Road trips are fun, but they can be very tiring. That’s why we spent the rest of Kelly’s days in NZ in Auckland. There’s so much to see and do around here that I don’t think we made much of a sacrifice by staying close to home. Highlights of those last few days are what this post is all about, since otherwise you’d be scrolling down and reading forever.
I’ll start off with our wine tasting tour, which was self guided. We basically picked up a winery brochure, set the GPS, and headed out. For some reason the wine got better and better as we went along. During this outing, Kelly took the opportunity to drive my car for her first time on the “wrong” side of the road! Exciting for her, scary for me. We learned a lot about the NZ winery business and where the grapes are grown. A big surprise was learning that 95% of wines bottled in NZ have twist off caps instead of corks. So much more convenient with no compromise of quality!
I really enjoyed taking Kelly around to my favorite Auckland spots, including Downtown, Devonport, Mission Bay, and Remuera Golf Club! The top of the Sky Tower in Downtown Auckland gave great views in 360 degrees. However, my favorite view was the one straight down.
Devonport gave us a really great view of Downtown from the top of Mount Victoria, an extinct cone that was used as a military post. The big canon at the top is still there.
Kelly loves to golf so it wouldn’t have been right to deny her the opportunity to play for the first time in another country. Lucky for us, I happen to work at one of the best courses in Auckland so we teed it up and played 18 holes. No score was kept, but I think I won. That’s my story anyway. Kelly told me she considered that one of the best highlights of the whole trip. Not because of the golf, however, but because she made a great connection with one of the members we played with, Natalie. After the round we shared a few drinks and chatted about travels and men. Natalie gave us some great tips on places to eat too, which all turned out to be fantastic.
While Kelly was here, the America’s Cup Race was being run in San Francisco. Two sailboats, the Kiwis and the Americans, were up against each other for the final. Unfortunately, the Americans pulled off an unprecedented come from behind win to take the cup. Kelly had mentioned that she wanted to go sailing one day and we happened to find a sailing cruise on one of the previously used Americas Cup boats. The day we picked to go out couldn’t have been any better! Participation from everyone on board was necessary to get the sails up and down using the four winches on the deck. I’m not going to lie, I was very sore the next day! Kelly and I both got to steer the boat around the harbor, past other sailboats and massive cargo ships bringing in the latest shipments.
On our way back to the dock we caught some serious wind. If you’ve never been on a racing sailboat before, those things get seriously sideways. A couple of times I thought for sure we would tip over, but the crew apparently had it well in hand.
I had a great time in the 10 days Kelly spent in NZ. We did things and ate at places I wouldn’t have on my own, so I’m very glad she came to visit. She gave me a copy of the pictures she took, so some of the ones you’ve seen in the past few posts are hers. If anyone else wants a tour of the country, I’ll meet you at the airport!