Auckland was great. I like it in Auckland. It’s pretty with all the oak trees and open spaces. It’s warm there, warm is good….Did lots of things. Here’s a summary:
Tuesday. Flew up there. I love planes. Watching the lift off takes my breath away. It’s so amazing that it works. I guess I just don’t fly that much, but it’s wonderful. I love the views you get from up there.
Wednesday. Navigated Auckland in automatic car. Me driving and Lee with the map. It was easier than I thought it would be, so that was a big relief.
We went to the Zoo, which was pretty cool although it seemed to be half under construction.
The giraffes weren’t on display because they were getting a new waterhole. However Hippos, elephants and flamingoes all good. Saw the red pandas be cute, liked the native NZ bird aviary and it was a gorgeous hot sunny day.
Then we went to Kelly Tarlton’s. It is lame (so I’m not linking there). It is not as good as the New Zealand Aquarium in Napier. It was good to the penguins and the bit with the fake Orca head really freaked me out (I knew it was coming, but I didn’t realise it’d be so BIG!) but the rest was a disappointment at $30 each.
Went to a wonderful cafe called Verona for dinner. I had chorizo sausage risotto, and a brownie. Yum.
Thursday: Rainbow’s End. Good fun. Went on everything but the roller coaster (closed for repairs), the fear fall (too scary) and the bumper boats (I was wearing a skirt and you had to sit with legs apart and hiked up….)
My favourite when I was a kid was the log flume. It has changed. The vaguely sinister moving goblins all burned down apparently and have been replaced with cutesy elves that don’t move at all. They also sang a song that I couldn’t make out the words to. Unnerving. The big drop at the end was still there and still good though.
My favourite ride was the Gold rush which is like a rollercoaster through a fakey mine. It was fast and scary and I screamed a lot. Went on that three times.
Thursday night watched lots of family guy = very funny.
Friday. Waiwera Hotpools. Perfect day for it, overcast and threatening to rain. Lovely hotness. Oh yes. I am too wussy for the hydroslides though. It was too dark. Like diving into a black hole. Very scary and I screamed the whole way so I swallowed lots of water. D’oh!
Friday night Janjo’s friends came over for games. I learned a card game called Beanie that was very fun, watched Princess Mononoke, and played a dice game called greed that I very nearly won. I never knew I had the devil’s luck but there you go.
Janjo’s friends are good people. They are roleplayers so I had heaps of common ground, and we told war stories and it was fun.
Saturday: Shopping! Oh yes. Went to a second hand shop called Just Plane Interesting and Lee bought a set of three decorative ninja swords. They are pretty cool. If only we had a mantlepiece.
Queen St is great. Went to the huge section of Switch at Farmers and bought cute gothy stuff. Found many little asian shops with insanely cheap clothes and went a bit mad.
Borders bookshop is wonderful. I bought the Sandman Companion *squeeee!* and a Nightwing trade paperback and the new Tamora Pierce book and an Edward Gorey book for Janjo. (The Doubtful Guest, my favourite and the most appropriate.)
Sunday. Auckland Museum, which is very cool and Parnell for the Chocolate Boutique. Hot chocolate so dense it was like chocolate pudding sauce. Lovely designer chocolates and a gorgeous atmosphere. Lee went mad as we left and bought a bundle. Yay!
Treasure Island Mini-golf by the airport is super-cool. Full on theme mini golf with a shark fin in the pond and a cannon that goes off every five minutes and fun fun greens. Plus I won the game so that doesn’t hurt. Tee hee.
Lee won the game if mini golf we played at rainbow’s end.
Then plane home last night with more gorgeous views. I saw a Mountain (Mt Taranaki?) which was very cool and the Milford Sounds as we came into land. Lovely.