Andrew and Andrea are fantastic - I don't know if I have said that enough. In any place of employment feeling appreciated and cared for are by far some of the greatest benefits that can be offered. The week of Mia's birth I did put in extra hours, patients, work, but I knew that would be the case when I took the job. All the same, Andrew and Andrea wanted to make sure I was feeling appreciated and didn't want me to feel overworked so they gave me a three-day weekend and a gift card to the movies!
Monday-Thursday were business as usually w/Mackay. Playgroups, playdoh, library rhymetime, and gym class. Friday I went to the movies which are located in a mall and then spent the afternoon at the Auckland Botanic Gardens. To get there is about a 1/2 hour drive with no traffic and of course I hit rush hour on the way home thus making the trip back about and 1 and 1/2 hours. The Gardens are wonderful. The lay out is very open and you are encouraged to wander freely. No admittance fee and the place is HUGE - I spent over two hours roaming and didn't seem everything.
Saturday I took it easy at home. Today I was going to take the bus downtown but ended up doing a forest gump and walking which took about an hour. I am now much more tired and my feet are sore since I wore flip flops. It is nice though how you feel much for acquainted with a city and its geography after having walked it. I ended up, thankfully, where I was headed - Queen's Street (the shopping/dining section of the Central Business District or CBD or what at home we would call downtown) and the Auckland Art Museum. I took the guided tour, which like admittance was free, and loved hearing about the history of the building and the history of the art. The museum was set up much more like a gallery and had a great sense of continuity from Victorian to Contemporary. As usual, I felt quite contented and overwhelmed at the same time after only a short trip, so I can't wait to go back!