Three Days in Dunedin

I’m having the time of my life!

In some ways this journey began two years ago.  During a Skype session, the Blogging Babes, as we’ve come to call ourselves, dreamed out loud of a trip to see Pauline in New Zealand. In 2015 Pauline joined us on our side of the world for an incredible trip to Virginia and Washington, D.C. Our time together deepened the friendships and expanded our hearts.

Now here we are three years later, meeting up with Pauline and her two lovely daughters in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Mike drove me to the San Francisco airport where I connected with Laurie. Though I dreaded the 13 hour flight across the Pacific, I was in for some lovely surprises.

SFO at Joe & the Juice

Putting our heads together at Joe & the Juice, SFO (This one’s for you, Joe)

We got our sillies on five minutes into our journey, before boarding the most amazing airplane I have ever seen.

lavender lights aboard air new zealand

Air New Zealand flight

Air New Zealand lives up to its reputation in every way.  The crew kept us  well fed, smiling, drinks flowing and relaxed.  We flew economy, or as Mike would say, steerage,  but I can’t complain.  It was amazing.

Air New Zealand flight with Laurie

With Laurie and a charming photo bomber

Pacific Ocean satellite map

This on-board satellite map kept us abreast of our travel

Pauline welcomed us at the airport, then we were off to meet her daughter, Danella and to reconnect with Kelly.

Siddy in Dunedin, New Zealand

Pauline’s Siddy served as co-pilot

Danella opened her home to us, three women she’s never met and while still recovering from a broken leg.  It’s an act of kindness and grace.

Danella and Siddy

Danella and Siddy

She lives in a charming flat, decorated in soft pinks and greens, with a lovely garden out back. She loves garden kitsch, and has since her childhood. I had fun discovering tiny gnomes and frogs among the greenery. They made my fairy-garden-loving heart sing.

After a leisurely morning in our PJ’s and a breakfast of tomatoes on toast (thank you, Kelly) we were off to Pauline’s. Pauline’s fans know she’s an artist and a crafter, and her space reflects her kind and creative soul. Laurie’s written a beautiful post with photos sharing that day. Please visit her post here.

Pauline's courtyard garden

Photo Credit: Laurie Buchwald In Pauline’s courtyard garden

Pauline’s daughter Jo and her partner Steve joined us for lunch gathered around Pauline’s home-cooked meal. The pampering continued with charming welcome bags filled with local gifts of chocolates and soaps, along with handmade cards, and art, deserving of another full post.  (I have so much to say!)

This photo is back at Danella’s. I didn’t take any during our meal.

and evening at Danella's

Steven, Joe, Kelly and Laurie in Danella’s gorgeous flat. Garden by Danella, artwork by Pauline

After dinner we took a walk on St Claire Beach, just moments away from Pauline’s home. We stopped for hot beverages before calling it a day.

St. Claire's Beach, Dunedin, New Zealand

Blogging Babes selfie, St. Claire Beach, Dunedin

St. Claire Beach at sunset, Dunedin, New Zealand

St. Claire Beach at sunset, Dunedin, New Zealand

St. Claire Beach, Dunedin, New Zealand

Laurie getting her feet wet while the rest of us looked on

Day three in Dunedin will be another post, but I’ll leave you with a bit of a photo teaser.

on the trike near Otago Harbour

The Trike: Experience New Zealand

We’re having so much fun.

Blogging Babes in New Zealand

Pauline: The Contented Crafter

Laurie: Life on the Bike and Other Fab Things

KPB: Boomdeeadda

76 thoughts on “Three Days in Dunedin

  1. You Babe look like you’re having a blast – Alys, you really have to get some glasses to fit in with the others! And yes, I have serious bike envy, I’ll have to look up the company that does that in case we ever make it to NZ.


    • Kate, I will share more details in another post, but if you want to make a note, it’s called Experience Dunedin. It was thrilling driving around the beautiful harbour, into the hills and around the town on that trike. And yes, we’re having a blast.


  2. What a wonderful adventure for the Blogging Babes! Thank you for sharing these heartwarming moments, Alys. Sharing time making cherished memories with faraway friends is the absolute best gift you can give one another.💕 So happy for all of you! 💗


  3. I’m so glad you’re enjoying NZ, the country of my birth, though I live in Australia now. I hope the country continues to wow you with its amazing scenery. It looks very much as though you’re going to have a ride to remember!


    • Jane, the ride was amazing. I’ll write more about it soon. Your home country is gorgeous. Everyone we’ve encountered is warm and friendly, and our hosts have thought of everything to make our stay comfortable and enjoyable. What part of New Zealand are you from?


