Monday, November 24, 2008

Marcie's gone - this was her last day

I took Marcie up to the Kauri Gumstore Cafe on this, her last day here, to meet my good friend Cathy.
Cathy has just enjoyed another birthday, so that was also part of the celebration.
And at the tail end of the day, here's Marcie at the airport with me, and Steve, who came from work to join us and see her off. God bless you, Marcie. . . and thanks for coming so far to be with us. Love you lots.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Marcie and I go to Waihi Beach

This is one of a few swing bridges leading along the Karangahake Gorge on the way to Waihi.
Marcie and I heading deeper into the walk. . . through the remains of an old gold mine.
Beautiful Lothlorien forest on the way.
Marcie ahead on the path as it slopes down toward the river.
Late Spring daisies added some colour to the slopes
We walked through this dark, wet 1km long old train tunnel, which is part of the circular Karangahake Gorge walkway.
FINALLY, Marcie arrives at Waihi beach - our family holiday home and haunt for about 45 years.
Fish and Chips eaten from newspaper on the beach after we arrive.
Lazy mornings spent enjoying the late Spring sun.
or a 'flat white' at a local cafe.
With matching hats, heading out toward Orakawa Bay - which can only be reached by walking or boat. .. from Waihi Beach.
Rich azure sea and the distant Bowentown hills.
The long line of Waihi Beach and distant Bowentown, and the last couple of coves we've just walked round.
Will we get there?
Ah - sparkling in all its pristine glory in the midday sun.
Orakawa Bay.
Returned to Waihi Beach and Athenree for a hot spring soak, and then lamb shank dinner at this cafe.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Nick, Luke and Jon head home. . .

God bless SKYPE! Marcie gets to see her Tim for the first time in a while, and we all had a good laugh and a chat to him on Mark's computer. All of this after a last sisters meeting and lunch with Nick.
Jan just can't help posing. . .
The long and the short of us, in a final farewell clinch. It was great seeing Luke and having him hang around with his Dad. Goodbye and THANKS Nick for coming.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Finally, Nick, Luke and Jon arrive in Te Atatu

At Boyds on the day Jon arrived, and earlier than that, Nick and Luke were deposited. Marcie looking on.

The boys check out Piha beach.
Gorgeous scenery at Piha, facing Lion Rock. That's Nick and Jon's silhouette.
The Lion and Marcie
Jon and Luke in the back of the car.
The sisters on the beach at Takapuna, after having seen Orcas in the harbour behind them, and now they are recovering eating icecreams.
One of the many cafes visited - this one in Takapuna.
Jon shared this morning, this is Mark sleeping with his eyes open. Nick and Rawiri just behind.
Sisters filled the other side of the room.
Jon reaching for his notes as Rawiri looks on.
LOOK at that mean face from Steve from behind Marcie.
We dealt to it.
The kids entertained and welcomed the visitors tonight, after the barbecue. They sang a welcome song in Maori and one of the church songs.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Day Five/Six

Sunday started off a whole lot more relaxed, with Marcie and Penny getting some washing done, and Penny ironing ALL OF STEVE'S SHIRTS. You can see how happy he is about that.
Then we were off up to the market garden area to get some fruit and vegies, and to have lunch at a cute little store called 'The Kauri Gumstore' - an old 1860 store which has since been converted into this cafe with lots of ambience.
Monday, Mark took the girls around to the museum and other spots, and then in the evening, they came with me up the Skytower, to Orbit restaurant.
Marcie cutting up the turkish bread for dipping.
Great 360 degree views as it rotates once every hour.
And for dessert - a chocolate denso at the Chocolate Boutique in Parnell. Mmmmmmm.
Very happy to be finally getting that chocolate drink I told them about.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Day Three/Four

Off to Arataki Visitors Centre in the Waitakere Ranges to start our tour through the scenic drive and then finish at the Cascade Kauri Walk for an amble before lunch.
View from one of the platforms of a dam in the ranges.

A handy frame awaiting some content.
The Lower Huia dam.
Walking the Cascade Kauri track - otherwise known as 'Auckland City Walk'.
Penny in front, with Tracey just behind, and then Liam, Helen and Marcie.
Meat pies for these two at the end of the walk.
Marcie and I enjoying the picnic breeze.
Mum and Dad joined us for the afternoon, on the slopes of the golf course by the walkway.
Basking in the late Spring sun.
Cheesy grin from Marcie, refined glance from Helen.
During the walk. . .
Marcie and Penny in front of one of our massive Kauri tree trunks.