Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mom in Kiwiland: day 3

Yesterday was the west coast - today we went north.

Julie plotted us on a course to Whangaparaoa (in Maori, the "wh" is pronounced as an "f" sound)just about an hour north of Auckland, depending upon the motorway's traffic. Our destination was a little park called Shakespeare Park on the edge of the Hauraki Gulf. It's got a nice beach and some nice walks to take in views over the bay and gulf. Best thing was some trees that grew out of the bank and twisted and turned creating a fanned arch out over the beach. I had fun setting up the gorillapod to take some self-portraits while mom collected sea shells and Julie rested.

We skipped the walks (walked too much yesterday!) and headed back into Manly village for lunch at a cafe before checking out some more beaches.Little Manly is on the gulf side and is a bit scraggly but has a nice view of Rangitoto Island and dramatic cliffs book-ending it. Big Manly is big and sweeping and is compared to Manly Beach in Sydney, but has nowhere near the surf quality. Nonetheless it's nice so mom walked and collected more shells while Julie & I played frisbee in the sun.

We capped off the day with a BBQ of fresh salmon fillets accompanied by a Montana Marlborough Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (J&I preferred the cheaper non-reserve version). Quite tasty!

As an aside, the salmon down here is a bit different than the BC Pacific salmon we're used to. It's a lot more fatty, but with that comes a smooth, buttery taste when it's BBQ'd.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

mum's a kiwi

Mum arrived on Kiwi soil at dawn on Tuesday morning, forcing me to get up at an hour we've not seen in some time. Although I'll admit it did feel good to have to get up and get somewhere at a set time. You know, like going to work!
Since mom flew overnight from Vancouver, she skipped an entire day (that's one good way to rid yourself of a Monday) plus an entire night's worth of sleep. We let her have a nap in the morning before shuffling her out the door for a tour of the city. Julie had an interview in the afternoon so in the process of running around to buy her a new blazer, then back across town for lunch at home, then down south for the interview and over to another district to pay for some tickets Mom definitely saw much more of the city than we had anticipated showing her on the first day.

Looking north-west from One Tree Hill The highlight was climbing (well, no, we drove) up the famous One Tree Hill. It provided great views of the city so I could show mom where we had all gone during the day. it's a lovely park around the hill, complete with pastures for sheep and cattle with some majestic big trees.

From the hill we went to pick Julie up after her interview (with Genesis, somewhat equivalent to MB Hydro) and rush her off to play soccer.

I whipped up some fabulous Indian-style butter chicken (totally impressed myself!) for dinner before taking mom out for a walk around the neighbourhood. We live in Parnell - it's a nice area near to the port with lots of hills and little parks. We took a walk up one hill to a park that contains a really nice rose garden.
We watched the sunset over the city downtown before mom finally needed to go home to sleep.

are you there? yes, we are still out and about

To all of our devoted followers! (namely my mom, my aunt shirley, cousin darlene, Julie's mom and aunts and friend Candice who are asking where the new posts are)
Sorry that I just haven't been getting anything new on here. We fell behind in Thailand, and then even more as we went through Malaysian Borneo. And now that I'm technically 4 countries behind, it's seeming to be an ominous task to write about what we have all done in the last 3 months. That and my memory ain't so great and trying to remember Thai/Malay/Auzzie/Aborigine/Maori names is harder than you think! And you'd think that being unemployed for over a month would provide heaps of time to get it all done.
Anyhow, I've got a bunch of stuff written down and we have many stories to tell so there will be a flood of blogging fun for you all to enjoy in the near future. Plus I've noticed that we've passed the 2000-picture mark and you know what that means... Slideshows!
My mom arrived in Auckland on the 24th and we'll keep her busy seeing the sights. With her here I'll make a best effort to keep her sisters informed of her antics.
Stay tuned!