Poor old TOF had to go off to work today and in Auckland where he will be staying the night so won't see him until tomorrow. Pretty sure the pets will look after me well enough. Today I had to drop Jak over at Waihi Beach as his mates where all meeting there and then heading to Mount Maunganui for the New Years revelry. To my surprise Max decided he would come along for the ride. Both were mortified at the selection of music on offer but settled for an old Joe Walsh CD I had, "The smoker you drink the player you get". Music from my younger days!!
We stopped in at the Waikino Tavern on our way for a drink, lads got a jug of beer and I got a Lemon Lime and bitters made up. This Tav is so cool as you can sit outside on the balcony and just about touch the cars as they all go screaming past rushing to the coast. Many years ago when I was a teenager there were some awesome shops opposite the Tavern. We always stopped on our way home from the beach to get a whole meal scone and some russian fudge. One year there was a huge flood and these shops all got washed away in the river behind them. But not the Tavern, she stood hard and proud and lives to tell the tale.
From the Tav we headed off and with in half an hour or less we were greeted with the sight of the sea!! I love that first view of the ocean, it just makes me all warm and fuzzy!! We dropped Jak off at his mates place, whose father just happens to be the coach of the Welsh Rugby Team. Bloody nice beach house too I might add and really down to earth people. Decided Jak wouldn't take the car as there are enough young men on the road this time of the year and zillions of police ready to give them a ticket for the slightest misdemeanor. You only have to get caught doing 4kms over the limit and you get stung with a speeding fine, I was conscious of this all day!!
Waihi Beach is gorgeous, kind of reminds me of Whangamata when I was young. No Apartments, traffic lights or ques. We popped in briefly to see my cousin Annette who has a new beach house. They pulled their quaint old one down and re built last year. We had many a good holiday in the dinky old one, its piles were knackered so it was all on a lean which made for alot of fun. It was a true batch. Not that the new one isn't nice because it is beautiful. Quick trip to the beach to get sand in between my toes and breathe in some of the positive irons. Totally refreshing and recharging for the soul. I suggested to Max we drive over the hills to Whangamata another 20 minutes to another favourite beach of mine. And that is what we did.
I have been going to Whangamata since I was a teeny tiny 4 year old and it is like a second home to me and will always have a special place in my heart as I have years of memories of good times had. Over the years it has grown from a sleepy beach place to a full on busy beach place over peak season. I don't care for the crowds any more so having a holiday here at this time of the year is not for me but a day trip is enough to wet my whistle. The Pohutukawa Trees are all out in full bloom which is supposed to be a sign of a long hot summer, so fingers crossed this is what gets delivered. It was certainly hot today but over cast and slightly dull. Beautiful as ever tho'.
My sister Helen lives at Whangamata but was working today in a fashion shop she manages, the parking was worse than town so I didn't catch up with her. My eldest sister Diana and her husband and family have rented a batch for two weeks so we called in for a drink. Max and Uncle had a few beers while my sister and I had tea. Jade and Mark had the kids at the beach but came back while we were there. They are having a fabulous time. That is what this time of the year at the beach is all about, FAMILIES!!! We also called in on my dear friend Leonie who is up from Wellington but they hadn't arrived at their batch yet so maybe next time.
Leaving Whangamata to head home we ended up checking out Whiritoa another beautiful golden sanded beach. Max needed a loo after drinking a half dozen bottles of beer with the unk, so I took the opportunity to take photos of the beach. I was totally fascinated with the dog shaped rubbish bin next to the ordinary rubbish bin. My guess it is for dog poos that you have to scoop up in a plastic bag to dispose them. What a great idea!!! Max said I wasn't allowed to open the dog head to see if I was right or not!!! Fun Sponge!!
We were ready to cut a track and get back on the road so we left this beautiful spot for the windy roads that lead us back home. It started to rain by the time we made it to the gorge where another potty stop was required.
The Karangahape Gorge is where the Waikino Tavern is and with all the rain the river was fare traveling. You can go on a long as walk or cycle track if you are that way inclined. Apparently it is amazing, but I am not that way incline so cannot confirm or deny this information. But judging by the amount of people out and about even today it must be good.
Next stop that was planned in advance was the big Lemon and Paeroa Bottle in Paeroa. Iconic if you are a kiwi and I guess a bit of a tourist attraction. Dam fine soft drink too, and very nice with a bit of the old Jim Beam.
I haven't had my photo taken at the base of the big bottle for such along time so today it was the day to re live the past. Max just hung out the car window and zoomed in.
Ok so we haven't got far to go now and we will be home but I still had one more stop to make. With a promise of buying Subway for our missed lunch and an early dinner my co pilot humored me by letting me stop at my favourite old church that I would love to pick up and move and turn into the cutest dam house you have ever seen. The fact that it is still used and under the historical places trust is a minor technicality at achieving my dream. But dreams are free so I shall continue to have them about this sweet little church.
Yes we finally made it home after having our Subway at Morrinsville, a small farming town out of Hamilton. It was such a nice day and even better because it was spent with my boys and we had fun. So now I am home alone and dam tired so it is a shower for me and off to bed which I guess I will be sharing with 2 dogs and 1 large cat.
♥ Family ♥