So, I’m finally coming back to finish the last two days of this blog while stuck in Chicago because of a winter storm at home–and of course, Chicago had a winter storm, too, and I left my coat in my car in Rochester, and I don’t have any boots with me because I was in San Francisco–where I needed neither winter boots nor coat.  Anyway ….
Here’s a photo of our Murray’s Bay neighborhood, where likely no one wears winter anything ever:

That morning, we had a single destination: the Sky Tower.  There, our children–and surprisingly their Aunt Diana–would jump off the tower and fall over 720 feet, presumably not to their deaths.  The Sky Tower is also home to a hotel and casino, hence the spangly chandelier.

No one cared about that, though.  It was all Sky Jump, all the time!  There’s an age and weight requirement for the jump, so the kids were whisked off to be weighed like little pot roasts at market and the Sky Jump workers sharpied their weight (in kilos) on their hands.

Then, they were sized for their supersuits and got to dress in middle of the Sky Jump area–in front of God and everyone.

Striking the right poses to conquer Kiwiland:

And, then the obligatory pre-jump superhero battle because siblings:

That’s the jumping platform in the far distance:

They went up and we went to sit.

First her …


Flying Squirrel Girl!

She looks tiny, but this guy was seriously tall. 

Those 18 seconds can change a woman.

Then him …


Penn’s at the end of his rope.

This kid’s so tall, his jumpsuit is high-watered.


Jumpers and nonjumpers alike rejoice!

From our perch on the landing platform, we could see an alley down which our Sky Jump helper assured us was a great burger place with a secret half off menu (PW Summer).  So, our lunch plans were set.

Our party exceeded the table size in the small hole in the wall, Velvet Burger, but the burgers were yummy and–indeed–we had the buy one get one 50% off secret password.  Ned’s face reflects his seating at the kids’ table.

From lunch, we strolled toward our next destination: a NZ escape room!

This is the older section of downtown Auckland, Diana said that her late husband Ian used to go to Farmers as a boy to see Santa.  Buildings are coming down and going up all around in Auckland’s building boom, but it still has the feel of a different time, with old school storefronts and holiday windows.

If you’ve followed our travels, you know we love escape rooms.  To be sure, we frequently almost kill each other in the process but love every minute of it.  However, the notion of 9 Davis-family members locked in a room for an hour added a new dimension to the terror 🙂  Would we all make it out alive?  (Not a rhetorical question.)  Our room was superhero themed, and–for some reason–its challenge-level was set to “hard.”  In the end, we had to crack the clues to get into two other rooms (!) just to be able to solve the main room.  As I said, Challenge: Hard.  We bickered yet collaborated.  Everyone contributed … and we made it out with mere seconds to spare!  Penn’s DC/Marvel expertise combined with Trey’s puzzle acumen combined with Cody’s enthusiasm saved the day.  We were “Escape Masters”!


After basking in our success, we split up.  The boys in search of Funko Pops (Penn had gotten his NZ second cousins addicted to their smooth visages); Harper and I in search of NZ clothes for her; and the others just to rest.  We brought our various purchases back to the middle and met in Aotea Square just as the rain started.  (Note my puffy eyes, and Harper’s squished closed ones–still wicked allergies.)

On this grey day, it’s hard to see the detail in Waharoa, a folk-artish re-imagining of a traditional Maori gate.

The square is home to most Auckland celebrations … hence the sign:

The Aucklanders recommended we dine at Ellicott Stables, which no longer house horses but an upscale food court.  It was lovely …

… and closed.  Unfortunately, because of the holiday, many places were still closed.  So we wandered a while until coming across a Mexican place that they knew.  It was open, so it was perfect! For dinner, we were joined by a Zombie Jack Sparrow Pop (below) and Brian’s girlfriend (not shown).  We’d not yet had a chance to meet her, so to have this opportunity and endless chips and salsa made the dinner pretty solid.

Why this?  Who knows: more itchy eyes, some itchy conversation, peek-a-boo, a long day?  Ah, family.

Though we had thought this was a goodbye dinner, it turned out that the Gransden-Pollards wanted to go to the aquarium with us the next day.  So, it was only goodbye for half the crew–with hugs and kisses and thanks for another only-in-NZ day.

Goodnight 🙂

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