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Tauranga Bay – is the FAR NORTH of the North Island of New Zealand and a small community of people on the larger Whangaroa Bay…the closest large town, Kerikeri, is South of Tauranga Bay..which is considered part of the Bay of Islands and approximatley 236 kms. or a 3 hour 20 minute drive from Auckland. This area was first visited by Captain cook in 1769 and he aptly name it Bay of Islands. Heading along Hwy. 10 North, and past Kaeo and Whangaroa is Tauranga Bay, where our friends have a typical ‘KIWI batch’ facing the beach…the water is a wonderful aqua color, and it is not unusual for the weather to be a bit of everything in one day. The water can be dead calm or great for boogey or body surfing. The school holidays are now over and the family traffic of the summer is down to a dull roar. In otherwords, it’s pretty peaceful out here in the wop wops! Soon we will head south towards Auckland and settle down in another popular beach town known as Mangawhai which is where I’m hoping I will get to bring out the drawing pad, water colors and camera and pursue my dream of creating artwork that will be appealing enough to give as gifts or to sell…practice makes perfect…there are plenty of beautiful walks to do, Kauri trees to visit, and birds to watch.
Our friends have a fishing boat and regularly go off to areas around the Cavalli islands or just off Whangaroa Bay to catch fresh Snapper, Kawahai or even a Kingfish…we have been eating
fresh fish from the sea, nothing can compare.
Happiness is time out at the beach. Kapai!

Night crawl with Krystyna

Night crawl with Krystyna

Photos by ALTB…

A perfect night…a walk downtown to Cineplex Odeon theatres (Ex Tinseltown in Chinatown) to see MUD (a coming of age story, with a twist) – a coffee to keep the eyenypineys open, smuggled into the theatre – a bag of Purdy’s chocolates to sweeten the plot and a great walk home to burn off the calories…past the night market in Chinatown, up Main Street, past the Cobalt, and Farina’s Pizza – and shining to the west, the jeweled crown of BC Place – photos taken from a different vantage point…the evening was balmy – more calories at Mario’s gelato with the hill climb our only salvation, from 2ndIMG_3698 IMG_3705 upward! Aren’t we lucky to live in one of the most gorgeous cities in the world! Even the movie was worth seeing, in a corny way. The young boys in the film made it for me, although Matthew McConaughey isn’t hard to look at. Reese Witherspoon had a rather understated and dramatic role, not typically her ‘comedic’ persona…all in all, the night was a little bit of everything! Vancouver in the summertime!

DURGA Interiors at 4th & Alma

(click photo # 1 for slideshow)

Durga is one of my favorite stores, along with Maiwa…if you like the exotic, then this little gem is for you. Durga’s owner Ray will welcome you and give you some history about the pieces that catch your eye. He is also very knowledgeable about essential oils, and has a fabulous collection including the stories of how the flowers or plants are harvested, stored and aged before being ready for use. My old favorite, Patchouli, is an acquired scent, and definitely not for everyone – you either love it or hate it…my new favorite, Vintage Marigold, has a soft and powdery scent…divine. Drop in and say hi to Ray, and I can assure you that this shop will become a regular place for you to visit. It is particularly interesting when a new container has arrived from India with fabulous furniture, statuary, and unique architectural pieces, such as door lintels or windows. If you do go, tell Ray that Avril sent you!




Tripod set up in front of hummingbird feeders…mostly rufous and ruby throated…amazing creatures, hard to catch, but sometimes they daintily sit on the rung of the feeder and sip, looking out for danger…they completely disregard me now as I stand or sit waiting PATIENTLY for them to come around, and they don’t easily disappoint…


IMG_6186 Hummingbirds at my feeder!

Nectar nectar everywhere……..despite the overflowing flowers and blossoms everywhere, these hummingbirds still come to the feeders and have a sip…takes a tripod and patience to get these little creatures. So fast, agile and aggressive…the sound of them flying by is like a mini bomber…nyeownh!