Waitakere, Waitomo, and Rotorua: My 2 Cents

I hope you all enjoyed David’s recap as much as I did…but y’all didn’t think I wouldn’t let that go without putting in my two cents, did ya? 😉  Here are some of my comments:

Unfortunately, we started off our weekend with the news that our Great-Grandmother, Grammy Bushko passed away.  She had been sick and uncomfortable, so he passing is really a blessing.  We made sure to celebrate her 89 years of life during the weekend ❤

It should be noted that I proved to be a terrible navigator.  I am used to navigating in the South Island, where there are only approximately 2 different roads, so I probably wasn’t assertive enough.   But David did an excellent job, especially on the windy, narrow roads of Waitakere Ranges!  Bravo!

Waitakere Ranges Welcome Center

Also during the Ranges, we took a pretty substantial hike out to view a dam.

It was really spectacular!

Ha ha ha!

While driving, we were able to pick up one of Hannah and my favorite radio stations we had discovered in the South Island: “Nineties, Naughties, and Now.”  It’s an epic mix, I don’t even have to tell you!

Waitomo General Store might be my favorite restaurant in the world.  I had the best bowl of porridge ever, hands-down!

Before our rafting trip, we were informed that the water level was too high, due to the recent rain, so we had to wait about an hour for the level to go down.  The good news was that we got free muffins and cappuccinos!  Score!

After the rafting trip, we were able to get a hot shower and some complimentary tomato soup.  It was perfect after a chilly morning in the cave water!

On the way out of Waitomo, we stopped at a market to get some ice cream.  These cones were as big as our heads and only “one scoop” at $2.50.  I love rural NZ!

Sabroso, the Mexican restaurant in Rotorua, might very well be my second-favorite restaurant in the world.  I finally got the enchiladas of my dreams I have been craving for so long!

When we were getting near to Rotorua, we needed to stop for gas, but unfortunately, the gas station we found was not pumping due to a power outage.  This resulted in us running on empty for about 20 minutes.  I was on the edge of my seat!

In Rotorua, we went to the Fat Dog for breakfast where we got lattes with a free cookie.  I just love that touch!  Starbucks should adapt this custom… I wasn’t feeling 100% so I stuck with porrige,

but David got the works!  You know I tried some 🙂

I. Love. Zorbing.

It should also be mentioned that David is now the Chicken Whisperer.  After Zorbing, he got up close and personal to some of their pet chickens.  As if Zorbing weren’t strange enough!

After Zorbing, we had some time to kill before we needed to drive back to Auckland, so we popped over to see the Redwood trees.  I think David was unimpressed… 😉  Despite the anticlimactic size of the NZ redwoods, it was a perfect day outside, and we even stopped for a Subway picnic in Hamilton.

At the Hamilton gardens, we sat on a bench in a Maori garden and enjoyed out subs.

I was pleased because the Subway in Rotorua did NOT skimp on the salad.  Also, David got me a cookie even though I said I didn’t want one.  My brother knows me well 🙂

The trip to Hamilton Gardens was also worthwhile because the bathrooms had automatic doors.  Very progressive.

Again, I was a sucky navigator back to Auckland and actually fell asleep (practically unheard of for me) but David managed quite well 🙂

For dinner back in the city, we had a feastly buffet of leftovers.  Including lots of leftover desserts!

It was my turn to clean the kitchen (the last time!) but I was also rewarded for my thorough cleaning with a free cookie from a beautiful stranger in the elevator, plus another pleasant encounter with the cashiers at Forte Convenience to add to my memories.

It was a great end to our first leg!  But here’s an update: our flight to Queenstown has, indeed, been cancelled 😦  We are in the midst of planning alternative travels right now!  Wish us luck!



Filed under Life

3 responses to “Waitakere, Waitomo, and Rotorua: My 2 Cents

  1. Martine

    You both are having great adventures and great food! That is so nice you and David can do this together! Life will seem dull when you get home. I hope not though! You will have great memories that will last a lifetime! Enjoy!

  2. Miranda

    Whee you went to my hometown!! Pretty unimpressive isn’t it :p The gardens are nice though. I don’t know how you had time to fit all the stuff you did in with all that driving!! I am impressed.

  3. You take such great pictures! I also love enchiladas and wanted to go to the Mexican grocery store’s cafe to eat today, but I got out voted and ended up with French Onion soup, which was delicious. My teenagers said they couldn’t believe I ordered it but then they all dipped their buns into it over and over.

    🙂 Marion

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