Auckland Anniversary Day

In 2010 I first landed in Auckland and instantly fell in love with the city. So much that I applied for permanent residency right in that first week.

Like any worthy endeavors, some effort, some uncertainty, a bit of drama, and a lot of luck helped me realize my dream. In the end, it all worked out in my favor. In about 18 months since my first landing in the Auckland International Airport, I gained my permanent residency and eventually citizenship of this beautiful country, which helped me make this lovely city my permanent base.

I’m not too fond of large crowds, and I don’t feel safe in large cities. Although Auckland is NZ’s largest city, it is still small by the standard definition of a large city. It is of just the right size to my liking. I believe it has just the right amount of everything that makes a lovely, liveable first-world city where I am fortunate to live and raise my family.

Moving to Auckland is one of the best decisions of my life, one that enhanced my living experience for the last eleven years and counting. I love traveling, but the feeling I experience every single time I land in Auckland is marvelous!

I feel grateful every single day to have realized my dream of where and how I wanted to live my life. I never took my privilege for granted and never will.

To this lovely city that enriched my life, a very happy anniversary day today!

Tenth Anniversary in Sydney

We are having pretty awesome time in Australia. We came here to celebrate ten years of our lovely marriage.

We spent three splendid days in Gold Coast mostly visiting theme parks. The evening street show performed by four guys on Cavill Avenue was amazing; we enjoyed it two nights but donated $20 only once. We also visited Australian Fair and Pacific Fair shopping malls. Not impressed with Australian Fair mall, but loved the vastness and the seating spaces in the Pacific Fair mall.

We then flew to Sydney. Today is day 2 in Sydney. The weather was great (hot) yesterday and we explored CBD mostly on foot. After breakfast and great coffee at Gloria Jeans on the Pitt Street, we walked to the close by Queen Victoria Building and Pitt Street Mall. Then walked all the way to Chinatown. We then got into a tram to Darling Harbour, had lunch at the waterfront mall and crossed the Prymont Bridge to visit Madame Tussauds. In the evening we took train to Circular Quay, enjoyed the night views of Harbour Bridge and Opera House and had anniversary dinner at Wolfies on the waterfront.

Today it rained. We went to Taronga Zoo, bought ponchos, and enjoyed encounters with kangaroos, wallabies and the cutest koalas; the three main animals we wanted to see. We were not keen to see any animals other than these. I went to the reptiles area but didn’t dare to go past the frogs. I detest reptiles, particularly snakes. I love that New Zealand is snake-free.

Tomorrow is our last full day in Sydney. We will fly home on the morning of the day after. We are hoping to explore Harbour Bridge and Opera House tomorrow. Weather seems to be good. Hope it won’t rain tomorrow.

I loved the cafes and restaurants in the CBD. I had great coffee and pizza; great food overall!

Here are few photos.