Saturday, 8 November 2008

A Trip Back In Time With Jazz & Wine

For our first public holiday over here we took the quick (40 mins) ferry to Waiheke Island. Essentially it’s a microcosm of New Zealand – green lush landscape, rolling hills and gorgeous bays.

We stayed in a nice hotel/B&B named “Breakfast On The Beach”. Being the only guests staying that weekend and being in their house, it was like staying with your really rich auntie and uncle. The owners were like the 80’s version of Margo and Jerry Ledbetter in “The Good Life”!

Examples of their 80’s opulence -

- Being picked up by one of owners in his Miami Vice style – Left hand drive convertible.
- Smoked Salmon and caviar canap├ęs
- Ferrero Rocher
- After Eight mints
- Mo-Hair bed covers (mmmmm soft and warm)
- The owner’s wife wearing an electric blue oversize jumper and matching ear-rings.
- The denim place mats and matching napkins.
- A small decanter of port and appropriate glassware left in our bedroom each evening.

We were told by everyone in the build to our holiday that Waiheke Island has “its own separate micro-climate”. It does – it rained just about constantly from the moment we arrived! Despite the rain we spent a lovely Sunday travelling by bus to various vineyards who were hosting the Islands annual Jazz Festival, culminating at the StoneyRidge vineyard – and to continue in the 80s theme they played the entire Sade album (“Diamond Life” for those who wanted specifics). Wine and Jazz = nice (although slightly marred by Sade)!

We also managed to find Irish bar in Waiheke. As you’ll know Irish bar’s the world over are famed for their warm welcome and chatty / friendly staff. There seems to be an exception to the rule – Waiheke Island! We arrived to a grunt of disapproval from the woman behind the bar and even the offer of a drink (surly a winner in any Irish bar!?) simply encouraged a response of “………….no”. In the bar there was a juke-box not only that but a free juke-box! Again you think, surely a winner- There was however one catch, someone (most likely our disenchanted Irish host) had but on roughly 3 hours of Gaelic music, some of which I’m pretty sure contained some strong anti-English sentiment.

We actually really enjoyed our time in Waiheke and we’ll defiantly head back, possibly not to the Irish Bar and probably not until summer!
Over the past month we’ve led a pretty quiet life. Weekends have been spent locally, around Mission Bay or St Heliers sitting out in the sunshine, walking and exploring. We do however have an event in the calendar … J’s 30th birthday is on Wednesday November 12th!

We’re also waiting for the arrival of Rob and Bernie Lanaway who are travelling around the world on their honeymoon. Copycats.