It is so wonderful to have Alli in our midst once again.
Alli and her friend Courtney arrived early two mornings ago, so we have spent two great days with them so far. The first day, I had to work so Brendon took the girls downtown to explore the sights, sounds, and tastes that Auckland’s downtown core has to offer. A visit to both Little B and Ben proved unsuccessful in actually locating Ben himself (it must have been his day off), but the girls did get to experience a mind-blowing cupping of the Amaro Gayo with beans that Alli brought back from Transcend Coffee in Edmonton. Brendon was excited beyond words, explaining to us later that he had tasted notes of black cherry.
We enjoyed a lovely picnic dinner that evening atop One Tree Hill, literally just meters away from some grazing sheep.
Some L&P was definitely called for on this location. Lemon & Paeroa, also known as L&P, is a sweet soft drink manufactured in New Zealand. Traditionally made by combining lemon juice with carbonated mineral water from the town of Paeroa, it is now manufactured by multi-national Coca-Cola.
Day 2 held a trip to Auckland’s North Shore, beginning first with a stop at Jam Organic Cafe in Takapuna.
After a short walk on a cool rock ledge that borders the beach near Takapuna, we found a quiet little beach to picnic on. I find this area especially neat because of all the volcanic rock on the shore, which must be the result of the erruption of the volcano on Rangitoto island many years ago.
While on the North Shore, we also made a trip in to Devon port, a quaint village that very much has a Victorian feel. Art galleries, hand made jewelry shops, and Devonport Chocolates were among our stops.
We also stopped in for a stroll on Brown’s Bay, where we literally stumbled upon some star fish.
We were intrigued because some of the bigger starfish had up to 11 arms, while some of the smaller ones we saw initially had only 5 or 6. We wondered if starfish sprout more arms as they mature, or if it’s a genetic thing that some are born with more arms than others. Our questions were all answered when we found this medium-sized starfish with 6 long arms, and a number of stubby ones sprouting on one side.
Apparently they do grow extra appendages.
We head off today for a weekend adventure approx. 3 hours north of Auckland. We haven’t really explored much outside the Auckland region yet, so we are excited to see what the northern New Zealand has to offer.