALAND, nz: wellington | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seasons change

This week has turned into a time where I’ve had to start saying my goodbyes to the ones that I met at arrival as well as to those that befriended me along the way.  Whether the goodbyes were heartbreaking or nothing more than a see you later somewhere in the world – they’re the ones that I have to thank for my New Zealand adventures so far.

Strangely enough it comes at a time when I’m thinking about the people and events that have shaped my life.  I think back to all the bonding in Baz or the fact that I learned it’s totally possible for a human being to sleep while standing up or being heckled into using the word cheertastic alongside the billion and one texts and smile.  These people will not make the top 6 on my lifeline but regardless have played a role in changing my life and influencing my decision to stay here.  Only time will tell whether or not I will manage to reconnect with them but the moments spent together will always be cherished by me.

I think I’ve said all there is to say so I’ll leave off with one of my favourite quotes from SATC.  “Maybe our mistakes are what make our fate.  Without them, what would shape our lives?  Perhaps if we never veered off course, we wouldn’t fall in love, or have babies, or be who we are.  After all, seasons change.  So do cities.  People come into your life and people go.  But it’s comforting to know the ones you love are always in your heart.  And if you’re very lucky, a plane ride away.”

Categories: NEW ZEALAND, nz: auckland | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Worldwind in Welly

Coffee at Memphis Belle

Somewhere between the wine and king’s cup on Christmas Eve/Day it was decided that the 3 originals needed to reunite and thus, the idea of the weekender in Welly was born.  I talked…planned…plotted while brimming with excitement as the day grew closer.  What I realize now is that it wasn’t anything like what I had imagined and was silly to have thought it would be anything other than what it was. 

When planning, I was so wrapped up with reuniting with those I had spent my first couple of days in New Zealand with that I neglected the importance of food.  Thanks to some new friends who wholeheartedly encourage the foodie way of life – this turned out to be a fabulous weekend.  After all, what’s a girl supposed to do in Welly other than a worldwind tour of the cafes, bars, and restaurants.  I ate and drank until my little heart was content and then ate and drank some more.  I can go on and on about how Sunday brunch at Fidel’s should be a must for everyone or how you haven’t really been to Welly without stopping at Memphis Belle for coffee or that its okay to make friends with salad at Finc but the standout for me this particular weekend was Shed 5. 

Shed 5

Shockingly, Shed 5 is the first time since arriving in New Zealand that I’ve been out to a nice restaurant and had the opportunity to get dressed to the nines.  It didn’t even dawn on me how much I missed this favourite pastime until somewhere between the crumbed tomino salad and the candied walnuts on the risotto.  It was the first bite of the chocolate souffle however that helped me realize once again that this is my thing.  Funny how things work out as this trip was about the originals reuniting and it was in the moments without them that I rediscovered something that I loved.  If I had to do this weekend all over again – I wouldn’t change a thing. 
Categories: NEW ZEALAND, nz: wellington | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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