Icecream in a cone and Sunday afternoon drives go together like hokey and pokey, accelerator and brake, sea and salt.
I was all set to burst through the city limits during my mini-break in August, which turned out to be the start of lockdown.
But last Sunday, I was determined to visit Tangimoana. I'd never been there before - no specific reason, I just hadn't. But I felt embarrassed by my lack of drive.
My first surprise was you didn't just keep going along Campion Rd until you could see the sea. Oh no, there was a left turn and another left turn, then a dune to negotiate.
And it was more river than sea. "What river is that," I asked my incredulous friend. The Rangitīkei, she replied. I'd never given a second thought to where that mighty river found its end.
The surprises kept coming. Tangimoana's surrounds are sheep country, the settlement is not at the beach and the settlement is much bigger than I expected.
The vastness of the sea has inspired 1000 poets and more. The driftwood collection at Tangi would make 1000m of garden edging, the shells enough for 1000 seaside vendors.
We could just make out Kapīti and, despite the ever-present cloud, the soft serve-topped Ruahine Range looked majestic.
Whitebaiters had their nets in the river and I nosily and foolishly looked in the bucket of one of them. Sperm. With eyes. Moving. Yuck, double scoop yuck. The whitebaiter said it beat mowing the lawns.
With the seagulls circling, the wind biting and the sand seeking solace in human crevices it should never find, we take our leave.
There's nothing cookie-cutter about the settlement's houses, like you often see in new Palmerston North developments. They are like 100s and 1000s, gumdrops, chocolate hail and jelly tips scattered randomly.
Fish of the non-wiggly kind abound as a motif, dead macrocarpa trees create a ghostly fence, a chicken doesn't cross the road but wanders the berm. Do chickens like icecream?
Tangimoana might mean weeping sea but on Sunday it was a circuit breaker, a time to recharge my brain cells.
I'd had the crunch of the cone at the beach, the goody gumdrops at the sole dairy in the settlement and, just by chance, on the way home I got my chocolate and then some.
I'd seen photos of Pukemarama, the McKelvie homestead, but they don't do the wooden villa justice, primarily due to its elevation. It was constructed in 1900 for James McKelvie by Whanganui firm Russell and Bignell.
My mouth was working overtime in awe at the symmetry and the verandas and I'd long finished my icecream.
Next on my city-limits busting bucket list is Scotts Ferry.