Auckland

D and I flew Air New Zealand from LA to Rarotonga to Auckland and back to LA. I mention this because I can’t post about our travels without saying Air New Zealand is the best airline ever. The food was fantastic [yes, we actually got food AND wine]. The seats were comfortable; the entertainment system was excellent and actually worked. The flight attendants were suuuuper nice.

Anyway, we arrived in New Zealand [after a 4 hour flight] on Tuesday morning. We crossed the international date line, so we lost a day traveling from Rarotonga.

We immediately took a cab from the airport to the Hilton on Princes Wharf in Auckland. The people at the Hilton were also sooooooooo super nice. They let us check in early, left champagne in our room, made us a “congratulations” dessert at our free breakfast, and let us check out late.

We spent the afternoon walking around Auckland. We had Grasshopper thai for lunch, and we visited an Indian restaurant [Oh, Calcutta] for dinner.

Auckland has a great selection of ethnic food. The city has a ton of thai, indian, and sushi. It also has great steak/lamb AND seafood. Basically everything is fresh and authentic.

On day 2, D and I hiked across the city. We followed the Coast to Coast walkway, one of several trails established by the government. It was a 16km hike, but it took an eternity [we did take a detour to check out some shopping, plus we took lots of photos along the way].

The hike ended in a very commercial district where we could not find a taxi to return us to our hotel [it was late afternoon at this point, and there was no walking back]. We found a train [but could not determine how to buy a ticket or what the price was]. Luckily, as previously mentioned, people in Auckland are NICE. The ticket agent on the train let us ride although we didn’t have enough cash to buy tickets. He also helped us determine where to ride to! That would not happen in NYC.

Once we arrived back at our hotel, the Hilton concierge recommended we visit Jervois for dinner. It was awesome. D and I both had prime rib. Holy mackerel.

Oh, and then we went to the Ice Bar. It was cold. But, again, the people were ridiculously nice. I’ve always wanted to go to an ice bar.

We spent our final day in Auckland shopping for souvenirs and visiting the Auckland War Memorial Museum [the museum has sections on the history of the south pacific, NZ wildlife, as well as the wars]. D got some sweaters, and we bought some socks made from possum. Yes, possum. Possum is very popular in NZ. The fur is very warm, and possums kill the endangered Kiwi in NZ. New Zealanders love the Kiwi, so they hate the possum!

D and I left Auckland and our honeymoon behind around 9pm on Thursday night. We hated to leave… coming home is never fun.

Plus, we had a 14-ish hour flight from Auckland to LAX.

I guess the honeymoon had to end sometime.

Nothing to bring you back to reality like U.S. Customs and Immigration 😛

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