It's evening and I have nothing to say. Edit that. Once I got started I decided to write a blow by blow description of our 47th Wedding Anniversary which we celebrated one day early.
Yesterday was a really nice day. I was completely satisfied that we'd had a good day when we went to bed. It was also a very long day.
We had a leisurely morning and left home after 11 am. We stopped a few times to do minor chores in the local towns and reached Colenso Cafe, a charming roadside Cafe with a gift shop that makes me drool, in time for lunch. We shared. TWJ ordered a ham and mozzarrella pannini with salad and I ordered their famous berry pavlova. I had my share of the salad, (if only all restaurant salads were so good), and a tiny corner of the panini and tried to leave TWJ a reasonable sized portion of the pavlova, a delicious concoction of layers of crisp meringue softening with the filling of cream and berry fruit, the whole drizzled with berry sauce/coulis. We had our choice of coffee and were well satisfied with a lovely lunch in my favourite cottage cafe.
On to Thames and pop into Computer Geeks with my laptop. We had expected to leave it but they were prepared to deal with it straight away ... well if we waited around Thames for 2 hours. That is not what I had hoped to do because it meant no shopping in the big city shops and we'd be too late to find a nice restaurant for dinner in Auckland.
Plan B. We drifted around Thames browsing the shops and suddenly it was time to collect the lady Laptop. We needed a snack but in small town New Zealand the Cafes etc. close about 3.30pm and nothing opens again until 5.30pm. There's McDonalds and a few other places but not our style so we hit the road. We stopped at another roadside cafe where I had another Cappuccino and TWJ had coke and we shared a tasty sausage roll. I left most of the pastry but the meat filling was good.
On again and we couldn't think of anywhere nice for dinner that didn't mean a long trek through the suburbs of Auckland in rush hour traffic. We decided on a detour which proved to be just the right thing to do. First we left the motorway and took a look at Pokeno. We lived at Mercer, a few kilometres south of Pokeno for the first five years of our marriage. I led a Girl Guide Troop at Pokeno. Our eldest child was baptised in the Pokeno Presbyterian Church, and I took him to PlayCentre, (a parent initiative pre-school) at the local hall . The town had nothing to offer so we turned west and headed for Tuakau, where I had gone to Church and my Doctor had rooms. He and his wife were the first people to tell me that there is more to Christianity than going to church and being a good person. There was nothing we wanted in Tuakau so on to Pukekohe, the town where we did most of our shopping, bought the furnishings for our first home, and where our eldest two were born. The roads seemed strange. So long ago. We didn't remember much yet this had been a very familiar route once.
In Pukekohe we saw a Cafe/Restaurant/Bar that seemed to fit the bill. We waited ages for our meal. Jay's plane had been delayed so we were relaxed. Our thoughts and conversation travelled loosely through our memories. Finally our meals arrived. TWJ's pork with crackling, and mashed potato, and my pan-fried gurnard with 3 crumbed scallops, salsa verde and a few tasty julienne vegies. It was enough. We drank water, I consumed 4 large glasses, not having realised how thirsty I'd become.
In the dark the town sparkled with street lights so we went for a quick walk, almost the full length of the main street and back in less than 20 minutes. It was good. Into the car again, thankful the Motorway traffic had thinned. We waited a while for Jay's plane to land. Apparently Jetstar delayed the flight because they had to wait for fresh crew. Jay was starving so a quickie through MacDonalds and hit the road for home. We walked in our door at midnight.
After a bit of 'wind-down time' we were in bed by 1.30 am but we both found it hard to sleep. My feet kept cramping when I stretched in preparation to relax and my skin was itchy, first one place then another. TWJ said his arms and shoulder ached. This is normal now after hours of driving, especially on the winding, hilly roads.
We keep telling each other, we're too old for crazy trips, but we keep on doing them.
Today we have both blobbed out. I haven't tried to eat well or exercise. On the other hand I haven't done anything outrageous either.
About this hour 47 years ago I was describing my day as the most wonderful of my whole life. It had all gone well and we would have been changing into our 'going away' clothes ready to say bye-bye to parents and guests and begin our own life. That night we drove 2 hours to Taupo and stayed at the Lakeside Motel. We stayed there 2 nights leaving a goodly trail of confetti. I was extremely exhausted by the excitement and emotion of it all. We finally slept to be woken by the fire siren a block away from the Motel. There was a major fire at a timber mill and yard and the siren went on and on as it was a general call out.
Each year we have been here we look at each other as we go to bed and ask the question. Do you think the siren will wake us up tomorrow morning? We live opposite the Fire Station.