Friday, March 4, 2011

Thursday & Friday

Up at 5:30am to catch the shuttle to the airport for 9am flight. Found out our flight was cancelled and we had to fly at 1pm to Sydney.  In Sydney we were on time for out flight to Los Angeles but there wasn't time to get our luggage transfered so we were put on another flight an hour later to San Franciso, .  We were then booked on a flight to Toronto after another two hours wait.  When we got on the plane they announced that we were waiting for the pilot, he had car trouble??? Forty minutes later we left.  Arrived in Toronto about 9:45pm and couldn't find our luggage until 11pm. (This was happening to lots of other people too)  We then had to wait for the air bus from Niagara Falls to pick us up, as he had been there and left hours earlier.  We got home about 1:30am.  Very tired, more than 38 hours on the go.  Bed late.
Friday:  Up around noon.  Went through some of the mail and unpacked suitcases but mostly took it easy today.  Had a great trip and glad to be home.  It is a little cold, went out tonight for groceries  and had to wear a coat for the first time in 2 months.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Ray was up early and went out for coffee.  I slept in a bit.  Went up the hill to Sky City for breakfast.  Walked down to the waterfront(7 blocks)  and took a ferry to Devenport, an area that was an island but is now joined to Auckland by a causeway.  It is a beautiful area with lots of shops and lovely old buildings.  After shopping for awhile we had lunch at a little cafe. Ray walked up to Mount Victoria, which is a cone of an extinct volcano. During the Second World War they had a gun emplacemnet to protect Auckland against the Japanese.   Walked back to hotel and packed a bit.  After took a walk to Albert Park, uphill all the way.  Great old trees, couldn't find anyone to tell us what they were. Must be over a hundred years, with huge trunks and  roots that were above the ground.  We looked for a monument of Albert but all we could find was one of Queen Victoria. Went to a Thai restaurant for dinner. Last night splurge!
Up at 5:30am tomorrow to leave for the airport.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Took a city bus around the city.  Stopped by the waterfront for a coffee.  Ray went to the Auckland Museum.  He enjoyed the history of New Zealand and the Maori people.  I went shopping and found my kiwi earrings! at 12:51pm everyone atopped for 2 minutes to honour the people who died in last Tuesday's earthquake.  I was on Queen St and Ray was in  the museum.  It was quite touching to see so many standing still. There were people on the streets who were handing out stickers that said "Stand Strong ChCh".  Had lunch in a mall across the street from our hotel and then got the bus again to Ponsonby area to window shop.  Dinner at Sky City.  We are so tired after almost 8 weeks and wouldn't you know it, our hotel is on one of the steepest hills in the city.  Tomorrow is our last full day.  At the Imax Theatre,  McDonald's is not working tonight.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Monday continued

We walked through a replica of captain Scott's Antarctic hut (1911) and saw tools and equipment they used a hundred years ago.  Lots of sharks, stingrays, sea horses, eels, one octopus, crayfish, turtles etc.  Came back to our area and had lunch with Susan and had to saw good bye again.  Ray and I walked around this afternoon and went out to a pub for dinner where they served the toughest steak that we've ever had.  On our way back to our hotel and may stop for a snack along the way.  \We are weaning ourselves off the 6 meals a day we had on the ship.  Don't know who won the Oscars, it was on this afternoon here.  From Facebook it seems that lots weren't impressed with the hosts.  We're at the Imax for the internet and Ray went to find out if The King's Speech was playing. ...It was and it was $30.00 each for the tickets.  For that price, I'd want to see Colin Firth in person.


Went up the street to Sky Tower, which is the tallest in the Southern Hemisphere.  We went to the top and enjoyed looking for landmarks below.  Beautiful view of the islands and the North Shore.  Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand with about 1 1/2 million population.  Saw several do a sky jump off the top and also saw three people do the bungy across from our hotel.  Met our friend Susan at the Antarctic Show.  Saw lots of big penguins from the South Pole, Kings and Gentoos.  Took a ride through in a Snowcat, like a small train.  They are so cute. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Up early for breakfast at 6:30am.  Said goodbye to everyone.  Off by 8:15 and at our hotel by 8:45am.  In the downtown area.  Walked around, back to hotel for a nap, and out for dinner.  Going back early for a good sleep.  Meeting Susan, our friend from Calgary at noon to go see the Antartic show.  Big penguins this time.  Always a let down, after all the people and the activities of the ship.  Ready for some lighter meals now.. Great cruise but I'm now counting the days until we go home.

Friday & Saturday

Friday:  Tauranga, took tour to Agrodome, a show with 14 kinds of sheep, a cow, lambs, ducks, and sheep dogs.  Ray got picked to go on stage and milk a cow.  Then on to Rotorua to visit a Maori village.  Enjoyed a meal that was cooked in the ground.  They gave us the Maori greeting where they touch noses twice. Once to honor the people that have died and once to greet the person in the present.  We then went to a bird conservatory to see lots of birds and finally saw the kiwi, the national bird.  The last stop of the day was Hell's Gate where there were hot springs and lots of sulfer smell. Our friends we've met from Perth, Kevin and Diane had their 50th anniversary today. I arranged with the front desk to have balloons on their door and for them to have a cake at their dinner.  They had a great day and so did we with them.  After dinner we spent a lot of time with our friends, Michael, Kevin's brother and Susan from Calgary, & Brenda from Montana.
Saturday: Packing day today.  Got up early to see the |White Island volcano.  |Don't worry, it's inactive! Then back to bed until we had breakfast in our room at 8am.  Saw show  in the morning where the crew said goodbye.  \|Walked in the afternoon for breast cancer.  5kms or 10 laps around the 3rd deck.  We received t-shirts and wrist bands from the ship.  Very tired but glad we did it.  Dinner was the Chef's Master dinner and they all danced as they served us.  Great fun.  Saw the last show, magic, comedy and singing.  Spent time with friends we've met on the ship.  Lots of hugs and tears!