Sushi & Superheroes | New Year’s Eve in New Zealand

eating ice cream at the beach

sushi rolls for dinner

I love New Year’s Eve.  Yes, I am one of the minority that looks forward to December 31st.  Why do I love it?  Because I PLAN for it to be good.  That’s all it takes to have a half decent time, I promise.

New Year’s Eve 2014 however, was to be a slightly less planned affair.  Being in New Zealand at the beach house in Pauanui with my family, we had no wild night in place, just the general chilling out and lazing around that we’d become accustomed to since we arrived just before Christmas.

chopped cucumber

And whilst we had no plans to slurp champagne at midnight or pop party popper’s, my sister in law did have a plan for dinner.  Sushi.

cooked white rice

This is one of the many benefits of having a sister in law from Japan.  Kumiko knows how to make the stuff!  And she makes it look like child’s play.

placing rice on nori

Being a huge sushi lover myself, I was looking so very forward to our 2014 NYE dinner.

preparing sushi for dinner

The rice was cooked, the vegetables were chopped and the tuna and salmon were put in place.

close up of sushi roll filling

kumiko rolling sushi

And then the sushi rolling began.

kumiko made sushi

kumiko making sushi for dinner

Before I knew it, dozens of sushi rolls appeared before me, and I was checking the clock to see how much longer I’d have to wait before taste testing one!

mum and kids making sushi

Some mini vultures suddenly appeared in the kitchen.

mum and son making sushi

jemma eating sushi

And were ushered outside with their pre-dinner sushi roll.

jemma eating a sushi roll

drew and his sushi roll

Drew’s sushi roll was almost as big as him, but he had no problem taking care of that, and devouring it.

drew and his sushi roll

bbq at pauanui

Finally, the clock said ‘dinner time’ and we all sat down to tuck into our Japanese dinner.

sushi rolls for dinner

Ten minutes later there was barely a grain of rice left to be seen.  It was so delicious!  Or ‘oishii’ as they say in Japan.

batman and spiderman kite

Shortly after dinner, Batman appeared on the driveway.  Now how many of you can say they’ve experienced that on New Year’s Eve?  I’ve now hung out with Batman on the Fourth of July (Clooney! Como! What you haven’t read that blog?), and Batman on New Year’s Eve, and the smaller of the two is definitely my favourite.

Batman fighting moves

This pint-sized superhero even gave us a performance of his best moves!

boy walking in batman costume

batman flying and falling

We were then treated to him taking flight off the deck, however it seems there was some sort of malfunction and take off didn’t quite go as planned.

boy dressed in batman costume

The superhero mask came off, and Batman retired inside.

In the car with my niece

A fireworks display is put on every year for the public in Pauanui, so ten minutes before midnight struck, we clambered into the car, and made our way down to the shoreline to watch the colourful explosions.

new years eve fireworks

2015 was here!

flip flops christmas decoration

We woke to another super sunny day on January 1st, 2015.  This meant one thing.  Going to the beach.

polka dot bikini at hot water beachhot water beach and surfers

We grabbed towels and sunscreen and piled into cars bound for Hot Water Beach.  Not only is this beach stunning, it has the coolest USP a beach could ever offer.  Due to thermal activity under the sand, you can dig yourself your very own jacuzzi at low tide.  I’m not even kidding.

people digging at hot water beach

The ONLY issue is, in the height of summer you’ll arrive armed with spades, only to discover that half of New Zealand and its tourists are also there vying for their very own patch of sand to dig.

We found a few warm spots to dig up, but sadly this time, we hadn’t arrived early enough and instead just had to look on at those well dug jacuzzi’s others had made for themselves.

jemma at the beach smiling

It didn’t stop us having fun though.  I mean, hello, we were still at a beautiful beach, in the summer sunshine, what’s not to like about that?

smiling girl at beach

boy with spade at hot water beach

girl at hot water beach

aunty and niece hot water beach

We swam, dug, ran around and posed for pictures.

red bikini funny jumpshot

And then this happened! I mean is this not one of the most hilarious photos based on optical illusion?  Perhaps this is how Kim Kardashian feels when paparazzi try to snap her behind?

bikini jumpshot hot water beach

A little jump shot of course!

jemma's first jump shot

I even taught the Queen of Posers in our family how to do a jump shot and she of course passed with flying colours.

jemma digging in the sand

maddens ice cream store hahei nz

If you know anything about the dangerous exposure to the sunshine in NZ, then you’ll know you need to find shade for awhile during the day, so you don’t end up looking like a lobster by evening.

So we jumped back in our cars and made our way to the next beach town over, Hahei.  With hungry tummies, we spotted the ice cream store, Madden’s, and joined the line.

goody gum drops ice cream at hahei

I picked out my favourite, Goody Gum Drops ice cream, topped with chocolate.  It was New Year’s Day, I was celebrating!

summer at hahei beach

Hahei beach is one of the most amazing beaches you could ever set eyes on.  With a long stretch of white sand and aqua blue sea, it would be a crime not to sit on the sand to at least admire the view.  Which is exactly what we did after our ice creams.

hahei new zealand

Reluctantly leaving Hahei, we did some more tiki touring before turning the car back around bound for Pauanui.

eating ice cream at the beach

And because the sun was out, and because it was New Year’s Day and damn it I was celebrating, I stuffed my towel into a beach bag, swung past the store for a Rocky Road ice cream and enjoyed the last of the afternoon rays.  That is how to begin 2015.

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