Sunday, November 11, 2012

We're Feeling at Home in Auckland

Richard and I have established ourselves in this neighborhood - no idea what it's called - but at the top of the hill on Queen Street, and from K Street (Karangahape or something, everyone just calls it K Street) across the bridge to Grafton Street.  That's our neighborhood.
We have our favorite little spots - Richard likes Gloria Jean's for morning coffee and free wifi.  I prefer the Columbus Cafe, a block down, where I get my pot of tea and a date scone.  We each have our preferred seats with outlets to plug in and read our email, post updates, check the weather, read the news.

We smile and say good morning to the staff, mostly young Asian students.  We have little chats.  Don't really recognize repeat customers yet, but the staff recognize both of us at our separate little spots.

And we have our favorites for lunch or dinner - the Little Turkish Cafe for kebabs or souvlaki; the Portuguese Chicken Grill (which has good burgers as well as chicken); Burger Fuel for gourmet burgers (as well as chicken); and Giapo, down the road, the "ice cream research laboratory."  Yes, they make gourmet ice cream in odd flavors like dark chocolate with Manchego cheese.  No, I didn't try it.  I had the dark chocolate and cocoa sorbet (that's one flavor), and the tiramisu.  Both yummers.

We have our walks, our route across the bridge, places to browse like St. Kevin's Mall (and no, no idea who St. Kevin is) and Myers Park.  The nice long walk down Queen to Queen's Quay.  Then the 50 cent red bus back up the hill if we're tired or chilled.  Maybe an afternoon nap, or just time to read - with a cup of tea or coffee.
(Today I had the chocolate hazelnut ice cream, which came smothered in chopped hazelnuts, a bit of chocolate covered toffee, and a chocolate sauce smiley face.)

So yes, we're feeling at home in Auckland.

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