So it was that on Friday morning I set off, with Stanley (aka top of the range in car stereo system) in the passenger seat.
...and my fancy pants GPS all ready... (see now why I don't have a car radio? Where else would I tuck my printouts?!)
First stop was for lunch, at a lovely little picnic spot, somewhere between Hamilton and Tirau.
Then onwards, stopping a couple more times along the way. Just outside of Hastings, was the only time I got a bit lost, so Stanley tried to help out.
I made it to my relatives just in time to be taken out for dinner! Fish and Chips in a place called "Breakers." Yum!
On the Saturday I went to visit the gallery, left my work there and had look around. It really is a lovely place. The cafe has a lovely atmosphere too, and the coffee is well worth popping in for. Best flat white I've had in ages! There were some rather scrummy looking cakes too, but I managed to resist those, not sure how though!
My cousin showed me around the town, and we had a good look in some of the antique shops, galleries and other crafty shops as well as a stroll along by the sea.
If you aren't familiar with Napier, the town is famous for its Art Deco architecture, which is regarded as being one of the finest collections of Art Deco in the world. Following a devestating earthquake in February 1931 much of the city was destroyed, and as the architectural fashion of the time was Art Deco central Napier is almost entirely built in this style. If you would like to know more read HERE
This bronze sculpture in the town is beautiful. Named "A Wave in Time" it was made by Mark Whyte and is modeled on 'Miss Sheila Williams', the daughter of an architect of the era. She led the "New Napier Week Carnival" in 1933 to celebrate the towns recovery from the earthquake.
I stayed Saturday night in Archies Bunker Backpackers, a great little place tucked around a quiet corner. It was very clean and comfortable and at $35 for the night amazing value!
On Sunday morning I was out early and headed up a path I had spotted, hoping that I would get a good view from the top. Sadly it was so foggy all I got to see were the trees, and the houses at the top, but it was a nice bit of Sunday morning exercise!
Also on the Sunday I was lucky enough to be able to go along to the "Made it Here" meeting with some wonderful Hawkes Bay members of New Zealand Handmade. After coffee we headed out to wander around some of the lovely galleries and crafty shops in the area. It was so nice to meet some of the people that I 'know' online in real life, to share ideas and discuss our work together.
We found these adorable kiwis outside one of the shops.
When we said our goodbyes, I set off for the drive home. One last look at Napier beach,
a quick side trip to the Huka Falls View point
and a brief stop in Tokoroa
Then my next stop was Tirau, where I arrived ten minutes after the public toilets closed...! I took my mind off the 2 coffees and 500ml bottle of water I had consumed since breakfast by taking some photos around the town
before heading onwards, to the services at Pokeno. :)
I arrived home at 9.30pm, and slept like a log!