Published: November 8th 2009November 7th 2009
Today we arrived in Auckland, Zealand!!!! After a 3.5 hour flight from Melbourne, we landed in Auckland, New Zealand. NZ is the furthest point from anywhere and we couldn't believe we were here. After an uneventful customs exit, there was Jared greeting us!! It was so good to see my buddy Jared after not seeing him for over 6 years since living in NYC! Oh, the days of Hell....
As we left the airport, we headed to Jared's home to quickly unpack and catch the afternoon ferry to Waiheke Island. At the Port, we met Jared's boyfriend Nephi!! As the weekend progressed I learned Nephi was my long lost "brown sista"! Nephi is Maori and one of the most genuine loving people we have met!
The ferry ride to Waiheke Island (aka "Island of Wine" or Bliss) was only 35 minutes from the CBD. The view of Auckland from the ferry was fresh. Jared had planned this Waiheke trip because his mum lives there and she was so generous to open her home to us boyz. Just a description of Waiheke Island: Emerald waters that lap rocky bays, island home of 26 boutique wineries, the island home people go
to escape city life....what an amazing place!
When we arrived to Waiheke Island, Jared's mum Karen was there to pick us all up. We headed to their beautiful home and met Karen's sister/Jared's Auntie Michelle. Michelle was also visiting for the weekend for the island Graden Safari tours. The home was so warm and full of positive energy.
At the house, we all settled in and had a happy hour with wine and yummy appetizers. Karen even had fresh olives which she picked from her garden. As dinner approached, the boyz prepared the outdoor fireplace, which was a scene. Nephi and I (the only brown boys) started to grill our yummy dinner full of chicken, sausage, beef and rack of lamb!! While grilling with Nephi, I realized we had so much in common...from growing up religious, being with our demanding white men and enjoying the same common interests.
Dinner was so delicious and afterward we all headed to the fire pit where we laughed, sang, and shared many stories about life, politics, the world and travels. It was an amazing evening!! But the fun did not end there. Karen made the most decadent pecan pie topped with
ice cream!!! The MAX..or as I learned... TWO MIC-KAY!!!!! I also added my dessert of the trip...TIM TAMS with green tea, which everyone enjoyed!! :-)
As we snuggled close to the fire trying to stay warm, I realized my first day in New Zealand was the one of the most memorable. When I remember traveling years ago, it was times like this that really make me appreciate family, friendships and how much love there is in the world!!! Special thank you to our Kiwi friends, Karen, Michele, Jared, and Nephi for an unforgettable first night!! xx
There are more photos below