Thursday, December 1, 2016

Autumn in the Hawkes Bay

You will have to excuse the fact that I am playing catch up here on the blog. There are quite a few posts that I never got round to writing. This space is so perfect for recording family holidays, it's amazing how many details get forgotten otherwise.

Back in May we flew down to the Hawkes Bay for a long weekend with our sweet cousins; Emma and Roman. It was a chance to hang out properly and explore a new part of the North Island. We purposely chose to go in Autumn hoping to catch the leaves turning colour. Luckily the weather was perfect; cool and crisp but brilliantly sunshiny.

It was Mothers Day here in New Zealand that weekend. We had not long found out that I was expecting again and wanted to celebrate this new little life and my darling girl too. Becoming a Mum has been life changing in almost every way and to acknowledge the wonderful privilege it is to be a parent is special.

That said it is bittersweet day too after losing my own Mum in 2014. I try to remember and celebrate her on Mothers Day (and everyday) rather than getting caught up in grief. I hope to share stories with Mae of her Nana on future Mothers Days and perhaps think of a little tradition to do together to honour her.

We decided on visiting Birdwoods that Sunday. A beautiful place to explore. We ended up taking a few hours there enjoying the gorgeous garden and sculptures. There is even an old fashioned sweet shop for those with a nostalgic sweet tooth. Mae loved the open spaces and her doting Aunt and Uncle. 
Mothers Day with family
Look Daddy, fish!

As the temperature cooled we ventured up to Te Mata Peak, up a long and winding road. We arrived just on sunset, perfect for Emma to do a spot of photography. The peak is scattered with rocks and the views are spectacular. Dusky purples and pinks faded to blue as sun disappeared.

Te Mata Peak, Mothers Day 2016

My everything. Mr. Fox and his girl.
The days went by quickly, as they always seem to when on holiday. We enjoyed the local Farmers Market, oh how I wished I had more room in my bag for some of the tasty treats there. Toby had to return to Auckland a day early due to work commitments. It was not quite right to be on holiday without him.

Having never been to Napier before I was keen to check out the Art Deco architecture. Emma and Roman were keen for a winery lunch. We spent a lovely morning wandering along the waterfront and had a quick trip around the aquarium. It was quite something to see the sculpture of Pania too. It has been on my list for so many years. I was expecting her to be larger in real life but she is nevertheless just as beautiful as I had imagined.

Aunty Emma and Uncle Roman

Pania, so excited to see this beauty in real life.
Emma does photography as a hobby and was keen to get some photos of Miss Mae. So after a yummy lunch at Mission Estate Winery the camera was whipped out. There were quite a few giggles as Mae was quick on her feet and ready to run. Emma took some beautiful images that we can cherish. Oh how lucky are we to have such talent in the family.

I really must get a few framed. It is incredible how much my wee girl has grown and changed in the time since May.  Our time away was wonderful we are really keen to go back there for a bit longer next time. It reminded me so much of Central Otago. Hopefully in a few years we will venture back and we must also plan another weekend away with Emma and Roman too.

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