I left Rarotonga on Sunday evening and arrived in Auckland Monday night; the time travel to the future was thanks to the international date line.
Amber and her husband Daniel were there to meet me at the airport and ready to treat me like Royalty. They took me up to the top of Mt. Eden for a view of the city at night.
However, it was February 14th and the top of the hill was quite busy. It was a great view! We headed back down to their place for the night, where I found a bed made up for my with a bag of Minties and a huge chocolate bar sitting on top. I’m totally spoiled.
The next day, I got a ride into the city with Amber and hopped on the Link bus for a super cheap tour of Auckland. I got off in Parnell to hit the library and then headed back into the CBD for a wander around. The city is definitely gearing up for the Rugby World Cup. It is going to be such a crazy and exciting thing for New Zealand!
After my wander I got on the Naked Bus to ride out to Whitianga…home sweet home. It’s been so many years since I have been here, but I have found that the great memories I have of the amazing people were still accurate. However, some of my other memories I have found to be a little off. I remember when my brother swam across to Ferry Landing and I thought that was such an amazing lenght. It turns out that my swim to the island in Rarotonga was actually further…sorry Joel, but I am not longer as impressed with your achievement. 😉
I was hosted by Ron and Rhonda Morgan, good friends of the family going all the way back to 1988. They treated me like gold! I also got to spend some great time visiting with Dawn and Bob Schibli who spoiled me rotten as well. Mr. Schibli took me up to the Scott’s to see the house on the hill that I used to live in.
What an incredible spot! We sat down with the Scott’s and had a great visit, chatting about their travels, my travels and all sorts of things in between. We also took a drive around town to look at the new canals and stopped by the school to see all the changes. My memories of the school are pretty good; I can even remember the gap in the wall between the boys and girls change rooms at the pool. Ick. I was also fortunate enough to get to have coffee with one of my old classmates, Jasmine. It was kind of strange at first as we haven’t seen each other in years, but we both got over the standard awkwardness and moved on to the good stories pretty quickly.
Rhonda lent me her bike for a day and I took a ride out to Shakespear’s Cliff, Lonely Bay, Cooks Beach and then all the way out to Cathedral Cove. I know that logic says this is impossible, but my legs and butt insist that it was completely uphill both ways. It seems that a week of laying on the beach does not prepare you for riding a bike through New Zealand! Who knew.
I am now off to Christchurch to visit with Rae and Helen, then possibly head down to Queenstown and Milford Sound before returning to Christchurch to hang out with Kiki (Kurt).