How many weeks has it been since the covid shutdowns began? Feels like forever. A new mode of living that, despite the overarching gloom of illness and economic ruin, has many small charms. For example, birds. Last week, on a whim during my masked grocery run, I bought a bird feeder and some seed. I […]
One of the best rules for traveling with friends is that you don’t always have to do everything together. Another good rule for traveling with kids, is that sometimes, after several days of unstructured vacation, they just need to have dinner and go to bed early. By the time we got to Saturday night, it […]
New Zealand was the Middle Earth of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies, and Hobbiton is one of the Things To See when you’re here. On top of that, it was also my rendez-vous point to meet up with Heather and Taryn, two friends of mine from high school, and their spouses and, in […]
Legend has it that everything south and inland of Auckland is just not that cool. A lot of ranch land and unremarkable small towns. Most of that proved true on the drive from Auckland to Hamilton, but there’s a gem of a garden on the outskirts of Hamilton that was a complete delight. Built on […]
This was supposed to be the highlight of my stay in the Auckland area: a day trip to the island paradise of Waiheke for brunch at Mudbrick vineyard, an afternoon of beaches and hiking, and then dinner at Cable Bay vineyard before a sunset ferry ride home. Let’s just say that’s not exactly how things […]
Sunday was my day to explore Auckland. I caught a mid-morning ferry to the CBD . . . . . . and made my way to the Auckland Art Gallery, which with its striking wooden awning is my certainly favourite building in Auckland so far. The gallery has an impressive collection of Maori art . […]
I’m just loving all the little white bungalows here in Auckland. They’re pristinely kept and have delicate details, they but don’t feel fussy. I think it’s because the corrugated roofs add an element of austerity, while the subtropical plants lend a bit of chaos. I’d love to see what they’re like on the inside.