Keeping it Local

Roses blooming at our home in Blenheim
After being on the road so much, we have been happy to stay in Blenheim and rest, limiting our adventures to a few small outings. Because our home is in a flat area, we tend to forget that we are so near to the ocean, and it still is a thrill to take a short drive, or even walk, to a slightly higher point and be rewarded with views of the Marlborough Sounds or the Pacific Ocean.

We've been to the movies which was not remarkably different than back home. A stroll in Pollard Park and Centennial Rose Garden was a lovely way to spend the afternoon. In fact, roses are in full bloom all over town and at our front door.
NZ flag at half mast

Right after we returned from our trip we were very saddened to watch the Pike River coal mine disaster unfold. This happened in Greymouth, the small coastal town we visited on our first day in Westland. Our sympathies go out to the families of these victims and to all New Zealanders for their loss.

One night our neighbor invited us to attend the Marlborough Camera Club meeting at which everyone shared two pictures for consideration by the group and ultimately the group leader. The focus of the group leaned heavily toward competing in photography contests, and we came away with a few new insights and it was fun to meet some new people.

You might be shocked to learn that we ate at McDonalds one night. We never eat there back home, but just wanted to have a kiwi Micky D's experience to compare. Our Quarter Pounder and Filet 'O Fish were just like in the States, although the inside of the fish box said that the fish came from local waters. Adjacent to the fast food counter was the "McCafe" counter -- their fare was nothing like McDonalds. With spinach quiche, deli sandwiches, Lamingtons and slices in a standard kiwi refrigerated display case, it looked like an earthquake had bumped a small local cafe against a McDonalds!

Susan was thrilled to finally visit Elite Pavlova, the Pav and Pie shop that we had driven past frequently, and enjoyed eating Pavlova on Thanksgiving. It was a bit strange to be in a land where Thanksgiving is not observed. But if you have Turkey Day with us next year, don't be surprised if the dessert it Pumpkin Pavlova!

We visited the well done Marlborough Museum. Displays of Maori and early European settler life are overshadowed by the Wine Exhibit, funded by local vintners. Also along these lines, we have done considerable catching up on our wine tasting outings, the subject of our next post.

Click here for larger photos with captions.

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