Our last days in Auckland are somewhat surreal. Everywhere we go we are “welcomed” to New Zealand. When we explain that we are leaving after nearly 5 months of house and pet sitting, people are fascinated and intrigued. Despite feeling decidedly sad about our departure, it drives home for us how grateful we are to have had this experience.
We wander the wharf area and into the Maritime Museum where we especially enjoy the exhibit about Peter Blake, the sailor who led the NZ team to America’s Cup victories in 1995 and 2000.
Thanks to the recommendation of our last homeowners, we also take a 30 minute ferry out to Rangitoto Island, the youngest volcano in New Zealand and a predator-free island. We hike to the summit, around the crater, amidst the military relics and through a lava tunnel. The rewards are being in nature this last day, 360 degree views and sighting several new birds which are often only found on these island reserves.
At a final dinner out at the Brewery Cooperative, we find a beer that we enjoyed 4 years ago in Scotland. It seems an appropriate connection as we discuss our determination to continue adventuring in the future.
For all of you who have followed us in NZ, we want to leave you with a big smile. Poppy! She is the sweet Staffie pup coming home in a matter of days to Whistle. It fills us with joy knowing how the homeowners and Whistle will cherish her companionship. Poppy will be there to see Whistle into his old age - as he did so sweetly with Lucy. Full circle!
As we sit in Los Angeles waiting for our final flight into San Francisco, we are looking so forward to sweet reunions with family, friends and our old dog, Finn.
Next stop - Paris in October - to celebrate our oldest son’s 30th birthday…