West Auckland

Although we try our best to stay away from busy metropolises, Harold and I went up to Auckland to visit Josh’s family for a few days. True to Maori hospitality, his mom assembly-lined plates and plates of home-cooked food our way and brightened the concept of whānau (extended family) considerably. We spent several nights perfecting the art of doing nothing: playing cards, drinking kiwi beer/wine, and generally learning just what it means when the locals say “Welcome to West Auckland.”

Heading downtown reminded me a little bit of DC/Northern Virginia’s crazily congested traffic and crowded parking. One-third of the country calls Auckland home, officially making it the hub of music, shopping, arts, restaurants and events. There was certainly a lot to do and see. Perhaps it was the muggy air that week, the random torrential rain, or just the heavily gray-imbued skyline- I didn’t feel any overwhelming magnetic pull to the charged up city. Quite the opposite, Harold and I keep looking for some obscure mountain, lake, jungle or cave to frolic in and around. Sometimes overlooked or often ignored, it is these places that capture our hearts the most and leave the biggest marks on our imagination.

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