The Adventure Begins

We’re here. In coats and boots and cozy old beanies, being consumed with beauty difficult to describe. You guys, welcome to Coromandel.






This place feels like the smell of apple pie baking in a warm kitchen. Lush green hills are dappled with wildflowers and they envelop this cozy town like a protective embrace. Mist spills from the sky like cotton candy and it makes you want to grab a quilt, cradle a hot cup of tea and sit on the porch just taking it all in. It’s peaceful here. It’s slow. Painters and potters and sculptors and weavers are tucked away in little wooden cottages, sprinkled throughout the landscape’s rolling hills like a thrown handful of glitter and I feel a bit like I could be in The Hobbit. It’s quaint and a bit mystical and really quite breath-taking. There were a lot of wow’s and oh my god’s when we first arrived here.



_MG_9355Caitlin’s art studio

Speaking of arriving here, I don’t mean to be dramatic but it was a little like hell. It started off well. A little jammied girl and two excited parents were celebrating our first overseas trip as a family. Bags were packed, photos were taken, smiles were given.





And then, as we boarded the plane my heart sank a little. We were placed next to a family nobody wants to be stuck next to. Feral, snotty-nosed, screaming kids and parents who looked too exhausted, or stoned – I’m not sure which – to do anything about it. The entire flight felt as though some really mean person was rubbing sandpaper directly across my eye balls and eventually I did what I swear I would NEVER do to fellow parents. After hours of chair-kicking, whining, and hysterical screaming, to which the parents responded with apathetic silence, I turned around and shot them a look. It was a scary look. One that might have said Holy Sweet Mother of Jesus, DO SOMETHING. Shut your kid up right now and if you can’t AT LEAST PRETEND TO.

They stared back, in a blank way, oblivious to the mayhem. Oblivious to the rest of the back-half of the plane shooting them glances too. I felt sorry for them, just for a little bit, and then one of their kids practically blew my ear drum out with his high-pitched wailing. Still, the blank stares remained and I officially concluded that I despised these parents and I despised their boxcar children (before they met their grandfather) for poisoning this very confined social space my child was supposed to be sleeping in. 


We’re here now and it’s beautiful and I get to spend all my days with this person.



Friends, may I officially introduce you to Caitlin. Caitlin is as warm and cozy as a pair of faded old Levi’s. She has a great big heart and she loves on Ella like she’s her own, which makes me feel really happy inside.









And this is Caitlin’s boyfriend, Matt.



Matt is a mad keen cook and I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so well as I have in the last three days. He marinades things. He makes condiments from scratch to go with things. He plans what we’re going to eat for the next meal when we’re barely finished our current one. It’s miraculous, really, that people like this exist in the world. I’m stunned, and very inspired. I’m going to ask him to write out some recipes for me, which we all know will probably just sit in the cupboard with the intention to be cooked like Matt cooks them, but still. Inspired, I am.


Caitlin and Matt’s house is so beautiful it’s like I’m dreaming. Nestled among creeks and rainforest and veggie gardens and cute art studio sheds, there are chickens and big verandahs which wrap around their cozy shack and fire places and all sorts of beauty I can’t even begin to list.













Our days have had the perfect balance of in and out, and for every seed planted and cup of tea drunk, we’ve gotten about exploring this beautiful place, its beautiful puddles and its most beautiful coffee.



















Joel will be joining us tomorrow – he’s been at an acupuncture course in Auckland. We’re excited for him to be with us again to explore this beautiful place together.

That’s all for now – we’re off to collect some chicken eggs!

Hope you’re all having a fab weekend. See you back here soon.


4 Responses to “The Adventure Begins”

  1. Mary Ross

    Hi Rachel! I can’t believe that of all days, today was the day I chose to open your blog! I haven’t read it for a while (thought I’ve saved them for a rainy day!) I actually thought OMG she can’t be having the baby yet (“the adventure begins”) and what do I find? The most beautiful photos and story of your visit with our beautiful friend Caitlin in Coromandel! What are the chances?? My husband Don has known Caitlin all her life and all her family as well. I have known them for the last 30 years too! And in March last year we visited Caitlin and met Matt and his parents and got to experience just a tiny bit of the idyllic lifestyle they have there. They were in the early stages of building the house around the bach. What a joy to see those beautiful photos – Caitlin’s beaming (and at the same time serene) smile, her beautiful heart tiles, a very relaxed Matt and your gorgeous little Ella in the lush green surrounds!

    Enjoy every moment of your stay, give a big hug to Caitlin and Matt from both of us and say hi to Matt’s parents. Have you been on the train yet? Now that is one amazing experience! Thanks for the memories!
    Mary (Ross)

    • The Red Tent

      Hey Mary,
      So nice to get this message from you and pass it on to Caitlin and Matt! I can’t believe of all days, that was the day you decided to check in on the blog!
      We are having such an amazing time here. We went on the train yesterday and have done lots of exploring and cooking and gardening (and eating!). Caitlin was so happy when I read your message out to her and she says hi back! Their house would be so different to you now – they still don’t have electricity but everything else is taking heaps of shape. They are so proud and excited of it and always talk about new ideas they are having for it. It’s a pretty amazing house! I’ll keep taking photos and post another blog soon.
      Have a lovely day!

  2. Taryn

    Oh New Zealand! We went in February, and I pretty much had to be dragged onto the plane when it was time to leave. I would move there in a heartbeat! Glad you’re enjoying it.
    p.s. I love Ella’s boots!

    • The Red Tent

      How amazing is it? We’ve only got 2 days left and I’m fighting the urge to get irrationally sad. It’s just such a spectacular place.


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