03 January 2014

Things I'm Loving: In town and country....

I wholeheartedly believe that no matter what is happening in your life, there is always something you can be thankful for..no matter how simple it is.

Welcome to Things I'm Loving in 2014! One could argue it's a bit of a cop out posting more holiday pics for Things I'm Loving this week but hey I'm still technically on holiday till Monday so I'll just milk it for a while longer if that's alright with you all!

Glider action

Loving finally giving Noah's birthday gift a try out. He'd been given a great custom glider for his birthday from Jackie and Heidi but we'd needed a good amount of space to be able to give it a good run out. It took a while to get the right technique but once we had it figured, it fairly flew. 

Although I did find myself with a bit of RSI in my elbow the next day and it took me ages to figure out why!

Footy with Poppa
Loving seeing the boys hanging out with their Poppa. And it's not often we see Poppa on a football field so I had to capture the moment when he had a run around with the boys in the sunshine.

Exploring more of Hamilton

While Nana and Poppa worked a couple of the days when we first got to Hamilton, we took the opportunity to explore a few previously un-visited local spots. First stop the Zealong tea plantation. It must have been a fairly ambitious plan to set up NZ's first tea plantation just outside of the city. When you arrive there's a walk which takes you on through the whole history of tea. Then there's a shop and a tea house (although it wasn't open the day we were there) and an opportunity to do a tour of the estate if things like that take your fancy.

After that we headed out to Woodlands Estate which was just around the corner in the same area (near Gordonton). The gardens there are stunning as is the house (often a venue for weddings - hey Leonie!!). The cafe backs onto a glorious cricket oval aptly named with my maiden family name, but we were fresh out of luck getting a bite to eat as once again it was closed being Christmas Eve.  

After this our hungry tummies rumbling signalled it was time to find somewhere that was actually open for lunch. The Firepot Cafe in Gordonton turned out to be a great find with great fresh tasting and pretty reasonable food - I loved the simplicity of the kid's toasted sammies which came with an old fashioned bottle of milk.

We still had a bit of time up our sleeves so headed to the playground at Claudelands that had been recommended to me by a work friend ages ago. It is a pretty awesome park with all sorts of fun and modern climbing equipment.

It turned out to be a really fun day meandering and exploring some hidden gems around Hamilton.


Loving game time! During the course of the holiday, we played games galore - and I reckon holidays away from home are great for game playing - there's no laundry or vacuuming to distract one's mind to thinking about what else needs to be done around the place.

Here's Mylo putting together his magnetic geometry into zoo animal shapes. He happily played this while the rest of us were playing the raucous game of Pit - a fun trading game where you have to yell 'one one' if you have one card to trade or 'two two' if you have two until you manage to collect all nine of a particular commodity. 

Then in the evenings there was time for a game of Carcassonne. We enjoy playing the basic game but had a couple of expansion packs (the Towers and Cathedrals/Inns) which we'd never really tried out so we gave these a go as well. It made for a much longer and more involved game - the first night we didn't really have much of a clue how to play strategically but by the second night we had the hang of it. I love that we can all come together as a family (even if it is only once a year) and hang out having a chat about all kinds of inane and deep things all at the same time!

Raspberry picking 

Loving fresh berries! We'd wanted to go berry picking at some point on the holiday but the Olde Berry Farm didn't open their pick-your-own berry picking until Boxing Day. And wouldn't you know it, the weather looked like it was NOT going to perform for us. This was the torrential downpour that hit around lunchtime after we'd been out having fun playing yard cricket in the morning. So much so that the gutters were overflowing!

But after a break in the weather, we took our chance and nipped out for an hour mid-afternoon. Despite the black skies all around us, we picked fast and furiously, getting 3 ice-cream containers full in under an hour, as well as filling our bellies full of delicious fruit. Nothing beats the feeling of picking fruit straight off the vine and eating it!

Water boys

Loving water play! Mylo got given a really fun water toy from Sam and Alesha for Christmas but we're always super conscious of not going overboard on the water usage at Nana and Poppa's as they are on tank water so we waited until we got to Gee Gee's in New Plymouth to give it a go.

Suffice to say it was a hit - and we can see it'll be a hit at our place in Wellington as it's just the right size to use on our small patch of grass where a big slip n slide would be way too big. And of course then the water guns had to come out as well too.

Well I've nowhere near run out of things to love about the holiday but I have most definitely run of time, so I guess that means I'll just have to keep on milking it for a bit longer in a few more posts to come...okay?!

Anyway, I hope that you have been finding plenty to love about your summer holidays - from the pictures and posts around the place it looks like there's been all sorts going on -  renovations, relaxing by the pool, road trips and more!

Here's how you can join in this week:

Link up below with your blog post telling us what you're loving, and grab the Things I'm Loving button below for your post too. Don't forget to share the love by visiting all the other lovelies who have joined in - the linky is open till same time next week!

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