by Ashley M
When life gets too much, one must go on a getaway – which was what I did. Spontaneous and quick, and I did not regret a single bit of it.
Since I’ve never traveled to the South Island of NZ before, I thought this was a good opportunity to do so – over the Easter break. I’ve heard so much of the breathtaking views and not having the shitty Wellington wind, I was so excited! So I went on a short break away from chaos, away from the stress and the city – Doug and I did a vanishing act to Nelson for a few days and met up with a few friends and spent a lot of time together. I was expecting nothing but just being mindful of my surroundings, the people I’m with, allowing myself to be immersed in the present. So, I chucked my phone into my bag, and this was how it went.
Starting off the first night with a pizza buffet is never a bad idea. Especially for $14 per person. I like Nelson even more now. We all went home with a food baby in each of our stomachs, then proceeded to have a good gaming session til midnight. The wonders of having 4 laptops in the house and unlimited internet! We were satisfied.
Beautiful views outside the house we stayed at. Thanks Jean & Gabbie & Crystal for letting us stay over.
The next day itself was meant to be raining all day. But when I woke up and saw the sun shining I was so happy! All because… cycling was on the top of our list today!
Yes, cycling! Wine taste touring and cycling – very common here. I’m so excited to be on a bike again. The last I cycled was in Form 2. Years and years ago. I’m glad dad taught me to cycle!
If you’re in Nelson and ever wanted a winery tour with bikes, I highly recommend The Gentle Cycling Company – the name says it all. For $30 you get a half day tour of 2 wineries, including berry picking and a trip to a cheese shop. What a great experience! Go to their website http://gentlecycling.co.nz/ for more info.
Our first stop was Waimea Winery! We got to visit the vineyard and do wine pairing here. It’s absolutely beautiful here, enough for me to just sit and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Wine pairing with cured venison on the left, with Pinot Noir. Exquisite pork dumplings with a Reisling and Smoked Salmon with Rosé wine.
I can see how people enjoy wine now. We had tasting notes which explained what we were tasting, or experiencing.
After that, we made our way to Berrylands to have a go at berry picking!
Tip of the day : Know what a raspberry looks like before picking.
Instead of picking raspberries (like we should), I was happily picking unripened blackberries which are not meant to be picked. o_o honest mistake. I promise.
We also picked some strawberries which were amazing and huge and smelled oh-so-sweet, but I gave up on taking pictures because my fingers were sticky.
Made a stop at the cheese shop. Kim would have loved this place. It’s literally cheese heaven.
All the different types of cheeses – you can’t really find these in supermarkets. Next to the cheese shop was a lavender shop – where everything is made with lavender.
Our last stop was Te Mania Wine Estate. More wine tasting! Yumm. This time went back with a bottle of Te Mania Ice Reisling. Just had it after dinner tonight, it’s exquisite.
Guess we know a thing or two about wine now. 😉 Soon, we’ll be pros!
After a long day and a good workout from cycling, the boys made us dinner at home. It felt nice being cooked for! Jess and I just sat there, chatting, drinking wine and feasting on freshly picked strawberries. 🙂 Blissed out, I must say.
Dinner was good and light, especially after the food coma from the buffet we had yesterday. The boys can cook!
The next day was a treat. A road trip to Kaiteriteri beach. Gonna spoil you, my dear reader, with more pretty pictures.
Isn’t it beautiful? Gosh! The two-toned sea water makes it all the more breathtaking.. I would’ve loved to swim but it was really cold at the time. I foresee coming back here during the summer. Although I’ve heard that it’s really packed in the summer.
Jess and Jean, our lovely hosts.
We went to Little Kaiteriteri to set up our picnic. My first proper picnic! Loving it.
Found a quiet spot to set up our picnic and just stuffed our faces! Then, to Motueka we went for some real fruit ice cream.
Blueberry, Raspberry and Blackcurrant! All real stuff. I enjoyed it but Doug thought it was too sour.
After Motueka, we went to the airport to fly back to Wellington. Let me tell you…. if you’re taking SoundsAir, prepare for a shaky ass flight back to windy Wellington. Shaky was an understatement because our poor pilot was having such a mad time trying to control the plane in the wind and rain and clouds and all that.
I thought we were not going to make it back. I was literally screaming in my head when the plane did something close to a 90 degree jerk, with being unable to see anything from the windows. Firstly, it was a small plane that seated 14 passengers, and it was light. The creaking sounds from the wings didn’t help. It was a stormy night to go back to Wellington. At that point, I shut my eyes so tight, holding his hand so tight that my knuckles were turning white and he was just trying to stay calm, stroking my hand. I was silently praying, while the plane was pushed left and right by the storm. Looking out the window didn’t help me feel better. The panicky passengers didn’t either. Gosh, it came to a point when I was like “for once I’ve been at peace in Nelson, have some clarity about things after being away, been happy, I’ll be damned if I died now!”
Thankfully we landed safely, the passengers in front thanking the pilot like crazy for landing in one piece. It was raining cats and cows back in Wellington, which explains the plane ride. If I can help it, I wouldn’t choose SoundsAir. Don’t need no heart attack now..
So I asked Doug if he felt scared. He said he was really at peace because he said he’d surrender himself to the Lord when the plane got shakey. My eyes widened. So it was not just me who thought I was gonna die. I laughed nervously. Dang. So good to reach the ground then!!
We went home, rested, and it was another day waking up at home. I feel more at peace. I just want to continue having this “peace” , the kind I had in Nelson. Sometimes things get too much for me and I just can’t deal with making really important decisions, without feeling guilty or stressed, or bombing my brain with “What If” questions. For the most part, what I’ve learnt from this trip was the lesson of being mindful of what is around me and what and who is in front of me, who’s caring for me, who’s talking to me, and who’s spending quality time with me.
More to come, in the near future. So they were right. South Island is just really beautiful. Postcard-beautiful.