A bus-free day

It was wonderful not to have to get up really early to go on a tour this morning. Instead, we slept until our usual wakeup time, enjoyed breakfast at the hotel restaurant, and met our friends at 9:30am to go to SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium, a short cab ride away. The Aquarium was created by reusing old sewage storage tanks!

During peak season, there can be huge crowds and long lines; today was not peak season and the only time I felt even slightly crowded was during the penguin feeding session, which seemed to attract all the visitors in the place!

Eagle Ray
Puffer Fish
Rescue Turtle
No, they’re not swimming
Say cheese!
Moulting King Penguin
Moon Jelly
Sting Ray
Jugged Octopus
Tuatara
Dark Tank Scene
Blue Fish
More colors
Lobster
Coral Tank Colors

We left the Aquarium about noon and walked a bit over a kilometer to Mission Bay, had a pleasant pizza lunch at Tonino’s Pizza before wandering around the beachfront park. It took me a little while to figure out what was odd about the sundial there.

Diane and I went back to the hotel to take care of a most important task: laundry. Bubbles Laundromat was about a fifteen-minute walk from the hotel and got reasonable online reviews. It deserves at least 4 stars – I was thrilled that I was able to pay for the machines with a credit card instead of needing to get change, and the whole process only took about an hour and cost all of $6 US.

The place was hot, so we went out and explored while the laundry was running. We made a brief visit to the All Blacks Experience Gift Shop during the wash cycle and left empty-handed. The drying cycle took us to St. Matthew-in-the-City to look at their stained glass windows. Most were fairly conventional, but their window commemorating the memorial service they held after the 1979 crash of Air New Zealand 901 into Mt. Erebus in Antarctica was different and very appropriate.

We had dinner at Soul at the Viaduct Harbour. We’d tried to go there yesterday after our driver and the hotel concierge both recommended it, but we didn’t get there until well after 7pm and we would have had to wait at least 90 minutes to be seated. Today, we arrived before 6pm and they were happy to seat us as long as we promised to free up the table by 8pm, which was fine with us. The food was excellent and it was nice to sit outside and enjoy the vibe.

All in all, it was quite a satisfying day.

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