Wednesday 15 March 2017


How fast the time goes...
We first went to Thailand while Our Rose was being built,
then home for 3 weeks to finish packing up and then off we went 
- now nearly five years later we visit home for the first time.

What an incredible five weeks we had in New Zealand,
we are extremely blessed to have such wonderful friends and family
thank you, thank you, thank you to you all for making our visit home sooooo special.

Flying into Christchurch and heading to Hils and Doug in Geraldine
our darling friends (as Richards Cousin - how lucky are we!)
we were wined and dined, 

Hils and I went Raspberry picking,


 had our much needed gardening fix, and Richards chainsaw fix

Bryn, Doug and Richard
We headed off to Dunedin for a night to see Peggy, Richards Aunty, 
along with the Family, Jane & Steve, Sarah and Steven (who visited us in San Blas)
It was so wonderful to see them all and we had a wonderful time with Peggy

Back to Hils and Doug and they took us jet boating 
along with Dougs brother Peter and Hils and Dougs neighbors

Hils with Peters dog (Bach) in her lifejacket and ready for jet-boating
Captain Doug and the gorgeous scenery

Peter, Hils and Bach

Doug and the Boys (including Bryn)

Peter and Richard

Hils and Dougs (new to us) property is absolutely goregous

and yes we did play tennis - Doug and Hils were very kind to us on the court!

it was an absolute pleasure to help in the gardens...


saying a very sad "see you" to Hils and Doug 
and we headed to Lynnette and Deans our darling friends
who let us base ourselves with them at their gorgeous home while in Auckland.
We were so wonderfully wined and dined - such fantastic friends...
Our entree on our first night was scallops that Dean had dived for, YUM

Richard and Dean catching up and contemplating the world (with a glass in hand of course)...

Lynnette and her lovely Sisters and neices had organised a Indian dinner at Gaylenes home
what a wonderful evening with fantastic food, fantastic company and wine

Gaylene and Hannah
Gaylene and Karen 
Spectacular Dinner
then Maddy and her friend entertained us - awesome!

Friend and Maddie
Seeing Matt for the first time in 5 years - priceless!
He joined us with Lynnette and Dean and we went to the Lantern Festival

next we headed to Northland - with our first stop being Jen and Bob

when we left, they had only just moved to their lifestyle block - with no gardens... 
what a difference 5 years makes!

we had given Bob a lovely piece of wood from our old Bay of Islands property and he had made this gorgeous outdoor table from it...

from here right up to Tokerau Beach to visit Terry, Doreen, Reuben, Devontay and Kalaye

Devontay, Reuben, Terry, Doreen and Kalaye
we had such a awesome catchup - with amazing food, awesome company and a bevy or two.  Also meeting Doreens daughters and son was really lovely.
Terrys garden is fantastic
as is his very large smoke house made from an old upright Fridge


we drove up to a local vineyard with lovely views

it was so lovely to see them all - Reuben and Devontay children when we left are now adults!

Our darling friends Andy and Wendy invited us to their wonderful new Kiwifruit 
vineyard in KeriKeri, where we were very spoilt - wined, dined

and taken to the Bob Marley tribute concert held at a vineyard in KeriKeri
- yah mon - we had a great time

We then went to their gorgeous place on the Russell side 

- unbeknown to us they had organised a surprise afternoon with 
Andrea and Tony, Chris and Michael, Jono and Jess

The food everyone organised was spectacular

Jono, Tony and Andy
Jono and Tony
Andrea, Chris, Wendy and Michael
Richard and Tony
as was the wonderful company and wine.  
Thank you Thank you Andy and Wendy for organising this and for our wonderful catch up.

Next was darling Chris and Michaels at beautiful Orongo Bay Homestead

I think there is a theme coming across here - however, there was more wining and dining with wonderful food, wonderful company and wonderful wine...

Chris, Jen, Richard and Michael


So wonderful that Jono was invited to join us for an evening


always trouble when the liquors come out hahahaha...

Our next stop was Max and Justine at Waiuku and their two gorgeous doggies...
so lovely to spend an evening with them.
Justine has started making and branding lovely soaps and bath salts - very cleverly called "JustMade"

They have the most amazing wooded gounds, where Max showed us this awesome stone seat he made - reminded us of something from "Lord of the Rings"...

A couple of weeks after this we met for Yum Cha lunch also with Beryl - it was a fantastic catch up

Justine, Jen, Max, Beryl and Richard
From Waiuku it was off to Tauranga.  Richard has known Mark since University 
and it was a really lovely catch up with Mark and Sandy...

The view from their place is gorgeous

Mark has spent a lot of time with his lovely gardens and paths, also making a fantastic seat

He is also very clever with pottery

from Tauranga it was up to Matakana...

We hadn't seen Lynnette in over 8 years and we met her lovely partner Missy
They had organised for us to go to "Operanesia"

It was such a wonderful catchup with Lynnette - it felt like yesterday since we had seen her
after a drink or two, she proved she is still an angel

It was time to head North again to our Darling friends Rod and Lynne...

Just two nights (one full day) to catch up...

Chef Rod at his best...

Freshly caught Kingfish and Paua...

what a gorgeous feast...

a couple of wines and out came the hats...

Rod took us for a trip down memory lane and we had a "tiki-tour" around the bay

It was a truly wonderful catchup!

We were really lucky that Lars and Grethe just arrived from Denmark
were able to meet us for lunch on our way back to Auckland, 
albeit very quick, it was so lovely to see them again...

Lars, Jen, Grethe, Richard, Michael and Chris
Back in Auckland we had to drop in for a surprise to see Blake - so lovely to see him
(we hadn't seen Blake for many years)

Back home to Lynnette and Deans - such a peaceful spot - they truly made us feel like it was home!

Deans gorgeous Mum Anna had us over for a wonderful dinner (yes and more wine haha)

Lynnette and Deans Wedding Anniversary and they decided to celebrate with us all!
The weekend started with us leaving Gulf Harbour Marina on Karma and popping the Veuvre

Ahoy There - whats over yonder...


They had rented an amazing house on Kawau Island 
and had Jessica and Clive, Cody and Indi - Kane and Jessie
along with their good friends, Barb and Col & Ali and Paul join the festivities for the weekend.

Scalloping, Fishing, Kayaking, Lovely food, and wine and more wine.
It was so special for us to join family and good friends - we had the most fantastic weekend

Lynnettes most gorgeous grandchildren (Cody and Indi)


Clive telling us about the fish Cody caught and threw back moments before...

The Family - thank you all so much for including us in such an awesome weekend...

Lynnette, Cody, Jessica, Kane, Jessie holding Indi, Clive and Dean

A lovely sail back to Gulf Harbour, then it was time for the final dinner...

Finish as we began - fresh Scallops with lovely wine and sensational company...

Lynnette, Richard, Barb, Jen and Dean

along with the very important Xena and Shan, who also made us feel so welcome (thank you)...

Five weeks, over 50 friends and family, (probably just as many bottles of wine hahahaha)
To everyone we spent time with, thank you, thank you, thank you all so much, 
we feel very humbled to have such wonderful people in our lives.

To our family and friends we missed, we apologise and we hope to see you soon...

1 comment:

  1. Amazing journey well defined pictures and a lot of adventures to read about. Read your blog for the very first time and it's so fascinating and thrilling. lucky You're soto have such sassy friends.