Far from Home

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Come Fly With Me

Share a story about the furthest you’ve ever travelled from home.

While the vast majority of our guests come from New Zealand and Australia, we do welcome many travellers from Europe, North America and Asia.

We’ve had guests from Italy, Germany, France, Denmark, China, US, Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, Switzerland, New Caledonia and Belgium stay with us.  Many of these travellers have never been to New Zealand before.  It is wonderful to hear of their daily lives and of their adventures.   I love learning a bit about them, and their countries as well as their impression of ours.

We are blessed with a really good quality of life here in New Plymouth.  It takes no more than 10 to 15 minutes to travel through this city.  There is a traffic jam (2 lane, no 8 lanes of traffic on the 405 in L.A. here,) at about 5pm each day here that maybe adds 2 minutes onto travel time.  We have hours at night before dinner to pursue hobbies, spend time together, to garden or just walk the dog.  People know each other and look after each other.  Children ride their bikes to school and I often see whole families riding together on the walk way.  Our beaches are clean and beautiful and very close.

We have some really good restaurants, a bustling art and theatre scene and a wine bar that we just LOVE.  It is one of my greatest joys to hear guests mention these things when they talk about our town.  They can really see why we decided to make it our home after many years of travel and adventures.  They see our happy yellow dog and understand why people would come ‘home’ here.

This House is full of stories – I am blessed to add to them.

Last supper

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Eat, drink and be merry…
…for tomorrow we die. The world is ending tomorrow! Tell us about your last dinner — the food, your dining companions, the setting, the conversation.

There are many people in my life who live far away, or whom we’ve lost that I’d love to have dinner with…

-nice garden dinner with my mom and Aunt Libby
-dinner with my dad, and entire family including cousins
-swank NYC dinner with my college friends
-backyard barbeque with my childhood friends in one of their gorgeous homes

I could name dishes and wines for each one.  But in my wildest dreams, it would really to have dinner with all of them, past and present, in my own home.  To host those I love from New Zealand and the US, all together at the House would be the best dinner of my life.

We’d dine on green lipped mussels, and crayfish…butterflied legs of lamb marinated in chilies on the grill, big bowls of salads, rustic long table with linen tablecloths, cold crisp wine, good music, candles, conversation…it would go on to the wee hours and it would be epic!

A girl can dream….

Character

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Free To Be Me
What’s the character trait you admire the most about yourself?

Optimism – I think overall, this trait has allowed me to answer ‘why not,’ when others come up with vasts lists of why.  Why something can’t happen, why it’s too hard, why it won’t work, why it’s too far, why they don’t have enough talent, or money or……

I just think, why not?  Why not try to get into and pay for college (and finish =) why not put my name forward for that job in San Francisco which began my living alone adventures, why not try running marathons and then ultras, why not work hard and create this business together.  I tend to think ‘maybe’ verses ‘maybe not.’

It’s a perspective of optimism that even if things don’t work out they way there were ‘supposed to’, that what you wind up with may be even more amazing than what you thought you’d encounter.

Rod and I moved into 1 Victoria Road in September and planned on being open in November.  (Gives me a good chuckle even now.)  We had a healthy dose of optimism coupled with being really naive!  The doors opened in February, and we had a wonderful holiday season to not only work hard, but relax a bit.  Exactly what we needed – all due to the fact that we were silly enough to even try!

With thanks…

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Thank You
The internet is full of rants. Help tip the balance: today, simply be thankful for something (or someone).

There are so many people who have contributed to the making of this House.  Our families with love and financial backing, our friends who understand when we say ‘we can’t’ due to a check in or breakfast service, our vendors and builders who supported our vision and dream.

We have recently hired a wonderful cleaner who comes once a week for a few hours to help us out.  Our sweet friend Melody kept ‘gifting’ us her service after we hosted events.  Wendy would show up, saying ‘Melody sent me, she said you might need help this morning.”  I am a proud person who doesn’t like to ask for help, even when drowning, but our dear friend knows that, knows us and knows what we need.  Now Wendy comes and just takes care of what needs to be done.  She jumps right in, never checks her watch, and always spends more time than she’s hired to, to put this House in order.

I cannot tell you how much this bit of help truly means to me.  It gives me a bit of breathing room in the midst of some long weeks and is amazing to have someone taking such good care of us.

Friends that step in and don’t just ask what you need, but find a way to take care you and do something to take away your burden are very rare, but oh, so very wonderful!  Thanks my friend!

The Future

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Six Of One, Half-A-Dozen Of The Other
Write a six-word story about what you think the future holds for you, and then expand on it in a post.

“She watched the most beautiful sunset.”

I am not a planner.  When people ask me my 5-year or even 5-month plan…the one thing that I’ve learned in my  40+ years is that I could not even fathom the beauty that the future holds.  That beauty often is wrapped in difficult times, but it is always there.

I have gone through some very difficult times and worked very hard to find myself here, in New Zealand, with a sweet yellow dog, and black sand beaches, living my dream of running this House.

But the sunset, and the beauty have always been there.  Every day.

Goosebumps

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The Excitement Never Ends
Tell us about the last thing you got excited about — butterflies-in-the-stomach, giggling, can’t-wait excited.

We hosted a wedding for friends and 60 of their guests here at the House in February.  It was over a year in the making, and the bride and groom were so creative in their choices and worked hard to transform our garden into a beautiful event space.

It meant so much to us to help them get every detail right.  The lighting and staging guys arrived a few days early to set up.  That night, when we turned the lights on for the first time, and saw our garden completely transformed, I got so excited it felt like Christmas morning.

I just couldn’t wait for the bride and groom to see it.  It was magical – and the event was perfect in every way.

Little bit of Luxury

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Day twenty one –
Luxurious
What’s the one luxury you can’t live without?

There are many little things that we do to create a feeling of luxury in the House.  Cloth napkins and silver on the breakfast table, crisp white sheets and duvets on the beds, soaking tubs, beautiful bath products.

One of the simple things I love is that we always have fresh flowers in the House and what I love most is that they almost always come from our gardens.  We have roses, dahlias, sun flowers, hydrangea, and lilies.  I enjoy going out in the morning and cutting them with a steaming cup of coffee or in the evening with a crisp glass of wine.  The ritual of arranging them in our silver vases is very special to me.

Simple little, everyday luxuries make life feel rich, peaceful and soothing.  Just the vibe we are trying to create here at the House.