Our original plan for Thursday was to hike Rangitoto, a volcanic island just a ferry ride away with lava caves. But due to a forecast of rain, we ditched those plans and decided to spend the day shopping and hanging out in Auckland.
I got all of my own souvenir shopping done, plus I got the rest of the gifts I needed to pick up. It made me feel really sad that I am actually leaving New Zealand where I am not going to have access to the amazing culture, but it also made me really excited to get home and share everything that I have experienced with my loved ones!
We shopped until we dropped, and we dropped ourselves right back into Brew on Quay, the first pub that I took the family to last week! We got to sit in this really cool wood-paneled room.
We all got some of their fantastic pub food and the boys got a few beers. Everyone agreed that it was one of their favorite places in New Zealand, what with all the yummy food, great beer selection, and great wine selection, too!
My mom is a simple woman at times. All she has been asking to do since we got here is go to the grocery store. We finally made it to one yesterday! She was so happy to find boxes of Oaty Slices, a type of granola bar they have been giving us in the hotel. She was also amazed to see that they do not refrigerate their eggs!
We also had fun looking at all of the booze and candy, of course.
After grocery shopping, we stopped by my apartment for a bit to say hello to Hannah who had her last day of school today. The semester really is over! We were sad that she couldn’t come along with us, though, because she had to work on an essay for her online summer class. She’s been working hard her last few weeks here!
We went back to the hotel to relax a bit before dinner. Our plan was to go to the Auckland Fish Market, which has a few restaurants that stay open late on Thursday nights. We tried and failed to get the last free shuttle, but we just called a cab and we were there in no time.
Sadly, when we got there the retail market area was closed, so we didn’t get to look at all of the fresh fish that there was to offer. Also, we observed to fun-looking courtyard, but since it is winter, everyone was seated inside.
There was a traditional Asian restaurant, but we chose to go to the Bistro Cafe because I had my heart set on some paella.
The paella was full to bursting with the freshest fish I have ever tasted! Mussels, shrimp, crayfish, and these long skinny things that were mysterious yet delicious!
My favorite dishes are made of rice (my favorite grain), veggies (the life-force of my being), seafood (that I could never give up), and a light but creamy and delicious tomato-y sauce! So I guess paella is my favorite food? On top of chocolate? And bread? And everything else that I claim to be my favorite food?
We had a good time enjoying our seafood and the live jazz band.
But who really likes mediocre jazz blasting in your ear all night? The food made up for it though! Which is all I care about 😉
Can you tell from this picture that I annoy my brother at times? lol
We took a cab back to the hotel, but stopped in a convenient store to get some ice cream bars, which we enjoyed while watching some pretty horrible TV.
I went back home pretty early (they let me walk, yay!) because I wanted to get some packing done. And I am pretty much as packed as I could be right now! My only concern is that my bags may be slightly heavier than they typically allow, but we’ll find out on Saturday I guess~