Day 25 – at sea on the way to Dunedin
Happy Valentine’s Day – What a wonderful way to spend Valentine’s day, cruising the South Pacific off the coast of New Zealand. They even had a renewal of vows officiated by Captain Andrea Spinardi. Ingrid and I loved the little ceremony they held and we were feeling pretty good about 31 years of marriage. One of our coworker’s parent’s is on the ship and we ran into them after the vow renewal. He said, “Not bad after 63 years of marriage!”. Wow – and they still look like valentines! I guess we have a ways to go!
We had such a wonderful time in Auckland, NZ with Ingrid’s college classmate, Sherrie. Sherrie married a Kiwi (we were told this is NOT a bad term) and has lived in NZ for over 20 years. Sherrie drove (over 3 hours) to meet us at our ship. We then boarded a ferry for Waiheke island where we spent the day exploring and wine tasting at some fantastic wineries. They have a hop-on-hop-off buss that was included in the ferry price. We then spent the day stopping at wineries without having to worry about driving. Great way to get to see the island, beaches, wineries and restaurants. We stopped at 3 lovely wineries and enjoyed their handiwork. We also walked along an almost-deserted beach and the last winery had a view all the way back to Auckland, probably about 20 miles away. What a lovely way to catch up with Sherrie and spend the day in the NZ sunshine. It was probably 75+ degrees after the clouds cleared about 10:00 AM.
In addition to the time we spent with Sherrie on Waiheke island, we were able to have beers the night before with Jan and George at the Rooftop Bar overlooking the harbor where they keep the America’s Cup ships. NZ is getting ready to host the America’s Cup in 2021 and there are many cranes dotting the skyline, building everywhere and a bustling nightlife. Once Sherrie dropped us back at our ship, Ingrid, I, Jan and George had a lovely dinner at the Crab Shack about a 10 minute walk from our ship. Ingrid and I then completed the day by walking to a nearby grocery store and stocking up on our supply of NZ sauvignon blanc, which we were able to carry onto the ship without incident.
Several times Sherrie invited us to come back and spend some quality time at their place on a lake in NZ. We now have that trip squarely in our cross-hairs!