NZ Day 5: J Chillin

My oldest son & his girlfriend arrived today and we planned, shopped for, and prepared a big American-style BBQ, so I stayed back to help with some of that. The other group went for dim sum and then to One Tree Hill, and a beach. Taking advantage of this time, late in the afternoon after I made cole slaw, my contribution to dinner, I wandered around Melanie’s garden and took these pictures. The iPhone 7’s experimental portrait mode (with depth effect) isn’t just for human subjects. 

NZ Days 3 & 4: The Boat

We left Auckland Harbour and headed out for an island with property owned by our hosts Bill’s friend, who was also with us along with his wife. So on the boat we the four of us (Ky & I, Ethan, Henry), Bill, Bobby & Regan & Ronald (Bill & Melanie’s sons), 4 of Bobby’s friends, Bill’s friend & his wife.

Left to right: Bill’s legs, his friend’s wife, his friend, Ky
Ethan and Henry and their devices
Downtown Auckland from the Harbour
NZ Day 3-4: The Boat
I don’t know what this building is, but it looked pretty neat. Perhaps a customs house?
NZ Day 3-4: The Boat
A sea plane and Auckland Harbour Bridge
Port crane stuff (I don’t know what to call them, clearly, but I like taking pics of the practical/not-so-pretty side of things)
A nice big ship!
A sail boat in Auckland Harbor
NZ Day 3-4: The Boat
Our wake after passing through the channel between these islands; I think the one we stayed on was part of a ring of islands
NZ Day 3-4: The Boat
Near where we anchored to fish
NZ Day 3-4: The Boat
Near where we anchored to fish
NZ Day 3-4: The Boat
Near where we anchored to fish
NZ Day 3-4: The Boat
Ky & Ronald fishing
NZ Day 3-4: The Boat
A keyhole cave (at least that’s what it looks like to me) in the rock near where we fished.
NZ Day 3-4: The Boat
Near where we anchored to fish – the big rock on the right is the one with the keyhole in it
NZ Day 3-4: The Boat
I didn’t notice this until the chips were nearly finished, but there are too many fowl on this bag for me to really trust any of them – chicken, penguin, bluebird. For the record, the chips taste like chicken, but maybe bluebird and penguin do too.
NZ Day 3-4: The Boat
Rounding the corner into the cove where we anchored; I liked the gnarled tree trunks
NZ Day 3-4: The Boat
A small island as seen from where we docked for the night
NZ Day 3-4: The Boat
The same island, after the shadow of our island crept up on it and made it stand out. What’s so fascinating about tiny islands? I want to explore them and pitch a tent for a night. Visit one instead of a church. Set a story there.
NZ Day 3-4: The Boat
The other side of the cove from where we docked
NZ Day 3-4: The Boat
The boat
NZ Day 3-4: The Boat
Looking out of the cove where we docked; the tree on the right has a rope swing on it and boards nailed onto the trunk to use for swinging into the water at high tide.
NZ Day 3-4: The Boat
Can you spot the stingray?
NZ Day 3-4: The Boat
Stingray from the dock. Notice the, uh, algae growing on it; makes me wonder if they clean them at Sea World & aquariums.
NZ Day 3-4: The Boat
Then another stingray appeared – I’ll always think of these two as an old married couple
NZ Day 3-4: The Boat
The house on the island where we docked
NZ Day 3-4: The Boat
Lavender blossom
NZ Day 3-4: The Boat
Lily bud
NZ Day 3-4: The Boat
Some kind of lily; there were lots
NZ Day 3-4: The Boat
Hydrangea Bud
NZ Day 3-4: The Boat
Hydrangeas with the house & an anchor in the background – possibly the best picture I’ve taken on this vacation
NZ Day 3-4: The Boat
Fuchsia
NZ Day 3-4: The Boat
Rusty anchor
NZ Day 3-4: The Boat
The living room/lounge in the house
NZ Day 3-4: The Boat
View of the cove from inside the house; notice the cut-out detail around the top of the porch – so pretty
NZ Day 3-4: The Boat
A flying fish. We caught 2 with a net around midnight from the boat, which has underwater lights. Bill also spotted a baby squid, which made him wonder if any bigger squid were around, so he switched out the lure on one of the fishing poles. A few minutes later, he caught an adult squid, which hissed & inked all over the place as he reeled it in. I think we’re eating these guys as part of dinner tonight or tomorrow.

