Showing posts with label New Zealand. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New Zealand. Show all posts

26 March, 2011

A weekend in Auckland PART I of III

Sydney - Auckland EK412 Emirates A380 A6-EDC

Well yes, ok it has been a while, but this weekend was hectic enough... Throw in a major headache, and it made it even worse, but I got through it all... Just!We arrived at the International departures at Sydney Airport early. There was both J and myself going to Auckland, but N was leaving the same day to Vietnam via Singapore. His flight was leaving 30 minutes after ours... Or so we thought! It was not to long later when entering the Emirates Lounge, we were told that our flight would be delayed due to its inbound also being late! Oh well, more time to enjoy the lounge, right!

We entered the lounge, got a couple of seats that outlooked over onto the ramp, and then hit the food. It was an interesting array of hot foods, Western and Middle East, there was also cereals, fresh fruit, juices, coffee/teas, and of course, champagne and drinks! Here is my breakfast.

Breakfast Emirates Lounge
Emirates Lounge Sydney
Emirates Lounge Sydney Entrance

We arranged to meet back up with N prior to his boarding, now that he's leaving before us, and we said our goodbyes. It was at this stage, we walked up to our departure gate (lots of people after all, it was an A380) and we saw the flight crew sitting waiting as well. We politely asked if it was possible to visit the flight deck upon arrival into Auckland, to which we were welcomed without any problems!

Our flight was called, and being a Gold Skywards Member, I could board at anytime, through a dedicated line, even though we were travelling in Economy on the way over! This was not my first EK A380 flight, but for J it was on both counts. I had organised a window seat each, just forward of the wing. It wasn't too long, and we had started our pushback...

16R Holding

There was stormy clouds about Sydney this morning, and our departure took us off 16R and on an almost straight heading across the Tasman Sea. Flight time was a relative short 2.35 hours! We were soon served our breakfast; for me I had the Cheese Omelet while J had the mixed grill. Mine had potatoes, mushrooms and a capsicum sauce. It was very good! There was also a croissant and a fruit bowl.

EK412 Breakfast
Cheese Omelet Mushrooms
A6-EDC Econ Interior
A6-EDC Mid Galley

Our arrival into Auckland took us on a downwind leg in-between Auckland City and the airport, a right hand turn for a final over Manuka and not to long afterwards, touchdown into Auckland, which was very much like we had left Sydney, cloudy! A short taxi to the gate, maybe 10 minutes, and it had started to POUR!

Before we got off the flight, the cabin staff took us up to the First Class Suites, and also showed us the First Class Shower. Again, whilst I had seen/experienced this before, it was still very good to see it again.

EK A380 First Suites (Credit - J Laing)
A6-EDC First Shower

We then headed up to the 'Office', where the Captain was waiting for us, the First Officer who actually flew the leg, had already left the office, but was waiting in the entrance of the aircraft. The Captain was great, we were there for a while, and whilst I sensed our stay was becoming onerous, he still answered questions and allowed us to get a photo in the 'Left Seat'

A380 Left Seat (Credit - J Laing)

Immigration was painless, as with collecting the car. Finding the hotel though, was a little less easy as I took a turn one street to soon, but painless all the same! As we had arranged earlier to meet up with D, we quickly got our bearings and went for a short drive (in the pouring rain) before heading back to meet up. We headed into the Auckland Pier for a couple of beers, before getting geographically challenged to the Angus Steakhouse for dinner. J had a 1.3kg steak, D an Eye Fillet, whilst I opted for the Lamb Rack (what ELSE would you have in NZ?) which was AMAZING! We had a great night chatting about lots of stuff, and then headed back to the hotel (more chatting in the lobby) and to bed...

Angus Steak House AKL
Lamb Rack

So, that's part one, I will get parts two and three up as soon!

Hoo roo for now...


22 January, 2008

save the whales

Mystery package (souvenir) revealled....... (Backlog & Mystery Post)

Save the Whales
The scandalous whaling program Japan is conducting in the Southern Ocean is getting quite a bit of well deserved attention in the media. I am going to take a personal stand, there will be no more Japanese fabrics purchased by me until they STOP!

