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Friday, April 11, 2014

11 April - Back to the big smoke

Back to the big smoke.

This morning wasn’t too much of a rush, we managed to get everything put away with minimal problems – even if I still haven’t managed to find my Rangitoto sunglasses. I’m sure they’re there somewhere, they just haven’t been worn or seen since Sunday.

Because we’re heading off to Wellington, as I said our suitcases aren’t that suitable for Rangitoto’s roads. And, because we didn’t have Alan to call on this time, I carried mine around to the BBQ area (which no longer has a BBQ in it) and then went back to get D.C.’s while she took the rest of her gear and the rubbish around to sit with the bag. As the ground there’s reasonably flat and hard, she then wheeled my bag and hers while I went back to get the last of my gear – and say goodbye to the Dolls and Whare Taare. For those of you who don’t know what our bach looks like, it's the picture up top. I tried to insert it here, but Blogger refused to cooperate.

We had thought that we might be on the water at the same time as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, but their race in the America’s Cup yachts was due to happen after lunch and we got into Auckland at about 10am… So they were saved from having to look out for us. Just as well, because our hair was in desperate need of a wash and they may have recoiled in horror!

Our first stop was at the Mecure Hotel to dump our bags and check in. The receptionist took D.C.’s print out and entered the code number… Then she entered our name… Then she checked our name… Then she asked: “It couldn’t be under the name Anderson, could it?”

“No. It couldn’t.”

So she tried another tack…

And another…

She asked the duty manager…

And then went away to see what she could find out.

I looked at D.C. “She can’t find us in the system, can she?”

She couldn’t, but she managed to book us in, and kindly took our suitcases and coats so we didn’t have to lug them around town.

We did a bit of shopping around town. I found a small torch for $3.33. This was bought from the Japan Dollar Shop, which proudly proclaimed that everything was of better quality because it came from Japan. We had no way of disproving this as everything was in Japanese – except for the odd item that said it was made in China.

I bought some aniseed lollies from the English Lolly Shop in Quay Street. I looove aniseed.

We had lunch at Muffin break ‘enjoying’ a cheese, ham and pineapple “toastie” each and an apple juice. Then D.C. bought herself a radio from Dick Smith we went up to the Warehouse. Every time we go away she seems to be buy a radio and we go to the Warehouse. We went to the Warehouse because D.C. was looking for walking shoes and I was looking for togs. I found the top of a size 14 “tankini” that was on special, but wasn’t too keen on buying it: a) because it was probably too big and b) I didn’t fancy running around half naked.

I asked one of the sales staff: “Do you have any togs?”

She hesitated.

“It’s the wrong season, isn’t it?”

“Yes. If we have any they’ll be in that area…”

They didn’t have any.

The beauty of the Mecure is that it’s across what was QEII Square from the Ferry Buildings and next door to Britomart Station. What’s not so good about it is that, when you look closely (especially in the bathroom), its quality is only a step above the bach. That is it’s clean, but it could do with some major decorating and tidying up.

We returned to the hotel at 1.00pm and were allowed into our room an hour early. The first thing we did was have a shower and wash our hair. That was the plan anyway.

I was repacking my bag for tomorrow while D.C. had her shower. I could hear her thumping about in there until finally she came out. “Can you get the water running? If you can’t, go and find someone.”

I went in and the “tap” on the shower had the obligatory red and blue arrows for hot and cold, and a notice to say to pull on the “tap” to start the water flowing. I pulled and it didn’t budge. D.C. was just about to head out to find someone who understood the water system’s intricacies (having hastily thrown some clothes on) when I twisted and pulled and got the shower running.

I left her to have her shower before I finally got mine.

After that we read for a while, until 3.30 when we left to meet up with our friends the Hallys. We’d no sooner got to Galway Street when I realised that I’d left their Easter gift inside, so I ducked down through the hotel’s driveway, back upstairs, and grabbed it along with my WiFi modem. By the time I got back to the carpark behind the Britomart station Uncle John was there waiting for us.

It was a very enjoyable, convivial evening. Karen’s toe is much better, even if she’s walking around in a moon boot. Apparently the infection was caused by something that she’d stood on; perhaps even the tip of a diabetic syringe, which, if that’s the case, would be cruelly ironic. Aunty Sally is a brilliant cook so we enjoyed her chicken, sausages, bacon, stuffing, broccoli, peas, carrots, potatoes, kumara, pumpkin, onions (and went back for seconds), and apple crumble and custard (and went back for seconds again.) Yes, I had too much to eat, but after a week of dried pasta and peas… 

Uncle John kindly drove us back to the hotel (the Skytower is lit up purple for the Royal visit) and we were in bed by 9.30. It’s a late night!

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