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O Ponsonby, O Ponsonby: Your hipster ways are lovely

O Ponsonby, O Ponsonby: Your hipster ways are lovely

By on Dec 21, 2014 in New Zealand, Northern Island | 1 comment

The past few days have passed quickly.  After leaving Auckland CBD, it was nice to settle into our Ponsonby pad.  We were only there for a few days, but this Auckland suburb was great!  We were feeling ambitious and walked in the rain the mile from our hotel in CBD to Ponsonby.  Always good to think about the hills on the walks.  We are still spoiled by the not to many hills in our neighborhood of Denver.  There were hills.  Lots of hills.  It was still really neat to see the different parts and neighborhoods of the city as we walked through.  After a few moments to unpack, we set out for to explore the hood. Ponsonby (pronounced Pawn -son -bee which I now only say in a British/Kiwi accent or my variation of) is a hip neighborhood with lots of cool eateries and watering holes.  Even Ponsonby Central has a great sense of humor: Ponsonby Central is full of fun eateries, a small market, coffee shop, and housewares store.  Every time we thought we reached the end of Ponsonby Central, there was more tucked away. Apparently, Ponsonby also has one of the best Christmas light experiences in all of New Zealand.  Franklin Road is renowned for their Christmas lights.  105 out of 115 houses decorate their houses with lights.  It was a pretty fun thing to experience. This house actually blew bubbles out of their window that made it look like snow.   Made it feel a little more magical and a bit more like what we think of Christmas weather. Disco Christmas anyone? This local business set up a Kiss-mas booth.  You touch the screen and it takes a pic of you (kissing or not).  They upload the pics and you can see them on their facebook page.  We were mesmerized by the arrows. A little dark, but Auckland at night.  There’s our mental compass navigator, the Sky Tower. One day, after work, we decided to walk to Mt Eden, the local volcano in the city.  Volcano in the city?!  Yes!  It didn’t look quite like we expected a volcano to look like (we pictured Mt. Doom from Lord of the Rings or rocky crags and steaming...

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Auckland CBD: Yeah You Know Me

Auckland CBD: Yeah You Know Me

By on Dec 16, 2014 in New Zealand, Northern Island |

Auckland: CBD (yeah you know me) Since the last blog made “The More You Know” jingle get stuck in my head, I should warn you that every time I hear Auckland CBD I get the Criss Cross Jump, Jump tune stuck in my head.  You down with Auckland CBD?  Yeah you know me! Auckland’s downtown is a cacophony of noises, sights, and smells.  It’s an interesting mix of old buildings in between sleek, modern glass office buildings. We found ourselves bumbling through our jet-lagged haze to explore the city.  There’s an Information Center downtown with loads of information and people to help schedule you for events.  I stuffed my bag with a ton of pamphlets (it was a habit of a kid) and a few were helpful.  Auckland CBD (yeah you know me), has something for everyone.  “The City of Sails” has the hustle and bustle of downtown, lots of free activities (and great people watching), good food, not great beer, good wine, and lots of water activities.  You can take a ferry to neighboring islands, try jetboating, or just walk around.  There’s so much more to do in the city, but without our own transportation, we decided to primarily stick to downtown. Since it’s summer here, there’s some really great free activities.   Summer in the Square has life music, free dance classes (we saw a bunch of people learning how to pop and lock…for everyone’s benefit we did not participate), and a small maze where we saw them playing life-sized Pac Man with kids.     The square where events are held.                 The life-size game of pac-man The art museum is free and we took advantage.  There is a fun interactive section.  If you get a chance, check it out. You can help build a lego skyline   Your movements make the pixels take shape We also had fun looking at the sculptures outside:   We walked outside to see this bubble structure in time to see some kids punching it.  We thought it might be interactive until we saw them running away giggling and a security guard approaching with a large scowl on his face. New Zealanders take two things very...

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