We enjoyed our motel until the discharge time.
We packed up and while I packed the car the kids went swimming in the pool.
It was not heated and the manager thought they were nuts!!
But they enjoyed it and it woke them up 😉
We drove back to Napier to show the kids the Art Deco centre of NZ and the results of a post earthquake rebuild.
We drove along the beach road into the city and parked up near the gardens.
It was a glorious morning.
I wanted to introduce them to Pania.
She is still as beautiful as ever 🙂
Then we had to go out to the beach.
It is covered in small black smooth stones – no sand on this beach.
Back to the gardens.
This area is called Veronica Sunbay.
It is a lovely area originally built in 1934 to commemorate the Hawke’s Bay earthquake – 3 Feb 1931.
It is named in honor of the ‘HMS Veronica’ whose crew gave so much help at the time of the disaster.
It was rebuilt and dedicated on the 60th anniversary of the earthquake – 3 Feb 1991.
It was really interesting to see this info board with sea front photos of before and after the earthquake.
1888 saw the construction of the sea wall and Marine Parade roadway.
Just prior to the earthquake there was only the Municipal baths, paddling pool and sandpit constructed here.
After the quake the rubble was dumped out onto the beach and then lawns were laid over it.
From there the the rebuild of Marine Parade began and by the end of the 1930’s it was looking great.
Today it is a wonderful recreation area for city.
I commented to the kids how peaceful it feels.
You are only seconds from the city centre and yet it is so quiet & relaxing.
We wandered on along the waterfront and found this rather interesting Heritage Fountain outside the iSite.
Since I was last here there has been a major development in the tourism of the Art Deco rebuild.
The cute wee train will take you for a tour of the city for a fee.
As will this appropriately modified bus.
And across the street under the shadow of some of the Art Deco buildings are beautifully restored cars waiting to take tourists for a spin – if you have a spare $150 😉
I loved how the city has made so much more of the Art Deco theme in this area with road signs in the black & white theme with appropriate fonts, the street lights etc.
They really have done this well here.
They would do well to extend it to more of the city.
Loved this entrance to the Gatsby Room.
Starbucks was conveniently tucked in just around the corner so we popped in to get our morning refreshments.
Azzan was rather fascinated by this group of ladies in their purple clothing and red hats.
I explained to him the poem of ‘When I am an old woman I shall wear purple’ and how it meant that when I am old enough to not care what people think I will actually have fun and enjoy life with carefree abandon.
‘How lame!’ was his response.
Obviously he is not old enough to appreciate this yet 😉
We moved the car into a parking building and then went for a wander.
Found this lovely young lady in the street.
Azzan thought she should be wearing a mink.
He is rather partial to the 1920’s at present and is obsessed with mink coats!
The train came chugging past us while we were looking for somewhere to eat lunch.
I was looking for a particular shop – and found it!
When I was here about 25 years ago with Jesika we found Jessica’s and she wondered recently if it was still here.
Well Jesika, it sure is and Mahalia wanted to point it out to you 🙂
It has been here since 1978, but unfortunately the landlord has sold the building and they have to leave so are relocating to Hastings.
They had a big sale on so we went in to investigate and found to my delight several things we needed!
I did a big spend up and then arranged to swing by later to collect everything.
We found ‘Ujazi Cafe‘ – a busy cafe with an interesting menu so stopped in there for lunch.
Of course Mahalia had the Eggs Benedict with bacon – she rated this one average as there was no greenery at all, but said the bread was the best part of the meal.
I also had Eggs Benedict with spinach and thought it was really good – loads of spinach 🙂
Then it was off to do some more shopping.
We found a wonderful baby shop and had heaps of fun choosing clothes for our littlest family members.
Then to Jeans West cuz I was seriously needing some shorts and had given up trying to end any that fit nicely.
Last ditch attempt to where I should have actually gone to start with – and I found several pairs and while I was busy trying them on Mahalia found herself a pretty summer dress.
Azzan sat in the corner and played games on my phone.
Then we headed around the corner to a Dollar Shop that Azzan had spotted earlier.
He was keen to get a lava lamp that was in the window.
While I investigated which one he wanted Mahalia found a rack of onsies and I caved in and let her get one ;-/
We were getting rather weary so finally trudged our way up to car.
I left the kids there and zipped downstair to pay the parking but a guy was fixing the machine.
So I wandered away to wait for a mo, went to text Mahalia to let her know but couldn’t find my phone.
I knew Azzan had it several shops back but hadn’t seen it since.
I did a major panic and tore back upstairs.
Found Azzan in the backseat playing games on it.
I was so relieved but so cross that he hadn’t returned it to my bag.
I took it and whizzed back downstairs only to find the fixit man was still fixing the machine.
So I walked across to TANK and got my self a smoothie with an extra energy boost.
We were finally away, picked up the shopping from Jessica’s and then drove out of town following my iPhone map directions to Jenny & David’s.
Thankfully she text me some landmarks to look for because their drive was a wee way from the co-ordinates and the iPhone map lady was trying to lead us up a steep hillside!!
They had just flown back from a weekend in Christchurch so were both very tired, as was I.
We had a very pleasant time catching up on the past years since we had seen each other in the flesh.
Unfortunately their youngest kids who are same age as mine were on their way home from camp and hadn’t yet arrived so the kids didn’t get to meet up.
We decided to hit the road soon after 4:30pm.
Took some photos of them with our pet zebra as we were leaving 😉
Perfect photo bombing!
We took Highway 50 south and enjoyed the scenery as we drove.
It was so green, very lush moderate hilly farmlands most of the way.
As we traveled further south into the evening the town names became more familiar to me.
We had to stop here for a quick photo shoot.
We were undecided as to where to stop the night and as we drove we were calculating distances and how far I could reasonably drive to.
We decided we could make it to Masterton so called up Jenny to see if we could crash at their place.
Yes, that was all good so we had a comfort stop in Woodville, got a small snack at the best fish’n’chip shop in town.
It was obviously a Chinese family operation and the parents were talking to their daughters very loudly and abrasively.
We could only imagine what was being said!
Azzan ordered a burger and I got wedges and asked if they supplied sour cream with them.
The lady was hard to understand but I got the drift that yes she could add sour cream.
When she finally was wrapping the wedges I just cracked up when I saw her take a large container of sour cream and a spoon and literally shovel lashings of cream straight onto the wedges before wrapping them.
Normally you are given a tiny pottle of cream. as an extra.
I hurried out to the car and unwrapped them before the sour cream melted all through.
We ate as we drove, with sour cream dripping off my fingers – delicious 🙂
The rain began again soon after and I was really having to concentrate.
Foreign territory, wet roads, tired self – recipe for disaster.
So told Azzan to shut up and stop burbling on with non-sensical conversations and let me concentrate.
Arrived safely in Opaki soon after 7:30pm.
It was lovely to be greeted by Jenny, Selwyn & Lizzie and welcomed into a warm family environment after several days on the road and motels.
We had a lovely tea around the table and time catching up.