Surf trip to Raglan

Raglan has been on our to do list for EVER!

We are so thankful that we got the opportunity to go down to Raglan for the weekend. Raglan is a beautiful little surf town on the west coast of the north island of New Zealand. Raglan is world know for three surf spots: Ngarunui Beach, Manu Bay, and Whale Bay. Although the surf was a little bit on the small side when we went, my surfer boy had to get his toes wet regardless.

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Photo credit: Google

The town itself was a little strip of surf stores, art galleries, coffee shops, an ice cream hut, and a few little restaurants. Every time we drove into town, it was always populated.

The first thing that caught your eye when you walked onto the beach was the sunlight glittering off of the sand.  It was beyond majestic.  The whole west coast of New Zealand has black sand beaches and we are enjoying the opportunity to explore as many of them as possible.

Whale Bay

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We started our trip by finding the campground we were staying in, checking in, and immediately heading down the road to check out the surf. The first place we went was Whale Bay. We walked down the steep hill and onto the charcoal rocks. The surf wasn’t to impressive at the moment, so we just wandered around the rocks and explored the shoreline. Out of nowhere, wandered over this old dog. He was well traversed in the  landscape and showed us the way around the rocks. He followed us around, and at times took the lead and showed us where to go. We named him “Melvin the mooch.” For a minute, we were concerned he might not have a home until he followed us to the end of the rocks and then said goodbye! There was no doubt that he was a very loved local dog.

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Ngarunui Beach

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We then head to the biggest sandy swimming beach in the area, Ngarunui Beach. The waves here were a little bit better, so Chad grabbed his board and I grabbed the beach chair. Once again, to get to the beach we needed to hike down the massive incline. The hills are always worth it though.

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After a little surfing, a little sunshine, and a little grub… we head back to the campsite to shower and get ready for dinner.

One of the local restaurants was having a Christmas party that night, so we head there for dinner. This was our meal at Rock-it Kitchen:

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I was a little taken aback when this guy came out, but it was so delicious that I got over the fact that my flounder was looking back at me. After dinner, we head back to the campsite and head straight to bed.

Manu Bay

The next morning we were awoken by the extremely load snoring  of our neighbor. We got a nice early start to the day, made some eggs for breakfast, packed up our tent, and head into town. We did a little shopping at the adorable surf shops, and picked up a cappuccino. Once we were caffeinated, we head to Manu Bay. The tide was receding, so we just hung out at the top of the hill and absorbed as much vitamin D we possibly could. Once the waves picked up a little bit, my man friend jumped at the opportunity to surf at a world famous spot.

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Post surf, we packed up our towels and cooler then head back into town for some ice cream and fresh cold water. Shortly after, we embarked on our two hour journey home up the famous windy New Zealand roads.

 

As always, below are the bonus pictures:

 

Cheers!

 

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Favorite foods: Breakfast edition

I love breakfast.

Sometimes, breakfast can become repetitive and boring (cereal, oatmeal, scrambled eggs). Although we still love our boring breakfast meals, we have been trying to be a little more creative with breakfast.

So I would like to share a few of our favorite breakfast dishes:

Reduced fat Quiche

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First I will start off with quiche. I didn’t realize how easy and healthy quiche could be! This is my version of a lower fat healthy quiche:

  • 2 whole eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup of low fat milk
  • 2/3 cup-1 cup of low fat cheese {whatever you prefer: parmesan, mozzarella, swiss, cheddar, ext.}
  • spices {salt, peper, oregano, rosemary, thyme, paprika, chilli powder, basil, and/or parsley}
  • 1 teaspoon of butter
  • A handful of your choice of veggie
  • A handful of meat {usually I make veggie quiche, but sometimes we throw some ham in there}

I buy frozen reduced fat pastry at the store. Then I mix 2 eggs and 3 egg whites with a little bit of low fat milk and low fat cheese (whatever we have on hand). I season the eggs with a variety of spices (I pick the spice depending on what we are craving that day.) I slightly butter my glass baking dish, place the puff pastry, and pour in the egg mixture. Lastly, I add our favorite veggies: broccoli, asparagus, spinach, carrots, zucchini, ext. I pop this into the oven for about 20-25 minutes at 350°. You know it’s ready when the top of the quiche looks solid and slightly golden.

