Meeting Up With Old Friends
Thu 23 Apr 2015 - Mon 27 Apr 2015
So Eunhee collected me from a hotel near her house & after stopping for beers & spicy rice noodles we headed back to her apartment. Although 16 years had passed since we'd seen each other it felt like a week ago. We chatted and caught up before making plans for the next day, and her dog Tuni was quite a character who didn't understand a single word I was saying as he only knows Korean!! We met up at her office at LG the next morning and then had a nice lunch before I headed back to the airport. We agreed to try & meet up again in Seoul this summer or perhaps Japan depending on timing as the 20 hour layover wasn't enough time.
Back at the airport I checked in then boarded the plane & settled comfortably into seat 7A for the 11 hour flight to Auckland. I have to say I was impressed with the meal service on Korean Airlines, as it's not often you get a 7 course meal in the sky!! There was an appetizer served with your first drink, tuna tartare, salad, soup, medium rare filet, cheese course & then dessert. I arrived into Auckland right on time @ 07:10 on Saturday 25 April 15 & Andrew & Albert were there to greet me. We drove from the airport to their house in Piha stopping for lunch at the local cafe. From there I settled in and was on the beach about an hour later. They live in a stunning location on the Tasman Sea. It was ANZAC Day so we headed into "town" for the festivities and action. For dinner Andrew prepared leg of lamb, carrots & mashed potatoes for dinner (YUM!) and had a quiet night catching up before turning in.
The next morning we hiked to a nearby waterfall, headed back home for some lamb sandwiches & then went into Auckland later in the day for some fish & chips. We had another great night in chatting & reminiscing. Crazy thing is I met Andrew & Emma on my last RTW trip 10+ years ago in the airport departures lounge. We were flying from Calcutta, India to Bangkok, Thailand & they borrowed my SE Asia guidebook. Turns out they'd been to Bangkok before & knew where to go so I tagged along helping where I could as Andrew had broken his leg in India. We shared a cab & tuk-tuk & stayed at the same guest house, doing our own thing in the day but meeting up for beers & dinner at night. I even met them again in Sydney several months later on that same trip, but hadn't seen them since then until this week in NZ. Thanks to FB we kept in touch & hopefully someday I'll host them in the States !!!
So now it's off to the Cook Islands. I have to admit that I don't know a whole lot about the place but it looks stunning. I hope it's half as beautiful as the pics I see online. I'll know soon enough won't I . . .