We got settled in our very well-located hotel, right next to the Sky Tower, a close twin to the Seattle Sky Needle. We met our guide for this trip, Jeremy, who has been with Globus for ten years after a long stint with Overseas Adventure Travel. He is an Aussie but knows NZ well.
We are a group of 23, which is larger than we have experienced in the past. There is a group of eight friends from northern Indiana and a group of four from the Detroit area. There a few from Canada and one couple from Denver. It will take some time to get to know everyone’s name. And not everyone is going to Fiji at the end.
After our orientation, we went to the restaurant at the top of the Sky Tower, which rotates 360 degrees to view the city. We were fortunate to have absolutely clear weather to view the harbor and the home of the America’s Cup, although it hasn’t been held here in a long time.
The menu for dinner was especially varied and definitely with high-end options. We chose an heirloom tomato carpaccio with cashews, feta foam, and onion petals. I had a fabulous salmon dish and Jim had lamb rump, which didn’t sound very interesting but had wonderful flavor and a lovely sauce.
With a delicious local beer (for Jim) and a Pinot Grigio (for me), we had dessert. The choices all looked wonderful but we both chose a strawberry marscapone cheesecake with butter pecan ice cream. One picture shows the dessert when delivered to our table and the second, once the strawberry bomb was cracked with the cheesecake instead! We finally hit the wall with jet-lag and happily fell into bed and soundly slept.
Tomorrow, after breakfast, we head out for an Auckland city tour and a ferry to nearby Waikeke Island. Sweet dreams…