I only have these pictures from the 1st day of fishing (day 4 of our trip) because I tried to keep pace drinking wine with Bill and his friend over dinner. I’m not supposed to drink on the medicine that I take, so the next day didn’t go well for me at all. I spent most of the day between the bed and the toilet on the boat (3 bedrooms, 2 toilets, a small kitchen-table-lounge area, then the upstairs with the controls & a lounge area). I do know that at one point Ky caught a small shark and someone has a picture of him with it, but other than that the fishing wasn’t that great. When we headed back to Auckland, the seas got really rough. So rough that I could no longer lay on the bed without worrying about hitting it hard enough to feel the platform beneath it. I dragged myself to the table, had some toast, and tried to keep it together for the 2 hour trip back to Auckland. Today, the day after, I still kind of feel like I’m on a rocking boat when I close my eyes. Lesson learned: don’t drink too much when you’re out on a boat with no other way back to land.

The 4th, General Update, Trip/Garden Pictures

Happy Independence Day my fellows Americans! Today’s going to be a low-key day for me since I’ve already been to the requisite cook out (yesterday), have seen plenty of fireworks (Disney World fireworks have ruined me for all others), and it’s supposed to rain here. For some flag-waving variety, here’s the flag that flew over Fort McHenry during the War of 1812 that inspired Francis Scott Key to write our national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner. More info about the flag at the Smithsonian, which has the flag in its collection.

banner
The flag that inspired The Star Spangled Banner

I’ve been plugging away on my two knitting WIPs and making steady progress. I finished the Hourglass Cowl Scarf over the weekend. We drove up to New Jersey (central NJ, near New Brunswick) to spend time with my in-laws, so I finished it at my sister-in-law’s house. I need to weave in the ends and maybe add fringe (or maybe not), and wash and block it, so I’m not posting pictures of the FO just yet.

My Old Town Cardigan (aka Future Favorite Two) is at a really ugly looking stage: I’ve put the body on stitch holders (scrap yarn) and am knitting the sleeves 2 at a time in the round. It looks like a mess, like I’m knitting a Thneed from Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax, but I made lots of progress on the sleeves in the 3 hour car ride to NJ, at my SIL’s, and during the ride home. The pattern doesn’t have decreases in the sleeve and I don’t think I put decreases in my first Old Town, but I may need to with this one. My gauge is a little bit larger than what the pattern calls for and I think I’d rather not have two giant sacks hanging off the body. I need to poke around in other people’s project notes on Ravelry to see if anyone else has added decreases and/or just add my own.

Old Town sleeve progress
Old Town Sleeve Progress

When I wasn’t knitting, I was taking pictures. I posted most of these to Instagram also. While I have the Instagram widget set up on my blog, I suspect most of you read it the way I read blogs – through WordPress, email, BlogLovin, and various other readers that don’t load the whole WP page. I know I could force everyone to read it that way, but I really hate it when I’m on a mobile device and someone has done that. So. Here are the pictures in mostly the order I took them – my apologies if you’re seeing them twice (or just uninterested). Also, all of them are presented as-shot, with no filters or adjustments, and all were taken with Camera+ on my iPhone 6.

Industrial Sunset
Industrial Sunset, taken from the car on the PA Turnpike in a (surprise!) industrial area north of Philadelphia. One of three spectacular sunsets during the trip.
Trenton Makes The World Takes
Trenton Makes The World Takes neon sign on the Lower Trenton Toll Supported Bridge bridge over the Delaware River on the PA-NJ border. Some of the letters were out when we went by on Friday, but they were lit for the return trip on Sunday.
My New Bling
My New Bling. One of my nephews bestowed this beauty on me.
My SIL's garden
One of the flowers in my SIL’s garden; I forgot to ask her for the name.
Hosta Flower
Hosta Flower
Japanese Maple Leaf
Japanese Maple Leaf
Purple Smoke Bush
Purple Smoke Bush Leaf
Celosia, aka Cock's Comb
Celosia, aka Cock’s Comb
Oak Leaf Hydrangea
Oak Leaf Hydrangea
Lobelia
Lobelia
Peony after the petals are gone
Peony after the petals are gone
Elephant Ear
Elephant Ear
Turnpike Sunset
Turnpike Sunset, from the return trip last night