Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bottle of Wine, Fruit on the Vine

In 1931 Napier was destroyed by a huge earthquake. Ouch! Because it was the 30's and the town had to be rebuilt anyway, they decided to go with the times and rebuilt everything with an art deco theme. Today in Napier you can take art deco tours and even go to 30's parties complete with costumes and retro cars. Napier also just happens to be smack dab in the middle of Hawke's Bay which is one of New Zealands ever growing wine regions. With our friends from Chica Bonita, who are flying the coop in a few months and moving to Ireland we set off on a rainy Friday morning to find out just what Hawke's Bay had to offer. After a quit stop at Lake Taupo we arrived in Napier to our rented holiday home. It seemed from all the selection that Napier is primarily made up of homes to rent. We managed to get a wonderful house for a few days complete with a complimentary bottle of wine and awesome view of the bay. Since Mark is now hard at work during the week (and I am hard at work job hunting) we have to make the most of our weekends. Saturday after a trip to the local Farmer's Market we were off on our marathon seven winery wine tasting. Since it seemed like the right time Mark was busy stocking the cellar so we have some nice wines somewhere in Indonesia. We ended the day at Mission Estate which is the oldest winery in New Zealand. It was started by a bunch of French monks who wanted to get their hands on some communion wine no doubt. Sunday was a marathon day for us as well. We woke up to a gorgeous sunny day and spent the morning at the National Aquarium. At the aquarium we finally got to see the legendary Kiwi bird. Their presence is everywhere and is as much a symbol of New Zealand as the kiwi fruit. After the aquarium it was already time to say our goodbyes and make the four hour trip back to Tauranga just in time for us to unpack and put most of our belongings in the forward part part of Scholarship. Remodeling has commenced once again. So this is what it's like to be a weekend warriors again!

The view from Bayscape, our weekend home away from home

This was a painting I liked at Trinity Winery, called Tango
Heather & myself at the National Aquarium This a Kiwi bird, we watched them behind glass chasing each other around and poking each other in the butts. I think this one is babyWe are all bundled up for our morning walk at Mt. Maunganui

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Last Sunday we were coming home from the market and noticed a bunch of cars pulled over just outside of our marina. People were obviously gawking at something spectacular. Orcas! Killer Whales!! It was so cool. Just outside of the marina breakwater, right in our backyard was a pod of orcas. Tauranga harbor is very long but has a small opening. They must have chased something yummy in to come all the way in here. We spent an hour in the freezing cold watching for them as they cruised around the harbor. My photos look like well, water so I cheated with this one from the Internet. You get the idea anyway. Save the Whales