I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning. ~Joseph Priestly
Afternoon - Day 5 of our adventure. We traveled to the Northland, to KeriKeri. Wendy had been talking about the Stone Store since we got to NZ, so I was eager to see it. We just squeaked in before everything closed, and as the adjacent Mission House closed first, we started there. First step - remove your shoes. Normally this is an easy request. In fact, I love going barefoot. But I am the victim of too many Sex and the City episodes, and if you've ever seen the one where Carrie has to take off her shoes at a friend's party and her Manolo's go missing, you understand. (Season 6, "A Woman's Right to Shoes"). Needless to say, I took a picture.
Once inside, we walked upon the silkiest, smoothest woven mats - an unexpected pleasure. The Mission House is New Zealand's oldest standing building, built in 1821. Young by European standards and even here in the US, where I have spent many weekends in Colonial Williamsburg, circa 1700s. There were many photo ops for, as my sister had to explain to her husband, "art shots." Fortunately they allowed photographs. So Nina and I had at it. Her camera was better at focusing and mine was better at capturing light (as in night shots). Together we have a pretty impressive record of our travels.
The adjacent Stone Store was built 1832-36. It is a 3-story structure that has been preserved much as it has been since construction and over the ensuing years when it served as a general store. It still functions as a store, selling such things as hand-cut nails, Spode china, fabric and even penny candy. I enjoyed traveling up the winding staircases to see what surprises the next levels held. There is something awe-inspiring about treading where so many others have stepped so long ago ~ a walk through history, yes, but also a communion of the spirits. I grew up steeped in history, living in the Nation's Capital, with trips to Mount Vernon, Monticello, Gettysburg and the like. I am well schooled in the importance of history and preservation of the past. Lucky for me I am now old enough to really appreciate time spent at historical sites. Kids love to go, but they bore easily and always want to get to the gift shop. I know. I once was one and now I have many.
We went for tea at the Landing Bar & Restaurant across the street and shared our finds. Here is a picture of Nina taking a picture of a picture postcard of a hand that Wendy found at the store.
Save for the company, dinner was nothing to write home, I mean, blog about. We were worn out from our busy day and had yet another day of sights and surprises ahead of us. We were delighted at the prospect of a new day, but wistfulness was beginning to set in. We knew our New Zealand days were numbered. Fortunately we had all of Australia ahead of us. Tomorrow brings you one more day of our New Zealand travels, then I hope you will travel with us to Australia!