With apologies to Willie Nelson (who most likely does not read all of my posts anymore), Nancy and I are on the road again.This will be a 63 day adventure! Yup, this is a looooong trip, my gentle readers.
This perambulation had us in Honolulu for about 25 hours before continuing our peripatetic ways flying to Auckland, New Zealand. We will be here until the end of November before pushing off to Australia. We are scheduled to leave Oz right before the new year, a few days in the San Francisco Bay Area and then finally home to Edmonds. Sheesh – that’s a frightfully long time to be away.
While we were walking around Waikiki on our one evening there, we discovered that both sets of our parents had stayed at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in their early days. Even I stayed there as a year old terror. So, of course, we had to go there for a Mai Tai!
Nancy on Waikiki Beach for our one Hawaiian sunrise
One of the reasons for this loooong trip is the loooong distance we had to travel to get here. Another is a celebration. After 26+ years of tax work at Puget Sound Tax Services, I decided to retire! To illustrate this, check out my NZ landing card:
This is the first time I’ve seen it in writing! It is also the 1st time in over 50 years I do not have any gainful employment. This will be quite the game changer but I feel we are up to it.
The photo above seems a tradition for us. It is before takeoff on a 9 hour Hawaiian Airlines flight to Auckland. One nice part is the 1 hour time difference between Lulu and NZ (23 actually but our internal jetlag monitors don’t care that Sunday disappears in a few hours).
We WERE tired though from the go go go over the last several days. Fortunately our hotel in downtown Auckland had a gym and pool to get our blood moving in the morning and lots of coffee shops nearby – some with livestock!.
We rode the HoHo (hop on, hop off) bus to get our bearings, wandered around, had amazing food and surprisingly good beer and of course, NZ wine. Auckland is quite the cosmopolitan city and there are lots of choices for cuisines. We availed ourselves of as many as we could stomach (get it?).
In our short time there we had local, pan Latino, pan Asian and some weird but delicious Italian/Korean/US fusion.
Nancy’s book club (Hi girls!) is reading a non fiction book about octopuses.
(The paragraph below is from the internet so must be true)
We would go with “octopuses,” a perfectly legitimate English plural, and the oldest attested to. “Octopi” is also an acceptable choice, and one in wide use, but you run the risk of being informed that it’s incorrect. Well-meaning people may tell you that -i is a Latin plural, but “octopus” comes from the Greek.
So, we had to go to the aquarium to check them out. I was attacked by one but fought him (her??) off.
Since we are planning an Antarctica trip soon, I thought we should see their exhibit of King Penguins
Nancy says since we are NOT planning an Antarctica trip, we should see them at the aquarium since we WON’T be seeing them on an ice floe at the South Pole.
Hmmm, I wonder which one of us is right… to be continued.
After a couple days in Auckland we picked up our rental car and headed north to Paihia for a few days of beaching, diving and exploring.
Paihia means ‘good here‘. The Maori word for good is Pai and the way the locals say here is ‘hee-a’.
There is a lovely outdoor baa (bar) hia right over the water. I happen to be sitting here waiting for Nancy who is at a craft fair.
We found out yesterday that today is a cruise ship day in Paihia so we beat a hasty departure for the hinterland. We did not want to spend the day with 3000 newbies! When you have been in a place as long as we have, you get possessive about it!
What would a trip of ours be without some waterfall pictures? We found this lovely spot. This is Rainbow Falls:
The morning started a bit foggy but cleared up beautifully.
The Kiwis are justifiably proud of their nature here. Huge ferns and Kauri trees are just a couple examples. The tree is threatened by people’s shoes it seems. We need to brush and disinfect our feet prior to entering and upon leaving the protected areas.
I think that is all I have for this chapter. I hope you enjoyed the further adventures of Nancy and Chris.
Until next time – the selfie below is Auckland’s version of the Space Needle.