December 22, 2014 – When you are with good friends, there is never enough wine (ancient Chinese saying – still true today)

NOTE: This post contains slideshows and if you are viewing on your phone is best viewed direct from the SITE, rather than in the READER.

In the absence of current travel options, this is a rework of our 2014 trip Down Under, previously posted on a private blog site.

+15 and cloudy in the morning in Picton and +26 and sunny in the afternoon in Greytown.

We are transitioning from the Mainland (South island) back to the North Island today.

Well, the day has finally come to stop the roving life and settle down with our friends, M and P in the Wairarapa area for the Christmas Season. Breakfast in Picton was a mix of good Muesli and great coffee. A bit of shopping for last minute souvies and it was back to the motel to pack up.

Now, that’s a Mocha
Harbourfront shopping

Our host shuttled us down to the ferry terminal for the 10:55 Interislander, which surprisingly left at 10:50 AM. An uneventful crossing on a placid sea, down the Marlborough Sound to Cook Strait. As we went further North, the clouds gave way to brief sunny periods and then full sun.

At the mouth of the Sound, you could see the two currents mixing (blue/white/turquoise). The sea crossing was calm, with no seasickness alerts and by the time we got to Wellington, traditionally a cool, cloudy, rainy city, it was still a bit cloudy, but definitely not cool. I enjoyed some time on the outdoor decks, taking photos and we both enjoyed Frank’s Damn Tasty Ginger Beer, an NZ staple.

M and P picked us up at the terminal and we promptly went through two roadside breath checks (’tis the Christmas season, after all). Here you do not blow in the breathalyzer (Allan slowly learned this in 2012), you count. First stop was count to 10 and 2nd was count to 5. I joked with P that if there was a 3rd stop, they would likely ask you to add 5 and 10 and get the right answer.

Off to Petone for coffee and cruising the Christmas shops, picking up food and refreshments for our stay. A lot of fabulous specialty shops (including the colourful pet food shop display) and true NZ craft shops and then we set off for Greytown.

Shortly after arriving, I helped P deliver one last Christmas tree and we returned just in time for supper. Tonight, Monica made Mousaka and Greek Salad. Fabulous. Just about dusk, it was time to herd the chooks (chickens) into the chook house for the night and then more refreshment and conversation. The conversation flowed as did the wine, with Christmas carols in the background. Combined with all the decorations, it is starting to feel and look a lot like Christmas. Hey, isn’t there a song about that?

Published by kagould17

After working for 43+ years (38 years 7 months with my last company), I finally got that promotion I waited my entire career for……retirement. I have been exploring this new career for the past 3+ years and while it is not always exciting, the chance to do what I want for myself and my family instead of what my company wanted me to do has been rewarding. While I still miss the social aspect of working with a team of great people, I have managed to keep in touch with many from my former team and I have many friends and family members who now fulfill this part of my life. Now that my Patty has retired, we are able to spend more time in pursuits and with people who are near and dear to us. I enjoy photography, gardening, working with my hands, walking, cycling, skiing, travelling, reading and creating special photo and video productions obtained in my first pastime. I may not become wealthy in any of these pursuits, but I already feel I am rich in life experiences far beyond any expectation.

14 thoughts on “December 22, 2014 – When you are with good friends, there is never enough wine (ancient Chinese saying – still true today)

    1. It was a great time, but I think we were a bit selfish when they had just come through the Christmas Tree rush on their farm. They likely would have prepared to chill, rather than host house guests. Thanks for reading Marion. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. This crossing was much better than our crossing North to South. The seas were calm. The mochas and ginger beers down under were fabulous. I am now a ginger beer convert and the liquor stores sell the hard version. Two thumbs up. Thanks for reading and commenting. Stay well. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It was much better for viewing on our return trip and is a beautiful ride. As to the breath checks, I found this out in Australia in 2012, when I went through a checkstop, entering Merimbula. The officer had to ask me to count twice, before I got it. I could almost hear him saying “Dumb Canadian” as I drove away. Ha Ha. Thanks for reading. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Ferries are often means for getting from point A to point B, added to your travel itinerary out of necessity, not enthusiasm. For me, a ferry crossing is something I look forward to and they end up being one of the most memorable parts of my travels. My last ferry ride was ten years ago between Northern Ireland and Scotland with Stena Superfast, but I still remember it vividly. Thanks for sharing and have a good Tuesday 🙂 Aiva

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A ferry crossing is like a tour boat and a chance for the driver to relax. Even the bumpy ride over to the South Island was fun, while others got seasick. Thanks for reading Aiva. Allan


    1. You are right, but the first Christmas was in the desert, so maybe the white Christmas version was wierd for a while too. We enjoy our white Christmases. Thanks for reading Bernie. Allan


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