Grand Asia Auckland

Day 23 – November 17, 2012 – Auckland, New Zealand

We were off the ship as soon as possible this morning… 7:00, and there was Mandy – waiting for us at the docks, looking just the same as she did 30 years ago when she came to Portales as an exchange student! What fun!

Mandy and Me

We spent the whole day together, with her showing us a variety of things around her city. We had a wonderful breakfast of Eggs Benedict and coffee. (We’ve learned how to order in Australia and NZ now that we’re leaving… long black and flat white.) We took a beautiful walk along a rugged shoreline with fabulous homes, went to her house and had tea and strawberries with her kids, a grand drive to see where she used to live in the country – near the dotcom mansion, then to the Sky Tower… the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere. That’s tall! We stood at the top watching bungee jumpers, and being a little amazed at how we couldn’t bring ourselves to stand on the glass flooring!

Scary Sky Tower

Lunch at a food court in a grand old brick building, walking in the rainy weather back toward the ship, another chance for coffee and gelato before coming back aboard. (Should have made arrangements for Mandy to come aboard… but didn’t start the process soon enough.)

New Zealand Coffee

Only two stops in New Zealand. Not enough. We must return someday.

Auckland Walk

We pulled out at 5:00, went to the dining room – where we were the only two from our group tonight… so enjoyed a relaxing evening alone. Afterwards we went to the hot tub to unwind and warm up from today’s chilly temps, and it’s early to bed for us. Time for books and good night’s sleep!
Grand Asia – The Pacific

Day 24 – November 18, 2012 – At Sea

Sleeping in, talks on what-to-do in upcoming ports, lounging in warm sweats in the cool breeze and sunshine on the back deck and our own verandah. More wonderful entertainment tonight… Graffiti Classics.

Day 25 – November 19, 2012 – At Sea

Sleeping in, chatting with Rick & Sue (From Manly, she lived in Lubbock as a child while her father went to Sunset School of Preaching), finishing our books (I have become enchanted with Mark Twain), more relaxation. G visits with Cal, and learns he’s the rabbi onboard. Who knew!

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