Just a few minutes outside of Auckland is a great neighborhood called Parnell. My mom and I took a stroll through the area and found Parnell Rose Garden. Of course, it wasn’t really the right season for roses and many of the bushes were bare, but we were lucky enough to find some really pretty blooms.
Living in New Zealand during the 2011 Rugby World Cup gave me an appreciation for a game that is barely in the consciousness of most Americans. The hype and fervor surrounding the matches were incredible, and the fans were insane, especially when the All Blacks played. Now, many months later, I finally got a chance to see the boys (Kiwis) in action.
It was a last-minute decision to go, but in the end, it was a great decision. Marilyn was meeting her friends at Eden Park and invited my mom and I to join them. Even though my mom isn’t the biggest sports fan, I dragged her along with us. This is a true Kiwi experience that she wasn’t going to miss on my watch. (I’d already tried to get her to skydive and bungy jump but that failed miserably.) What could be more representative of life in New Zealand than a game between the
All Blacks Kiwis and Kangaroos?
We caught the bus to the stadium and were instantly surrounded by
All Blacks Kiwi fans. People carried huge signs and dressed, of course, in black. There was the occasional Kangaroo supporter, but they were few and far between. Once we arrived and bought our tickets, we entered Eden Park and the craziness began. It was great! At last the Aussie supporters could join their kin in the stands, but they were still outnumbered by the rambunctious Kiwis.
I had an excellent time at the game, cheering and booing along with the crowd. I still didn’t know what was happening as far as strategy and penalties, even after being in New Zealand for so long. But, I guess you don’t really need to understand everything to throw yourself into the action and enjoy it. Go
My mom and I met up with Marilyn for dinner one night since we were back in town. She joined us after finishing work, and together we headed for the Viaduct’s multitude of restaurants. Despite living in the city for several months, Marilyn hadn’t tried any of the places yet.
After perusing the menus and eyeballing the atmosphere within several restaurants, we ended up at Portofino, an Italian place near the water. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, the fact that I genuinely do love Italian food or our history at Nuvolari, but Marilyn and I always find ourselves dining at Italian establishments. However, this could be a good thing because they haven’t disappointed me yet.
Tonight I ordered the lasagna while Marilyn had the salmon, egg and rocket pizza. My mom chose risotto di pescatoro. All the dishes looked and tasted delicious. They were served in large portions as well, which is good considering the dishes were definitely overpriced. But I suppose you’re not simply paying for the food. You’re also paying for the ambiance and location too.