Our Whale is a weather vane purchased on our last trip to New Zealand, not the easiest thing to transport I can tell you. It took a bit of creative packaging that included a singlet of dad's (true), a pair of B's jeans that ripped whilst travelling, micropore (I always carry this, something about being accident prone, and an allergy to bandaids), recycled bubblewrap care of a photographic store in Nelson, and cardboard, again recycled care of a store in Nelson, and packing tape.

06 December, 2007

TT # 10: random finds and crafty goodness from our trip to new zealand

New Zealand 2007 TT Mosaic

1. The Fabric Room, 2. The Fabric Room Shopfront, 3. Dept of Doing, 4. Napier, 5. Napier, 6. Napier, 7. Arahura First Class, 8. The Store, 9. The Painted Room, 10. Seals posing, 11. Roadside Diner, 12. Roadside Diner, 13. Lobster Lunch, 14. The Dyslexia Foundation, Christchurch, 15. Mackenzie Thorpe Statue, 16. Mackenzie Thorpe, Falling Heart, 17. The Dyslexia Foundation, 18. The Cupboard, 19. The Cupboard, 20. Zebrano, Wellington

Thirteen Things about:

random finds and crafty goodness from our trip to new zealand

1…. The Fabric Room, in Parnell is fabulous. I have brought home with me a handful of swatches of velvets in an amazing range of shades of pink, and one called bourbon, that I do not have a project in mind for, but I am just taken by the colour. They also had a wool mix felt in cornflower that I think I shall just have to get, again no specific project in mind but that is a minor detail really. The velvet is for backing on a cushion, I finished a tapestry a couple of years ago of a trout (Elizabeth Bradley), and haven't got around to, or found the right coloured/priced velvet for the cushion to be made up in. I did find some velvet earlier in the year but had to buy a metre minimum, and it was something like $180 per metre and I was prepared to pay that much. The Fabric Room was about 1/6th of this and the sample 'pink lady' looks like it will fit the project perfectly. Now all I need is for someone to make the cushion up.

2…. La Cigale, Parnell, for the best cheeses, and bread sticks. I wish we had found this last year when we were staying in Parnell, we would have had cheese and bread just about every night for dinner this time round whilst in this part of town. The cheeses imported from France are amazing, at around $90 per kg they were still worth every cent. This store is worth visiting, with an interesting collection of vintage furniture and accessories, clothing, and of course the food. An organic fruit and vegetable market is held on Wednesdays, and we got some fabulously sweet tomatoes and a cucumber, as well as a chook for dinner that night.

3…. Hamburgers from Riba Fish 'n' Chips Cafe, in Devonport are a must. We accidentally stumbled on this Fish and Chips takeaway, and we all agreed that these were the best hamburgers ever.

4…. The Department of Doing! Not really sure what this was about at first, but when we saw that they were selling cans of 'Inspiration' it all sort of fell into place...

5….Napier! for art deco architecture, we unfortunately were only driving through, but a couple of days here would have been a good idea.

6…. Interisland Ferry, I could just ride the ferry all day, back and forth between the islands. The three hour trip was so enjoyable, with the most beautiful scenery. It was the perfect way to recharge the batteries mid holiday.

7….Nelson, simply a must when you reach the south island. Instead of travelling straight on to Blenheim, do yourself a favour and take the detour to Nelson. Recommended by one of mum's friends I am so glad we spent a couple of days here. It is a bit of an art and craft hub for glass, ceramics, jewellery and art in general, and is just really pretty. We visited the Hoglund glass showroom which put a dint in the bank balance, and the MacMillans Ceramics showroom. There is also a good range of antique shops.

8…. The Store, Fantastic view and really great food. This place was about 40minutes out of Blenheim (my tip about Blenheim keep driving) or Kaikoura depending on the direction you are driving. We stopped here and just took in the amazing view, dipped our feet in the water and followed some birds.

