After four nights in a row sleeping (or mostly not sleeping) on airplanes, I arrived in Auckland from Guam feeling like I’d been hit by a truck.
I was exhausted and in the early stages of what promised to be a very nasty cold. Luckily, I’d already had the foresight to schedule the remedy – a morning at the spa!
Thanks to my daily deal e-mails from Auckland’s “Grab One” (the NZ version of Groupon), I’d gotten a steal on a massage and Japanese Stone Spa treatment at a spa only two blocks from my rental apartment. Since I couldn’t pick up the keys to the apartment until 2pm and I landed at 9am, I scheduled the spa appointment for 11am.
It was exactly what I needed and highly preferable to sitting around in general misery for three hours waiting for the apartment guy. After a few hours at the spa, I was feeling almost human again.
I had just enough time to run by the grocery store for a few essentials (i.e. wine…and some food, too) before heading to the apartment.
When I arrived at the Altitude building on Kingston Street – just steps from the Sky Tower – the rental agent was waiting at the door. In an attempt to re-create my splendid 9 days in Auckland a few months back, I’d rented the same fabulous apartment – the Altitude Sky Deck.
The apartment was exactly as I remembered it and the minute I stepped out onto that enormous balcony with sweeping views of all of sunny downtown Auckland I was feeling a million times better. It was good to be home.
It was also good to have a real bed again. And a kitchen. And free, unlimited wifi. And a washer and dryer…oh, how I desperately needed a washer and dryer.
And most importantly, I was thrilled to finally see the sun again after a solid week of rain during my last three stops. I spent the afternoon catching up on work, doing laundry and cooking myself dinner and even managed to stay conscious long enough to enjoy a sunset dip in the hot tub before crashing out for the night.
I slept for – I kid you not – 14 hours straight. I guess I needed it.
The good news was I was feeling quite a bit better after a good night of sleep. It was another gorgeous day so I decided to get in touch with one of the friends Shannon and I had made on our summer trip to Auckland.
Andrew and Carl were two of the group of four we hung out with on our last night in Auckland in August. Andrew and I had kept in touch via Facebook so I sent him a quick message to see if he was around and wanted to meet up.
He was game and suggested a new place in the Viaduct on the waterfront. I met Andrew and Carl around 7pm that night and we spent a fun evening bar hopping around the neighborhood.
For some reason there was a giant yellow rubber ducky floating in the harbor which (as you can imagine) was the source of endless amusement after a few cocktails. My evening catching up with the guys was a great time but a not so gentle reminder that I do not have the stamina to hang with Kiwis.
I gave in around midnight but I suspect they could have kept going for hours – despite having to be at work in the morning! God bless the Kiwis.
I spent the next two days enjoying the views from the apartment, catching up on sleep, watching crazy people jump of the Sky Tower every few minutes and making plans for my next stop in Rarotonga.
It was a glorious four days in Auckland and I am starting to think of that Sky Deck apartment as my second home (if only!). There is no doubt in my mind I’ll be renting it again before too long.
Next stop, the Cook Islands! Come on sunshine, you owe me one!!