We said a big goodbye to our wonderful new friends this morning (actually pretty sad to leave them!) and set off for Auckland. Well the final destination for today was Whangerei at Jens house but for the morning we were stopping in Auckland for brunch with a family who’ve known me since I was 2… the Cooper clan!
We turned up dead on time and my good friend Paul (fellow Brit who now lives over here cheffing) came out to meet us as his sister Laura (who was one of my best friends in primary school, now lives in Aus) didn’t know we were turning up and was inside with the parents Claire and Mark (known me since before I can remember!) and took us inside Odettes, a gorgeous eatery he’d chosen to meet at. It was a great happy reunion and so nice to be with this family again! Oh and the food was incredible! I had the hugest tastiest omelette I’ve ever had in my life.
After much laughing and catching up we had to leave to get on the road up to the Northland and our waiting Jen. We hit the Easter traffic of course a bit but eventually arrived about 4pm. It was a great moment and sooooo lovely to see her own little flat and area she lives in. We parked Joe on the road and pretty much straight away Jen got us putting our shoes on and we off to a nearby hill/mountain, part of the Parahaka Scenic Reserve, and up we went! My face was at exploding point 45 mins later when we got to the top but it felt good and the views over the whole town of Whangarei were amazing. Also great to be with a training conservationist! Poor Javi was like er really we’re stopping again to discuss a tree?
We had a relaxed dinner at home that night and caught up over wine – a really wonderful chilled out evening. Bedtime was a matter of touching our heads down and we were out!