Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Travel Memories Tuesday: Onaero, Taranaki

I did consider whether I could include Onaero as a Travel Memory Tuesday post - after all, it is in my home province of Taranaki.

However, I haven't lived in Taranaki since 1998 and Onaero is a long way from where I grew up. So I decided it counts as a travel destination.

If you have been following my blog for a while you may member that a whole bunch of us traveled to Onaero for New Years last year - it was a blast, I love the beaches on the West Coast of New Zealand with black sand, rocks and generally weather worn look. I guess its because these are the beaches I grew up with, I do remember visiting Mount Manganui Beach and seeing white sand and thinking it was like something from TV! 

This New Years we won't be in Taranaki, instead we will be heading over to the Wairarapa to spend time in Martinborough.

I hope you all have a great New Years Eve, whatever you are doing and that 2014 is fabulous for you xoxo

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Weekend Walking: Island Bay to Lyall Bay

The weekend before Christmas Rich and I decided to visit the Island Bay Marine Centre - however, when we arrived it had already closed for 2013 and I was so sad. I really wanted to see all the sea creatures!
I may be smiling - but I'm dying on the inside, as I just really wanted to see an Octopus. 

Seen as there were not octopus to be seen, we decided to walk from Island Bay to Lyall Bay seen as we had already taken the bus out there it seemed like a shame to head back home.

We spotted some jellyfish - not swimming in the water, they had washed up on shore.
We saw this carefully balanced stick on the beach - its amazing it stayed up there, even with the wind.
We also saw this on the beach - some kind of witchcraft? I have most likely watched too many horror movies I think.
The ocean was pretty rough this day - although we did see a few brave souls out swimming and snorkeling.

Before long we were in Lyall Bay hanging out with this guy...

....and we also took the chance to check out some of the kite surfers on the beach.
Hope you guys all had a great Christmas, we are back in Wellington at the moment, but in a few days will head off again to Martinborough for New Years. See you soon xoxo

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Traditions - Christmas Crackers

Last year our friend Diane made us awesome Christmas crackers for Christmas and she did it again this year. So its officially a tradition now - right?
Store bought Christmas Crackers are lame - fact. Christmas Crackers made by Diane are awesome - fact.
You may be wondering what treasures I received in my Christmas Cracker? Well wonder no longer!
So many treasures! A Christmas hat, post it notes that say "I will make this!" (perfect for sewing/craft books), Christmas chocolate, "T" cookie cutter, penguin paperclip/bookmark, tiny ice cream magnet, sparkly cocktail umbrella (pink with snowflakes!), Christmas stickers and a lolly.

Rich's Christmas cracker was a little different to mine - here's what he received from Diane.
Three lollies, kinder chocolate, an "R" cookie cutter, three paper clips (including a cute bear) and some Christmas stickers.
It's Christmas eve here in Wellington (a wild and windy Christmas eve!) so I just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas (even if I am a grinch).

Monday, December 23, 2013

Summer Zoo times!

I texted my friend Diane last week to see if she and Kai had time to catch up with us before the Christmas Break - I was thinking maybe dinner or a coffee. However, when she suggested the zoo as they had just obtained some Tasmania Devils and mentioned the fact she knew where we could get some 2 for 1 vouchers online, I was so keen.
Our little zoo is organised in regional areas - first we went to Asia to see the Sun Bears and Tigers.

We made it to the zoo in time to hear the tiger talk and see the zookeeper feed the tiger.
 The Sun Bears were just sleeping and hanging out.

I'm not really sure what this dragon is all about - maybe something Lord of the Rings/Hobbit related? Anyways he's pretty rad.
We went to the zoo hospital to watch a penguin have an x-ray - but it all ended up being a bit upsetting. Another exotic bird's heart had stopped and when we arrived the vets were trying to revive it. They tried to restart the poor wee birds heart for maybe 20 minutes but it wasn't meant to be and he died. It was all very sad, especially when all we turned up to see was the penguin x-ray! But that's how things go in the zoo I guess. We finally did get to see the penguin x-ray - he had hurt his leg and they were checking how it had healed. He was a feisty wee thing! We also saw these "preserved" animals at the hospital. Some people will find them super gross - but I thought they were pretty cool.
 After all the sad times at the zoo - it was time to check out the pygmy marmoset - tiny and adorable.
It was then time to check out some of the creepy, crawly things.....unfortunately it was hard to get any really good photos here. But they were huge stick insects, a lizard that looked like a snake and spiders the size of my hand.

We stopped off at Nepal to see the Red Panda's and also check out some of the Nepalese birds - there was one with pretty metallic feathers. Also don't you love the Nepal enclosure with all the rainbow flags!
Next stop Africa, the lions were asleep - but there were some wise words on the gate of their enclosure.
 There is this "African Village" display at the zoo which includes two very fat goats - here's one of them.
 My favourite - the meercats are also part of the Africa display - how cute are they?

 We also saw the giraffes and stopped by for the daily talk and got to feed them. They are so friendly!
We also saw the chimps - but they were mostly sleeping in the sun.
Also - because we live in Wellington, even our zoo has a fantastic view!
Soon it was time to visit our neighbours in the Australian area - after all, that's where the Tasmanian Devils are!
They had some pretty awesome prints in the entrance to the Australia area - including the Tasmanian Devils in space print. How did I NOT get a photo of that? Next time for sure!
So here's the star of the show - the Tasmania Devil! They have four of them at the school. The zookeeper told us they are most active at dawn and dusk and tend to sleep most of the day.
 Fans of Aussie soaps may be familiar with a few of the places on this street sign.
 This lizard dude was pretty happy to see us.
 Some washing out to dry at the "neighbours" exhibition.
 In the Australian section, some of the animals are wandering around free. I remember when I was young we went to Brisbane and visited a lot of animal parks and this was really common. At Wellington zoo you can hang out with the kangaroo, wallabies and emu!
On the way out of the zoo we met up with a zookeeper who was showing off an Australian blue tongue lizard. We were allowed to "pat" him - he wasn't as cold as expected.
We left the zoo via the gift shop (as you do) I really wanted a postcard of some of the cool prints they had in the Australian area. Sadly they didn't sell any - fortunately I DID get to try on a pair of Tasmanian Devil ears.
Well that was my most recent visit - as always the Wellington Zoo is awesome. I'm looking forward to my next visit early next year with the Wellington Sewing Bloggers Network.