This week’s small pleasures #238

This week’s small pleasures should be subtitled ‘the Auckland edition’ because the focus this week is our weekend trip to Auckland. We flew up on Saturday morning, our flight only 20 minutes late, and took the bus from the airport to town. After lunch, we stopped off and did a little shopping – well, I could not resist a sale at COS! We stayed at the same place we did last time we were in Auckland (2019!), Hotel DeBrett, in the city centre. Below you can see parts of the hotel – the courtyard and lounge – and my shopping bag.

On Saturday evening we ate at Homeland as I wrote about in my previous post, and which was an absolute delight. Sunday was Karl’s birthday, and we headed over on the ferry to Devonport. The weather turned out to be lovely for most of the day, not what the forecast had predicted, and we were able to enjoy blue skies, sunshine and warm temperatures. Below you can see us getting on the ferry, getting off the ferry, and looking at part of the beach when we got to the other side.

After popping into the lovely second hand book shop, where I picked up two books, we took a lovely walk along the waterfront, surprised at just how warm it was (do remember it is winter here). Below you can see part of the wonderful view Karl on the beach and a small sail boat lying in the water. The featured image at the top of the post was also taken at this time, looking towards the city centre.

At the end of our walk, we found the Torpedo Bay Navy Museum, the national museum of the Royal New Zealand Navy. The museum opened in 2010, and is housed in the original 1896 buildings on that site. There are a wide range of exhibits and photographs, and a room of remembrance for those who gave their lives. If you are interested in military history (which my husband is) it is definitely worth a visit.

As we headed back to the town centre for lunch, we could see the grey clouds gathering over the city centre across the water. It was quite a dramatic sight, and we were lucky to be able to head indoors before the rain. It was a lovely morning trip, and we returned to Auckland where the rain had moved on, and walked about for a while before returning to the hotel.

No Small Pleasures post would be complete without food….so below we have the eggs Benedict I had for Sunday breakfast, substantial cheese and ham toasted sandwiches for lunch (Karl had his birthday wish of a burger and beer), and the pear and walnut tart we had for dessert on Sunday evening in the hotel restaurant.

We had a great, if short, weekend trip, flying back on Monday to a very wet Wellington. So those were my small pleasures this week – what were yours? As usual, I like to feature other bloggers who have made me smile, made me think or generally shared some interesting aspects of their lives.

  • Laurie over at Notes from the Hinterland captures a hummingbird.
  • Carol Ann of Fashioned for Joy enjoys so many delights, including friendship and sport…and of course, a cicada!
  • Regular readers know just how much I love to look at vegetables, so Ju Lyn’s pumpkin over at Touring My Backyard certainly caught my eye!
  • Little Pieces of Me enjoys a new coffee shop amongst other things.
  • Natalie the Explorer as always, brings the city she lives in, Toronto, to life. So interesting – do stop by.
  • I agree with Deb over at Deb’s World – fun is so important!
  • Trent enjoys coffee in Cape Cod
  • And like Sanch Writes had a great week, getting over her second Covid vaccine and meeting friends and getting cat cuddles.

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram@thistleandkiwis.  As for Twitter….am totally inactive these days.  If you want to get in touch, email me on


  1. Happy birthday to Karl…. and, as others have said, what a lovely place to visit! We went to Auckland in Nov/Dec 2019 (how lucky we did….and how innocent we were about what was ahead, as the borders closed early in 2020.) We really enjoyed Auckland and spent a lovely day in Devonport, and loved the bookshop there, we must have missed the second one.
    The food is always fresh and interesting in New Zealand, such a lovely place to live or visit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah the bookshop we went to sells second-hand books 🙂 Oh you were lucky to visit in 2019! Hope we can both hop over the ditch without problems soon – still cautious here.


      1. Yes, there are still outbreaks in NSW and Victoria…I hope by mid next year things will be better, our vaccine rollout is not great and hopefully will improve by next year.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. A delightful read. This sounds like an excellent weekend break and a great way to celebrate Karl’s birthday. I enjoy secondhand bookshops and your food choices look delicious.

    Liked by 1 person

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