38 Hours Later

2 02 2016

Twenty-two hours after we arrived at SeaTac airport, we landed in Auckland, New Zealand. During that time, we visited 2 Centurion Airport Lounges, spent 14 hours in the air, watched 1 documentary, ¾ of a movie and had 4 meals. I slept for a cumulative 3 hours, and Nathan, maybe an hour all together. For as much as he praised the Air New Zealand Sky Couch – he also cursed it – because as I could curl up and have a pretty nice sleeping nest, a 6+ foot man, cannot curl himself up and create a comfy nest. Even the allure of a ‘cuddle belt’ did not provide a comfortable sleeping position for Nathan. And so, sleep deprived, and with a crick in his neck, we began our adventures in New Zealand!

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Driving on the opposite side of the road and on the opposite side of the car…it took a little while to get used to. We may have hit a temporary construction sign. Maybe. Armed with some paper maps, some printed directions and a little assistance from my phone, we adventured our way through Auckland for the next 12 hours.

We headed straight through the Waitakere Ranges to the West Coast full of its iron sand beaches, cliffs and big surf. I figured since we were strolling into town at 6AM (before the sun was even up), we had time to head to the West Coast and see what that was all about.

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Perhaps, I should have checked the weather before doing that, as we muddled our way through driving on the opposite side of the road, getting turned around and lost in the forest and driving deeper and deeper into descending fog and misty rain.

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But we made it! We scrambled into our rain jackets and ran along the black sand beaches, explored the rocky face of Lion Rock, tried to coax crabs out of rocks and tide pools and dipped our toes in the, surprising not as cold as I thought it would be, water.

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By 8AM we were tucked into the Piha Café for our first taste of NZ atmosphere: barefoot surfers, foul-mouthed rugged English guys on a motorbike trek across NZ and our first Flat Whites.

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piha cafe

By 10AM we were on the east side of Auckland, picking seashells off the beach at Mission Bay, as we looked beyond to Rangitoto Island.

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By 12:30PM we were tucking into a platter of steamed green lipped mussels. Huge mussels, very tasty, and Nathan even got an extra bite of protein (he realized later after looking at the photo……that he did indeed eat the crab that was in the mussel, and thought the crunch was normal – yuck!).

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By 2:00PM we were rolling up to the hotel.

By 4:00PM I was giggling like a school girl and oohing and aahing over the fantastic desserts at Milse. (Thank you Natalie for the recommendation!)

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The verdict:
Bombe Alaska: Passion Fruit and Vanilla Gelato, enrobed in white chocolate and covered in a torched meringue

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62% Satilia: Cherry & hazelnut (I can’t remember the rest but there was a chocolate cookie crumble and some other good stuff).

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36% Caramelia: Salted Almond and Caramel masterpiece (apparently I stopped listening after hearing about the Bombe Alaska!)

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And after strolling along the Viaduct Harbor, taking in drinks and snacks on a patio, we were getting ready for bed by 8:00PM. But after going strong for 38 hours, I don’t feel bad for being asleep by 9PM. Not even a little bit.

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