  4. You look like a natural on that trike. Mike will have to get one for you when you go home. 🙂 Who is the lady with the black and white stripe top next to Joanna? My eyes are playing tricks on me I think. Is that K? Your selfie stick has come in quite handy. Hugs to you all. Color me green. 🙂


  5. Reblogged this on The Contented Crafter and commented:
    Hello again! I’ve been sharing posts made by the fantastic photographer and biker chick, Laurie up til now. Let me share with you now a post from Alys, from Gardening Nirvana as she encapsulates her first three days in New Zealand and you’ll see our world through her eyes………….

    Liked by 1 person

  6. During those days when Mills and Boons were an important part of my life, I loved books by Essie Summers, she is still one of my favourite authors. Her books were all set in New Zealand. One of my dreams is to see New Zealand. I am happy to read about your trip there. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for visiting! Traveling to New Zealand has been a life long dream of mine as well. I hope you’ll have a chance to visit here one day. I’ll have to look up Essie Summers books when I get home. Isn’t it fun reading about characters in places you want to go?

      Liked by 1 person

    • We’re having a grand time. It’s beautiful here, everywhere you look. We’ve left Dunedin for Wanaka now, where Pauline has arranged the most amazing house. As for the flight, it’s the sleeping I find so hard. Long haul flights are brutal.


  7. Oh how I loved reading your take on our journey thus far, especially that you focused on Danella’s great gift of opening her home to strangers WHILE recovering! Thank you for your perspective my super talented and ultracompassionate friend. Reblogging!! XOXO

    Liked by 1 person

    • ((((Laurie)))) Thank you for your kind words. Isn’t it fun being on the same trip while reading each other’s perspectives. Your photos are absolutely extraordinary. I’ve really enjoyed seeing what travels from your lease to the page. Fantastic!


  8. What a privilege (and what a joy) it is to follow along vicariously on this adventure, dear Alys! A wise friend once told me that a good percentage of our experiences while traveling depend not on what we find when we get there, but on what we bring with us. You have clearly brought a big heart and an open, joyful spirit — so it’s no wonder you’re surrounded by such beauty and happiness. Big hug to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • (((Heidebee))) That’s a big hug right back your way. We’re home now, but I still have one foot and part of my heart in New Zealand. I treasure the friendships made and forged through blogging, but would never have dreamed they would carry me so far and with such wonderful people. It’s been an amazing journey. xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • I very much understand the feeling you describe of having one foot and part of your heart elsewhere, lovely Alys — though my feet have never stretched quite *that* far! Although I’m sorry this adventure has concluded, I”m glad you’re home safely with lots of beautiful memories to savor and sustain you until you get to see your friends again. xo!


        • Thank you, Heidebee. It is a mighty long stretch, that is for sure. I’m comforting myself with the idea that I will get back there one day. We’re also planning a middle trip if we can get all the details sorted out. Are you in the middle of yet another winter storm? I’ve been avoiding the news again, just for a bit of sanity. I’ll cave by day’s end I’m sure. xo

          Liked by 1 person

          • Stay strong and stick to your news diet! There’s nothing exceptionally terrible going on … but I’m a bit advocate of hanging onto that vacation glow for as long as possible.

            As for Minnesota: No more winter storms, it seems! But we’re heading to Paris soon, and ironically it may snow *there.* I’d complain, except it seems darned ungrateful to complain about anything related to Paris. 🙂

            I will now excuse myself and leave you to your Kiwi daydreams. xx


  9. Lovely lovely post! We’ve sure had a nice adventure once again. Really cute pics of Danella’s garden! Too many highlights to pick one but I’d say that Bike ride was super cool. xo I’ll still be pinching myself when I get home I think. It’s really beautiful here. I’m glad we could share it all together xo kpb


    • I’m glad we could share it together as well. I wanted to stay and play in Danella’s garden. I’m trying to convince her to invite the fairies with a special garden of there own. She has all the makings right there. Word on the street is that pink and green are among their favorite colors too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Isn’t her home just so perfect! and lovely? I adored the colours. They look so fresh and youthful. As a young single woman, my style was pretty much stuff thrown together that other people were tired off. I remember a brown tweed pull out loveseat…LOL. It was so ugly but actually came in handy when I wanted to stay up and watch TV. Jammies, popcorn, my kitty Dillin, a ton of magezines (no internet) and probably wine. I thought I had ‘made-it’, ha! I can see a fairy garden out in the courtyard! What a perfect little spot 😀 xo


  10. I am slow catching with your travelling news, but I have loved reading the excitement in your post! To be honest, I am surprised that any of you have time to write and post anything, as I can imagine all the chatter and laughter that is going on when you are all together! Now, some more adventures to catch up with……xxx


  11. Pingback: Loving New Zealand – Gardening Nirvana

  12. Pingback: Pauline King: Artist and Beloved Friend – Gardening Nirvana

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