Living less than 500 metres from the beach in Auckland, you’d think heading off to the Coromandel Peninsula for a long weekend at the beach wouldn’t hold the same appeal. But having just spent a long weekend at Whiritoa (between Waihi and Whangamata) and writing this post the old-fashioned way - with pen and paper, while sitting on the deck in the sunshine, jumping in the car and heading out of Auckland at lunchtime on a Friday really does feel like escapism.
Coming over that last hill and seeing that first peek of the ocean... magic!
Long days hanging out at the beach, watching the surfers patiently wait to catch their perfect wave. Last weekend was all about catching up with friends: lazing on beanbags on the deck with a pile of magazines; a game of tennis first thing, if you could drag yourself out of bed before 8am; and lots of chatter, refreshing drinks and delicious food of course.
Our friends’ daughter qualified as a surf lifesaver these holidays - what an awesome achievement. Her younger brother had to settle for being a rookie lifeguard but those duties still included going out on the roam (golf cart looking vehicle) and IRB (boat) and manning the watch tower – how cool is that!
Its great spending the weekend with someone who enjoys trawling through foodies magazines and cookbooks, as much as I do, looking for dinner inspiration and recipes we could adapt based on ingredients on hand. Funnily enough driving a mere 15 minutes to the nearest supermarket for a missing ingredient didn’t enter our heads, we were here to relax and enjoy being at the beach house. Saturday night we feasted on mussels three ways - why not three ways, we had time on our side. And barbequed butterflied chicken with a zesty, herb and chilli mixture stuffed under the skin, salad and homemade focaccia.
One of the best things about being away with likeminded friends is the relaxed atmosphere – no pressure to do something or go somewhere if you didn’t feel inclined. We’d go from non-stop chatting and even the odd bit of debate, to almost an eerie silence when you could hear the waves crashing on the beach. The sadness of packing the car up late on Sunday for the two hours drive home is made up for by knowing next weekend is a long weekend too...