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Posts tagged ‘40th birthday’

Home again and some birthday frivolity

We arrived back in Auckland on a sunny weekday morning, feeling positively unrefreshed. The only person there to meet us was the shuttle driver who was to pick up dad. Instead of connecting through to Wellington straight away, I was remaining in Auckland for a couple of nights where I would be joined by Mike.

It was a day of doing relatively little which was really nice.

The next morning my 30s were officially over and bubbly with room service breakfast seemed the best way to face it. The good weather angel I acquired in the UK had followed me home and we ventured out into the beautiful June day.

We wandered through the Auckland Domain, the sunshine highlighting the residual autumn colours (technically it was the first day of winter)

Auckland’s War Memorial Museum

That night was the Auckland Edition of my 40th celebrations. The trip put paid to any fleeting thoughts of a big party and instead presented a better opportunity: being able to spend my birthday night with my Auckland nearest and dearest.

The old ‘group in an elevator’ self shot

Most of the next day was spent wandering locally and enjoying the inner city. I don’t miss living in Auckland (apart from not being able to see friends and family very often) but I quite like visiting now and then

Yummy lazy brunch in Ponsonby

We stayed in the Sky City Hotel and had been gifted passes to the Sky Tower. This here is no mean feat for me! (And those feet are not mean, just a bit on the large side)

People far braver than I pay good money to jump off the Sky Tower. To draw out the experience (weird people might say enhance), jumpers get halted in front of the observation deck where they dangle for a few seconds before plummeting to earth

Bent my neck at unnatural angles to watch another crazy person jump off the tower

On a random walk around the Viaduct Basin, one of the areas that got tarted up ahead of the Rugby World Cup last year

Later in the afternoon we collected a rental car as instead of flying south to Wellington, we would first be driving further north. And unbeknownst to dad, I’d be seeing him a whole lot sooner than he bargained for.

But to conclude this post, and the topic of birthday festivities, my 40th Wellington Edition was held the following weekend.

Everyone met for a drink first in the lounge bar at our fantastic local cinema, The Roxy

Family and friends at Miramar’s La Boca Loca restaurant. The Mexican fare is by all accounts excellent, though I concluded that I don’t much care for the flavours or the beans. However I am very partial to their margaritas

Still relatively perky at the end of the night

Given I had begun things with the London Edition, I reckon I did a reasonable job of marking this particular milestone.

Hah… guess we’ll see

The girls turn 120

It was Saturday with another busy day ahead. The birthday activities would kick off later, but first priority after getting myself organised was food. Decided to shop local with a hot breakfast and coffee from the Art Stop Cafe in Helensville. Really good. First time there and will definitely return.

With tummy happy it was back to Auckland. A trip to the Big Smoke isn’t complete until I’ve caught up with Hannah so I popped in. A glass of wine and girly chit chat easily took care of a couple of hours. (Matching denim jackets were not organised in advance.)

It was time to think about birthday festivities. I was staying with Kirsten & Mike in West Auckland and there I went. Wee Mitch was at his grandparents giving his mum and dad the night off. I brought some celebration bubbles with me which seemed a shame to let linger in the bottle any longer than necessary.

Kirsten and I have been friends since we were babies


The main birthdays in question were the imminent 40ths of Kirsten and a friend from high school, Debbie. However, as mine is also on the horizon the evening was billed as a small triple celebration, or as one of the girls alarmingly put it, our 120th.

We met Deb and her partner Barclay at a bar in downtown Auckland.

At Soul Bar in the Viaduct Harbour

The birthday girlies

The actual Viaduct Harbour

Dinner was at a restaurant within walking distance, though uphill, and there was discussion at length as to whether this was achievable given the ladies’ footwear. We decided to give it a go.

The skyline was filled with the Sky Tower, churches and various high rises.

The award winning Grove Restaurant was our venue as we figured the occasion suited somewhere a bit fancy. Predictably the girls went for bubbly.

Kirsten, Mike, me, Barclay and Deb

We were in raptures over the food, even the bread roll appetiser was divine.

My fish main, absolutely yum. Could've eaten two.

Kirsten and I are dessert eaters from way back and both chose petit fours

Over the course of the evening it’s probably fair to say that we forgot why we were there. Until this came out, which Mike had organised on the sly.

A nice touch

I suppose one benefit of celebrating my birthday early is that I get used to the idea of entering my 40s. (Even writing it there freaks me out a bit.)

All yummy things must come to an end and we had another couple of stops to make. We tottered off, enjoying some city illumination.

Mo’s, a tiny corner bar and evidently one of the city’s best kept secrets, wasn’t far away. Mike had joked earlier that the five of us would fill it, and that was only a slight exaggeration. A couple dozen people would be quite cosy. I was a bit shocked at how expensive cocktails are now. Maybe they were Auckland prices.

Inside Mo's

A final wander around the Viaduct with a stop at one of its bars and we were ready to call it a night. We were 120 after all.

Happy birthday Deb and Kirsten!

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