We head up to the Northland in just over a week, essentially ending our time in Auckland. We’ll be back to meet my parents for two days and then for another day before we leave for good, but our time actually living here is ending. So I find myself trying to memorize everything. Every birdsong. Every view from the balcony. Every flowering pohutukawa. Every breeze. Every smell. Every sunset. Every scene on the way to Marist. Every night looking at the SkyTower lit up in red and green. Every glimpse of the Waitemata Harbour. Every sound of the kids running around on the streets. Trying to commit it all to heart to take with me when we leave.
The last few weeks of the school year are always fun – especially when it’s been on extended vacation! I’ve met friends for coffee, and it’s like I’m trying to see them every chance I get so I can take that with me when we leave, too. And they’ve been lovely, accommodating all my frantic requests. I just want to see them “one more time” before we leave. Eventually the time will run out and it really will be the last time.
We had friends over for dinner Saturday night and their girls spent the night. Sunday, which was stunning, we went down to one of the beaches called Kohimarama. It’s right across from my beloved volcano, Rangitoto, so I spent most of our time looking at that and marveling at how wonderful this experience has been.
And here’s a shot of the girls playing in the water and goopy, muddy sea floor:
Afterwards, we came back here, sat on our terrace and looked at the Pohutukawa tree right down the road and drank some delicious rosé (which was brought over the night before – thanks Kate and Andy – enjoyed it very much!).
Monday, The Professor and I spent the night away at a Bed and Breakfast in Mount Eden. We “won” the night at the Marist fundraiser in August and had a great time. The people who own the B&B are grandparents of Marist students, and they were lovely.
Mt. Eden is the highest natural point in Auckland and is, of course, one of the volcanic cones in the area. Its Maori name is Maungawhau and its crater is symmetrical and considered very sacred. Naturally, there are great views from up there.
We walked around Mt. Eden Village, had practice drinks at a Belgian Beer Cafe, and enjoyed the beautiful day. Here’s the Professor with his pitcher of beer, while I just enjoyed a normal sized glass of wine.
We went back to the B&B and sat on their patio looking at their garden and finished off a bottle of wine. No pictures of the wine, but here’s a selfie of the two of us.
And then we went to dinner at a very cool restaurant called The Garden Shed. We couldn’t decide what we wanted, so opted for the Farmer’s Board. Take a look – it was gorgeous. Our drinks were delicious as well.
I love spending time with The Professor without the kids, so even though we’re on a six-month vacation, the night away was great. The next morning we went to Cornwall Park, the big park in the middle of the city where the sheep and cattle roam free and then went to the Auckland Museum, which has an amazing exhibit on Maori culture and New Zealand history. The building is up on a hill overlooking the Waitemata Harbour and is kind of imposing.
Grabbed Tate from school (and on the way is where I saw this pretty purple tree) and then Gracie had her penultimate Touch Rugby match of the year (and honestly, probably of her life). Practice was earlier than normal, so several of the girls were late. The Professor and Tate stepped in during practice to help – it was great fun to see. And I could tell they were having a blast.
Gracie has three more days of school, and Tate has six. Then we’re off to a fun resort town called Paihia in the Bay of Islands. There for about four days and then back here to welcome my parents to our home away from home. So excited for that, but that’s REALLY when we leave Auckland. I know we have so many more adventures ahead of us still, but this town and these lovely bays – both our St. Mary’s Bay and Herne Bay – have been given us such a wonderful experience. I will miss our life here so much.
Though it must be said that I am looking forward to my big washer and dryer – the silver lining in leaving…