Auckland, Day 2
Auckland Travel Blog› entry 6 of 23 › view all entries
We woke up around 7am and all agreed that it was the best sleep we had had yet on our trip. Dad initially thought his foot was doing better, but once he started walking on it he decided otherwise. We decided it was best to call the Hotel Doctor. We had time to catch breakfast at Hector's Restaurant in the hotel while we waited, so did the breakfast buffet. It was good and had the traditional things you always find at a New Zealand breakfast buffet -- scrambled eggs, limp gray bacon (God bless the Kiwis, but they just can't fry bacon and get it as crisp as the Americans like it), broiled tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms, baked beans and spaghetti-o's. Oh, and some miso soup as well. I really don't understand the baked beans and spaghetti-o thing, but it seems to show up at every breakfast buffet here.
The doctor the hotel called made a visit to our room shortly after breakfast. He was very professional and cordial and after a quick examination, confirmed that Dad was having another episode of gout. He wrote out a couple of prescriptions for him, talked to him about his diet, and off he went. Our next stop was to find a pharmacy that was open, not an easy feat since it was a national holiday (Auckland Anniversary Day). We finally located on out on Ponsonby Road, got the prescriptions filled and grabbed some padding for his foot.
Once we got Dad fixed up, we drove down to the Viaduct (harbour area downtown) and found a spot to park near the Ferry Building. I wanted to get as close as we could to the America's Cup Village so that Dad did not have to walk much. The America's Cup Village is a development on the Viaduct that sprang up after Team New Zealand won the America's Cup sailing competition a few years back. Once a country is the winner, it can then take the competition to it's own waters for the next challenge, and Team New Zealand made this their headquarters. It's a beautiful spot on the waterfront, filled with restaurants, bars, retail shops, upscale condominiums, and yacht slips.
We took the Harbour Cruise -- and it was a great day to do it -- sunny and warm, albeit a bit breezy.
After our harbour cruise, we headed back to the hotel so Dad could rest his foot and Mom could fix her hair.
Before our dinner at White, we stopped at a bar called Minus 5 Ice Bar. It's a very cool place, literally! The temperature inside the bar is supposed to be as advertised, 5 below zero, centigrade. All the chairs, the bar, the glasses the drinks are made in, etc. is made of ice. The drinks are made with vodka kept in the freezer. You are given a parka and mittens when you go in, and you are limited to 25 minutes inside at a time. Mom got snow boots too. It costs $25 Kiwi dollars, and with that you get one drink. Our bartender, Lee, told us that it was a bit chillier than normal on this day, as it was actually 8 below zero! We had a drink made with Absolute Vanil Vodka with guava and passionfruit juices.
White is just a bit farther down the wharf from 5 Below Zero. It is in the Hilton Hotel, the hotel that looks like a ship moored at the wharf. We had an amazing dinner (see the review below) and some nice wine along with the meal. We did have a very animated waiter that night. He could not stand still. He flitted about, danced and talked in non-stop jitters.
After dinner, we went back to the Sky Tower to use our evening tickets we had bought the day before. The views over the city at night were beautiful and it was fun to see where we had been on the harbour cruise. I think I actually prefer the day views though, as you can see farther.
I walked Mom and Dad back to the hotel around 10:30 and then went out for a drink with a friend from Auckland. It was good to catch up and have a nightcap. I was home by midnight and found that Mom and Dad were already sacked out.