Wednesday, February 15, 2006

'mmmmm hic' wine tasting

Having stayed at home yesterday morning with the babies while Sasha and Richard took O to his first day at school, today I joined the school run. We planned to head off to the wine area afterwards and it made sense to carry straight on from Wellesley. So today we all took him into class, a wonderful airy space with a wonderful teacher, Mrs Ormon who knew all about me " are you THE godmother?" because Oliver's school start date had been postponed a week so he could spend time with me, I am honored. It's a wonderful school, set on a bay - Day's Bay which has a jetty from where the bigger boys swim, not to mention catch the ferry home across the bay -what a way to go to school! The grounds are beautiful, lush and manicured with boys knocking about on the tennis courst before school, grand colonial buildings and new buildings to match. Oliver has to take his swimmies to school every day and in the summer they swim every day in the school pool - how cool!

Onwards to the wine area, over the amazing Rimitauka hills. What a drive, oh and I was driving, which was fine but...... I had warned Sasha the other day when doing a quick jaunt, that being an automatic I would probably at some point whack my left foot on the brake thinking it was the clutch, and I apologised in advance. The other day it was no problem but today approaching the first roundabout the unconscious brain took over and I came to a very sudden halt whilst the rest of my brain tried to figure out what the hell I had done and tried to instruct my left foot OFF the brake! Luckily no-one was behind us or it would have been a horribly expensive mistake! Anyhow, with left foot firmly stapled to floor we continued the rest of the journey without any mishaps!

Coming down from the hills you drive into a whole new landscape, fantastic wide open plains with huge skies, surrounded on nearly all sides by mountains. Lush grass, cows grazing for miles - just like the Anchor adverts! Farm properties, space and more space! First stop was Greytown for coffee and a pastry at the posh french bakers, just one very stylish place in a stunning town in the bush. We wandered down the main street looking into the lovely shops and boutiques, eyeing up the colonial and eastern antiques - don't worry Michael they wouldn't fit in my luggage
Such a different landscape, huge plains with grazing cows and sheep, farm properties and space!! On the way out of town a quick pull over to visit Schok - a fantastic chocolate shop - kind of makes Madame Oiseau look a little limited, there was a fabulous chinese chest of tiny drawers, each filled with a different flavour chocolate to taste - we made our way through several flavours - as did Stan, he liked Ginger quite alot! We may have bought a few to take home...?

Then onto Martinborough to visit just a few of the many wineries there, quite an impressive number and we managed to get to three, you would have to stay in the town and walk around if you wanted to make the most of it and learn to spit out the wine - I felt woozy after the second!
I bought a few just to remember where I had been - honest!

Once back over the mountains we had a brief stop at Kaitoke Regional Park to look at wonderful place to camp and walk, amazing river with awesome rope bridge, no camera but luckily someone has taken a picture for me! I really felt then that it was unfair not to have Michael and the kids as they would have loved paddling in the river, building dams and swimming, definitely on the list for a re-visit! The babies were asleep in the car so I just had a quick peek and was smitten.

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