Travels: Gardens, wine, artists and a peek inside the lives (and homes) of friends made along the way

The best part of traveling (for me) is having a chance to see where people live and what their daily lives are like. And along the way, meeting folks who give you a unique perspective about where you are.  And I am always looking for ideas that I can  bring back home.

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Photo by Elise Hoogsteden-Roberts.

So, when I took a train from the Wellington Railway station on a warm, sunny New Zealand morning, I knew that my day of visiting gardens and studios of local artists (and lunch at a winery) in the beautiful Wairarapa region, would be another adventure. A chance to peak into the lives of some talented artists and to take in the regions's beautiful gardens.

Elise Hoogsteden-Roberts, a photographer and artist from the Wairarapa area, shot this photo (above) that summed up my thoughts about that day.  Like this porch with New Zealand summer fruits, it was just a place that you wanted to be. 

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Photo by Elise Hoogsteden-Roberts.

As an artist, Elise makes fun and fantastic jewelry that reflect the region. Fruit Salad Gal is the perfect name for her business because...well, click here and you will see what makes her craft so unique.  Her work is fun and popular and she ships to many Americans who return home and decide that they must have one of these yummy treats as a reminder of their visit.  Fortunately, she has realized that she has something that visitors want and if you go to her Facebook page, you will see a great selection of photos of her work.   Photo by Elise Hoogsteden-Roberts.

After gallery tours with resident and perfect guide, Julie Kidd, meeting artists at their studios and seeing their homes, walking through beautiful gardens,  the day ended with a fabulous lunch and tour of Gladstone Vineyard. Salmon caught that morning, asparagus picked from the garden and wine from the Vineyard. I could have stayed there forever. 

New Zealand just gets better and better.

Sweet memories of a day in the Wairarapa...

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Beautiful gardens.

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Art studio.

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Creations.

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Delicious wine.

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Down the garden path.

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Another new friend from a day in the Wairarapa