After 25 hours and little sleep, we walked into the main area of the airport. Thankfully, our driver was right there with all of our papers. As we drove through Auckland to our hotel, I thought that it looked much like Florida would look if settled by the British during the Victorian age. Overgrown gardens all blooming, strange blooms. Gables and cornices and gingerbread trim on pastel houses. Downtown initially looked like most cosmopolitan cities. After we checked into our hotel, which was a lovely suite connected to a room with two twin beds for the girls, I looked out the windows and discovered the first of many differences. there was a day-care, 7 stories up, with a play area outside under cover, on the balcony.
We all showered and then proceeded to the hotel restaurant for breakfast only to discover another difference. There are serving times for breakfast, lunch and dinner and no service in between in many of the restaurants here. So we adventured out looking for a place to grab a bite and explore the city a bit. Two or three turns later we walked down an alley full of eateries and shops. We found a Belgian pub which was still serving and ate amazing waffles, eggs Benedict with spinach, and potato pancakes.Yummy food.
After that we walked to the harbor and halfway to the Sky tower when the effects of 25 hours of travel hit. Cranky kids, crankier Mom and tired Dad equaled returning to the hotel to relaxed for a while and try another plan of attack. We needed, and still need, some warmer jackets and some basic toiletries, so we looked for a shop, chemist or some place to get what we needed. No luck, like most cities unless you want Prada there is little choice. So we looked for someplace to eat in the SkyCity. No luck, but Joe and I could have hit the casino if we wanted. Finally, after some searching we found a food court. Here we discovered another difference, no McDonald’s or Subways, but a huge selection of Asian food. We settled on Thai and eat huge portions for a relatively reasonable amount. It was here that Beth Anne decreed we could live in Auckland since there was good food she could eat.
After deciding that Sky Tower would wait until our return trip we went back to the hotel, stopping at a market for dinner food and breakfast food, and tried out the pool, which the girls opined was salty and cold. Back up to the room for showers, food and we made it until 7:30 PM before collapsing into the bed and sleeping until Brigit woke up at 4 am. We might need a few more days to adjust to the time difference.