Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Floundering at Oreti Beach

Anyone who knows me knows that I have said more than once, "I don't fish."  This has been the case since I was about 7 years old.   I had a traumatic experience as a child at a fishing pond in North Carolina.  It was a super hot day, I had a candy bar, was attacked by flys, and then yelled at by my brother all the way home because we had to leave (hysterical crying over bugs and fishy do not mix).  

I knew you would understand.....but on this day I went with the fisherman in what you might call a supportive role.  You know, drive the truck down the beach, make sure the dogs don't drown, and move the fish bucket as directed.  

Toby was more than happy to "help" as well, and by help I mean continually chew the rope and get in the way of the flounder net THE ENTIRE TIME.  

I am happy to report that the boys got about 26 flounder all together.  Which is apparently very impressive (insert fishermen ooh's and aah's). I am sure my supporting role contributed to this some how. ;) 

Once we got home we dined on fresh pan-fried flounder with a buerre blanc sauce.  I was inspired by the Dover sole we have had on past trips to Paris and wanted to try to recreate this masterpiece.   It wasn't too shabby for a first attempt.  Overall the day definitely made up for that other fishing experience so long ago! 

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Let's go sailing!!!

During my last trip to my parent's house I discovered how much my dad likes sailing. I never knew this before. This information came at the perfect time because I was trying to figure out what to get him for Christmas.   You know, the man who has everything.....

When I got back to Auckland I booked tickets to take my dad and my mom sailing on an Americas Cup boat around the harbor.  This was followed by multiple prayers for good weather.  

Fast forward now to December 23 when I picked up my parents from the airport. This is when I told my dad he was getting his Christmas present the next day.  He was so excited he could hardly sit still! He said, "when you get to be my age there are few presents that really excite and surprise you....but this is one!"  Well, as the second person in the dynamic brunette duo of our family (me & my dad) I was thrilled.  But still praying for good weather, this is New Zealand after all.

The next day was fabulous.  Two hours of wind in your hair, grinding, learning about all things sailing and enjoying the amazing views.  It was as close to the perfect present for my dad as I could get.   Additional bonuses: it didn't rain, my mom wasn't cold and she had fun too!!! 

While I love getting presents I have always thought that giving gifts is better than receiving them.  This story proved that this is so so true.  I will never forget the look of joy and wonderment on my dad's face the ENTIRE TIME we were out on the water.  It was a memory that I will treasure and look back on often...

Queenstown for New Year

After Christmas in Auckland we drove down to the South Island.  After a few days driving and lots of potty breaks for Toby we arrived in Queenstown.  While we were driving my parents embarked on a 5-day motorcycle tour of the South Island (Harley Davidson, in case you were wondering) and five days later we were all back together in Queenstown.  

Relaxing with a Rosé

This was our view for the week......from every room in the house! This made our walk up the steep hill worth it.  This area, known as Queentown Hill is a prime location because it's close enough to walk to the Center of town (and the action) but up above the hustle and bustle at the same time.  You feel like you're in your own peaceful little world. The best of both worlds really! 

Took some time to start writing with my new fountain pen from dad! Such a great Christmas present!!!

Shout out to my man's amazing ribs!!!! 

Couldn't get enough of this view!!! 


Fireworks and champagne on our balcony! Great way to ring in the New Year! 

Dad looking for deer on his NZ HUNTING ADVENTURE!! And my brother-in-laws dog, Oscar photo bombing him 😄. 

Millbrook Resort, Arrowtown is where we stayed for the last two days my parents were here.   This is a beautiful location that feels more like a private estate than a golf resort.  

Evening stroll after a divine dinner at the Millbrook restaurant.

Baked Alaska is making a come back here in New Zealand (why it ever went out of vogue I cannot say) and this one was delicious! 

We laughed, loved, cooked, ate, drank, talked, watched football, hiked, and laughed some more.  That's one heck of a kick off for 2015 if you ask me!