Daddy saying goodbye to princess Jaybug didn't go so smoothly. Jaybug is our emotional feeler. She cries when she misses family and friends. She cries when she misses her toys. She cries when we had to let our pets be rehomed. So needless to say goodbye to Daddy for nine weeks wasn't going to be an easy one.
Quack is our thinker. He brooded over the fact that Dad has gone for a few days before he let himself be emotional. He was quick to throw himself into business so that he didn't have time to think about it. He was lost in a world of playstation, reading, lego and playing with his friends - anything to not have to have a quiet moment where he might have to think.
So after long and sad goodbyes we Bubba and I headed off down to Auckland to see some of our Naki friends that live there now. Thanks to Mrs GPS we were taken on a scenic route around some back roads to the back of Waitakere where two of our friends live.
We were greeted by grumbles and choice words coming from under their Landcruiser. S was up to his elbows in grease - literally - and not having a very good afternoon with an oil leak. T came to our rescue and showed us a little of there home. We sat and had a juice while listening to their gaming flatmates play away from their gaming hole (so glad we never had the experience of needing to share a house with other people, I don't think I could have coped with non stop shooting noises coming from the bedroom). After some time it became evident that S may need a little more time to talk the Landcruiser into submission, so we decided to head off to our motel for the evening, check in and meet in town for tea.
We arrived at the Travellers International Hotel in Mangere hoping for somewhere nice to enjoy our last night together. The pictures online look quite nice and prices were reasonable. Go check out their website here before you read any further!
We were greeted by an empty reception, where after pressing a call button we realised that a box on the desk was talking to us. After a few minutes we were assisted - well we weren't really but this is what it should have been - by an elderly Indian man. He had no idea who were where or what we wanting. He was unable to find our booking in his fancy organised check in department (printed pieces of paper clipped to boards, lying on a filing cabinet behind him). After much explaining by Bubba that we had booked and paid a deposit online he managed to find something in his inbox with our name on it. We were then handed a key and told to follow the corridor to our number. Thanks we said and headed off to find our idyllic dwellings for the evening. Well that is where the shock began.....
We rounded a corner to head to our room and found some charming young ladies (yes I am being polite) sitting in the hallway. We scanned the numbers to find we were at number 9 and ours was 93.....
The further we walked the worse the smell became. We walked on and on, taking what felt like forever to reach our room. We were one of the last rooms and at the end was a door that lead to the carpark! So we could have driven around the hotel and come in from that door.
We opened the door to our room and were horrified at the state of it. I needed to go toilet (and remember thinking of Tupper mum and Guacamole mums toileting in public directions) - it was that bad. The toilet was wedged into a boxy room where the shower was also. There was barely enough room to open the shower door between the two. I came out of the bathroom and made some cheap joke to Bubba that we would be more hygienic not to shower tonight or tomorrow morning here in this place. We looked around the room and decided it wasn't what the website boasted but it was simple and it was a bed, all we needed for a few hours sleep.
We headed back down the corridor to the car and decided to drive around the back as this would be a much faster way to access our room. I tell you that in itself was an experience. It was a this point I realised I better grab my camera to document the adventure for my friends and family.
There was trash, there was flaking paint, there were weeds growing sky high. But the thing I noticed most was the smell of cigarettes and a high pitched squeaking noise as a gate rocked back and forth on its hinges - seriously horror movie, so much so I mentioned to Bubba that I can see me tonight huddled under cover in a bad horror film in this setting.....
We placed our belongings in the room, which was leaving a bad taste in my mouth and took a peak out the sliding door, which didn't slide at all.
The photo's don't do justice to how wonderful this place really was. We were looking forward to a dip in the pool or spa, if we were wanting to risk catching a life threatening disease ( one in five, I hear you Tupper mum).
We decided the much better option was to head to our friends, T & B's inner city apartment and get away from this nightmare hotel. So off we went to the city. Once at T & B's we headed up Ponsonby Road acting all touristy.
We were all quite impressed with this Mini shop and stood ooo'ing and ahhh'ing for an impressive chunk of time. T told us the the upside down mini had to be helicoptered into place (very exciting stuff)
We decided on dinner up Ponsonby Road at an Indian restaurant, that T & B frequent, Raviz. It was really nice (not sarcasm this time). I had a Googley Korma, which was mixed lamb and chicken with a garlic naan. Bubba had Chicken Jalfrazee with a peshwaru naan. There was various other dishes had by our friends T & B and S & T had also driven in to meet us for dinner. We shared two mixed platter for starters which were amazing. Everyone was full to the brim and very satisfied with their meals. Doggy bags were taken away as there was so much food left over.
After dinner more history lessons and shop spying - Bubba and I haven't spent much time in Auckland and were enjoying the sights without children in tow. We found this really cool taxidermy store which was full of interesting and exciting things.
|Gearing up for Aus|
|And a little more courage....|
|This made me picture a sinking ship with people suck trying to get out - disturbed I know!|
And then some brilliant shots of the sky tower from T & B's 4th level apartment. We also have decided to call there inner city living a shoebox.
Then it was time to head back to horrorville. It's only somewhere to sleep until 3am when we head to the airport, we'll be fine. Or at least we thought we would.
We arrived back to a raging party in the room across the hall.
The room stank of stale smoke.
Within in minutes of being in bed everything had become a little overwhelming. The gate was creaking, the music next door was thumping, the room was so freezing that my body ached and the springs in the bed were digging into my back. Then I started to cry...... worst place to stay ever. So much for a romantic last night together. I lay there crying and crying.
I was suddenly awoken at 2.30am where I leapt out of bed, terrified that at some stage I had managed to cry myself to sleep. We prepared for the airport as we thought it would be more comfortable to just head there now.
The airport was everything usual. Waiting for staff to get ready to begin work at 4am. Bubba eventually checked in and got his boarding pass.
We headed upstairs. I had a thumping headache and managed to get myself a Orange juice and bagel from McDonalds to try feel a little more awake. We hung around, nervously waiting to say goodbye.
We check out the viewing platform
|As I wouldn't actually see Bubba's plane I took this picture to show the kids of a plane like Dad would go on.|
|As we annoyed the airport sleepers.|
And then Bubba decided he had had enough waiting around and it was time to get this show on the road. We hugged and said our goodbyes.
Again I struggle with being emotional and I'm sure this upset Bubba. I waved goodbye and headed back out to the world, alone for the next few months. $20 or so later I am out of the airport carpark and on my way back to Ruawai, arriving by 7am to get the day rolling.
I will leave the rest of Bubba's story to him to tell us all over the next few weeks and months.