Dome valley walk & Doc Brown
Labour weekend was the same weekend as my birthday, so lot's of Adam orientated stuff happened over the long weekend.
First up was my birthday in bed with great presents including the new Star Wars film, Fallout 4 & a Jack Reacher book. Then heading into Armageddon on Saturday, which had two people I wanted to see - Christopher Lloyd from Back to the Future and Lt Uhura from the classic Star Trek TV series. So a whole day was spent at Armageddon, but it quite relaxing even if it was a long day. Slowly went round at the beginning to look at the stalls, most of which were only mildly interesting to be honest but I did pick up a Star Wars door mat!
Then sitting back and watching the Q&A sessions with Christopher Lloyd, including hearing him say 'Great Scott' and watching him get asked important questions like 'what is his favorite cheese'.
Then meeting Nichelle Nichols was a real treat - she is so really nice. Normally these stars are like a production line and you flow through very quickly, and this is exactly what happened with Christoper Lloyd but Nichelle Nichols took her time which made the line very slow at well over an hour but when I got to her she really engaged, took her time and even spoke to Luke about his water bottle, and she has amazing hand writing. Even with all the cool stuff and fan-boy photos Nichelle Nichols was easily the best part of Armageddon. Also great to meet someone who has been a ground breaker in race relations because of her famous character Lt Uhura, the first major black character who was not a servant on American TV.
After getting my photo with Christopher Lloyd in the DeLorean time machine, the whole family jumped into the car and we headed to a lovely Turkish restaurant in Mairangi Bay. I do so like good high quality Turkish food, and being my birthday Turkish food is what is called for. Luckily I had a gift voucher from the Sustainability Team at PepsCo from when I left last year that was due to expire in a week, so it got used just in time and was really helpful for my budget and the food was great.
Then moving on from Mairangi Bay up to Leigh to spend the night with my Mum.
Then on the Sunday it was time for a walk, 13 km's from Dome Valley on SH1 just south of Wellsford to just above Matakana.
This 7 hour walk is part of the Te Araroa, the walk from one end of NZ to the other. It was good to strech the legs through the New Zealand bush and great to see and hear Tui's and Fantails along the walk.
I had brought the topographical map so I had all the detail which was helpful as there were several confusing bits on the walk such as when the path turned into a forestry road which was not marked. I meet a family who were completely confused by this road and were heading in the wrong direction and were quite pleased to meet me as I knew exactly were I was. I don't understand how people can go for a walk in the bush without using a map to know where you are, it's a skill I picked up in the Army and find very helpful.
On the way out there was another surprise gravel road that was not marked on the map that luckily Julianne worked it out, as by this stage I was quite tired after such a lovely but long walk.
That night there was a lovely home cooked meal for my birthday with the family, Hamburgers of course. It was great to catch-up with everyone and the boys loved having all the cousins around.
Monday morning was taken slowly but the family was still all packed up for an early start to miss the long weekend traffic, so away by 10am and what a great choice as there was no traffic hassles at all.
Then when at home a quick rest before heading to see Pete's Dragon, I am a sucker for kid's films and with a dragon it's gotta be good. I took Robin along as well, I like taking Robin along through he did find bits of the movie scary. Films in New Lynn are great as they are all $10 so are a lot cheaper than the rest of Auckland.
Then once I got home I got a text from Lee, another free film that night 'Hell or High Water' - a modern western with Chris Pine & Jeff Bridges. I enjoyed the film and not something I would have seen on my own.
So after two movies in one day, and after a very busy long weekend it was an early night and off to bed at 10pm.