Our Wedding Day

Our Wedding Day

Sunday, 10th January 2010 |  by  |  Wedding  |  3 Comments  |  Share

We woke up in Oceans Resort in Whitianga after Andys restless night, I however slept like a baby. Lots of beauty sleep ready for the day to come.

Our ceremony wasn’t until 5 o’clock so we had a little bit of relaxing to do. We broke all the rules and stayed together the whole day and headed across the road to the beach, we chatted about our future to come and the more trivial matter of lunch. Midday soon came and I headed off to have my hair and makeup done, the clouds were gathering above and the salon talked of nothing else but rain! Even though our wedding wasn’t until later that day the thought of pouring rain encouraged my hair dresser to use an entire can of hairspray to ensure it would stay.

Andy came and picked me up after I was done, looking a little out of place with fancy hair and make up and shorts and t shirt! Andy had not wasted any time and had gone for a run, swam in the sea, accepted a cup of tea from a couple on the beach and been kind to a young girl who was stranded on the beach in the pouring rain. And yes, it rained- so much that Andy couldn’t even see the cliffs opposite.

As Andy picked me up there was no sign that it had even rained, the clouds had gone and the sun was out for our wedding day.

We headed off to Villa Toscana, a stunning, breath taking villa secluded in the mountains above Whitianga and Mercury Bay. For anyone interested Mercury Bay was the place that Captain Cook first properly landed and met locals (without accidentally killing them). We only had 45 minutes to get ready before Mark, Gordon and Diana arrived so Andy went off to have a shower and I wandered around the villa stunned by how amazing it was! Before I knew it Mark and the rest of the gang arrived and I finished getting ready.

I was very impressed with Andy that even though we had been dragging my wedding dress around for the previous 3 weeks, he hadn’t looked and resisted the temptation to look. I had been trying to throw him off the scent by pretending to worry about strap marks and creases but I will never forget how he looked at me when I appeared from our bedroom.

We had a few photos around the Villa, then headed off with Gordon and Diana to Lonely Bay, a winding road around the bay for about an hour. We were expecting a few people on the beach but when we arrived at the top of the path to the beach there were many cars and we started wondering how busy the beach would be. As the path opened up onto the beach people soon realised what we were there to do and as we picked our spot on a rock by the waterside our spectators gave us space (as the ceremony progressed we soon forgot they were there until a little applause broke out as we kissed, lovely).

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We stood on our rock and Gordon kicked things off, as it was just the two of us we had worried that we would pick some readings and words and when the day came he would just be reading them back to us, so Gordon had kindly suggested he write the ceremony and that it would be a surprise to us, it was beautiful, we wouldn’t have picked anything better. We’ll tell you more when we get home.

Mark took us off around the beach for a little photo shoot, we wandered around as people congratulated us. We had great fun with Mark and can’t wait to see the photos!

Next it was off back to Villa Toscana for our Wedding Breakfast, a feast of sea food as follows:

  1. Avocado and Tuna on Ciabatta
  2. Shrimp Cocktail
  3. Whitebait with toast
  4. Tomato pasta with a different kind of fish
  5. Crayfish with Tomato salad
  6. Panna cotta with Strawberries
  7. and a strong Italian Coffee

All fantastic! Lovely, lovely food, a huge thank you to Giorgio and Margherita, not just for the food but their hospitality over that last few days at Villa Toscana.

And then off to bed…

We have a few photos here while we are waiting for Marks.

Mr and Mrs Bateman

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, 5th January 2010 |  by  |  Wedding  |  1 Comment  |  Share

We’d left Wellington to head to New Plymouth for new year to spend it with friends.  We stayed with Andy and Midla in their lovely new home, very jealous of Andys kitchen and pop up extractor fan!  We headed to Butlers to see Supergroove and bring in the new year, in shorts and flip flops, quite a change from the UK.  Thanks to Midla for the late night snacks and hospitality!  Sorry you weren’t with us Jo but glad you had fun with the Milking 🙂

So what else have we done since then? Well we headed out of New Plymouth after lunch with Jo in her lovely house (they all have lovely houses) and on to Waitomo for an over night stop and swim in a lovely little campsite before continuing to National Park.  We went for a walk through the hills, mountains and volcanic scenery (photos to follow) to see a waterfall flowing over a cooled lava flow, very cool.

We spent a couple days in Taupo, watching the bungie jumping and swimming in the lake.

But most importantly, we’ve come back to Auckland ready for 8:30 this morning to queue up on the 6th floor of the AA building to collect our marriage licence! Thats right, as well as Cars, Transport, Insurance, they also seem to do Births, Deaths and Marriages.

