Dizzy Swallows

Honeymoon: Otama Beach

Honeymoon: Otama Beach

July 9th, 2014 No Comments

Hello lovelies!

Today’s post finds us deep into the Coromandel Peninsula, having driven a rather long way from Kamahi. After another saga of winding roads, we arrived at the remote but breathtaking Otama Beach. Our lodging, once again found via the wonders of AirBnB, was a traditional bach (pronounced “batch”). These icons of Kiwi history are typically small but charming cabins now used as vacation rentals.

The bach in question was done up in perfect beach style, complete with chotchkies innumerable and even a rather impressive collection of Princess D memorabilia. Coupled with one hell of a view, the overall effect was lovely, comfortable kitsch.

The near entirety of the oceanside wall was in fact an ingeniously folding glass door which opened onto a sweet little deck, perfect for sipping morning coffee or doing a bit of long-needed yoga.


Our wonderful hosts had truly thought of everything, … Continue reading

These Days

These Days

June 16th, 2014

Press play:

Gold Day by Sparklehorse on Grooveshark

Taking a breather from our Honeymoon adventures, I thought I’d give you a glimpse into our more recent days. They slip by towards summer with a welcome pull. I can feel the heat shimmering just over the horizon. In the meantime, I cherish these days of blooming flowers, good food, and dear friends.

We bought an immaculate and extensive set of Spode Rosalie china at the most recent Queen Anne Blocksale. Planning to sell shortly. Any takers?

Recent sun allowed me to process last year’s lavender, which been patiently drying. The pillowcase and rolling pin method answered admirably.

Our first BBQ of the season was one for the books, with three dozen Totem oysters. Mmmm.

I have watched with bated breath as my brugmansia sent out its first blooms. Amazingly, they opened white before transforming to pink overnight.

A new favorite: … Continue reading

Honeymoon: Otorohanga and Waitomo

Honeymoon: Otorohanga and Waitomo

June 4th, 2014

After our second day in the waters of Raglan, we hopped straight from the surf and into the car, arriving salty and sweaty at the doorstep of our next abode, the incomparable Kamahi Cottage. This luxury B&B is tucked up on one of the pastoral rounded hills of the tiny Otorohanga district, adjacent to Waitomo, famous for its glowworm caves.

I can’t say enough good things about Kamahi. Our hosts were hospitality incarnate, sweet and attentive, yet respectful of privacy. Their home and the cottage preside over the family’s working farm, a massive spread of hundreds of acres that has been in their family for generations.

The cottage itself was perfectly appointed for comfort and pampering, with a beautiful half-story bedroom and the most divine amenities, right down to wooley socks and complimentary whiskey.

Guests can opt for a gourmet dinner cooked by owner Liz, either delivered to the … Continue reading

Honeymoon: Rivendell to Raglan

Honeymoon: Rivendell to Raglan

May 21st, 2014

Leaving the Able Tasman, I found I had somehow neglected to pack my camera battery charger. Crisis! This meant for the rest of the trip I was jealously guarding power, choosing my shots with much more care. I always travel with two batteries, and kept the last reserves of my first to shoot our last glorious stop in Fiji (so you have that to look forward to). Until then, I scrimped and saved, with some help from Jacob’s cell phone camera…

A brief stop in Queen Charlotte Sound, and then it was off to the North Island.

We took the ferry from Picton into the charming city of Wellington, where we scored a few thrift store finds and had the second best Indian food I’ve ever had (this being the best).

We then made our first and only stop related to The Lord of the Rings (if you … Continue reading

Honeymoon: Able Tasman

Honeymoon: Able Tasman

May 7th, 2014

A few days and misadventures after Kaikoura, we found ourselves at the top of the South Island, in the beautifully lush Able Tasman. After several nights of camping and one horribly long drive we were ready for some luxury in the form of The Resurgence Eco Lodge. I have mixed feelings about this place. On the one hand, the setting was gorgeous, the cabin (“bush chalet”) was charming, and the food was delicious, but on the other…none of these things seemed quite on par with their price. And I’m really not sure what they meant by “Eco,” besides the fact that the lodge is located in the bush outside of the tiny town of Riwaka.

We were very excited to explore the Able Tasman National Park, however, and our hosts helped us book a trip which included a 12 mile hike into one of the park’s bays, from where … Continue reading