Things I love about New Zealand, Maori culture, rugby, and the All Blacks--and just things I love in general!
The little train you take from Auckland to Wellington (if you have 12 hours and want to see some beautiful countryside). You stand on that little platform while the train goes 60 mph, and watch the sheep running away as the train goes by. (Fun to see all the babies during lambing season.)
My first foster Labrador, in his new home in Canada, healthy, alert, and happy. When I got him, he had been crated 24 hours a day for years, but was still loving and affectionate. It took him a couple months to come fully out of his shell, but what a worthwhile effort it was.
Boys playing cricket on the grounds near where we lived in Devonport. I still don't understand cricket--at ALL, even after 2+ years in Australia and NZ. The only sport I've ever seen where they tell you the score, and you still don't have any idea who is ahead. Oh, and it lasts even longer than baseball! They break for lunch. And tea.
The view from our original apartment in Auckland, on the waterfront--looking across to Devonport. That is a ferry coming in. Only 10 minutes on the ferry from Devonport to Auckland. My husband's commute: ride his bike along King Edward Parade to the Devonport Ferry, then across to Auckland and walk 2 blocks to the office. The express bus from Berkeley to downtown San Francisco can't quite compare...
View from my first apartment, next to the Ferry Building in Auckland. Cruise ship coming in. A friend had an apartment that he didn't realize was on the cruise ship wharf. He woke up one morning and opened the curtain to find an elderly couple sitting on their balcony a few meters away, staring back at him. Surprise!
Beach near Piha (west of Auckland). Went for a hike and it was hot. Decided I wanted to get in the water so I did (naked but there was nobody there except my husband and a good friend). So what happened when we got to about this point? Met one of my husband's colleagues, his wife, their two kids, and their dog. Moral of the story: NZ is a SMALL country. Don't take off your clothes unless you are willing to show your naked self to your husband's workmate! (Luckily I was dressed by then--phew!)