The transition from America to New Zealand is incredibly easy. Besides the driving everything else translates quite easily. Most of our time in Auckland was spent walking the streets, Queens St. in particular. It is where the shopping and dining was for the most part. The trek from our hotel to the wharf (on Queen Street) was all downhill which meant quite a climb coming back and usually in the rain. If I were to advise someone on the best time of year to come to New Zealand it would be come in September/October. That is spring for both islands. With that said, the temperatures have just slightly cold vs the 120 degrees in Phoenix. The rain is a good tradeoff.
The other great street was Parnell. Though it had limited shopping, there were a lot of delicious boutique restaurants which were our favorite with one exception. There was a chain coffee shop which ended up having the… BEST HOT CHOCOLATE! On our way to Keri Keri we found one and of course we had to stop!
This picture below was in the first Coffee Club we went to. I fell in love with it. It reminded me of my Mom. She has quite a collection of tea pots (that we can’t seem to talk your into giving away). It was beautiful. Probably 30×40.
Look Ben Hunt…I found a really big glass to match your gallon soda jug!
Now off to Keri Keri for 6 weeks…
We found this jewel of a restaurant just a few days before we left…this is both fortunate and unfortunate. I ate a lot of lemon/sugar crepes…oh and some hot chocolate. I am definitely not losing weight but when in Auckland…
Such a cute little restaurant…
Cute little kitchen just up the cute little stairs.
In New Zealand they always serve pink and white marshmellows. I must have eaten the proof but it has been true every time I have ordered. I’m revealing too much about my eating habits on this blog.
And what a welcome it was! I think every member of the ward made their way over to greet us! They seemed quite delighted to have visitors. The testimonies were full of stories, one that took 15 minutes and had us all completely confused over his point. Other than that it was fun to sing hymns with the Saints and to feel so quickly a part of our world-wide family. The ward was made up of 95% Mauries. I think that’s how you spell it?!
We decided to break our fast by going to the wharf and finding a great seafood restaurant called Oyster Bar. We had…steak. In the middle of our dinner people around us started getting very excited about a man with a large trophy coming into the restaurant. When we asked why it was such a big deal they were shocked that we did not recognized the trophy as it was the “American Cup”! Well, that didn’t do me much good. What was the American Cup and what sport did it represent?! Sailing. New Zealand won it back from the Americans just a few days ago and this guy (remember we were on the wharf) walks in with the trophy!!! People were getting their pictures holding it so we jumped in. Bob wanted to take the picture and our waitress was holding the trophy so I just jumped in before the opportunity passed pretending I understood the magnitude of the moment! The one nagging thing for me was why was this guy carrying it around the wharf?!
Look closely at the top of both trophies…not the same? I’m thinking we just got duped.
Note to self. When arriving early on an international flight try to arrive in the afternoon when your room is ready! We arrived at the Langham only to have to kill time for 3 hours. Bob found a couch in a hidden corner of the convention center to sleep. I was in that half buzzing/half exhausted state and so I did a little catching up and checking in. It was hardly a trial but man was I grateful for a shower and a bed! The good news is that the hotel is lovely. I snapped my first NZ photo of this. I think I want one…
After a long daytime nap we looked out our window to find this quaint little restaurant and decided to give it a try. The decor, ambiance and food did not disappoint. It was called “Number 5”.
I do not have pictures of our crazy two days in Arizona as we prepared for our trip to New Zealand because pictures of me stressed are not very pretty! We were in crisis mode over details of getting our home ready to leave again. We put it on the market to sell just to test the waters while we are gone. When we flew back from SLC we found that the 120 degree days just the week before had done some real damage to our plants. Lots of things to resolve in a very small amount of time before our flight Tuesday night. I was actually relieved to be on a the 14 hour flight to New Zealand. At that point, there was nothing more we could do but find a comfortable way to sleep! It was a special moment when we caught our first sight of Auckland in the early morning hours right before we landed.
I quick diversion from our sabbatical found us in Salt Lake City at the “Field Trip” Kent Lyons had organized for a team of 30 developers and downtown enthusiasts for downtown Mesa redevelopment planning. After two days of conversation led by a facilitator and a tour of key developments in downtown SLC we took the team Saturday night to the MCO concert in the Tabernacle. See one of the responses below…
But the best part was spending our Sunday with our Utah family. Henry was very upset about something so I held him to comfort him only to have him quickly fall asleep. I dare not move as to not lose this precious moment. Then there was princess Mina making calls and breaking into spontaneous dance. Quite a fashion diva. It was also the first time since Charlie’s birth that we were able to see him. He is an angel little boy with big beautiful eyes like his Momma and Grandpa.
Great conversation and seeing our family made the next step to New Zealand for three months easier to anticipate. It will be hard to have so much water between us and our family but here’s to a new adventure and time to “sharpen the saw” for Bob and I. I hope we come back with a new and joyful perspective.