• Quick one

    I’m back in Auckland! Whakatane was really something. The whole sunniest town in NZ is so true, and you know what, good weather is nothing to sneeze at! Heat pumps in the motel and at work meant I was pretty much never cold and my hayfever was under control. I even wore my contacts a few times. Coming back to my cold damp house kinda stunk….but I guess there’s nothing like home.

    The drive there and back was really pretty. Just before we got into Whakatane proper (around Matata??) the ocean view was a.ma.zing. It looked like the very edge of the world…like you could just sail out to the end, and fall off and disappear. Photos below…

    Expenditure: Well, BF and I went to the supermarket on Sunday morning and spend about $35, mostly on food for him. I bought $30 of groceries in Whakatane, another $10 in food for a big shared dinner we made on Wednesday, $11 for seafood chowder (my first chowder ever!) in Opotiki, and about $25 on drinks. Drinks were $2.50 in Opo but normal price in Whakatane… I also spent about $5 on random tea and wedges on the way home.

    Looking down on the town

    Looking down on the town

    Down by the river head

    At the riverheads

    At the riverheads

    At the riverheads

    Down by the riverhead

    Possibly not the most picturesque part of the township, but I liked the light

    Possibly not the most picturesque part of the township, but I liked the light

    Here we go - postcard perfect

    Here we go - postcard perfect

  • A couple of weeks ago we (meaning, my girlfriends) managed to organise a night out and amazingly enough EVERYONE bar one showed up! It was my first introduction to the Chocolate Boutique in Parnell – and I honestly don’t know how I had never heard of it before.

    Here's my choc/raspberry tart - crap phone camera quality!

    Here's my choc/raspberry tart - crap phone camera quality!

    Seriously. Go there if you get the chance. It’s so cute and quaint, and a great place to go for dessert or a quick sweet treat. You can also buy all sorts of chocolate goodies (which methinks would make great presents) and even sugarfree chocolate for diabetics (which was a huge coincidence, as my mum had just been wondering about where to find such chocolate – she’s going back to Malaysia to see my uncle, who recently developed diabetes).

    I had the chocolate raspberry tart; insanely rich and so satisfying. And the prices were pretty reasonable. Mine cost under $5, with other desserts running up to $7 or around $12 for dishes big enough for two to share. The one disappointment was my friend B’s chocolate  pudding, which she said tasted just like the choc fudge cake from Denny’s.

    Some of our desserts

    Some of our desserts

    We also felt a bit rushed, getting there at 9.45pm and being told the kitchen closed in 9.50! Not only was it insane trying to get an inside table, we then had to fly through the menu and quickly pick out something – not easy given the huge range of delicious things on offer. And when we snapped a few photos of us pulling faces and tucking in, the staff came over to tell us that we couldn’t take photos of the inside of the shop (not that we were – just of our food and each other).

    After that we discovered this funky retro phone booth just outside – which we just HAD to crowd into for a quick photo – and then ran down the street in the pouring rain to a pub where we chilled out for a couple of hours!  A good night all around.

    booth

  • Bush walk

    We went out to Huia on the weekend and wandered around some of the bush trails. It’s really nice out there – pretty and peaceful, somewhere that would be nice to live if you worked from home. The waterfalls were pretty cool – cold, freshwater falls and pools, lots of rocks to climb/walk on or jump off. We probably spent about half an hour around the falls alone…

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    Swimming in the FREEZING water…

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    As we were starting the trip back home past the local shops BF was like “next time we’re here we’ll go to the dairy, they’re meant to have really good ice cream” – and I figured why the hell not, we came all the way out here and we’re going to come back, but who knows when?

    And we had ice cream. They had some really cool flavours: butterscotch pecan (I got that), caramel ripple, marshmallow coconut ice. We only got single scoops, but they were HUMONGOUS. And delicious. My only gripe is, generous as the scoops were, they weren’t packed in very well and at one point the entire scoop fell outta my cone and straight into my lap 🙁

    Definitely plan to go back out there. I mean, we live relatively close to the bush out west and we really should make the most of it, apart from the gas it costs nothing!