We got an email from Suzi’s sister Nancy who told us that Pat and Paul Kaufman were in Auckland. We’ve known Pat and Paul for years. When I called Paul and he asked me what we had planned. I told him that we were going on an America’s Cup sail and then I thought we would either visit St. Kevin’s Arcade, because I found the idea of a St. Kevin amusing or take the ferry to Devonport, a suburb I had read about in Lonely Planet. Thy have a flat in Devonport so they invited us to lunch at a nice restaurant, then up to their flat for some New Zealand wine and gave us a little driving tour, dropping us off up-hill from the ferry terminal so we could walk through town and see everything on foot before heading back across the harbor on the ferry.
Devonport, in a way, reminds me of Cape May, New Jersey, with Victorian gingerbread bungalows. The downtown is a mix of Victorian false front and 30s art deco. It’s a delightful place with parks, giant banyan trees, a modern library with Maori carvings and an independent bookstore. Devonport is proud that it does not have a McDonald’s, although it does have a Subway. The ferry runs every half hour, every 15 minutes during rush hour, and gets you to Auckland in 12 minutes. The views back to Auckland alone are worth the trip but there’s a lot more.