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 :)

Fiona


26 comments:

  1. I am chuckling--the days I get the most steps on my FitBit are when I am doing what you did, being a tourist in my own town, and not when I set off on an hourlong walk/jog. I think visiting antiques markets must be the chicest and certainly most enjoyable way to get in a lot of steps.
    The cigales sing when the temperature gets above 25 C or so. That means they are quiet at night but really loud during the afternoon (but I LOVE the sound).
    Your market is beautiful, BTW.

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    1. I didn't know that about cicadas, that will be why!

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  2. What a market! Small items like French soap and linen spray transport me to France (in my mind). My favourite area to browse in Vancouver is the South Granville area where there are art galleries and small décor shops. I hope to explore some of our more interesting areas this summer. I love cicadas.

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    1. Soap is my 'thing' - I love it! I used to use French soaps exclusively, one of those huge bars would last me ages.

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  3. That market looks beautiful and your lunch sounds delicious! I was smiling as I read it because we have lived in this location for 10 years and are moving/downsizing next month...and just a few miles away is a Shaker Cloister that is preserved from the 1700's - and we have never been there. We say everytime we see the sign "we need to go there before me move"! Enjoy this time of transitions in your life !

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    1. How funny Ann, you definitely need to go - this post is a sign :)

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  4. Those baby heads are freaking me out! Have a great weekend!

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    1. Aren't they angels, cupids, cherubs, those sorts of things? Baby heads sounds much creepier!

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  5. How I wish we had something like Cigale where we live. What a lovely place to visit. Here in Central NY, we have an area which is known for antique shopping. It is a 10 mile stretch of road with antique shop after shop. In August, they host a huge antique fair and I've never been. If I am here, I just might make it a day. But if I miss the fair, I may try a September trip to visit the shops, have a lunch and check out the changing leaves. Thank you for reminding me to be a visitor in my own hometown.

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    1. Sounds like a lovely place, Kristien :)

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  6. Tourist destinations in my area mostly involve all things Hollywood. The walk of fame, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood sign (we live right by it), Griffith Observatory, ... It's too bad I'm not interested in any of it, although I've been to all those places in the past. Sorry, I'm just so ready to move to somewhere much quieter! Yesterday though we went to Desconso Gardens and it was beautiful, a peaceful oasis.

    D.

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    1. Exactly, finding what suits you. I didn't rush to do the usual Auckland attractions, just what I think I might miss when we move. The gardens sound delightful.

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  7. Tourist things here are usually in festival form - Wine Festival, Frog - Watermelon - Peach - whatever. We used to hit them but not anymore. I loved walking through your day with you - that was nice. I did have to look up mince (ground beef) - smile!!

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    1. I think I have retired from festivals too, there are too many people for my liking. Frog festival?????

      Yes, mince is ground beef. In this particular dish it is cooked in a gravy with onions and mushrooms, that kind of thing.

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  8. Reminds me of a random utube video about being the tourist in your own life. That the tourist is out there having fun, while the rest of us are sitting on the couch watching some crappy (reality) tv show. Being a tourist in my own town, I discovered a Persian grocery store/farmer's market minutes away from me (my mother's side is Persian) and I've lived in the area for over a decade now! yikes! Another time I found an almost private beach, no obnoxious frat people, very low-key, retiree crowd.

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    1. So true! That thought will make me get off the sofa for sure. Love your finds.

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  9. Here on the eastern seaboard of the U.S., we have a 17-year cicada hoard known as "Brood X". The last time they appeared, they were so numerous that their sound was reminiscent of the mothership landing to subdue Earthlings. It was truly unearthly... and yet way cool!

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  10. A visit to the shop that transports French market so close excites imagination and inspires at the same time.
    Thank you for sharing such a lovely day.
    T.

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  11. Your French excursion sounds heavenly. Just last Sunday I took myself off to a historic home and garden here in our city. Point Ellice House and I wrote a blog post about it too! It may have been the very same Sunday that you were exploring your town! It's Canada's 150th today and there will be celebrations and fireworks tonight! 🇨🇦

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    1. Happy 150th birthday to your country, Leslie!

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  12. Fiona, I'm still here - reading and enjoying your posts but have been unable to leave any comment until now. Lara :)

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  13. What a wonderful place to visit, Fiona!
    Margaret P

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Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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