Art and Dustin, father-to-be
(note also the hotel buffet's pad Thai on my breakfast plate, oddly compelling in the morning)
We hurried the underfed arrivals across the street to Food Alley, which we visited in April. All Asian all the time. Something for everyone. Brother Chris, Carly, Lisa, and Trevor.
Paula, Austi, and Dusty.
Art and his hot chocolate. Fierce storms this morning, with a small tornado nearby.
The sun came out for a walk to the beautiful Auckland wharfs.
Grey skies clearing, Rich walking.
Trev is sucked into another dimension.
Lia and Chris, at the Viaduct Wharf.
Leah had heard from their airport-to-town driver about this place. Art and I completely missed it in April.
Marc and me at the fish market.
Leah and Marc in the giant chairs with Sky Tower in back.
Sister Holly and me. Brilliant to see everyone again after three and a half months.
Brooke and Holly, firstborns.
Second child group from our walking posse.
Carly at Vulture's Lane Craft Beer Bar. (hey, Carly missed the first-born photo op).
Leah and Marc, drinking something crafty.
I had an excellent NZ-made whiskey, smoked with manuka wood.
Brooke has a sour beer.
The group slims down as people peel off to return to the hotel, but we're still walking, here in Albert Park.
Do you know everyone's names by now? There will be a quiz.
At the art museum, tango lessons.
On 19 September 1893 the governor, Lord Glasgow, signed a new Electoral Act into law. As a result of this landmark legislation, New Zealand became the first self-governing country in the world in which all women had the right to vote in parliamentary elections.
Blub. Another reason to love NZ
They're dropping like flies now, jetlagged travelers moving into the vortex of unreality and back to the hotel. The ever-smaller core group pauses for a flat white at one of Auckland's zillion cafes.
Trevor is faking how alert he looks after telling about 14 hours in an Air NZ seat that had no padding.
On the final leg, we stop to witness some of the madness happening right in the heart of the city: a reverse-bungeelike contraption that first screws down the tension and then releases to fling people up in a small cage, spinning them around in the process. Yikes.
Shakespeare Hotel and Restaurant/Pub, where we'll return for dinner.
Now we know where the splinter groups got off to: the hotel's 10th floor pool, hot tub, and sauna. Hi Cody!
Giant burger and lamb salad at The Shakespeare.
Also fish and chips and green-lipped mussels. I'm as exhausted as they must be. To all a good night...