9…. Strangely Familiar! Vintage wares in Wellington near the Wellington Botanic Gardens (which are well worth a visit), I got myself some crocheted dishcloths and something for B for Christmas, naturally I can't say any more about this now. Another shop again for fun vintage finds, as well as interesting couture is The Painted Room, in Christchurch, plenty of ideas gathered here. It was a pity we were over our baggage limits by this stage.

10…. Seals! Coming into Kaikoura, along the highway, we were simply driving along and we came across this 'family' of seals along the rocky shoreline. We have never seen seals in the wild before, at least, not like this!

11….Roadside Lobster! Kaikoura has a quirky little roadside diner, sort of... You see, it looks as though the owners simply parked on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, and set up shop! Items include, Whitebait sandwich, Garlic Mussels & Garlic Scallops! We had to go back the following day to get a lobster for lunch, YUMM!!

12…. The Dyslexia Foundation, Christchurch in particular the Mackenzie Thorpe monumental bronze, is so emotive. It is fantastic what has been achieved with the building, garden and sculptures. The talking chairs give you a real appreciation for those who suffer from dyslexia. It is truly inspirational.

13…. Clothes! T'da, an old favourite and a must stop at (either on the way from the airport or to it) in Auckland. The Cupboard, in Parnell and opposite where we were staying, simply beautiful clothes and not so beautiful prices! Zebrano, and Untouched World both in Wellington's CBD, had some stunning clothes. Even taking into account of the exchange rate, it was still quite expensive!

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02 December, 2007

New Zealand 2007

Well, as we did not really have a solid internet connection (or the time to really hook up onto the net with the ‘in-laws’ travelling with us (oh, before you ask, we had a lovely holiday with them. It just meant packing more into the day!!!!)), here is the first of probably around 14 ‘trip reports from our trip to New Zealand.

We were travelling again to New Zealand on Emirates, the same as last year. This year however, the flight was FULL. Not a spare seat was to be had. It was also the first time for the Father in law (FIL) to go overseas, and he was looking forward to it. So much so that a little Cellulites in his leg; a hospital visit two night before and a bag or two of IV fluids was not going to stop him from boarding the plane!

The morning had arrived and the brother in law (BIL) arrived promptly very early to take us to Sydney airport. Bags checked a quick look around the shops we went through immigration and into duty free heaven. FIL got himself comfy overlooking the new Singapore A380 sitting out on the tarmac (until about 200 people decided to come and have a photo taken in front of it) whilst the girls went shopping. I had a quick look around the camera and electronic shops for any bargains, nup!

Boarding was quick enough and we were soon taxing for a (rough) departure over the western suburbs, over our house, before heading out to sea and ‘over the pond’. Breakfast was served which was very scrummy. I had an omelette and chicken sausage, and L had the other which I can’t remember. Emirates in-flight entertainment was great with plenty of choices. I quickly decided and watched Hairspray, fantastic!

Three hours later, we were on approach into Auckland, and very quickly through immigration and at the hire car company. Paperwork was ready and walked over to ‘assess’ the car, thankfully! There was nothing mentioned on the paperwork, however, there was quite a large gash down the passengers side rear panel, see the pic. We quickly got it all sorted and on the road to Parnell, to our first of many accommodation, the Parnell Village Motor Lodge. This was looking rather different since last year, new owners, and was getting a lick of paint! The new owners, Helen and I can’t remember his name, were fantastic, very accommodating and friendly indeed. We recommend that if you’re in Auckland (Parnell) stay here you will not be disappointed!

After quickly unpacking we jumped into the car and to the Parnell Rose Garden, which was just packing up after the Rose festival! Had I know this, we would have travelled a day earlier!

So here are some pics of the car, some Iris’s and Roses from the Rose Garden

1. Nth Island Car, 2. Parnell Mini Purple Rose, 3. Parnell White Iris, 4. Parnell Rose, 5. Parnell Dark Red Rose, 6. Parnell Cream Rose, 7. Parnell Iris, 8. Parnell Pink Roses, 9. Parnell Red Roses