Easter weekend we took a small roadtrip to Nelson, about 1.5 hours drive from Picton. We knew it was going to be busy so we arranged lodging ahead of time for Saturday and Sunday night at the backpackers (similar to a hostel). We arrived there Saturday morning and went straight to the market in Montgomery Square that we had heard so much about. It was full of cool produce, food stalls, and great NZ made clothing. It was so busy that it was difficult with John's stroller, but we made it work. We had lunch in the car and then made our way to the backpackers to check in. What we found was a cool 'hippie' backpackers, they had signs all over about conservation and even had a compost/worm farm outside, oh, and no TV :) We heard that there was a great park and beach nearby so we went for a bit of a drive and let John have a good play at the park- they even had a huge stone train!
Sunday morning we wanted to go to the Sunday markets, but because of Easter they were both closed. We had already walked into town and saw a sign for a hike that we thought might be nice. Another woman with a stroller went by and they said it was ok to do with a stroller (although theirs was a cool mountain buggy, not like our little umbrella stroller!) We did make it to the top of the steep slope, which was paved most of the way. The view from the top was gorgeous, and the mountains were capped with snow- that means winter is on the way! We took a different route back down and John walked the whole way and then slept in the car for almost 3 hours. That afternoon we kept driving out to the start of the Abel Tasman walkway along the coast. I have to give Jeff some credit here for doing ALL of the driving on the narrow, windey, steep etc etc etc. roads! When John woke up we had just arrived at a beach area and John went wading in the water in his boots and T-shirt. The sand bar extends a long way out where we were and there were tractors with boat trailors on them going out to retrieve the boats when the tide was out, something cool for both boys to watch!
After a busy day we stopped in town and got fish-n-chips for dinner before it was back to the backpackers for sleep.
It was a good weekend away full of beautiful sights and nice people, but we were happy to get back to our sleepy little town.
The weather has been turning cooler as autumn really sets in here. Last week we had a few days of cool mornings and gorgeous afternoons, warm enough for the kids to enjoy homemade popsicles (or Ice Blocks as they are called here!)
These are John's daily playmates, our wonderful neighbors!! Maea will be 3 in August and Leo just turned 5. John thinks their house is his playroom, and their door is usually open for him, we love having such great neighbors.
Lately I've been letting John pick his own clothes- this is what he comes up with. Doggie (bark bark) jammies with his overalls on top- classy? Also, he was carrying his cup in the front of the overalls, the pocket was too small but the front worked well, Clever.
John and Maea playing in the car, so sweet when they get along!
And yes, this is our very own sweet ride- 1990 Nissan Bluebird :)
We went on a short walk the other day. Here is John and Jeff with the MOOO and BA BA. John loved them being so close, but did not like the poops they left, kept pointing and saying "ECCKHH"
At the market last weekend we got some locally grown, spray free (organic?) Black Boy peaches, heaven in John's eyes! I think he ate all of them, Jeff and I only got bites!
Look at those lovely green eyes.... ahhhh, ladies man in training.
The train tracks run by Playcentre and just about every day a train goes by. Today it was late, possibly due to daylight savings scheduling (that happened this past weekend here). John spent about 30 minutes climbing all over looking for the train, in this picture he is saying "I don't know". The train did finally come by, but we were all inside eating homemade beetroot chocolate cake (sounds strange to American's who don't eat beets much, but it is SOOOOO good, I'll post the recipe soon!).
John and his friend Stella on the tire swing this morning. Shortly after this John's face started getting a little weird, I think he was getting a little too dizzy.
Last Sunday we met some of our friends on the Foreshore in Picton. At the foreshore is a wonderful park with swings, climbing things and a wading pool (which has no water lately). On weekends they run a model train that for 20cents per person we can ride on! John has a blast watching it go around, waving and yelling 'poppop!!!' the whole time. We took a ride with a few friends, in the photos are Leo, Shackleton and Caroline. Not pictured are Kerstin and Maea (Leo's Mum and sister). What fun!!!
We also moved to a bigger flat, which is right nextdoor to Kerstin and Crispin and their kids Leo and Maea! John is having so much fun with all of their toys and bikes, oh, and them too :)
Saying goodnight to Maea through the window, cute!