Summer Days On The Beach

Developed over the course of four years, this post has evolved from notes hastily penned during my peaceful moments at the bach each summer. It’s a contribution to the 32-Bit Cafe Holidays 2023 Event, delving into our precious holiday traditions.

Down here in Aotearoa, our festive season coincides with summer, marking a unique celebration of Christmas and the New Year amidst sun-drenched days. These traditions offer a different charm compared to the wintry festivities of the northern hemisphere.

For the past five summers, Onetangi Beach on Waiheke Island has been our go-to spot for the holidays. Initially a familiar place for my wife, whose childhood memories were made here, it quickly became our own tradition. Yet, as life shifted gears and little feet joined our adventures, our annual Waiheke escapades underwent a delightful transformation. Here’s a glimpse of how our summer has evolved with the arrival of our kids.

A car parked under a large fence at the end of a long grass driveway
The ancient Pohutukawa tree

Then: The Relaxed Rhythm

Waking up past the alarm. Before, taking it easy was our thing. Rising lazily with the sun was part of our routine.

Tomato on toast for breakfast. Simple, carefree mornings where a basic yet satisfying breakfast was all we needed.

Lounging under an ancient Pohutukawa, lost in a book. Hours slipped by as we soaked up the summer sun, engrossed in captivating stories.

Visiting wineries, platters for lunch. The indulgence of wine tasting and leisurely lunches were our grown-up delight, we had nowhere else to be and were entertained by each others company.

Reading in peace until sleep took over. Ending the day peacefully, lost in the pages of another book until falling asleep on the couch.

Now: Embracing the Energy

Waking up at the crack of dawn. With kids, the day begins early, full of their infectious enthusiasm for the day and what it holds.

A bustling breakfast scene. Our mornings are busy with Weetbix, berries, toast, bacon, eggs and juice—fuel for day ahead.

Building sandcastles, swimming in waves. The joy of creation and laughter fills the beach, even as our castles meet their demise as the toddlers foot comes crashing down upon the helpless village.

Family time under the Pohutukawa. Hours spent playing games and enjoying shared moments under the welcoming shade from the summer sun.

Escaping for adult moments. Brief breaks for wine and beer tastings up the road, leaving the kids in trusted care for a while.

Exploring new adventures with the kids. From butterfly gardens and waterfalls to impromptu bucket baths, every moment is an adventure.

Tucking the kids in with bedtime stories. The day ends with cozy tales, wrapping up an eventful day as the kids drift into dreamland.

The Evolution of Tradition

Our summers on Waiheke have seen a shift—from serene, laid-back days to vibrant, energetic adventures with our children and family. While the landscape and activities may have changed, the essence remains: creating unforgettable memories in this beloved haven. It’s a journey we continue to embrace, cherishing both the past and the present, making each summer on Waiheke uniquely special.

What’s your experience with family traditions over the festive season or summer getaways? Let me know!

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