Part 3…Road trip…Many new photos on a perfect day!…A Kiwi railway and visit to yesteryear…

Kiwi Rail locomotive.

As we began to wrap up our visit to Eltham, NZ, we made a few last stops, one to check out the Kiwi Railway and another to enter the historic former bank which is now an interesting shop filled with items from another era.

The cars behind the locomotive are flat cars with containers ready to load.

Tom, having spent 42 years working for the railroad, is often curious about railways in our travels. No, he’s not obsessed with railroad memorabilia by any means, although he certainly enjoys a railroad TV show, Hell on Wheels, which he’s been watching weekly here in NZ. 

A sign on the railroad property.

However, his ears perk up when we pass a moving train, a railroad depot, or train yard. How could he not show interest after spending 42 years of his life in this line of work? On each such occasion, I’m happy to investigate with him, taking photos and stopping to read signs.

As we entered the antique shop in the old Eltham Bank building, we found a “living room” set up with each item for sale.

Visiting both of these venues proves appealing to both of us when we easily revel in each other’s interests. As we entered the former bank’s antique shop, he was particularly interested in their myriad items when so many brought back memories of his childhood. 

This fox (or another animal) neck wrap brought back memories for both of us.

For me, growing up in California, I was only able to connect with a few items when my exposure growing up in California was more about modern conveniences with few antiques. As a kid, we had a washer, dryer, dishwasher, swimming pool, and color TV as soon as they become available. Plus, living in a warm climate made life a lot easier.

Prices aren’t as high as in other such shops we’ve visited in our travels. 

Tom, growing up in frigid Minnesota from a large family, experienced an entirely different upbringing. As a result, his memory of many of the items in the antique shop held more significance to him.

Second-hand furs and dressy dresses are offered for sale. You can see me taking the photo in the mirror above the chest of drawers. I hadn’t noticed that until now as I prepared the caption.

Certain items did trigger some memories for each of us, such as the taxidermy fur neck wrap worn by our long since passed away elderly family members, the type with the head of the fox or other animal at one end, the tail at the other. 

Every table and surface is covered with items for sale.

We cringed at the concept of fur neck wraps, but our hearts were warmed by the memories of those family members; the smell of their perfume, the warmth of their demeanor, of a time, long since past.

Beads are hanging from this taxidermy deer.

We wonder what it will be like in the next 50 years or so when our grandchildren peruse items we wore and used in our lives, perhaps laughing over the peculiar styles and technology. 

A spiral staircase leads to a second level. The owner of the shop was on her phone the entire time we were in the store. We took photos and left without talking to her.

Many people thrive on memorabilia and antiques. Tom has always expressed a certain interest while I’ve always been more fascinated with technology. For us, it’s a good mix and we easily embrace opportunities to visit venues with detailed information and access to one another’s particular interests. 

Most likely, this is the original bank vault.

Overall, in our travels, we’ve observed a greater emphasis on the “old” than on the “new” with endless historic sites prevalent in most cultures. We’ve yet to encounter anything that remotely compares to the International Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas each year or any such technology show of any type.

Back on the street, we found this antique tractor.

In any case, I’ve found myself with a degree of interest in many antiques, historical sites, and venues, especially when I have the opportunity to take photos which in itself greatly enhances the experience in many ways.

Today with bad weather, we’ll most likely stay “home.” It’s raining, windy and dreary. At the moment, the fog is so dense we can’t see the alpacas in a nearby paddock. 

We hope you have a pleasant day with a ray of sunshine on your face.

Photo from one year ago today, April 2, 2015:

This sunset photo we took one year ago in Kauai made us squeal with delight! How magical! Click here for more such photos.

Part 1, a day to remember…Thanks to new friends…The albatross story begins…

Stained glass, whether antique or newer, attracts a tremendous amount of interest for its often fine workmanship as in the case of this piece in Elaine and Richard’s home.