We’re staying in the SkyCity hotel which is joined to the Auckland Sky Tower, the pool on the roof looks right up at it, and while up the tower this evening you can see the tiny people swimming.

Tomorrow we’re heading off into the Coromandel to explore a part of New Zealand we’ve never been to and of course, get married.

So we’re all ready for Friday, clothes ironed, documents collated, accommodation booked and weather is looking good!

We arrived on four wheels

Wednesday, 30th December 2009 |  by  |  Wedding  |  No Comments  |  Share

We pulled up to the traffic lights as we entered Wellington, “oh look a girl on a unicycle is crossing the road”.

Earlier that day we’d left Taupo and our spot in happy valley (between huka corner and lusty flats), with a little stop off to walk up to Huka water falls and the hot water stream (which was like bath water!). The journey had been spectacular coming through National Park and ‘Mount Doom’ which was covered in snow.

We entered the City of Wellington looking for our hotel, thats right, a hotel! With king bed and breakfast included, sometimes I spoil Becky.  It was a very quiet evening being the first sunday after christmas, I’d left Becky in the hotel to have a bath and went in search for  an open shop.  Sadly I came back empty handed so we had a little snack and went out to find a restaurant, what we did find was a couple more unicyclists, obviously a popular sport in Wellington.

Our first nights sleep in a nice hotel and fell asleep watching some christmas movies. Lovely.

I had woken early to move our car, picked up Becky for our breakfast buffet before leaving to explore Wellington.  We did a bit of shopping before walking down to the water front for some lunch and to see the Len Lye Water Whirler, the sister to the Len Lye Wind Wand.  But then came more unicyclists headed down towards the TSB arena, intrigued we followed but before we got to the arena a precession of 640 more came around the corner and along the harbour.  We soon realised this was the unicycling world championships, we waited for the British contingent to pass and followed them into the civic quarter to watch their acrobatics and opening ceremony with traditional Maori welcome.

Obviously that was the highlight but we did also visit the Te Papa museum.  When we were here in Feb 07 the big news was that Te Papa was about take possession of a colossus squid so obviously we had to go visit the half tonne creature that is now on display.

Other highlights since then have been Waiohine Gorge where Becky proudly walked across the 100 metre long, 100 metre high rope bridge(!) and the ridiculous road through the mountains out of Wellington, sadly no photos as Becky refused to let go of the dashboard.

Off to New Plymouth now to spend new year with Midla and Jo on the beach!

Christmas time down under

Saturday, 26th December 2009 |  by  |  Wedding  |  1 Comment  |  Share

So where did we leave you? Christmas eve, well we checked in to Auckland Central Backpackers after getting the airbus into the city. We mat an excitable/drunk guy called Dylan who was desperate for us to come to his party on a boat (right up until a french girl caught his attention). I went straight to bed and sent Andy to go find provisions before the shops closed for Christmas. That was it really for the 24th, sleeping after our flight, I did wake up long enough to enjoy the Dominos pizza Andy brought to our room, a large Ham and Pineapple and only £3.50!

Christmas Day!

We were up bright and early ready to go, it may have been the excitement of Christmas, it just may have been jet lag.

We left the hostel at 10, day bags packed and ready to explore Auckland. The sun was already beating down without a cloud in the sky. Our main goal for the day was to walk to Mt Eden, climb to the top and sit and have some lunch. As always Andy launched off at speed and come 11:20 we were sat at the top admiring the stunning view of the city, Andy was plotting a route to the next Volcano along suggesting ‘we could get there by 1’.

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A little after 1, we were sat on a bench on the side of the other volcano (that’s 2 of the 48 already today!). It was a pleasant walk leading through the shiny shopping district of Newmarket, sadly all closed up, it is Christmas day after all.

Dear readers, you may think this is enough for one day and we could walk back to the hostel. However during lunch while admiring the new view from the new volcano, Andy had concocted a new plan with the words ‘there’s a beach down there, we could get there by 3’. We never got there, while navigating through the mangrove swamp, I suggested ‘this’ll do’.

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We were back at the hostel by 5 after using the Auckland sky tower to re-orientate our selves, conveniently situated next to Auckland Central Backpackers.

After a speedy doze (from exhaustion!) we got dressed up to go out for our Christmas dinner that Andy had secretly booked at the Orbit restaurant on the top of the 348m sky tower. The tables and chairs gently moved round so that we could see the whole of Auckland as it turned to nightfall and the lights came on to illuminate the city. The food, view and company were brilliant!


