Showing posts from February, 2024


The art deco city on the Pacific. Great architecture and even better people watching. And a perfect night at the Matisse Wine Bar. Excellent wine, food and service, made even better by a picture perfect evening for sitting outdoors.


Picked up the rental car and John stepped right back into driving on the opposite side of the road. Observation: so far, NZ roads are wider than Ireland’s roads! And there are shoulders! Hallelujah, for our stress levels and other drivers’ safety. Rotorua is a geothermal region and there are mineral baths, steam vents, and other signs of this activity all over. And the scent of sulfur too. Fortunately, neither one of us seemed to have any effects from it. It is also an area of great Māori heritage. There is so much to learn and so many ways to butcher the words. We visited the Waimangu Valley, an area with long walking trails alongside steam vents, boiling water streams, and mineral deposits. So interesting to see. I’d be terrified to take kids there LOL. Then we did something that felt slightly sacrilegious—we walked along suspension bridges at the tops of very young (relatively) redwood trees. It smelled so familiar, peaty, earthy, fragrant. These trees are only 120 years old. Honest


Made it, a day late, but not totally wiped out. The city is beautiful and we lunched at a cafe waterside. Our delay meant we didn’t make it to Waiheke Island, but we made the best of our one night in town. Something tells me I’ll be repeating this phrase for weeks, but the people are just lovely. The vibe is relaxed and so, so comfortable.

Weather, Whether We Want It Or Not

I spent four days worrying about the snow storm we were supposed to get in Denver. Should have worried about California, my California. Sat in Denver for 5 hours, waiting for our flight to San Francisco. Finally made it there, but missed our flight to Auckland. Oh joy. Finding hotels at 1:30 a.m. in San Francisco is fun (not). Being smart enough to book a day hotel while we waited for our 10:45 p.m. flight was priceless. Departed for Auckland 24 hours after our scheduled flight, but we made it. Hello tomorrow and kia ora.