Saturday, May 11th
Wow! I’ve been in New Zealand a week already! Today I met up with Garrett, an old acquaintance from my uni years at Oklahoma Christian. It was great to see a familiar face. Garrett and his cute 10-month-old daughter picked me up in Takapuna (North Shore), and we drove down to Devonport for the morning.
Located on a little peninsula, Devonport is a quaint, waterfront village. The numerous Victorian-style homes, cafes, craft and antique shops, and galleries are nestled in and around two ancient volcanoes that are now public-access parks featuring spectacular views across the Hauraki Gulf. Just over the bay to the southwest is downtown Auckland, it’s regal Sky Tower rising above the hustle and bustle of the Central Business District below. To the east is Rangitoto, it’s unmistakable volcanic cone seemingly standing guard over the bay. Sailboats dotted the bay; yachts and catamarans skimmed across the water en route to the open sea.
The sun was taking up position in the north, enjoying an absence of clouds, and warming us quite nicely. Garrett carried his sleeping daughter as we stroll around and up the slopes of North Head, one of the twin volcanic peaks. We didn’t have far to go before entering the tunnel system of old military bunkers, hidden in this hill since before the First World War. To any history-lover, this is definitely a must-see! There are barracks, stables, munitions storage rooms, gun turrets, etc. Exiting the tunnels, we made our way further up the hill, and found cannons ready to fire on any enemy ship entering the bay. Okay, they don’t work anymore. I think. We paused for a few minutes on top to absorb the 360-degree view before us, as Garrett filled me in on some of the history of the area and pointed out some key landmarks.
We skip North Head’s twin, Mt Victoria, in favor of grabbing a quick lunch at a local bakery. It’s my first mince-meat pie! It was *sweet as! The beef lasagna was tasty, too.
I’m thankful for Garrett and his willingness to spend some time showing me around!
In the evening, I went out with Natasha’s family to dinner at Lonestar, a western-themed restaurant with Johnny Cash photos on nearly every wall. The food was delicious, and perhaps a more gourmet approach to the typical BBQ meal in Oklahoma.
The occasion for this dinner was Mother’s Day. It was a great dinner with the whole family, and I’m thankful for their inclusion of me in their festivities. They’ve been such wonderful hosts, so patient as I get things in order. I’m incredibly thankful for them, as they’ve made my arrival in New Zealand really wonderful!
Word of the Day
*sweet as = awesome, as awesome as anything else you can think of… Other terms can be used in similar fashion: cheap as, hard as, etc.