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.
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.
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.