Christmas Ornaments, Cross Stitch, Friends & Family, Gifts TO BE FIXED, Home & Family TO BE FIXED, Lavender, pinkeeps, stitching pals, taupo, Travel, Travel - New Zealand

Napier/Hastings … part 1

We had a lovely drive to Napier/Hastings in the Hawkes Bay.  It normally takes 5-6 hours driving time from Auckland (not including stops along the way), and the weather was great for driving.  We drove via Matamata to Taupo, where we had a wee break and a wee wander – and just a general “wee” at Taupo’s “Super Loo” ;P

Lake TaupoView from the shores of Lake Taupo

After we had a cake and coffee at a Robert Harris Cafe, we called up my good pal Katrina to let her know we were on our way to visit … I’ve been very lucky in that every blogger I’ve met to date has been truly lovely, and Katrina is no exception – she’s one of the loveliest ladies you could meet!  When I was flying over to NZ I’d already decided it would be nice to get away for a couple of nights to have a mini-break, and Mum agreed it was a good idea – I’d already decided where I wanted to go … Napier to visit the gannet colony again, and double bonus because Katrina is just a short hop further south, and I really wanted to catch up with her again (you may remember we met for the first time in Melbourne a while ago now) 🙂

As we were driving into Napier, we came across Whitebay Lavender Farm on the main road into Napier, and I just had to stop and take a photo or two … I just loved all the rows of lavender growing – just beautiful 🙂

Lavender farmWhitebay Lavender Farm

Unfortunately it took us a while to find a motel in Hastings, but once we found a nice one (Omahu Motor Lodge – we can definitely recommend it) we grabbed the keys and high-tailed it back into the car without unpacking so we could not waste any more time before visiting Katrina.  We also had a lovely treat in store, as we had an additional guest visitor of Kath!  What a lovely surprise … and yet another lovely blogger!  Hopefully we’ll see Kath gracing our shores across the ditch for an Aussie get-together … the sofa bed’s always free for you, Kath and Katrina – you’re welcome any time! 

Katrina Anne Kath and baby HannahKatrina, me, Kath and Hannah

As well as catching up with my stitching pals, we did of course get to meet in person the lovely Glenn, and the adorable Hannah … who was immediately monopolised by the Dragon haha.  We also got to see some of Katrina’s beautiful stitching in real life, and Kath’s latest Christmas tree creation which is gorgeous (check out her blog to see a photo).  Thanks again ladies for a lovely visit – I’m just sorry I wasn’t as lively and chatty as normal due to a bit of over-tiredness … let’s just say we didn’t take any rocking to sleep when we got back to the motel – a quick bite to eat and we were both out like a light!

While I was visiting Katrina I gave her a Christmas ornie that I’d managed to finish just in time before travelling, as well as a very belated birthday present (I’m just dreadful at meeting my commitments of late hmmm).  Katrina’s photos are much better than mine, so feel free to wander over and have a gander.

Ornie for Katrina

Pinkeep for Katrina

I was also spoilt by receiving an ornie made by Katrina – I’d drooled over these when I saw them on her blog recently, not knowing I was going to be one of the recipients.  As with all my hand-made gifts, I’ll treasure this one dearly, and may even leave this one out year-round – thanks so much Katrina, I love it! Unfortunately, though, I just realised I haven’t taken a photo yet – I’ll remedy that as soon as I finish my unpacking and will add to a later post! 😀