Last November we did our second trip up North of NZ, the first with B. it was a four day, three night trip just so that B could get his time to relax. beaches, water, picturesque surroundings, you can never get tired of seeing beauty!

Day 1

Enroute to our bach in Mangonui. we did a stop at Goat Island, New Zealand’s first and most accessible marine reserve and an amazing spot for snorkelling and diving.

Goat Island, New Zealand

Goat Island, New Zealand

Then we headed to Paihia beach for some late lunch, sun and beach fun! by dinner time we were at our bach in Mangonui. i must add, the bach M booked was soo not our style, with the toilet being outside in the carport! plus we had a few ‘light’ issues to deal with in the beginning. and i totally refused to go to a dark dodgy toilet outside the house at 8.30pm! but once all that was fixed, we actually had a lovely time there. it had a shelf full of kids’ books that B enjoyed, cards, board games which again B played with, in his way!

Day 2

Enroute to Cape Reinga, the north end of New Zealand. to quote Wikipedia, ‘ it is the northwesternmost tip of the Aupouri Peninsula, at the northern end of the North Island of New Zealand’. here, you can see the separation of the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean. we got a beautiful day with clear skies, giving us spectacular views. by late afternoon we headed for the sand dunes. the 5-10 secs of thrill you get sand-boarding down the huge dunes is worth the exhausting walk up!

Cape Reinga - New Zealand

Cape Reinga, New Zealand

Cape Reinga, New Zealand

Cape Reinga, New Zealand

The 90 mile beach was our last stop for the day. however this is a misnomer because it is actually 55 miles (90 km) long. a long stretch of sand with roaring water on other side. since it had just rained then, we couldn’t do much besides B jumping in all the numerous water puddles!

Day 3

Started off lazily, plans were to just explore Mangonui village today. so after a rather long breakfast we first headed to Mount Mangonui. climb to the Mount Mangonui summit for unrestricted breathtaking views of this seaside town.

Mount M

Mount Mangonui, Mangonui, New Zealand

Lunch was the famous Mangonui Fish and Chips. personally i am not a fan of fish and chips so have no idea what the hype was all about but M and mama-mami enjoyed. hmm so maybe it is worth the hype! the rest of the evening we spent at Coopers Beach, till the high tide forced us to leave. dinner was at Indian Spice. rated 4.5 stars and ranked #1 of 9 restaurants there, this is MUST MUST try. the authentic flavours, relaxing ambience and friendly staff made our evening so enjoyable. its sad such a great restaurant is so far for a regular weekend’s dinner.

Indian Spice, Coopers Beach, Mangonui Fish Market, New Zealand

Indian Spice, Coopers Beach, Mangonui Fish Market, New Zealand

Day 4

On route to Auckland. stopped at Paihia Beach again for some Latin Mexican Lunch at El Cafe. try it if you go there. good portions and decent taste. B finished a large milkshake all by himself, which says a lot! was home by late evening, a bit tired yet totally relaxed!

Paihia Beach, El Cafe, New Zealand

Paihia Beach, El Cafe, New Zealand

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finally got down to see a movie this weekend! after 20 months! well actually just saw the first hour but atleast its a good change and start for us. Every time B hits the bed for the night, all M and i want to do is crash on the bed too! i had totally forgotten how our weekend-movie-nights were prior to B’s arrival. but i finally convinced M and we saw 2 states. so far its pretty interesting. not a great fan of Alia Bhatt but i think she’s done a decent job in this movie. waiting for tonight to hopefully finish the movie. I’ve got another movie lined up too!

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another highlight of our weekend was our fish dinner (with our NZ group)!

Untitled-1we had some pretty interesting talks and thoughts shared about our fish to-be-cooked. should the eyes be marinated? how to remove the eye? scoop it out with a spoon? it was pretty much our first time handling and cooking a full fish (with a head). so we hogged a fish (marinated by T) with a full head, mouth open, 1 eye marinated and 1 eye popping out. and M very carefully also pointed out its tongue and teeth to us! along with it we had pumpkin soup and garlic bread courtesy P, noodles by N and chana bateta by me. yummy dinner followed by some funny videos on youtube, turned our sat eve into yet another memorable time with our NZ family!

