Christmas in Colorado

For someone who is used to Christmas being summer days, shorts, a tee shirt and barbecues, Christmas in Steamboat Springs, Colorado was a bit different – as it was for the whole team who travelled from a New Zealand summer to a Colorado winter.

We were treated to a white Christmas with about 3 inches of snow falling on Christmas Day, all of which led to a magical day. Dinner was roasted chicken and duck with all the trappings. Presents were under the tree and the kids played outside building a snowman.

Andre also continued a Christmas tradition of barbecuing the breakfast – despite the temperature.

Skiing? There has been some of that as well. Steamboat is vast with 169 trails spread over 3,000 acres. No matter what your skiing level, there are multiple runs for you.

And when you need to take a break there are bars, restaurants and cafes at the base of the mountain for that whole apres ski thingy.

Today – Friday 27th in the early evening it’s -17 degrees celsius. That’s 17 degrees below zero. That’s quite cold, with more snow forecast over the weekend.


Merry Christmas from Nelson

Poppie and Bella relaxingTeam Mowday is in Nelson enjoying some family hospitality. So far that’s meant a cracking Christmas dinner and a day spent recovering – which involved lots of snoozing.

As you can see, everyone is taking the chance to recharge their batteries.

It’s beginning to look a bit like Christmas – at our place

Christmas at KainuiThe tree is up at our place and, for the first time, the front balcony is festooned with sparkling lights. It was a little concerning when Jean, standing and admiring her work, mentioned in passing “we really need to do the upstairs balcony as well, and the gutters”.

Who knows where this will end?

Together for Christmas

In order from left to right – Georgie, Bella, Macey, and Poppie.

We had a “house full” of people for Christmas day – and briefly during the afternoon a “couch full” of dogs. Thanks to my dog wranglers for organising this shot.



A big holiday thank you

Tree DecorationAs the holiday season comes to its inevitable end, the team at our place want to thank all our friends and family for a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Whether it was spending time together in Wellington on Christmas Day or catching up in Auckland for a few days, it was a great holiday break. Thank you all.

As they say in Italy – Buon Natale e felice anno nuovo.

On the road again

Pohara at sunset

For the next week or so we are on the road – heading south for a traditional kiwi Christmas break. A few days with relatives in Nelson and then on to Pohara, a small seaside village  nestled at the base of Golden Bay, at the top of the South Island.

There is a whole mix of friends and relatives descending on Pohara – by my rough count 5 rellies, 12 friends, Jean, me and Poppie. That’s 14 adults, 5 children and one dog. Nothing more to do than relax, eat and drink. It should be a great few days.

So that was Christmas

I’m writing this at 10:30pm on Christmas night sitting in the living room at Aspley Guise trying not to nod off to sleep. The day has been a blur of presents, food and drink.

The day started early as the kids woke up and discovered a trail of reindeer hoof prints leading from the chimney to their bedrooms. Santa’s beer and snacks were gone and in exchange there were presents stretching from one side of the lounge to the other.

For 30 minutes it was a present opening frenzy. The kids found that Santa had answered every wish they had on their list. I found that Santa had managed to organise, among other things, a new iPhone and Jean found that a D&G watch she had spotted in Italy had been delivered by the jolly red guy.

Lunch was for 12 and included a turkey the size of a small horse, ham on the bone and potatoes roasted in goose fat. This was followed by the traditional pavlova (made by Gill) and ice cream (home made by Jean to an old Italian recipe). By 3pm all 12 of us were struggling to move.

From there it was all downhill. A round of party games saw us through to a light tea and suddenly it’s – now.

After events like today it’s traditional to thank the ladies for the spread and the blokes for bringing the booze. So thank you ladies and gents, our first UK Christmas.

Buon Natale

It’s Christmas time already and with only a few days to go we are in the UK, waiting for the snow to start falling and frantically checking our Christmas lists – twice. Jean, the girls and I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our loyal and lovely friends and readers a Buon Natale (as the Italians say) and a full, fruitful and enjoyable new year.

We have really enjoyed sharing our Italian adventures with everyone over the last 9 months and appreciated all the feedback we have received. And even though we are no longer in Italy we will continue to write about our adventures over the next few months wherever they happen to take us.

Once again Buon Natale and best wishes to you all.

Jean, Graeme and the girls.