Friday, March 29, 2013

Auckland, Wednesday, 3/27/13

The common areas of Mollies are beautiful. too.

Unfortunately even if they get ESPN, March Madness is not covered.  We miss it a lot.

Looking down from our hallway to the dining area.  Fresh flowers, changed daily.

We strolled through parts of St. Mary's Bay and Ponsonby, the area of Auckland where we are staying.   Seems like most homes are white, beige, gray, the white fences...monochromatic inside and out.

Whoa!!  What is this?  The Bishop's Residence.

Across the street from the Bishop is this college, remembering that college is high school in NZ.

Special notice of this bus....this was prevalent throughout NZ.  Brilliant idea!!!!  The tour buses double as school buses....they just put the magnetic placard on during school hours....think of the $$$$$ saved!

We sure are in the Catholic part of town....all of this is within a few blocks from Mollie' you covered here from teen age to, rest home (sounds so much nicer than nursing home) and then hospice....

As we are walking to town, pass through Victoria Park....which was nothing but green flowers, no ponds or lakes....just green space.  We are keeping the Skytower within sight....that is the center of town and our goal.

When we first saw these boxes and racks of children's clothing, I thought it was Mom's exchanging or selling their child's used clothing.....what a clever idea.....

Nearby it looks like the kids are playing some sort of a maze game.....strings and rope tied from tree to tree and several little people in there, trying to get out.

Wrong on both counts!  They are filming a TV commercial for this brand of children's clothing!  This girl is one of the models and we watched them do 4 "takes" of her walking to the camera.....the strings are to help the models "walk their runway"....note she is holding on with her right hand.

Still in the park.....lovin those trees!

Still in the doing "cross fit"...would assume the guy in the red shirt is the trainer, although his shirt reads "judge".

There are 4 TV channels in NZ....all free....the one above is one of the two government owned channels and the other two are privately owned.  If you want more, and many people do because of international sports coverage (primarily cricket, soccer, and rugby), you pay for SKY which is out of Australia, much like our Direct TV....which also offers ESPN, CNN and Fox News.

This one is for all our children who are having children in their 40's!!!!  And for those of you who haven't started yet.....there is PLENTY of time!!!

For you, Ron Webb, the Denny's aficionado!

We made it to Skycity.....and the Tower

Skycity is actually a hotel, casino, entertainment complex next to the Tower.  We avoided the casino....have 5 weeks with one on the return cruise!!!  Our envelopes can only stand so much pressure!

We decide on a Gray Line Tour to get familiar with the city and its layout.  This is down by the waterfront.....a new development by one of the big banks....don't know what they plan to put on the inside of this, but the outside sure is impressive.

Our bus is following the one and only small cable car in town...the connector pole disconnected from the wire.  The conductor had to stop all traffic to reconnect!  

I'm hung up on the toilet rooms....this is in the Auckland Museum!!!  No sink, waters just runs down the back....

All of the above homes are on "Millionaire's Row".  The reason they are so expensive, the range being from $5,000,000 to $10,000,000, is because they face the bay and there will be no future obstruction of their view.  By the way, this is the end of our Gray Line Tour.....don't know how many of you have used Gray Line....we have quite often, just to get our footing....sometimes we use a "hop on, hop off", but since it was so hot this day, we opted for the air conditioned comfort.  There were only 7 of us on the huge bus.....worst tour EVER had anywhere....driver had little to say, not one joke, stone quiet at all red lights and traffic ad lib, script only which was minimal...four people were native Spanish speakers whose headphones didn't work properly....rather than help them, he told them to move to a different seat (in English, which, of course, they did not understand)...then he drops us off at the Museum for ONE HOUR with a discount ticket to pay an add'l $5 to tour it (again, the poor Spanish speakers didn't have a clue what to do!)  Awful!

We did the Skytower thing....Views from the 52nd story.....this last picture is taken looking down through one of the many glass "floors" at the street directly below.

Gotta love the humor and marketing here!

The more modest homes of our Ponsonby suburb.

We did the tapas thing, sitting outside, at the Tin Soldier on Ponsonby St.

Good tapas, beer, and wine.