A Major Throwback, Day 9 Pt. II: Waiheke Island, New Zealand

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13.02.2015: Waiheke Island, New Zealand

We were just about halfway through our trip when my Dad asked me, “have You contacted Earl and Jo yet?” Mr. Earl and Mrs. Jo, who used to belong to the same line of work as my parents, have been family friends for a long long time. They visited us once in Singapore and we visited them once too in New Zealand, during which they brought us around Auckland and even to their home on Waiheke Island. While on the island, my favourite memories were sleeping and waking up to the crashing of waves, the al fresco meals on the veranda which came with such a breath-taking view of Onetangi Beach and beyond, and the seemingly endless drives by the vineyards. It was a dream. Who would have known that, 12 years on, a short call to Mr. Earl, an impromptu decision and a 40-minute ferry ride later, I’d be back on the island?

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Oil-Free Chocolate Brownies On A Rainy Day

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(Haha w.r.t the quote, I’m kidding. Love is good.)

I had the morning and early afternoon to my own devices yesterday, and gosh for some reason, I had the most intense chocolate cravings (this is way out of the ordinary, considering I certainly am not the biggest fan of chocolate — that’d definitely be a title to be shared between Miriam and Wei). — maybe it was the weather? Anyway, I ended up baking some brownies, which, despite having been created on an unguided whim, surprisingly hit the spot and were absolutely stunning. They were the crispy crusty, fudgy centre-y type of perfectly sweet brownies, and the best part? This recipe consists of only 5 ingredients — mi oh my, I may like this a little more than the brownies I made a couple of weeks back. Ahh, I’m thrilled! (I had a bit of time to spare so I got around filming bits of the baking process too — video below!)

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A Major Throwback, Day 9 Pt. I: Auckland, New Zealand

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13.02.2015: Auckland, New Zealand

Niki and I travelled up North on this day, all the way back to Auckland. We had something absolutely exciting (it was 100% impromptu!) planned for the evening (this will be in Day 9 Pt. II), so we only had a window of 4 – 5 hours to explore the heart of Auckland city. We decided to spend it at one of Auckland’s most iconic buildings, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, which also happens to be ‘New Zealand’s largest and most inspiring visual arts experience’.

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A Major Throwback, Day 8 Pt. II: Tutanekai Street Night Market, Rotorua, New Zealand

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12.02.2015: Rotorua, New Zealand

Our last day in Rotorua happened to be on a Thursday.
It so happens that a night market is held along Tutanekai Street every Thursday.
Tutanekai Street happens to be two blocks away from our accommodation.
You might have guessed: we walked down the two blocks and joined in the fun.

This is an example of when everything in the universe aligns.

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I Just Felt Like Going Into The Woods

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Nothing much really. It was just an evening with my camera, in an Autumn wonderland where warm-coloured leaves have made themselves at home. I hope You enjoy the short video I pieced together and, with it, get an impression of some of this season’s little joys.

“It looked like the world was covered in a cobbler crust of brown sugar and cinnamon.” 
― Sarah Addison Allen, First Frost

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A Major Throwback, Day 8 Pt. I – Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland & Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley, Rotorua, New Zealand

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12.02.2015: Waiotapu & Waimangu, Rotorua, New Zealand

“Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit.” — Edward Abbey

This day’s plans threw us right into the wild. It was, at different points, either a little too windy or a little too sunny, and we may have soiled our shoes on more than one occasion during the treks, but… it was still downright wonderful. In the relatively short span of 7-8 hours, we managed to cover Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland (Lady Knox Geyser was, in my opinion, the big star) and Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley, where, true to its entrance sign  ‘where the world began’, one would literally feel as though one had entered the prehistoric times of the dinosaurs. Surreal.

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