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New Year Trip: 6~Happy new year!

(Alternative heading: Will we make it to midnight?)

The last day of the year began very lazily. Eventually we kicked into gear and decided we better get a wriggle on ahead of more friends coming around later on. Mike 2 took Mike 1 (hereafter known as M2 and M1) and I on a bit of a tour. First, some unfinished business from a couple of years ago.

A very well known TV series called Outrageous Fortune was based nearby and some time back we had tried to find the iconic ‘westie’ house but couldn’t. Our hosts had since become better informed and turns out the house is ridiculously easy to find when you know how.

World famous in New Zealand, this house

M2 then took us for a tiki tour around the neighbourhood, mainly for the benefit of M1 who hadn’t seen much of it. The swanky waterside mansions are offset to some extent by pockets of low incoming housing and there are plenty of recreational reserve areas so that the waterfront can be enjoyed by all. This perhaps wasn’t such a priority today off the back of some dreary weather. How it would stack up for the rest of the day was anyone’s guess.

The weather was hardly stellar but at least the rain had stopped. View from the end of the peninsula over to Auckland city and the harbour bridge

Before we could go back to the house we had to find coffee. Had to. It took about five attempts but we eventually found somewhere that was open. The caffeine addicts among us breathed a collective sigh of relief.

Early afternoon we were joined by Debbie, Barclay and Deb’s children Yasmin and Vincent. Mitch was pretty happy about this.

Mitch loved having the big kids around

Debbie is a friend from high school days. This meant that over the years, a few of us had our milestone birthdays in close proximity to each other. This year it means that the three of us are now approaching our scariest milestone yet. (OK, 40, there I said it.) We talked about our plans, which for Kirsten and I are a bit sketchy. But Deb is doing it in style: a holiday in New York. Jealous!

Me, Kirsten, Debbie... soon to be Over The Hill (sigh)

Soon enough it was time to balance the New Years Eve beverages with some food.

Sitting down for some afternoon munchies

Mitchell

The weather had settled and cleared up a bit so we moved outside – while sparing a fleeting thought for those getting drenched at music festivals elsewhere in the North Island.

Well she might kill me for this but I think it's a nice photo

All of us

Meanwhile, Twitchy the Hunter rests

A couple of other visitors dropped by, including this prickly fella who didn’t seem too bothered by the multitude of people and cats.

With children to get to bed, Debbie took her family home leaving me, Kirsten and the Mikes with a couple of hours to kill before midnight. Yawns had started to creep in and our staying power was in doubt! But between conversation, drinks, music, and a bag of Natural Confectionary Company snakes that I remembered was in the car (god I love those), we got there!

M1 and I walked with M2 down the road a bit to get views across the harbour. There was to be a fireworks display from the Sky Tower at midnight which we thought we’d watch. But it was a fizzer – the low cloud had hung around and we couldn’t see a thing. We did see an array of fireworks across the water set off by residents in Waterview and Point Chev which was pretty cool.

But anyway – 2012 had arrived!

A ukulele duel rounded out the night.

Rock on, Mikes... in their defence, it was very late...

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