We made reservations for Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant right near the marina. The restaurant is called Reva’s and is located at the Town Basin waterfront in Whangarei. We met Reva herself – and it turns out she is originally from the US, so she knows how to make Thanksgiving dinner right (Reva is in the picture on the left).
Still, there were some differences. First, there were quite a few Kiwis (New Zealand citizens) at the dinner. Many which had not had a real American Thanksgiving Dinner. The turkey was done perfectly – and the stuffing wasn’t bad at all. They had a huge ham that was also excellent and glazed with pineapple. The sweet potatoes were the only thing that was a little off, it tasted different from the varieties we’re used to in the US (probably a variety grown in NZ). I was worried about what they would have for dessert, but it turned out Reva was ready for that as well: pumpkin pie! The only problem with that was the whipped cream was not sweet at all. Someone left out the sugar. It was interesting listening to the Kiwis comment that they had never had pumpkin pie before!
The biggest difference was that we were not having Thanksgiving with family. Thanksgiving is a big deal in my family and we almost always have it at my Mom’s with lots of family members there (usually over 20). Read about Northfork’s Thanksgiving dinner in Opua for a contrast.
The next day, we left Whangarei on a bus to Auckland with four luggage bags. After a reasonable 2.5 hour ride, we were in the heart of Auckland. Our first big city since Panama City last April. Only, Auckland is much more modern and clean. We were picked up by our friend, and recent crew, Paul. He escorted us down to the waterfront and we met up with our other former crew, Jason, for lunch. It was great catching up with our friends and getting to see a bit of Auckland. After lunch, Paul took us to the famous “Queen Street” which is a big shopping destination.
Paul then took us to the airport where we began our long journey to the US. We had just enough time (a little over 2 hours) to make it through security (since our destination was the US, we had to go through two security checkpoints). Our flight left in the evening, which I felt was a good time to leave. We had a late dinner on board, and then went to sleep for a big portion of the 12 hour flight. It was interesting landing in LA at 10 AM the morning BEFORE we left Auckland though (the power of flying in a jet over the international date line!).