Saturday, February 12, 2011

Birthday in Auckland

Today we arrived in Auckland, New Zealand, which was the end of the first segment of the trip. We had breakfast in our room to avoid all of the disembarkation procedures going on this morning. Our butler Jai was the first to wish me Happy Birthday. I had to quiz Mom a while about what today was, but she finally remembered. Traveling like this is tough because you tend to lose track of the days, especially with being so far ahead of EST. By 9:30 it was almost a ghost ship, but the crew was busy readying the rooms for all of the new passengers. This also was a good time for us to do some laundry – very exciting day huh? We finished up around noon and were trying to decide if we would go into town. From the ship we could see that it looks very much like Vancouver and is a big city.
We also had a large rig next to us to refuel. While checking e-mail we received a message from Dad telling us that he has been very sick for the past several days. He did go to the doctor and has the flu. Since I had cell service, we gave him a call to check in on him. Afterwards, we went up to the pool deck to grab a little lunch and we noticed how much cooler it was today. However, the sun would then come out and feel like it was burning you. By lunch it was also time for the new passengers to start embarking. We have a whole new crowd to “people watch”. I also realized that we had better go and sign up for the excursions we wanted, as they will quickly sell out now. That really was a lot of decision-making on our part. We finally decided to just stay on board ship today since yesterday was such a long and busy day. We also found out the gangway down to street level was extremely steep. I think we were both just as happy to stay put. I did schedule a massage and that was fantastic. I will have to go back again before we get to Sydney. They have such a nice spa on board. It was time to get ready for dinner and we stopped through the bar to have a drink with Pat and Mike. The pianist Eric worked “Happy Birthday” and “Lara’s Theme” into his set for this evening. We had been invited to Le Champagne for dinner by Lalit and Pat who we met on the flight to Papeete. This dining venue serves haute cuisine and a very special treat. They live in Grand Cayman half the year and spend the other half at their home in Kentucky. We really enjoyed their company and had a fantastic dinner with 6 different courses. 
Since this was the first night of this cruise, there wasn’t much going on so we headed back to our suite. We arrived to find a gorgeous chocolate cake and chilled champagne. We were so stuffed from dinner, but felt like we needed to have a little. I was opening the champagne and wanted Mom to take a photo, which she did. 
However, I had the bottle right near my ear and it popped and about blew out my eardrum. Here it was midnight and we were having some chocolate cake and champagne. I think I will remember this birthday for a long time! Tomorrow we are at sea en route to Wellington. 

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