Getaway With Soleil: Auckland Part 3

            In a novel, the action after the climax tends to wrap the story up quickly. Lovers reunite. Sometimes there’s a wedding or a funeral. Bodies are buried. Mysteries are revealed and criminals arrested. In a vacation, however, especially a prolonged holiday, the lull between destinations tends to be a little less interesting. While this won’t be the final Auckland adventure, it is the end of this particular chapter.

            After returning from our night at The Cordis, Soleil and I had a relatively lazy day at my parents. I spent most of the afternoon writing, and he had a nap for a bit.  At some point, Mum and I put on The Gentlemen, and curled on the couches with chips and treats. The film was entertaining and the cinematography was so crisp. Dad and Soleil joined us later in the evening, and Mum put on The Breaker Upperers, a New Zealand comedy, and I had a good time recognizing the cast and enjoying some of the humor. Overall, Monday was a relaxing day, spent with my family without any of that pressure to go out or do anything important.

            On Tuesday, Soleil and I walked into Howick for brunch at The Apothecary. The walk wasn’t too bad, although a bit tiring toward the end. We grabbed a table outside since the weather was beautiful. I ordered my first Bloody Mary in New Zealand and, while it wasn’t extraordinary, it was refreshing. Soleil had the chicken and waffles: the syrup was sweet, the bacon was a thick slab of decadence, the waffles were fluffy, and the chicken had a surprising kick of spice. I had the poached eggs with 12-hour brisket. While the eggs and sauce weren’t quite as flash as the breakfast buffet on Monday, they were still tasty and the brisket fell apart in my mouth. It was one of the better meals on our trip and a nice local find.

            One of the downsides of long-term travel is the laundry, and we tried to take care of some of it Tuesday afternoon. One of the benefits of staying with my parents is the easy access to a washer and dryer. Although I tried to pack a limited capsule wardrobe for this trip, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by how that can pile up after more than a few wears. So, it took some time for both of us to fill our suitcases with clean clothes.

            In the evening, we drove into town to celebrate. We ate at East Restaurant, which was quite nice and had a great vegetarian and vegan menu. I had a signature mocktail since I wasn’t feeling the lure of alcohol. The food came out a bit staggered and I got my plate last, but the spicy garlic eggplant was pretty good. After dinner, we drove around the harbor for views of the city and took a few silly pictures.

            We had one last stop at Island Gelato Company, and I had a scoop of the whisky chocolate truffle. It was very rich and had that slight hint of alcohol. We walked around with our desserts before heading home, moaning about our overfull stomachs and tiredness. Not long after, I went through my bedtime routine and then passed out.

            So, today is the last day for Soleil and me in Auckland together. The morning has been relatively relaxed prior to our travel. Low-key conversations with my parents. An award-winning vegetable pie. The same beautiful view through the kitchen window. In an hour or so, Mum and I will get our nails done. I’m thinking gold, bronze, or perhaps a certain shade of yellow. Later, I’ll pack my suitcase for the next part of this holiday. Last, we’ll stop at the Buddhist temple for lunch, and I’ll eat my favorite rice again. We’ll end this trip the same way we started it: with a prayer and heart-warming food.

            Today, Soleil and I are flying off to another country. The difference now is I’ve never been to this one. I’ll meet his family and friends. I’ll discover new things. Perhaps some of those will be exciting and I’m sure there will be some anxiety too. The next few weeks will be full of things to do, places to visit, and people to see. For now, I’m saying “see you later” to Auckland, and I’ll be back soon enough.

            The adventure will continue in Australia.

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