Friday, June 30, 2017

How to have the perfect Sunday

Ever since our dream became reality that we are leaving the city where we live for a small town 5+ hours away, we have turned into tourists.  Places we planned on going to ‘one day’ suddenly became more urgent.  So it turned out that one sunny Sunday we played tourists in our own town.

We parked our car in the city and went for a walk.  I love walking around the city for a stroll/light exercise; it almost feels like I don’t live there and I see everything with new eyes.

We continued on to a gorgeous and fancy suburb, Parnell, and called into a French weekend market at a beautiful store called La Cigale.  Cigale is the French word for the cicada insect, which is the official symbol of Provence apparently.

I don’t know if you get cicadas where you live, but they are plentiful in New Zealand, and particularly Hawke’s Bay, where we are moving to.  On a hot summer’s day the noise of all the cicadas chirping can almost be deafening.  Because they seem to do it more in summer (they do chirp in winter but not as much, and it’s almost a melancholy sound at that time of year), cicadas always remind me of hot, dry summer days.

I took lots of photos of the French market so you could visit with me too.  The people who started La Cigale years ago sound really nice, and they travel to France often to stock their store with brocante, French soaps, clothing, cookware, linen sprays and seemingly everything French.  Later on they opened a café too.  It’s busy and bustling and very French.  Sadly everything is fully gluten so a celiac like me can only look and sniff, but when I used to eat baguettes and croissants (especially those coffee custard filled croissants covered in toasted almonds, so good!) I was in heaven.  And there is live French music playing too.

If you ever find yourself in Auckland on a Saturday or Sunday, promise me you'll go to the La Cigale French Market which is open until 1pm (website here).  It has such a jovial and chic atmosphere and is full of joie de vivre.  The store is open seven days a week and it’s gorgeous.  I always feel inspired when I visit and it’s a must-see for visitors (even non-Francophiles).  This is not a paid advertisement, I am just a fan :)

After that, we carried on walking through Parnell, admiring the tiny and expensive cottages and treated ourselves to a café lunch (isn’t that always part of an exercise stroll?).  I had an omelette and my happy husband had mince on toast with an egg on top.  Good protein meals to get us through until dinner.  The café was called Verve if you think our lunches sounded good (they were delicious and plentiful).

Once we had rolled out of the café our long hike back to the car didn’t appeal that much, but needs must so we walked and talked and before we knew it we were back at our car.

According to my Fitbit we did more than 18,000 steps that day.  That's proper tourist-style walking!

Do you have tourist attractions or lovely places in your town that you've never gotten to?  Let me know your favourite or the first one that pops into mind, and, if you're game, let me know when you plan to make it an outing.  Go on, I dare you.

Have a lovely weekend and I hope these photos have left you dreaming of France :)


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