This morning brought with it a sight that I had never seen in New Zealand: snow on cars.
I woke up just before 6:30am. Joe was sleeping in the lounge of our hotel suite, and apparently got confused in his new surroundings. Chris got up with him first, as he was nearer the door, but it was soon clear that we were all getting up, whether we liked it or not.
Joe was feeling much better. Still a bit clingy and fussy, but not like before. He wolfed down some toast (thoughtfully provided by the mom & pop pair that run the hotel). Chris sat next to him and regarded the 2 eggs that he’d pulled from the fridge. He spun one of them around, then stopped it. I could tell that he was trying to see if it was hardboiled, which I told him that in all likelihood, it wasn’t. Chris spun the egg again, shook it, and said, “I’m pretty sure this is hardboiled.”
“I’m pretty sure it’s not. You’re not stopping the spin correctly. You need to lightly touch the top with 1 finger, then see if it still spins.”
Chris reiterated that he was fairly sure that the egg was cooked and cracked it open.
It wasn’t hardboiled.
Thankfully I had a bowl nearby and we were able to salvage it. Toast and scrambled egg for breakfast.
Chris watched Joe while I headed out to the nearby grocery – a fifteen minute walk from our hotel, down George Street. I was prepared for the cold, but still surprised by it. My nose started to turn red, then run, and I mentally added “tissues” to my shopping list.
I passed a Starbucks along the way, then back-tracked, heading in at the last minute for a trim chai latte. I’d neglected my morning cup of tea in my hurry to get to the grocery and back before Chris needed to leave for the uni. I normally don’t care for Starbucks, but I craved it suddenly and decided to indulge. I walked in and was a bit surprised that there was only 1 other customer in the entire store. Unless I’m mistaken, this was one of the major Starbucks in the university portion of the town, but it was nearly empty at almost 8:30am. A definite (welcome) contrast from the Starbucks on Queen Street in Auckland.
I headed out onto the footpath once more, chai latte in hand, and kept on heading toward the Countdown Grocery. I passed a few op shops and some familiar chains (Greatskates, Rock Shop music store), a homeless man huddled for warmth in the entryway of an upscale boutique, and saw a somewhat amusing sight – people sitting outside of cafes with blankets over their laps, bundled up in hats, scarves, and winter coats to protect against the 28F/-2C degree weather. Kiwis certainly do love the outdoors.
I did my shopping, rueing the fact that I was having to buy disposable nappies – by far the most expensive purchase that I made. But we had a weight limit on our luggage and the thought of hauling soiled nappies to the central hotel laundry wasn’t that appealing. I figured that we could buy some biodegradable ones at Countdown, and I was correct.
I always like grocery shopping in a new town, especially if it’s at a chain with which I’m familiar. There’s the standard stuff, but then there’s the local flavour thrown in. I saw several products with Scottish names – MacLeans, Highland Blend – and couldn’t help but smile.
The walk back was uneventful. I took a quick detour into a baby supply store, checking out their stroller supply in the hopes that they would have an economical umbroller-stroller to use in case our stroller didn’t turn up. The most economical one was $40, which would be worth it if we had no stroller at all, but wasn’t worth buying right then. I carried on.
I slid a little on the walk home – yet another novel experience for me in New Zealand – and was amazed at how little traffic there was. I liked it. It was quiet and calm. I could look over my shoulder and see hills climbing up on either side of me as opposed to tall buildings.
Chris was happy to see me. Joe wasn’t too keen on going down for his morning nap, and Chris needed to do a bit of work before leaving. Joe settled fairly quickly once his momma was in view, and I made Chris some peanut butter toast as he brushed up on his talk.
I’m looking forward to doing a bit more exploring later this afternoon. The airline said that yes, they found our stroller, but since Chris left it there as opposed to it being lost, they weren’t going to bring it to our hotel. Thankfully, we were able to hire a shuttle service to deliver it for us for $30. The cost of experience, I suppose!