We're back in Auckland again, staying at a nice (but inexpensive) hotel, and settling in to a new neighborhood. Actually, we're only about a mile or two from our previous neighborhood, but it's uphill for at least a mile or so - so that's our morning exercise, a long uphill to our free wifi coffee shops, a breakfast of tea for me, coffee for Richard, and a scone. We both like date or sultana (raisin) scones.
Our new neighborhood includes the university, and numerous
lovely old buildings - I'll take a photo safari day and post some of
the pics of the gorgeous architecture. It looks like an older part of
the city, or at least a part that retained the old buildings.
Anyway, we're focused on extending our NZ visa, obtaining a visa for Australia, vaguely planning our tiki touring around the South Island (as in, do we take a hop-on-hop-off bus or do we rent a car or do we get a flight pass?) - exciting things like that. And, of course, wandering around, because we both like to walk, and we both like people watching.
The most exciting thing that happened in the past two days here - we went to Burger Fuel, a gourmet burger place - put in our order (chicken burger for me) - and the machine wasn't working, wouldn't submit our order, wouldn't take our money. So our waiter went to the kitchen to put in the order, and the manager tried to make the machine work. Richard joked that if the machine wasn't working, that meant our dinner was free - the manager looked up, said "I agree" and comped us the meal! I was in shock! Stunned! Thanked him, and walked around in a daze.
There are some holiday decorations, most notably a four storey tall Santa on a large department store - he's actually flanked by two equally giant reindeer, all in slightly weathered and cracked plastic or styrofoam or something - I find them quite frightening, being that huge. (Some of the coastal town had the decorative holiday lights on lampposts, many of them featuring the various fish that can be caught in that area. Right. Christmas fish.)
We managed to disrupt foot traffic last night for this classic photo. Couldn't resist!