So last Friday, Sam sent a shout-out to a bunch of our friends suggesting we do a road trip on Queen’s Birthday Monday. As the weekend progressed and the weather turned foul, some of our friends pulled out, but it just made the rest of us more determined. We were going over the Rimutaka Hill, come Hell or high water.
We didn’t much fancy snow though, so we decided to go up the coast instead.
I took my car with three passengers, and one lucky person at a time got to share Sam’s car. Damon had battery issues, so we missioned off to get him, then away we went. There were six people in our merry band - Sam, Morgue, Kate, Damon, Anna, and me.
We took the coastal route to just out of Waikanae, where we stopped for coffee and a munch. The poor wee girl at the counter got us confused with some student types that arrived before us and who ordered takeaway coffees, and thus we ended up sitting at some lovely tables in nice décor with paper cups and plastic forks. Oh dear. Triple layer chocolate cheesecake made up for it somewhat though. We decided to pop into El Rancho as Morgue hadn’t been there before and was feeling rather left out. Can’t say he was missing much. Mission accomplished, we headed back onto the main road and Northward.
Kate mentioned that there was a nice café in Levin, but unfortunately it was closed. We admired a statue of a generic market gardener while the boys scanned up and down the road for an open food place. Incidently, Levin owes much of its existence to early Asian immigrant market gardeners, but the statue looks remarkably like a Pakeha. Sad. In an ironic twist, we found a Chinese place that was open.
This was the kind of place that does fish and chips, but also has pictures of each kind of Asian dish that you can order. Feeling like a nice hot and sour Tom Yum, I ordered a #16. This turned out to be mostly noodles with a small amount of liquid. Still yummy though. Noodles are really hard to eat with chopsticks. I soon discovered that if you pick up as much as you can and quickly shove it in before it falls, you can bite off what doesn’t fit and drop it back in the bowl.
Better still, I could have asked for a fork.
I had just about finished my soup when the other peoples’ food started to arrive. Brilliant service. Damon’s Bami Goreng (noodle dish) arrived last. About 25 minutes later. Without noodles. I think it was actually a Chicken & Cashew Nut stir fry, but Damon was past caring by then.
Somewhat sated, we waddled back to our cars via the public loos where some guy called Leonard was caught perving under the doors at other men about 10 years ago. Apparently you can say ‘Leonard’ to any Levin-ite in my generation and they know who you mean.
Foxton was the next point of call. We wanted to see the famous windmill and go to the beach. The windmill was, well, a windmill. That done, we headed for the beach with a packet of Mentos and a bottle of Diet Coke.
Damon had recently seen a clip of some crazy Americans (aren't they all?) putting Mentos into Diet Coke, making 20ft high geysers, so we had to see if it could be done. Our geyser was rather sad and pathetic - barely more than 2cm, but what the hey. We need to try that again sometime with warmer Coke and more Mentos I think.
After spitting all the sand out of our teeth we decided it was time for home. Sam tried to lose us by turning off just before Levin. I think he wanted to drive off with Kate, but she made him stop till I had executed two rather stylish U-turns arcoss State Highway 1 and found them. Kate directed us to her Parents' place. She had called ahead and got no answer so we decided to do a quick mission round the garden then head home. Imagine our surprise as we emerged from the bushes right next to Kate's Stepmum, who then took us into the house for coffee and home baking! What a gracious host.
Tip: When you have hayfever and pet allergies, it's a good idea to not sit on the carpet next to a vase of huge lillies. Urg.
The drive home was fairly uneventful. We stopped on the Paekakariki Hill to watch the sunset and stamp our feet in the cold, and then tootled off to my place. Where I cooked a stirfry for 7 people (cos Leon turned up too).
And Damon finally got his noodles.