Tomorrow is our last day in Auckland, Friday morning we jump in a car and drive to Cambridge... on the left side of the road... from the left side of the car. We paid extra for car insurance.
We have wandered all over, around and through Auckland the past few days eating the whole way through. A few places have really stuck out, so we thought we'd point future visitors in the right direction!
If you like Indian food and you like Asian food, well then you will like Malaysian food. We decided to try simply because we've never dined at a Malaysian restaurant and I am glad we did. It was flavorful and spicy, a great combo! The curry bowl in the picture was so delicious and rich that Mom and Dad said very little until it was gone... only slurping and clicking chopsticks.
If your looking for a healthy, plant based meal then Revive is the place. They have a selection of salads and hot meals which change weekly, just pick the size platter you want and make your choices. This isn't the most photogenic meal... that's pink hummus for breast cancer awareness.
A perfect place for a sweet snack is The Little Bird Organics Unbakery, not only is it delicious but they accommodate vegan and gluten free diets. The passion fruit cheesecake and chocolate truffles are absolutely awesome.
Last but not least is Snow Man, they serve a "premium ice dessert" which if you've been to Korea you may have had before. They serve a shaved ice cream, the only way to describe it is to compare it to Dippin'Dots except it's not little spheres but very fine slivers of super cooled ice cream. The go the extra mile and create a masterpiece of toppings. We, as always, went with the chocolate!
We are spending a week in Auckland before moving south on the north island and eventually making it to Queenstown on the south island. We decided to use airbnb for this portion of the trip and are staying in a great little apartment in Freeman's Bay hosted by Louise. It is a great place, especially if you have a little one, fully equipt with toys, crib and more. It is only a 20 minute walk to Queen St. so the location is great. The first leg of the walk is up a pretty good hill so you can get the blood pumping to start the day, but take a bus if you're unable to handle the climb it's right across the street.
It is a two bedroom, ground floor apartment with a queen size mattress in the master and a twin and a crib in the second room. There is a great big living room, washer/dryer, eco-friendly products all around and everything you need in the kitchen. We arrived to find bread, eggs and milk in the fridge which was great because we had gotten in late. On top of all that the place is grooved out with a retro-funky feel, a record player and the vinyl to go with!
We have spent our first two days roaming the streets and realizing how accustomed to the island heat we have become.... it's COLD! We have found plenty to do here so far, attending the Be Well Festival and the Diwali Indian Festival too. We really don't require much excitement to entertain us, I was laughing at how excited we were just to explore a shopping mall food court... island isolation will do that to you I guess!
Tomorrow we hit the zoo, but we have no plans beyond that, we'll just roam the City until Friday when we get in a car and drive to Cambridge.... but too much roaming can wear a little guy out!
I have been meaning to post on this for sometime now because it is certainly something that makes newcomers look twice. Samoans traditionally bury their family members on their own land, the result is a grave site/yard in front of the majority of homes here. The tombs range widely from single plots to huge structures containing many remains. The grave sites are viewed and treated differently than in the mainland U.S.. While it is generally considered disrespectful to walk over a grave it the States, here it is normal to see people sitting, playing or even hanging laundry on the graves.... I have even seen a chess board embedded in one tomb. This is difference is derived from the view that having deceased love ones nearby keeps their spirit with the family. It is out of love and familiarity that the tombs are part of everyday activities, this keeps the deceased with the family in spirit.
Occasionally Village Chiefs will not allow burials nearby houses and establish central burial, but this is uncommon. Samoans want the close burials so they can remain with the family. Until somewhat recently tombs with roofs and structures around them were reserved for Chiefs, but not they are commonly used and can be quiet large.
Some very large traditional structures contain many remains. I was told that in these cases old remains are relocated during a ceremony and placed in cloth before placement. This conserves space.
Some older homes have many individual graves.
New homes incorporate the tombs into the landscape.
And what likely stands out most to newcomers is that many tombs are located in very common areas.
NOAH NEWS: Noah's favorite movie for sometime now has been "Planes", this has now lead to his new favorite music being AC/DC. It is common place for him to be roaming the house singing "Thunderstruck" imitating the high pitch squeal of Brian Johnson.... it is very suiting to his energetic personality!
The Jaskowiak Family
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