Spending almost five months away from New Zealand made me appreciate how beautiful this country really is. Don’t get me wrong; I miss the turquoise lagoon of Muri, the warm days at the beach and the friendly faces of Rarotonga – but nothing ever really beats home.
While it’s nice to be back, I need:
– A new job
– A place to stay in Wellington
– To sell all the junk in my closet (clothes, shoes, books & CDs)
– To get my Restricted (yes I’m still on my learners, and I’m wearing my high school uniform in my license photo)
But just before I get onto that stuff, I’m going to embrace being a couch potato, or as I like to call it, being couch ‘velcro’.
I’ve already made myself a 90 Second Microwave brownie, watched the whole first season of Arrested Development, finished a book and spent 2 hours watching figure skating at the Winter Olympics. I’ve also done productive stuff too.
In 2 months (shit!) I’ll be doing New Zealand’s first Tough Mudder; making my way through 20km of mud, fire, ice, electric shocks and towering walls. My first bit of training to work towards this event was to go on a hike through the Hunua Ranges. What a gem. This place was perfect; shady tracks, a good mix of uphill and downhill walking, and a waterfall! I also brought the family along so it was a nice Sunday out with mum and the brothers.
I continued this renewed fitness buzz the following day by taking an easy walk with friends at Totara Park. Another great spot close to home to get the blood pumping and muscles working, Totara Park has great walking trails. We also made a trip to the Auckland Botanic Gardens, which is only a minute walk from the Totara Park trails. It was good timing too, with the Sculpture exhibition on display at the gardens.
After walking past rows and rows of scorched flowers, we decided we wanted to see something that looked more colourful and ‘ ‘alive’ – so we headed on a spontaneous road trip down to Hamilton Gardens.
Man, I love summer road trips. And while it was only an hour and a half drive out of Auckland, it was enough to get my fix of a classic kiwi road trip. The Hamilton Gardens were absolutely gorgeous (and I’m not a big flower person). The varieties of gardens on display were awesome – from Italian Renaissance and Indian Char Bagh gardens to Sustainable Backyards and the Victorian Flower garden.
The day wasn’t complete without a stop to the famous ice cream shop in Pokeno – maple walnut, you are the shizz.