So first of all-we Gary's are clearly not over the time change. Here it is 7:30 at night and I am writing this while barely able to keep my eyes open. Next to me on the couch sit Josh and Liam--both sound asleep with Liam almost snoring. Let's hope he (Liam) manages to stay asleep longer tonight since he didn't even make it to 5 AM this morning.
Secondly--the weather here has been amazing. Not a cloud in the sky for the last two days and that's the forecast for the next 3 days as well. Also--everyone keeps talking about how "cold" it is. And I learned today that this is apparently as cold as it gets. Yet--we have spent basically every waking moment outside in this "frigid" weather. I know it will rain but it seems that it actually is wetter in Aug/Sep/October, so Liam and I may miss much of that since we will just be here June and July.
The last two days have mainly been spent getting the last things checked off our to-do list, like finding a nanny and getting a bank account, as well as more exploring of the city. Starting tomorrow we hope to hit more of the "tourist" places and even take some small treks outside of Auckland (even if it's just the 30 minute ferry to Waiheke Island)
Monday we interviewed our first nanny candidate (to cover for the two weeks I will be working before my mom or Dianne are here--they will be watching Liam when they are around) She was awesome. Apparently the job market in New Zealand is pretty bad so there are a lot of really great people who are doing babysitting, etc. right now that are qualified in numerous fields. This girl is 22, just graduated in May with a PE degree and is currently watching an 18 m and 3 year old. She will likely nanny all year next year for a fam in Dubai and she is looking to bridge the gap with short term roles. Oh and did I mention she just spent 5 months teaching 3 to 6 year olds how to ski in Aspen? If she can do that--she can do anything. We loved her and decided there was no need to interview anyone else since there could only be 2 results that came of that--1) all nanny candidates rocked and we are stuck turning down multiple great people or 2) We still loved the first candidate the best and then just feel bad for wasting everyone's time. So we are super excited to have that resolved!
After we interviewed Jess (the nanny) we had her drop us off in the Parnell area to explore. This is a great suburb with lots of cafes and shops. We didn't really stop anywhere at that time but plan to go back and do lunch or brunch later this week.
That night we attempted to find a sushi place that Jess told us about (Saki Bar Rikka for Kacy if you are taking notes for your trip!) Unfortunately it was closed for the Monday holiday (the Queen's birthday). Too bad, since we walked probably a mile worth of laps trying to find the place and must have passed it 4 times before we realized it was the dark, barely labeled place that we had been walking by. We will return though and this time we know right where to go! Also since it is right next to Victoria Park--we got to check that out (it was okay--basically like other parks in the world!) Also--since that didn't work out--we ended up wandering around the Viaduct Harbor area and eating there(beautiful and all I could think about was how much my Dad would love looking at all of the yachts!)
Today we had plans to do the Sky Tower and the Auckland Zoo. But only ended up doing the Zoo (will probably do Sky Tower tomorrow). Only ended up having time for one because we got sidetracked with getting a bank account (which took a little more time than we expected) and stopping by the McK office to pick up my wireless card and access badge. Very nice office by the way with an amazing view over the harbor--I'll have to take pics of the view from the office I will be borrowing--it's pretty ridiculous! The Zoo is a great zoo--Liam was bummed that the penguins were off display but I told him we would go to this Antarctica adventure place that they have in Auckland (Kelly Tarlton's) and see the penguins there, and that seemed to appease him! They have tons of tigers and lions (and two of the tigers are cubs who will be celebrating their first b-day next week!) Liam of course loves the lions since they are all "mommy and daddy Ees" For those of you who don't know, "Ees" is Liam's much loved stuffed lion who he has had since he was born. When he sees the male lion he just yells with crazy excitement "That's Ees' daddy!!"Soooo cute--I love him!
So overall--not too much exciting to report--I hope to have something more fun over the next couple of days! (although we wanted to do a wine tour on waiheke but all of the tours say--"not recommended for children" so we decided we might feel a little too much like lushes if we ignored that and dragged along our 2 year old anyway! Thus, vineyard tour stories may have to wait for a day when we have a babysitter!)
Here's one pic for you--a view of the harbor at dusk. My battery ran out right after this one which is why I don't have others (we did get some video at the zoo today though so I may try to add that later!)