Happy New Year 2018!

We are too old and boring to stay up until midnight most New Year’s Eve evenings, including this one, and definitely not up for being part of the giant crowd out on the square. The fireworks shot from the Sky Tower look wonderful on the video, and maybe even better than they would have looked in person… it seems like one of those things that would have looked great from a drone’s perspective.

But we’re still fond of the idea of ringing in the New Year, so we decided that we will celebrate with Vermont, which occurs at a very civilized 6 PM January 1 for us…. just about an hour from now.

So, to everybody in the 802 and elsewhere in Eastern Standard Time……… Happy New Year!!! We miss you a ton (but not your winter weather). May your 2018 be safe and healthy, and chock full of love, joy, and new adventures!

Birkenhead

Another weekend, another suburb… last Saturday we struck out to the north to take a look around Birkenhead, located on Auckland’s North Shore. We had planned to take a ferry across, going under the big Harbour Bridge, but they don’t run on Saturday morning, so onto the bus for us, where we got to drive over the bridge instead.

We had a nice cafe breakfast, cruised through some second-hand shops, and then went for a walk in the park that stretches from the center of town right down to the water.

Biggest tree stump ever.

The view back to Auckland.

The sugar refinery. New Zealand was never part of the big sugar economy that so shaped the Atlantic nations, but Kiwis do love their sweets: lamingtons, pavlovas, Jaffa cakes, Pineapple Lumps… the list goes on.

This plaque memorializes a young man who crashed during a longboard race down this road. It is a sweet piece of road… I can totally see why they would hold a race here.

Then back up the hill, where the same saxophonist who sometimes plays at our own farmers market was backing a singer doing a Christmas set on the square, and into the bus, and home again all in the same day.

We’ve only got another couple dozen of these trips to go before we have to start venturing out of Auckland!!