The last weekend of our stay in New Zealand has arrived. The 8 weeks have flown by. This last weekend is going to be one of the highlights of our visit as we are going to have a family get together. This is very special as I live in Australia and Jackie and Laurence live in different parts of New Zealand so the opportunities for a get-together are few and far between.
It is Easter weekend and Tauranga has its Jazz Festival. It is also the 50th year, so a big occasion, and we are lucky to be staying with my daughter in Tauranga. The weather forecast was dismal, but, just the opposite the weather dawned brilliant and stayed that way all 3 days. My son and partner came over for the weekend.
The festival had two main venues. One was on the Esplanade with 3 stages set up along the beach front. The crowds were in a party mood and the music had them dancing or tapping their feet and swaying along to the beat. We found a table at one of the restaurants near the middle stage. It was indian and we chose a selection of curries and finger foods to nibble at. With a glass of wine and listening to a good jazz trio, it set a very mellow,relaxed mood.
Wandering back past the first stage it was a very ragey blues band “The mud cats” playing, and they were hot. The music got into our feet and we couldn’t just stand and listen. With the music, the wine and good company we just had to dance.
The second venue was at the historic, heritage village. We went there the next day, Saturday. This was more traditional jazz bands and many of the old, heritage buildings had craft and art displays with very good artifacts for sale. Paintings, bead work, pottery, photography displays, coffee shop, and all the time with the back ground sound of jazz filtering through and around the crowd. It was a happy, laid back atmosphere.
After 2 full days we went to a small intimate restaurant for our last meal together. It was an ideal way to end what had been a memorable weekend.