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New Zealand Trip Day 17 – Mt. Maunganui to Remuera

100324 Mt Maunganui to Remuera

We said farewell to Cathy and Ross:

We passed through Katikati (Maori for “we we like like double double talk talk”) – the city of murals. I didn’t find the murals all that stunning, but I liked some of the statues:

and this one of Marilyn:

Brenda’s university friend Ian Douglas has an organic farm – mostly in kiwi fruit. (Note to U.S. Americans: Ian and Brenda are “Kiwis”. The fruit Ian grows is “Kiwi Fruit”, he does not grow “Kiwis”.)

He gave us a tour of his place that was very interesting and I was quite impressed with Ian’s knowledge of the pros and cons of growing the fruit organically.

Here is an example of his vines:

And another:

It was our misfortune that we had a tight schedule on this day and couldn’t stay longer to chat with Ian, and Brenda was so rushed that she didn’t get a photo of Ian – who remains the only person to escape the wrath of her camera on this trip and she is truly bitter over this mistake.

We got to the seaside resort community of Waihi Beach (Maori for “the gathering place of every classic American built car on the North Island”) where they were having “The Beach Hop”. We stopped for a quick gander because Jean thought one of her friends would be there. The roads were filled with classic Detroit iron and it was only the first day. We saw many, many more on their way over the next day or two after we left.

We had a blue one of these (though I think this is a ‘68 and we had a ’67 because ours didn’t have the fancy headlights). I sat in the backseat of one of these with my two brothers all the way from L.A. to Minnesota (about 2000 miles) when I was about six years old.

Imagine that!

This was not a crap day because just as we were leaving Waihi Beach I spotted a place to buy Tip Top ice cream. Despite Jean’s best efforts to ignore me, I was able to persuade her to pull over.

This is me with a double scoop, which might as well be called a triple scoop (they do not gyp you on the ice cream):

Note to U.S. Americans: If you’re ever in New Zealand this is exactly how almost all the shops – called a “dairy” – look like that will sell you a Tip Top Hockey Pokey ice cream. The telltale signs are the signage around the top, but if that’s missing you might be able to spot a little stand up board on the sidewalk. This photo shows both.

I enjoyed the ice cream while we saw some more good scenery:

We passed through Paeroa (Maori for “it’s not 7-Up but it tastes a lot like it”) – birthplace of The Original L&P (Lemon and Paeroa) “World Famous in New Zealand”.

It’s New Zealand’s national soda pop. Here is what’s printed on the back of the label:

“L&P: WORLD FAMOUS IN NEW ZEALAND. There’s nothing like L&P, a little Kiwi classic with loads of fresh taste. She’s a legend our Lemon and Paeroa…and Kiwi as. There’s heaps of stories to tell about this favourite fruity drop…but the important stuff is where it all started. Take a trip to sunny Paeroa, back in the good old days, where some local blokes found an awesome underground spring. Yup, right under their noses loads of super-fresh water. Fact is, water’s water, but it ain’t L&P. It wasn’t until some bright spark had the idea of putting something in it, L&P came to life. C-h-o-i-c-e! With a little bit of lemon and a sprinkling of magic (our secret formula), the little kiwi beauty we know and love was born. And L&P today? It’s still the original flavour but now it’s even better!”

In many ways you can capture a whole lot of our trip right there in that advertising blurb, mate.

We made a quick stop in Pokeno (“Maori for “Three Tip Top ice cream serving shops within fifty yards of each other”) where we had a cup of coffee and a nice visit with Brenda’s friend from university, Julie Fox:

We finished the day in ‘burbs of Auckland, Remuera (Maori for “lots of private schools and clubs and whatnot, eh?”) where Brenda BFF, Marie Cullen – the Cullen’s second child who lives with her husband Max and her two daughters Auriel and Christie and dog Ruby and makes no claims about being the sane Cullen kid.

They’ve got a nice place but will be moving to a new house as soon as that has more space for the teenagers. It was another delightful Kiwi dinner, though we missed Max because he had a prior commitment.

1 comment to New Zealand Trip Day 17 – Mt. Maunganui to Remuera

  • Mark Fisher

    And on day 17 friends and loved-ones, Jon makes the jump from run-of-the mill Hokey Pokey Junkie to street dealer. What’s next Jon? Trading your balloon for a sticker-covered surplus mail-truck with a bull-horn that blasts Pop-Goes-Weasle?

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