Christmas, Done and Dusted

P1070797Father Christmas visited and was very generous! We had a lovely day, despite the fact that it was rather windy and gray. Early evening it cleared up so we had cocktails around the pool, but had dinner inside.

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I wasn't expecting any pressies as just my being there was a gift enough. But Jenni and Zoze surprised me with an amazing scrapbook with pictures I haven't seen for ages. It's all "scrap booked" and decorated! Must have taken ages to create and there are pages at the end to add to it. What a special gift it is!

And among other goodies, Rich and Staci gave me a phenomenal Kiwi cookbook, Treats from Little and Friday, that makes we want to get cooking again. They (Kiwis) do love their sweet things, but there are also amazing savory tarts and pies! How I can even think about food at the moment is scary, actually! It seems as though there is still far too much food around. Resisting, resisting, res.....

So that was Christmas done and dusted for another year.

Leading up to Christmas, we did a couple of short outings, one to Kiwi360 and the other, a short harbor cruise.

Zoze and me at Kiwi360

Kiwi360 is everything kiwi fruit! It was a bit drizzly so we decided not to do the tour - the fruit aren't ripe yet so there is no harvesting going on. But we did shop! Or I should say, I shopped! A perfect place to get goodies to take back with me :) I had a lot of fun as you can imagine! Now the problem is, what am I leaving behind here so I can fit stuff in my suitcases?

We also stopped at an amazing used china shop, Andrea's China and Antiques - stuff as far as you can see, piled high, floor to ceiling! Nothing was priced, and there seemed to be very little order to much. English china, teapots, plates and bowls, glass light fittings! It was completely overwhelming but I wished I knew more about china as there are treasures to be had there.

The following day, Christmas Eve, we went on a harbor cruise around Tauranga Harbor. The boat is old! Build in 1953 but in good nick, as they say here. Jenni had got tickets on GrabOne which is like groupon, a two-for-one deal. After a slightly delayed departure caused by late arriving passengers who wanted to wait for their friends (!!) we cruised along Matakana Island which is a significant scientific area owned by the Maori. Some passengers disembarked there and were admonished not to walk along the roads and to stay on the beach. Interesting...

The Kewpie

Then we swung around and came back against a roaring tide, right alongside an enormous cruise ship and some cool tugs, along the shoreline lined with houses and a new boardwalk. Boats anchored out and people swimming and paddle boarding. It's a very active place, especially during the holidays.

We had planned to do a short trip to McClaren Falls today, but decided to wait until Jenni can come too. So in the next few days, we will head out there. And today is catchup time for emails, blogs, pix etc.