Comment from a friend/reader…Love hearing from all of you!…

It had rained for the first several days since we arrived.  Yesterday, the first sunny day, we stumbled upon this view. We were both mesmerized by the beauty of Mount Taranaki.  (We’re located in the Taranaki region of New Zealand). The trek up this mountain can be dangerous, which we heard aboard the ship, as per this link.

This morning, checking my email, as I do first thing each day, reading the comments from our friends/readers, I saw that Staci wrote the following:

“What a gorgeous place! I remember when you booked this location, I couldn’t wait to see how it turned out! I can tell you all are just having an outstanding experience, and you can write about the alpacas every day for all I care! 🙂 Have a great weekend.”

At the end of yesterday’s post, I commented how we laughed over her comment about us posting excessively about the alpacas. As each day passes, I’ve come to realize how impossible it will be for me not to write about them and post photos.

After all, there are approximately 90 alpacas surroundings us along with a wide array of cows on the bordering properties. How can we avoid noticing their activities throughout the day with a perfect spot to sit in the warmth of the sun on the veranda and with huge windows and walls of glass throughout the house?

This morning’s view from the veranda of the cows on the adjacent property.  We easily hear mooing all day.  Having never lived on a farm, this is all quite a joy for both of us. 

The first thing we see each morning in the master bath’s window (instead of a mirror over the sink) is one of the many paddocks on this property with 20 alpacas huddled together to stay warm in the coolness of the morning.  They recently had been sheared for their precious fleece which is hypoallergenic.

I’d rather look at them each morning rather than myself as I start my day! (There’s another vanity area with a mirror and sink in the master bedroom that serves that purpose).

As the sun rises each day, my heart flips in my chest seeing them, closely connected for companionship, love, and warmth. They’re still shy about us but surely in time, they’ll come to know us to approach more readily.  For now, we wait patiently, keeping a distance to ensure their ease and comfort.

At some point, we’ll drive to the area of the mountain where there are beautiful lakes we’d like to see such as Lake Mangamahoe.

Over these past few days, that it’s nearly impossible for us not to address the alpacas in our posts, at least with one or two photos added to other photos for the day.  Humor me, folks.  I’m totally in love with them and Tom is a close second.  The alpacas are our new “warthogs” with whom we also fell in love in South Africa after their multiple daily visits to our veranda.

Yesterday, was a wonderfully busy day. After finishing the last of the wash while delighting in hanging the clothes outside on a breezy, sunny day, we took a drive into the town of New Plymouth to check out the ocean views and become familiar with the “downtown” area. Later, after being back home, we went back out a second time, taking more photos.

New Plymouth, with a population of over 68,000 has commercial areas reminding us more of a community area than a tourist area. None of the areas we’ve seen to date feels touristy and over-marketed. We spotted a mall but it didn’t have that “tourist attraction” kind of appearance.

As we drove to another location again we spotted Mount Taranaki as the clouds had moved from the peak.

Of course, we’ve only been here a few days and have yet to formulate any concrete observations or opinions. Although, this we know for certain…we love it here, especially out in the countryside where we’ll live for the next three months.

In only a matter of 20 minutes, we’re able to drive to town to shop for anything we could want. With 117 restaurants listed in TripAdvisor for New Plymouth, we’ll never run out of dining out options. 

The difficult part will be choosing to dine out when the robust selection of wonderful foods at the markets far exceeds anything we’ve seen in a very long time. In many ways, the options are even more abundant than what we discovered in Trinity Beach, Australia. 

Hours after being born, this baby alpaca is nursing.  Pinch me!  This is so sweet!

Then again, with Valentine’s Day, my birthday, and our wedding anniversary all upcoming in the next six weeks, we’ll certainly plan a few nights out to dine at some of the above-noted top restaurants in the area.  For now, we’ve just begun to explore the 35 acres surrounding us.  Um…heavenly!

Photo from one year ago today, January 23, 2015:

One year ago, while living in Kauai, we stumbled upon this view driving down an unexpected road.  For more details, please click here. (The same occurred yesterday when again we stumbled across the main photo view when we drove down an “unexpected road.”)