Yesterday was one of those magical days. After a 13 hour flight from LAX to Auckland, Stephen, Tim and I hit the ground running. We acquainted ourselves with the city and walked for miles up and down hills and through the city center. Tim tracked our steps on his device and reported at the end of the day that we walked 28,900 steps. I don’t keep track of steps but I understand that 10,000 is generally a respectable daily goal. Day one was wonderful but there were only three of us …and we are a family of four. Abby secured a day off and agreed to meet us in Devonport, a little harbor town accessible by ferry from Auckland City Center. It was a perfect 75 degree day with blue sky as we boarded the ferry. The ride is just 12 minutes but I was anxious to see Abby after a five months absence. Skype is a great substitute when loved ones are far away but there’s nothing like a hug and kiss. The magic starts now!
We stepped off the ferry and there was Abby waiting on the dock. It was so great to see her.. hugs all around and then another group hug. With four of us we are complete. Next we climbed to the highest point in Devonport with 360 degree views of the area and then tossed our shoes on the sand for a walk in the ocean. Aahhhh. The cool salt water felt so good on my tired, aching feet. We ended the day with a typical Kiwi dinner…”take-away” fish and chips wrapped in brown paper. We walked down the block to the local park overlooking the water and sat in a circle on the grass. Four pieces of batter dipped fish set on top of a pile of heavily salted fries. We had no cutlery and the brown paper served as our plate and our napkin. We sat for two hours talking, eating laughing and watching the boats . It was a magical family time and a memory that will last forever.
As far as logistics, we discovered it is hard to navigate and communicate without a smart phone. We obtained a SIM card and purchased a gig of data and texting for Tim’s phone. We hope the gig will cover us for the duration. We all noticed that having google maps “on demand” has reduced our stress and enhanced the trip. Tim is reacquainting himself with left side driving and Stephen is the front seat navigator. I’m doing my best to avoid “back seat driver” comments. This evening we experienced our first AirBnB. The key to our place was hidden in the washing machine and fresh chicken eggs were on the counter. What a delight!