We left Auckland today and headed for Paihia. I wanted to stop at a quilt shop, known as patchwork shops here. The shop is All Things Patchwork and it is a cute store with an abundance of Kaffe Fassett and Tula Pink fabric (this is an important fact for my fellow quilters); however, the cost is over twice what we pay in the states so nothing new is coming home with me.

The countryside is lush and green. There are rolling hills and a strange combination of what looks like pine forests, jungle, and grazing land. The highway was two lanes with the occasional one-lane bridge. If you’re on the side with the big arrow, you have the right-of-way. Many sections of the road are very curvy, and its still freaky to see a cars coming at you around a curve on the right. The logging trucks are downright terrifying, but Shawn navigated us safely through it all.

We have a nice little studio just outside of Paihia proper. We walked through town and along the beach. The weather today is cooler and windy along the beach with a bit of rain. Tomorrow is supposed to be windy and rainy, so Shawn’s scuba trip has been moved Saturday (the dive shop owner indicated the wind is the issue, not the rain). We stopped at the iSite (tourist information office) and asked what to do in the rain. The helpful staff was prepared with a list of activities for wet weather.

Speaking of the iSite, we stopped along the road at what would be the equivalent of our rest stops. There was a nice park, clean bathrooms, showers, the iSite for tourist information, a gift shop, and a great little cafe where we got lunch. Shawn had some strange concoction of espresso, coconut oil, and butter. Our sandwiches came with a little dish of something that tasted like a sweet tomato salsa. I’m not sure what we were supposed to do with it considering I had a falafel sandwich and Shawn had the Philly cheesesteak (or New Zealand’s equivalent according to Shawn).

Being curious, we checked out the local real estate listings (no Moms, we’re not planning to move). A nice ocean view home runs about $1.5 NZD or $1M USD.

We ended our day with another fine dinner at The Waterfront.  More giant squid rings followed by fresh pan-fried snapper with sweet potato mash in a lemon sauce with a glass of Picton Sauvignon Blanc for me. Shawn had lamb and sweet potato mash with the local MOA pale ale. As you can see, it was a lovely meal.

Daily ratings:
Cafe in the Park – 3.5 Kiwis
The Waterfront – 4 Kiwis

Gelato flavor: honey fig (yum)
Step count = 9,099 ( I know…slacker)