Yogurt breakfast bowls:

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Oh the possibilities! I love things like this that change slightly with whatever ingredients you have on hand. Plus, I think this is an easy way to get a ton of your required of nutrients for the day. Here’s what I put in mine:

  • 1 cup of greek yogurt {we buy the plain light greek yogurt}
  • 2 teaspoons of honey {or brown sugar}
  • 3 teaspoons of chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • Toppings:
    • Any kind of whole grain {currently we have Millet puffs, and we use uncooked oatmeal as well, granola works great}
    • Any fruit that you enjoy
    • Any kind of nuts
    • Coconut flakes
    • Spices such as cinnamon

Mix the greek yogurt, honey, vanilla, and chia seeds in a bowl. Add your desired toppings, and ENJOY!

 

Coconut Rice & Pomegrante Porridge

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So this recipe I actually found online. It was SO YUMMY! Also, it’s gluten free! If you want to check out the recipe click here  or click the picture.

Let me know if you have tried any of these before, or if there is something special you add to your food that we have to try!

Enjoy!

Hiking on a Volcano

This past Sunday we were craving a really good hike. We woke up with a ton on energy, opened the blinds, and it was pouring rain! Boo!

We kept ourselves busy while it was raining by going to the maritime museum. Once we were done with the exhibits at the museum, the weather had completely cleared up. Therefore, we grabbed an early lunch and the next ferry to Rangitoto Island!

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Rangitoto is a 5.5km wide Island visible off the coast of Auckland. It is the most recent volcano on the Hauraki Gulf, as well as the largest. The island was formed by a serious of eruptions, with the most recent eruptions being approximately 550 years ago. The hike up to the summit was 1 hour and 45 minutes. AGH! We are fairly new to hiking, so it was a little bit of a challenge.

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What I learned about New Zealand: the steeper the hill, the more it’s going to be worth it! The views are incredible.

(Another fact I learned about New Zealand: all the hills around the island are actually extinct volcanos.)

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After about an hour and a half, we made it up to the summit!

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We had a couple of protein bars at the top and took the opportunity to rehydrate. As we hiked back down the volcano, we digressed off the path and took the longer trail to explore the lava caves. I don’t know what more to say about that besides that the name is self explanatory. These are caves that were formed by the cooling lava.

I climbed down into one of the caves. It was a little claustrophobic the further in you went. Eventually the tight tunnel opened up into an area where you could stand up. A flashlight was defiantly required!

We then head back to port to catch the last ferry back to Auckland. After 4 hours & 9.5 miles of hiking, we were spent!

*Sorry it has taken us so long to post about this past weeks adventure. We came home from our hike on Sunday and our internet wasn’t working. It took a couple of days to get it back up.

Here is a few extra bonus photos from our hike:

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More Food!

Since this is my fifth post about food, I’m just going to jump into it!

Thanksgiving Dinner

This is a little late (considering it’s the second week of December), but this was our makeshift Thanksgiving dinner:

We couldn’t find turkey at our local grocery store, so we substituted it with chicken cordon bleu and  ham. We made a green bean casserole, carrots, mashed sweet potatoes with dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds, and regular mashed potatoes. Of course, the meal would not be complete without cinnamon apple sangria as a side.

 

Other meals we have been mastering include:

Lemon Chicken Piccata with whole grain pasta & capers

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Our go to: Steak with mashed sweet potatoes and a veggie

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We decided to take a try at the local fish: “John Dory”

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Thanks for checking out our blog!

 

Auckland Zoo

Sunny Sundays are best spent at the zoo!

This past Sunday had the most perfect weather since we’ve been here. So we decided to spend it in the happiest place on earth, the ZOO!! Only a ten minuet bus ride from the city center, the zoo was a close and convenient place to explore. We packed on the sun screen and head in to see the animals!

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I have never been to a zoo where the animals are all so happy and playful. Most zoo’s I’ve been to the animals just sleep most of the time and hide. This zoo, the animals were jumping, wrestling, and playing.

Chad got to see the Cheetahs he’s always dreamed about, and I fell in love with blue penguins!

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We got to see giraffes, elephants, rhinoceros, monkeys, otters, birds, lizards, spiders, kangaroos, emu’s, ostrich, seals, and more. We got a chance to see kiwi’s up close and personal for the first time. Kiwi’s are night dwellers so their exhibit was in a dark cool cave. Therefore I was unable to snap any pictures or videos of them.

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It’s difficult to describe how cute all of the animals are with just words.

The best way to summarize our trip is in the video below:

 

Enjoy!