Page 5 of MrsMac Travel Blog Posts

Oceania » Cook Islands » Rarotonga May 5th 2018

On Friday, May 4th at 4-30am Fletcher and I were in a taxi on our way to the airport. This was the start of our family holiday to the Cook Islands. 2018 is a significant year for us. Fletcher has just turned 70, I will reach that milestone in September and then on October 11th we will celebrate our 50thWedding Anniversary. When asked how we wanted to celebrate this auspicious occasion our response was to go with the whole family for a week’s holiday somewhere. After much discussion we suggested the Cook Islands and, in particular , Muri Beach and so, a suitable week when everyone was able to go, was decided on and bookings duly made. We met up with Lucy, Rowan and Emilie and Scarlett, and Tracey and Sam at Adelaide airport where we ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Bay of Islands February 10th 2018

Thursday morning we awoke to grey skies and showers. Our plan for the day was to visit Paihia and the Waitangi Treaty grounds. Having done British Pacific History at Uni (48 years ago) I remembered some of the history of this area. We drove to the ferry and had a safe, though, wet crossing. Then it was a short drive into Paihia and through the town to the Treaty grounds themselves. This is now managed by locals. It is $50 entry fee and no discount for Seniors, but there is plenty to do here .The pass gives two days to explore and also see a cultural show as well as have a guided tour, neither of which we bothered about. Our first stop was the excellent Museum. This is very modern with interactive displays and video ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Bay of Islands February 8th 2018

Tuesday was Waitangi Day in New Zealand. The Treaty of Waitangi between the Maori and the British was signed in Paia on this day and it is now a public holiday. We spent the morning with Debbie at Hamilton Gardens. These are the beautiful Botanic Gardens by the banks of the Waikato River which are a major tourist attraction here. We have visited before but they have recently opened more of their specialty gardens so another visit was compulsory. It was a beautiful crisp, clear morning and we set out, accompanied by Debbie, Criss and Oscar. to walk the short distance to where these start. Surrounding the specialty gardens are green lawns and we walked through these and down to the riverbank. Dogs are allowed to run free here and Oscar had a great time galloping ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Hamilton February 5th 2018

On Sunday morning, after a leisurely breakfast, Debbie drove us to Raglan, 40kms west of Hamilton on the rugged west coast. We had Oscar, the schnauser, with us and it was a beautiful, sunny day with a cool breeze. Perfect weather for a walk on the beach. The drive was very pretty with green hills and great views as we wound our way through the sometimes steep inclines and down into the valleys. Our first stop was at a scenic viewing spot overlooking one of the surf beaches here. Debbie told us it has the longest lefthand break in NZ. There were many surfers waiting for the waves, bobbing up and down and then suddenly taking off as the surf rolled in. We then parked at Oscar's favourite beach. The sand is black here, but this ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Hamilton February 4th 2018

. On Friday morning after a slow start, we drove to Waikanae Beach.Here we stopped for coffee and a friand at the Front Room Cafe.Then a walk across the road took us to the "beach". There was a king tide and the water was lapping right up to the sandhills and the waves were crashing in. I was amazed at the amount of debris on the shore, many logs and branches washing in and out with the sea's ebb and flow. There was no room for a stroll so we drove along the foreshore and stopped further down only to be met with the same sight. What was impressive was the view of Kapiti Island not far offshore, rising green and stately from the stormy sea. We then decided to check out Paraparaumu beach further south. ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wellington Region February 1st 2018

Our first full day in NZ was a busy one. We left the hotel about 9-30 and stopped for breakfast at Pandoro's near the docks area. We then went to Te Papa. This is a wonderful museum which we had visited before. Today the main attraction was a special exhibition about Gallipoli and especially NZ's part in the landings and the subsequent fighting there in 1915. The first room immediately confronts the viewer as it contains a giant figure of a soldier firing his pistol. These amazing statues are peppered throughout the exhibition. There were also interactive dioramas of the terrain and demonstrations of the battles. Not a huge number of artefacts but the confronting nature of the large sculptures certainly made this memorable. We spent over an hour looking through this and reading the stories ... read more

Europe » Ireland » County Longford » Lanesborough August 22nd 2017

On Saturday morning we were up relatively early and after a tasty breakfast we drove to The Giant's Causeway. We were there about 10 minutes before opening time at 9am. It was a very windy, overcast day but fortunately the rain held off while we made our visit. The Visitor Centre is very modern and we found a park easily and waited at the door with a few others. Once inside we paid our entrance fees, collected our audio guides and started walking down the path. The first section is known as the Bay of Cows. The legend behind this section of the Northern Ireland Coast revolves around the giant, Finn McCool, who challenges a Scottish giant to a duel but runs away when he sees how large the other giant is. Finn was supposed to ... read more
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Europe » Ireland August 19th 2017

On Wednesday, we took our time leaving the hotel as we had to pick up our car at 11am. We got a taxi to the Avis depot and there we acquired our black Astra . After programming the GPS we headed north for the coast. We had a few twists and turns following the Sat Nav’s lady’s instructions but eventually arrived at the seaside town of Howth which is still in the outer Dublin suburbs. This is a busy fishing port so we parked and walked along the Marina. It was very overcast and windy, more like our winter than a summer’s day. We did find Beshoff’s market restaurant where we had a delicious seafood platter for two. This was fresh and scrumptious and was quickly devoured. We headed along the coast, stopping briefly at Portmarnock ... read more

Europe » Ireland » County Dublin » Dublin August 16th 2017

Our last day in London was a quiet one. We spent the morning getting packed and updating blogs etc.We walked next door to Brown's for lunch. For once the sun was out and we sat outside. As it was a Sunday there were several families also enjoying the sunshine and the food. for lunch. I chose a fish pie while Fletcher thoroughly enjoyed his lemon sole. The fish pie was excellent and went well with the Gavi de Gavi pinot grigio. Kevin Gosper was also dining nearby and stopped by for a chat. We chatted to two couples next to us . Both had small girls who were very cute. After a pleasant couple of hours in the sunshine we returned to the hotel and watched the 20km walk on the TV.. At the track I ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London August 13th 2017

What an exciting and busy few days have we had!! With the athletics events on every night and catching up with people during each day we have hardly stopped. Again I will try and sum up what has happened in each sphere. Firstly the Athletics. These Championships have produced some outstanding results and unexpected happenings. Some highlights for me have been the Australian performances. Kurtis Marschall, at only 20 years of age, placed 7th in the Pole Vault final. This competition was fascinating with several athletes passing to gain advantage and the American Sam Hendricks eventually the winner. Brooke Stratton, in the women's long jump final, jumped very consistently and was 6th in the world! And the final high spot came last night when Sally Pearson, coming back from breaking her wrist very badly, won gold ... read more

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