Monday we all took the ferry to Waiheke and had a fun time wandering around to different vineyards, drinking wine and eating cheese. We even got in a little beach time before I had to go back to the city for (you guessed it) work. On Tuesday Michael and Ashlee picked me up after work (at 8:00 AM) and we drove up to Matakana. While Michael worked Ashlee and I went to Tawharanui where we walked through some rolling hills then down to the beach. After a quick swim we went back to Matakana for a movie (Brooklyn). While waiting for Michael to get off of work we wandered around the town, then we all drove back to Auckland for another movie (Room)!
On Wednesday Michael and Ashlee again picked me up from work at 8:00 AM and we drove to Hobbiton in Matamata. It’s about a two and a half hour drive and I had to be back in town that evening for another class but we managed to squeeze it in. None of us is a LOTR fanatic, but I thought it was quite cool. That night we met up with friends for some delicious dinner and drinks at the first restaurant Michael and I found in Auckland (still one of my favorites). Thursday was Ashlee’s last day here so we went to Kingsland for brunch then to the Auckland Art Gallery. That night we all met up in the Domain for the first night of the Lantern Festival, then headed straight to the airport to drop Ashlee off. It was sad to see her go but I was happy to have time to write blog posts and look at pictures on Friday. That Sunday Michael and I met up with some friends for our second go at the Lantern Festival.