To Start:
San Danielle Ham with thyme roasted pumpkin, rocket, shaved parmesan cheese and vincotto for Becky
Hot Smoked Akaroa Salmon with raw fennel salad, horseradish and potato, summer peas and board beans, honey mustard vinaigrette for Andy

Becky had Turkey Ballottine with sage and apricot stuffing, pepperonata, confit kumara, butter broccolini and cranberry compote. And for Andy Angus Pure Beef Fillet with grain mustard whipped potato, buttered asparagus, sundried tomato tapenade and jus

Traditional Christmas Pudding: cranberry foam, poached figs, eggnog ice cream and glogg jelly
Chocolate and Hazelnut Bavarois: served with bailey ice cream, espresso sauce and hand made macaroon

One thing we did notice during dinner was the Christmas music, it’s all songs about snow.

And quickly boxing day

We packed up and headed out to pick up our hire car, already affectionately named Burt which we felt fitted well with the brown interior and cassette player, neither of us had driven an automatic before but how hard can it be? well 20km in and Andy’s still trying to find the clutch at every set of lights!

We headed out of the city to Mission Bay for lunch and a paddle on the beach. We’re now 350km south in Taupo, we’ve had a swim, cooked some food and retired to our tent.

Tomorrow? Well we think we’re going to go for a swim in the lake, and then head off to Wellington, but we’ll let you know in another installment!

Till the next time!

Andy and Becky
(Written from the comfort of our tent)

In Transit to Auckland

Thursday, 24th December 2009 |  by  |  Wedding  |  3 Comments  |  Share

The 22nd of December was a long day for us, worrying about the weather, whether heathrow would be closing, entertaining our families and waiting, lots of waiting for our 2200 hours flight from Heathrow.

We landed in Kuala Lumpar after 12 hours of turbulence with Becky a little green, the 3 hour break before our connection to Auckland was very welcome. We visited the same shops as we had 3 years ago with everything being very familiar, not least the ‘multi-cultrual toilet experience’.  A new addition is the ‘mini’ forrest penned off in the middle of the airport, we went for a ‘mini’ walk through in the 30 degree rain.

The second 10 hour flight was no more enjoyable with more turbulence and the same meal we had previously eaten 3 times already. Five hours in and realising we weren’t even half way (the time slowed greatly when Becky broke her little telly and could only watch Hannah Montana: The Movie), I started to have doubts about how good an idea this was, of course those doubts disappeared quickly as we prepared to land in Auckland.

Stepping off the plane into the 22 degree heat with the blue skies reflecting off the sea it was of course worth it.  We sat in arrivals and listened to the carol singers while our tent was off being fumigated.

It’s good to be back.

Merry Christmas from New Zealand.

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You can see our photos as they appear on flickr.com/andybateman

How we got engaged in Snowdonia

Friday, 2nd January 2009 |  by  |  Wales, Wedding  |  2 Comments  |  Share

We arrived at the lay by sometime after 7pm, it was dark and very cold, we were still some distance from Ty Capel. Being in our new car for its first outing we were hesitant to leave it so far from where we were staying, but we collected our bags regardless and headed up the path into the darkness of the woods. After half an hour or so of walking (stumbling) in the dark we finally found it, in the dark, all on its own.

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Ty Capel is an old chapel in Snowdonia, Wales. As well as a Chapel it was also used as a school and but now owned and run by the Landmark Trust as a little holiday home for anyone willing to try and find it. I’d booked it as a surprise for Becky, for the new year of 2009.

We found the key, let ourselves in, lit the fire and started to explore. Ty Capel is a little building with one large room acting as the lounge and dining room with the beds up on a mezzanine floor, under the ‘bed room’ are the kitchen and a lovely little bathroom.

The weekend was spent wrapping up warm and venturing outside for little walks, but soon returning to the house to sit in front of the fire and defrost.

On the Saturday night we had cooked the dinner we’d bought in Betws-y-Coed earlier that day, stacked the fire with wood and sat down to play some games. We hadn’t brought many with us so the game soon turned to hangman.

I’d gone for something tricky with a sentence made up of 4 letters, then 3, then 5 and finally 2 more, I filled in the final question mark to make it a little easier. While getting desperately close to loosing, and me nervous as anything, Becky finally hit upon what it was, with ‘Will you marry me?’.

After some excitable screeching Becky happily agreed as I popped the engagement ring I’d been carrying around for months onto her finger.

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You can see some more photos on flickr.