What an Eid it was..! After 2 years..

the last few days leading to Eid were quite stressful with B falling sick with Croup ( a viral disease). Fever, cough, vomiting the night prior to Eid, and sleepless nights. but as they say, alls well that ends well. and the Eid day was just that. Perfect.

true it was difficult waking up B in the morning but the minute he heard lets go babba he was up and standing (with his teddy ofcourse!). plans for the day were quite simple. spending the rest of the day with our NZ Gang (we now proudly call each other our NZ family!). so we met at N&H’s place for lunch. what a feast we had! sheerkurma, cutlets, biryani, soup, salad, drinks! B didn’t know what to do with all the food and where to start so decided not to eat! and we just managed to give him a bite from here and there. its really hard to get him to eat when we are out and he has so many distractions around! the afternoon-evening consisted of our usual girls vs guys jokes and fights and a game of dumb-charades, which we girls lost (the guys just know way too many movies and are really good at guessing!). 🙁

it was B’s day off from his afternoon nap too. he refused to sleep and just wanted to play and entertain us (he loves being surrounded by people), till he got over tired and hyper. and that’s when a car ride worked to put him to sleep for an hour. next stop was bowling. and i won! first time! yayy!! had so much fun after such a long time. and surprisingly it was much easier to manage a sleep deprived B than we thought. infact he was having his own fun. he too did some bowling, running on the bowling alley and getting scolded.

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we ended the night with some yummy peri peri chicken and chips at Nando’s. oh and i haven’t even mentioned Eidi! yes, B’s Eidi which always gets me soo excited! he got some really cool Eidis this year. Glow pad, car, LED shoelace and lots of cash and chocs! you know, this should have been B’s first Eid. with all this fun, Eidi, food and masti! i remember his first Eid – M was at work, we were at home and B had eaten half a magazine and puked it all out on the floor! haha…well there was excitement then and now too!

but on a more serious note, Eid and such occasions always makes me miss home but this time was different. good different. and i really wish we can celebrate all the occasions, big or small, together, like this (and even better) every year! xoxo

This is one of my overdue posts sitting lazily in my drafts since 2 days. but i shall finish it and publish it today! yess! so here goes…

Sadly the long weekend has ended. And there is not another one in sight in the coming months. But what a lovely weekend it was! And the weather too was just perfect!

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We drove down to Long Bay Regional Park on Sunday. it was our first visit there and since B’s current love at playcentre is the sandpit, this was the perfect destination for him. and us! and thats where we had our crazy fun time. B used his own sand toys here for the first time. scooped sand into his little bucket, toys bag and then my bag! screamed and ran behind dogs! oh yes! dogs again! how can his outings be complete without any dog incident. but this time it was a little different. the dog sniffed his bum! hmmm… we also realized B does not like playing with girls. even if she is a cute Russian girl! 🙁 and that was M’s worry that day…

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On our return, we got a call from our friends asking if we were up for Mission Bay (another beach site)! so we headed to another beach for the evening. the amazing hot choc brownie and butterscotch pecan cake at Movenpick was the perfect way to end a long day!

Monday was just a relaxing day spent in the kitchen, experimenting out some new recipes. not all turned out the way i expected them to but a couple of them will reach my blog soon!

18th April 2014

Start of the long Easter break, and what a sweet as start! Butterfly Creek. if you haven’t yet taken your bud here, this should be your next destination over the weekend. B had a ball of a time here! even M and I enjoyed our day out.

Butterfly Creek Courtyard

Butterfly Creek Courtyard

They have various encounters (programmes/sessions) throughout the day starting 10.30am to 3.30pm. Dinosaur Kingdom, Butterfly House, Crocodiles, Farm, Greenfinger Bugs, Aquarium, Reptiles, Alligators, Monkeys and so much more! click here to check out more about them!

Farm

Farm

Farm

Farm

Farm

Farm

Farm

Farm

Dinosaur Kingdom

Dinosaur Kingdom

Dinosaur Kingdom

Dinosaur Kingdom

Dinosaur Kingdom

Dinosaur Kingdom

Reptile

Reptile

Crocodile

Crocodile

Butterfly

Butterfly