For the last couple of weeks, I had no plans for the Fourth of July. The Kiwi and I wanted to do something, but what that would be? No clue.
It’s already weird to be wearing a scarf in July (other side of the world, it’s winter), making it difficult to see Instagram pics of people lounging by the pool/lake/ocean. I find myself looking up cute bathing suits to buy, despite it not being bathing suit weather here just yet.
I was feeling somewhat desolate, thinking all we could do a crack open a beer and make an apple pie or something. My weak attempts at figuring out what events were out there… were weak. The embassy did put up a list of events on July 1, but I never saw it because I didn’t “like” their page (I have now).
But, ultimately, we had a really good July 4th, more ‘Merican than I thought it would be…
We did a bar crawl. Not intentionally. But that’s how it ended up.
Bar #1: Windsor Castle, Parnell
The Democrats Abroad Meetup group had a part of the pub for the afternoon. It was really nice to sit down with some other Americans, a few Kiwi-American couples among them, to talk about Auckland, rant about filing U.S. taxes, meet someone who lived across the street from me in DC, and drink some beer.
Bar #2: Woodpecker Hill, Parnell
We passed by this Southern-barbeque-meets-Thai-food spot on the way to the pub, and came back here because there were fried pickles are on the menu (which was actually more like tempura pickled veggies than fried pickle chips – I’m not complaining), a very good bourbon selection, a spicy ginger beer, and what’s more American than fried food and bourbon? NOTHING. AMERICA.
Bar #3: Late Night Diner, Ponsonby
We heard a rumor amongst the Americans at Windsor Castle that there were American food trucks in Ponsonby (another part of Auckland that was a bus ride away) but we couldn’t find them (didn’t try particularly hard, admittedly). So we went to an upmarket diner and had Late Night Diner’s burgers – as recommended by a Auckland eats expert (and full disclosure, a coworker) in this list of Americana grub:
— Nicky Park (@Nicky_Park_) July 6, 2015
After a day out, I had no expectations for fireworks. But: Someone a few blocks over did light off some off which we viewed from our porch, making smile like a mesmerized overtired kid at Disney World.
July 4th: Mission accomplished. Now, what to do for Thanksgiving…