I'm sad to be writing the last chapter. We would love to go back and have more time to explore New Zealand. We saw only Auckland while there. We would have had time to explore a little more, for example there are ferries to islands around Auckland. But Hubby was tired after his conference. He needed a day to just hang out and rest. And we were both getting tired of spending money on extras such as entrance fees, transportation, and eating out. We were feeling ready to get back home.
We did enjoy Auckland. The weather there is interesting. In our morning bus-tour hours we had clouds, rain, wind, and sunshine. The weather can change in a moment! Here's the Sky Tower in different weather conditions. It was close to our hotel, and a good landmark for finding our way back home after exploring the city.
The brown building is the Ferry Building. Next one is the War Memorial Museum which is excellent. It has much more in it than just war memories.
We attended a live Maori performance at the museum. It was excellent.
Here is my brush with fame. I saw this person and thought she looked a lot like Molly Quinn who plays the daughter on the TV show "Castle." Hubby didn't think so. I'll admit I was being a sneaky paparazzi person. I hid behind a column upstairs and waited for her to look away from her phone. I never did get a very good face shot. But, after returning home I did some sleuthing, and my BIL did also, and we confirmed that this person is, in fact, the real Molly Quinn. She was in NZ with a touring group and performed in Auckland later the same night that I saw her. Cool!! I present to you, my good friend, Molly Quinn.
My husband being photographed as he ate lunch at the museum café. A bride being photographed outside the museum. Two guys in "outfits" being photographed at an intersection. Maybe they'll appear in some fashion magazine, and I can claim another brush with fame???
The Skytower is everywhere!!!
Auckland from above (inside the Skytower, of course), including the Skytower shadow.
Suddenly a body whizzed by. People were jumping off the top of Skytower! Here's a picture where you can just see some feet at the very top of the photo. I clicked a split second too soon.. the jumper whizzed by, and I thought I had missed him or her, and I was mostly right, except I got the toes! LOL. Here's one of the jumpers, but he's so blurry.. he's the blob in the middle of the photo, with knees bent, feet by his butt, facing to the right.
On our way out, we met the jumper down below. He was going back up for another jump.
Sunset from Skytower:
On our last day we took a short ferry ride to a neighborhood called Devenport. It was a nice shopping and restaurant area, fun to walk around and look at the cute houses and gardens, AND -- I found a beautiful quilt shop there! I was so excited, because I had about given up hope of finding one in NZ. I was able to buy some unique-to-New-Zealand fabrics. That made my day!
Interesting trees in Auckland: they twist and turn all over the place and take up LOTS of space.
Our fabulous trip had to come to an end. We were eager to get home, but full of wonderful, happy memories of a lovely holiday. Remember how I said we lost May 5 on our way over to Australia? On the way home, we had the longest day on earth. We arrived in Los Angeles before we left Auckland, and we gained another whole day. We arrived home on May 21, but really, we had already experienced several hours of May 21. Funny world we live in, isn't it?
P.S. Our cat was happy to see us back home, but yelled at us for half a day, to make sure we knew how terrible it had been for us to leave him! (Daughter was feeding and checking on him.. he was just being dramatic.) Now it's back to real life and responsibilities.... do I have to??