Random is the word!
Trip Start Oct 26, 2007
54Trip End Oct 26, 2009
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Where I stayed
As luck, or "randomness!" would have it, Mikaela lives in Auckland, and after a few missed calls and messages - she even went so far as to change her voice mail to say "Marie, I'd love to meet up, please call me after 8pm!" - we arranged to meet. Proving that old chestnut, "the best for last", my best day in New Zealand was spent with Mikaela and my cousin Donnacha. Mikaela and I had met years before, and it was fun to meet up as adults (some - or one - of us MUCH older than others!) and catch up.
Mikaela picked me up from my friend Jo's, and we headed to a beautiful beach where we walked and talked in the sunshine and light breeze
We then went to Mikaela's new house, which is a cute motel-like apartment that she has made homely and warm. I loved it! (Having been on the road for four months, I was envious of the compact efficiency of the space!) We had stopped by her flat to pick up Mikaela's kit for her final soccer match of the season. Her team, The Blades, tied with their opponents in a riveting match in which I cheered on Mikaela and her chiropractic-college colleagues.
The field trip gave me a glimpse of real life in the most populated city in New Zealand. People were great. I have found New Zealand to be a wholesome, easy place. Some would find it boring. Not me.
So, on the randomness front, one - it was incredibly lucky that we met at all, given I only had one day left, and it just so happened we both were in the same city in New Zealand. Two - and another random act of brilliance, my favourite young cousin Donnacha - who hails from Galway, Ireland - has been living in Sydney for six or so years. He just so happened to be in Auckland the very day Mikaela and I met.. so we arranged to meet him for dinner after the soccer game
We decided to eat outside at one of the terribly trendy restaurants along the Viaduct Quay in Auckland. It was dark, and I made a bit of a spectacle of myself when I used the decorative table candle to help see the menu. My comic cousin Donnacha called over the waiter and asked if he could tell the other patrons to keep down the noise, as I was "trying to read the menu" haha.. We laughed all night. My upcoming 45th birthday featured in the evening's jokes.
Donnacha was staying at the posh Sky City hotel, so we thought we'd snoop around when we dropped him home. We ended up staying over in his ample suite, as it was 3am or so when we landed there. The poor guy had to leave for the airport at 6:00am the following morning. I am not-so-secretly plotting for marvelous Mikaela and dashing Donnacha to fall for eachother and bring the clans together.. haha I gotta say, being in the company of young, positive people really does one good, and keeps you young. I'll let the photos speak for themselves!