03 January 2013

Summer Holidays: Part 5

For our stay in Taranaki, we had the absolute treat of going to stay with my aunty (Wendy) and uncle (Derek) at their new lifestyle block just out of Oakura. They'd only moved in on Labour Weekend, and usually we'd stay with Gee Gee in town but with Nic and Kim also staying, it was going to be a full house and we thought it'd be nice to let Gee Gee spend some quality time with them since being based in Melbourne they rarely get the chance to come.

Derek treated us to a great morning out and about. First we went down to his run-off where he has a few animals. The kids got to ride on Derek's mule with him (he did try to convince Noah it had long ears and a tail but I'm not sure he bought it!).



We all got into the spirit of being in the country. Even I was snapped wearing gumboots "Red Bands".




After we moved the 4 frisky steers, including one who jumped into the next paddock and had to be shooed back by Derek, he showed the boys around the old cowshed which still had the old milk-by-hand set up.


The inside of the cow shed made for some cool lighting in the photos.


Then it was back to Oakura for a coffee from their famous coffee cart by the beach.


Iced chocolates the order of the day for the little people.


Afterwards, we headed back to Weld Road beach to enjoy the view of the old shipwreck and back towards the Sugar Loaves and Paratutu.



And that was all before lunchtime!

We headed home for lunch on the deck and then Wendy and Derek took us for a grand tour of their garden and pastures.


First down into the sprawling gardens, which were once part of the annual Rhododendron Festival, but have been left a bit neglected over the past ten years.  If anyone can bring it back to it's former glory, it's them, as they've created and managed some lovely gardens at their previous homes.


On the expansive lawn at the bottom, there's an amazing stone sculpture, and they are possibly imagining a big marquee to host some lovely garden parties or weddings there in the future.




From the garden we moved into the pasture. Mylo was wowed by the giant Massey Ferguson and begged for a ride.


Wish granted.


Then Derek hopped on and turned on the tractor. Even better!


And the boys nearly wet their pants with excitement when he lifted the loader up and down and let Noah loose on the horn!



In the short two months they've been there, they've already hosted a couple of work functions, made a good dent on a tidying a couple of garden areas, as well as planting out a whole avocado orchard. Phew!


You can tell the avocado will grow really well in this field, it was so hot and warm there surrounded by a huge shelter belt of very tall, pine trees.


Someone got caught yawning in this next picture. I have a feeling we may have come to the end of an era with daytime sleeps for this boy. He didn't have a single nap (other than the odd 20-minute car nap) the whole time we were away!


It made for some weary legs needing a helping hand though, and the odd bit of quiet time in front of the telly mid-afternoon on some days.


We wound our way back to the house, and as the others popped inside to escape the very warm sun, I stuck around to take a few more photos. That'll explain the very sun-burnt arms I got then!




And since I was already in the photo snapping mode, I figured why stop?!, so took a few pictures inside too.




I adore the entrance way to the house with this oversized clock, and the old window-turned-picture frame in the bathroom is pretty funky too.


I can imagine how cozy the turret room would be in the middle of winter curled up with a good book, but in the height of summer it's much like a sauna. Smudge, the 11-year old cat who came with the house doesn't seem to mind that though and spends most of his time up there.


And after all that photo-taking, some turns on the hammock were the order of the day. Although Noah promptly fell out after this picture, not being used to how they actually work!  All proceedings of the day were faithfully overseen by George, the 3-year old schnauzer, seen here munching on a favourite chewy toy.


And if the day hadn't been full of enough fun, we then headed back down to Oakura Beach for a swim. I say 'swim' figuratively, because although Mark and Derek got into the waves (and Noah briefly too showing how much more confident he has become), the boys were just as happy doing some 'sand storming'.




So I'll do a few yoga stretches first to limber up.




Whoops, my hat's getting a bit dirty, can you look after it Mum?



Charge! I just love the facials.










Is it any surprise that there's still black sand in their togs even now after much soaking, wringing and washing!

This was such a wonderful day to end the first part of our summer holiday. Thanks so much Wendy and Derek for making it such an amazing time for us!

And so back to Wellington...where the next leg of our summer holiday adventures with Nic and Kim awaited us.

To be continued....

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