Yesterday morning, about the time we finished posting, we received an email from our new friend Richard, a 17 year homeowner in Princeville and 7 year permanent resident. 

The view from the lanai at Elaine and Richard’s lovely home.

He said he had a gift for us and would be at the golf club until noon. We were planning on heading over there anyway since it was my day to workout. Shortly we were on our way. 

Elaine and Richard’s inviting living room filled with comfortable furnishings and amenities.

It was cloudy by the time we were out the door, preventing us from lounging by the pool after my workout. But Tom could visit with Richard while I worked out.

The huge master bedroom is warm and appealing with its fine furnishings and décor.

Giving a gift to people you’ve only known a few days was beyond gracious of Richard and accepting such an unexpected gesture was a new experience for both of us. 

This antique desk and handmade wood ship are eye-catching.

After the discussions of our love of wildlife and Richard’s perusal of our site, he easily determined that this gift was better given sooner rather than later while we could enjoy the depth of its meaning during our time in Princeville.

The gift Richard gave us yesterday, The Majestic Albatross by Robert Waid, a neighbor of his.
Perusing these photos certainly triggered enthusiasm on our part, anxious to see even one of these majestic birds up close, if possible, during our time in Princeville.

Having discussed the wonders of the albatross on the island of Kauai and the many currently nesting near his home, this book, written by albatross expert and aficionado, Robert Waid, also lives in Richard’s neighborhood. 

These bears reminded us of all the Santa Bears we had in our old lives.
This large China hutch contains many photos of family members, all of which Richard treasures.  We too had such treasures in our old lives. Now, we have all the scanned photos as opposed to the frames and places to store them. Oddly, we don’t miss having “stuff” but can easily admire the stuff of others.

Of course, we were chomping at the bit to have a peek at this amazing phenomenon, occurring right here in Princeville. With this book in hand, our desire to witness these birds first hand only escalated.

Richard sat behind the impressive magistrate’s desk giving us a feel as to how a visit to his office in St. Louis might have been.
Richard, an attorney from St. Louis, Missouri, sent his English magistrate’s desk and other treasures to Hawaii years ago via a container on a ship. This method is often used to transport cars and belongings from the mainland (and other countries) to Hawaii. Note the other antiques in his “man cave,” a converted garage.
Without any prompting from us but certainly based on our enthusiasm, Richard invited us to see his home and meet his lovely wife Elaine who had little warning that people she’d never met were stopping by on a Sunday. 
Richard and Tom sat outside at the golf club engaged in lively conversation while I worked out. My HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout takes less than 20 minutes instead of the usual one hour or more most exercisers usually spend. As a result, we showed up at Elaine and Richard’s home a bit earlier than expected per Richard’s earlier phone call.
This stained glass window, of which Richard and Elaine have many, reminded us of the zebras drinking from our pool in Marloth Park, only one year ago.
A grandfather clock in Richard’s man cave.

Of course, Elaine was gracious and welcoming while we attempted to be as unobtrusive as possible while Richard gave us the full tour of his beautiful and interesting home with expansive views of the sea.

Although not antique carpeting, this pattern is definitely befitting the environment.

Today, we’re sharing photos of the tour of Elaine and Richard’s lovely home, and tomorrow, we’ll be back with our video and photos of the “majestic albatross” (per Robert Waid).

This is Elaine and Richard’s wedding photo, 28 years ago.

Thanks to Elaine and Richard for their hospitality, kindness, and generosity and of course, to their neighbor, Robert Waid, for his inspiration and exquisite book

A Hawaii themed stained glass window built into a stone wall.

We’ll be back tomorrow with some of the most exciting and heartwarming wildlife photos /videos we’ve been able to share in quite some time.

Happy Monday, dear friends.

                                             Photo from one year ago today, January 26, 2014:

Three giraffes crossing the road when we were on our way to the local market. Even Tom couldn’t stop smiling whenever there was this type of traffic jam.  For details from that day, please click here.