Postcards from Auckland and the Coromandel

S. and I are back in Wellington now, and while we had a great time away, it’s lovely to be home and have time to ground into the new year. There are so many things I’m looking forward to this year, so many exciting possibilities waiting for us, but I’d like to give them the whole post that they deserve, so right now I’m just going to share some pictures from our journey north over the summer.

It was a beautiful three weeks that we spent with our families. We spent 10 days with S.’s parents in Auckland and then 10 days with my parents at their beach house on the Coromandel Peninsula. Although we celebrate Summer Solstice in the Druid tradition rather than Christmas per say, there is still something really beautiful about the family feel of Christmas Day that makes it important to both S. and I. We were really lucky this year that we didn’t have to make the difficult decision about who to spend Christmas with, instead we were able to spend the morning with my extended family and the afternoon with S.’s.

 

Here are some of the best shots (via instagram) of our time up north:

 

Naturally, the Christmas season involves many tasty meals. While in Auckland we had plenty of opportunities to share food and laughter with family, sometimes in planned meals, sometimes spontaneously.

A spontaneous Christmas Eve dinner with S.'s aunt and uncle.

A spontaneous Christmas Eve dinner with S.’s aunt and uncle.

Of course Christmas Eve just tends to roll into Christmas Day – even more so for us this year as we went from Christmas breakfast with S.’s parents and siblings, to early lunch with my extend family, then late lunch with S.’s extend family. It was an exercise in pacing oneself… but extremely tasty.

Christmas Dinner with S.'s family.

Christmas Dinner with S.’s family.

There’s a tradition in S.’s family that all the women contribute to Christmas Dinner (while the men cook the meat and then have to do the dishes), this year I decided to try something new – Baked Brie. It’s very easy and sooooo tasty. Not to mention pretty.

My contribution to Christmas dinner - baked Brie cheese (and yes I did the pastry myself).

My contribution to Christmas dinner – baked Brie cheese (and yes I did the pastry myself). Obviously this is pre-baking.

Christmas of course involved desserts. I’m not really a big Christmas cake fan but S.’s aunt always makes one that looks beautiful and S. assures me tastes beautiful too.

Christmas Pudding - we even set it on fire but that's not an easy picture to take.

Christmas Pudding – we even set it on fire but that’s not an easy picture to take.

I was much more interested in trying another kiwi Christmas tradition – Pavlova. S.’s sister seems to have perfected the art of making them from scratch which impresses me no end.

Homemade Pavlova by S.'s sister.

Homemade Pavlova by S.’s sister.

I gave S. a small cast iron grill for Christmas/Solstice this year and she was thrilled. Of course being vegetarian (S. not me) it’s vege only but boy can you grill some tasty vege on it!

The results of the grilling experience.

The results of the grilling experience.

While our time with S.’s parents and brother and sister is characterised by tasty food, laughter and books, time with my parents is often about making things, walking and the odd small adventure. One thing we love about visiting my parent’s beach house is a couple of lovely wee shops in the small township, there’s always something gorgeous to be found.

I don't often buy accessories so it was nice to treat myself to these new turquoise ones.

I don’t often buy accessories so it was nice to treat myself to these new turquoise ones.

We took a few different day trips to all sorts of places and found a few great cafes along the way. S. was particularly excited to have Devonshire Tea at one of these and I thought it made a cute photo.

S.'s Devonshire Tea

S.’s Devonshire Tea

Given that we’re from Wellington S. and I often find the heat up north a bit much, but we discovered that evening is the perfect temperature for us – and perfect for sunset walks. Bonus!

Sunset in the Coromandel - the view while walking.

Sunset in the Coromandel – the view while walking.

From the Coromandel we headed to Napier for a couple of days. A colleague of mine had invited us to her wedding and since I’d never been there, it seemed the perfect opportunity to visit. It was beautifully vintage and wonderful for photos, which I promise I will post in due course.

B.

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One thought on “Postcards from Auckland and the Coromandel

  1. Pingback: The ‘Perfect’ Donor « Under the Purple Magnolia Tree

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