Well, 2020 hasn’t exactly started off the way we’d planned however given the current Covid19 lockdown situation it has been a great way to reflect on 2019 and get writing again.
2019 started the way 2018 ended… bloody brilliantly – in our happy place, eating, drinking, swimming, boating, relaxing and eating some more. After an amazing Christmas in Kuratau, we came home and I went back to work early (someone had to earn the bacon) while Luke “worked” on the house.
Later in January, we headed up to Auckland for Mumford & Sons. We stayed in Takapuna on the North Shore and had the most spectacular weather. Mumford & Sons themselves were epic, was such a stunning afternoon & night and we had a great spot with a great picnic and a few bevvies.
Early February we had an incredible labour weekend in Kuratau with the 6 of us Blackwood & Roozendaal’s, exploring the lake with a picnic in hand, skiing, wakeboarding, relaxing and enjoying the last of the summer.
On Valentine’s day, we celebrated my Grandparents 60th wedding anniversary. What a bloody achievement. They are such an inspiration and we feel so very lucky to have had them play such a big part not only my life but more latterly Luke’s as well. Nana & Pops aka our biggest fans, congratulations again on such an incredible milestone.
WOMAD in March here in Taranaki was definitely a highlight, yet again. Luke’s Dad and sister came up from down south for the long weekend. WOMAD is a spectacular 3-day international festival that brings together artists from all over the globe to celebrate the world’s music, arts and dance. Would 12/10 recommend!
We had an incredible weekend in Auckland with my parents. We managed to score an amazing day out on the boat with a good family friend exploring a few of the stunning bays, celebrating my dad’s 54th birthday, enjoying the beautiful sunshine and of course a beer or two. Later that night we made it back into the city just in time for the John Mayor Concert. He was absolutely unbelievable, so talented and such a fabulous way to end a spectacular day – so lucky!
End of March we managed to score free tickets to the Angus & Julia Stone Concert. It was a beautiful night in Taranaki and such a chill evening with some great tunes.
Start of April we had quite a crew that was hoping to attempt the Mt Taranaki Summit Climb. Unfortunately, the weather decided not to play ball and we would have literally been blown away if we did attempt the summit so instead we did the Pouakai Tarns Walk. It was a rather chilly start, a few hundred steps, a good 3 hours, some beautiful scenery and a great crew with some great banter.
Late April over ANZAC weekend we had our Nock Family Reunion. Three days of fun, games, reconnecting after 10 years and yummy food. It was such a special weekend with our extended family and was so lovely to all be together for a happy occasion, something that rarely happens. We’re already planning the next one.
We smashed out the rest of the reno. Its been a bloody draining 2 years but we did it, our first reno! We’re so proud of what we’ve achieved with our place and like we said in our First Home Reno Blog if two highly strung non-DIYers can do it, anyone can.
- Carpeted all rooms – note to self: NEVER DIY this unless you would like a side of divorce…
- Painted the lower concrete fence
- Created an outdoor patio/bbq area
- Fixed the garden area
- Did the third bedroom
We then moved out of our house, rented it out and moved into a smaller one-bedroom all-inclusive apartment/Airbnb in the country, it was the best decision we made! Don’t get us wrong we loved the reno and knew it needed to be done but man we had this 8297kg weight lifted off our shoulders when we moved out, it was amazing! We suddenly had so much free time, we didn’t know what to do with it all.
We love Bali, who doesn’t? So much so, we decided to head back with two of our best friends – Laura & Brendan in June. We had such an incredible 10 days and feel so lucky to have such beautiful friends to share these amazing memories with. So many laughs, so many cocktails, so many bintangs, and so much delicious food.
In August we celebrated our gorgeous Niece’s FIRST birthday in Christchurch. It is such a treat watching her grow, find her personality and it’s keeping Luke’s Mum and Tony preoccupied, meaning the pressures off us… for now.
We took some extra time off in August so decided to rent a camper van and road trip it down south for a few days. After quite the rigmarole of renting a van (I won’t go there #appollo), we were finally on the road making a bee-line for Wanaka. Our first night was spent in Glendhou Bay which was absolutely stunning. Waking up right on the edge of the lake, fresh crisp air, no one around and coffee in hand was the best. We loved it so much we decided to stay another night and not even make it to Queenstown. We caught up with some great friends, did a beautiful hike to Mount Aspiring/Rob Roy Glacier and tried some delicious restaurants. After two nights in Wanaka, we started making our way back to Christchurch stopping over one night in Tekapo at the Lake Tekapo Holiday Park. Tekapo blew me away, could not believe how blue the lake was and we had a delicious dinner at a lovely authentic Japanese restaurant. The next morning we hit the hot pools first things and made our way back to Christchurch in time to catch our flight back home.
Middle of September we headed up to Auckland for the Fleetwood Concert. With the concert being on a Monday we decided to rent a car and get out of the city. We spent the day exploring North Auckland, visiting the Matakana Farmers Market, beer tasting at the Sawmill Brewery, ice cream at Charlie’s Gelato Garden, and a coffee at Omaha beach. The next day we went out to Piha and enjoyed a picnic lunch and some sunshine. The day after we met up with our friends Laura and Brendan who took us out to Bethells Beach and the Sand Dunes.
We celebrated our first anniversary on 09 October 2019. We celebrated the best way we know how: with beer and pizza and the beach. We also went through our wedding photos and reflected on our amazing day 1 year ago.
As you all know we LOVE living in the Naki. So when it’s not raining… we get out there and make the most of our beautiful back yard. We take every opportunity to enjoy an after-work swim, sunset, a walk, skate or bike along the waterfront, good coffee #ozone, and picnics. Very grateful to call this place home for the last 8 years.
Luke’s dad came up to Taranaki in November and we explored the Taranaki Garden Festival. What a spectacular event! We had 2 weeks of amazing weather, a full hotel, a buzzing city and obviously some amazing gardens. It really is worth a visit if your gardeny type people…
Middle of December we celebrated our Blackwood/Roozendaal Christmas in Kuratau early as Luke and I were heading to Nelson for Christmas day this year. We had such a fun weekend. Lots of games, eating, drinking, boating and spending special time altogether. It was so much fun and it’s times like these that we treasure A LOT!
Christmas Eve, we headed to Nelson to spend with Luke’s family. We had a lovely Christmas Lunch with Lukes dad, his sister and brother in law from Holland and then a delicious dinner with Luke’s mum + family. We then had a couple of extra days in Nelson which was spent going on walks, chilling out and paddleboarding up the Miatai River.
We got back from Nelson bright and early on 28th December and drove straight to Kuratau. We finished the year in our happy place and exactly how 2019 started. We had a couple of days up the lake, a few epic ski’s, card games that got competitive and just chilling with good company. How bloody lucky!
So there you have it our 2019 highlights. What a year! Thank you to everyone who was part of it and made it such a fabulous and special year to remember – we are so very very lucky and we know it. 2020 was the start of a new chapter for us, (or so we thought) we resigned from our jobs in January and are currently STILL retired or as Luke keeps reminding me, unemployed. We enjoyed the last of the Kiwi summer as we road tripped it through Northland, NZ before we headed to London for a whopping 10 days until NZ urged all travellers to come home due to Covid19.
Despite the current circumstances or shit show as I like to refer to it as we are excited for our next challenge as we step outside of our comfort zones and take on a whole new and exciting chapter in our lives. What will be, will be and we just feel super grateful to be home, safe and surrounded by loving family and friends. Bring it on and no doubt I’ll keep you all posted!
Ciao for now and stay safe!
L & A