Circumnavigating New Zealand — Auckland; Viaduct Basin area

Sky Tower in the distance

Time to head back to the Auckland Waterfront, hang a left, and proceed over to the Viaduct Basin and then on to Wynyard Quarter. Viaduct Basin is a harbor for some high-end boats, yachts, and upscale residences with some fine dining as well.

Seein’ Red

It’s a very fun area to photograph, especially if you like boats and still water for reflections:

Still waters

Continue west along Eastern Viaduct and you cross into the ASB North Wharf and Wynard Quarter areas for more colorful scenery. ASB North Wharf begins at the tidal steps, upon which the couple below are sitting, and offers up some colorful architecture:

ASB North Wharf

Just beyond that, to your right along Eastern Viaduct, is an area of reclaimed land along Waitematā Harbour. Here you’ll find a bulk liquid tank farm with an interesting color scheme:

Bulk liquid storage at Wynyard Quarter


Filed under Photography, R. Doug Wicker, travel, vacation

Circumnavigating New Zealand — Disembarking in Auckland

End of the cruise aboard Majestic Princess

Well, this has been quite a double series. We began with a circumnavigation of Australia, as viewed aboard three ship voyages one year apart — in 2019 aboard Majestic Princess, and in 2020 on back-to-back cruises aboard Radiance of the Seas. Then I followed that up with a circumnavigation of New Zealand aboard the same two ships in 2019 and 2020. So, over the next three weeks we’re going to close out these two circumnavigation voyages with our 2019 disembarkation from Majestic Princess in Auckland on 22 March. Of course, on of the first views you’ll have of Auckland at the port would be the colorful Auckland Ferry Terminal completed in 1912:

Downtown Ferry Terminal

But before we even saw the Ferry Terminal I stumbled upon a real beauty. Pictured below, which you’ll see more of in the weeks ahead, is an Aston Martin DBS Superleggera. I was rather excited, as this was the first DBS I’ve seen in person. I also have a soft spot for any Aston Martin labeled “Superleggera”, as I once owned a 1967 DB6 that had Superleggera (Italian for “Super Light”) badges on the hood.

Aston Martin DBS Superleggera

In case you’re wondering what an Aston Martin DB6 looks like, here’s one similar to mine of years ago (but in much better condition), and in the same olive green metallic:

Aston Martin DB6 in olive green metallic

So, let’s head south from the Auckland Waterfront and start taking in the skyline beginning with this view from Queen Street looking east down Fort Street:

Fort Street as viewed from Queen Street

A little farther south we arrive at the Blackett’s Building on the corner of Queen Street and Shortland.

Blackett’s Building, corner of Shortland and Queen

At 205 Queen Street we find these two striking examples of modern architecture pictured below. The taller of the two is Phillips Fox Tower at 301 feet/92 meters. The building to the left is the 253-foot/77-meter tall Arthur Andersen Tower.

Phillips Fox Tower (right) and Arthur Anderson Tower

Here we hang a right and proceed westbound along Victoria Street West, where we find the tallest structure in Auckland. This is Sky Tower at 1,076 feet/328 meters to the tip of the antenna. Sky Tower is the tallest freestanding building in the southern hemisphere, and the 27th tallest tower in the world.

Sky Tower

Comments Off on Circumnavigating New Zealand — Disembarking in Auckland

Filed under Photography, R. Doug Wicker, travel, vacation

Book Review — Outside Looking In: High-functioning autism from one mother’s perspective

In August a fellow author asked me to beta-read and review her book. I was a bit hesitant, as the subject matter was something that normally would not interest me. Well, I’m glad I consented to the review, which you’ll see in just a moment. What I will tell you is this — if you have in your circle someone who is searching for information on raising a child on the autism spectrum, this is the book you need to recommend.

The book is Outside Looking In: High-functioning autism from one mother’s perspective, and it was a finalist for the Parenting & Family category of the 2020 Best Book Awards sponsored by American Book Fest.

Alas, Vivian’s book did not win, but the mere fact that it was one of the seven finalists to make the cut is indeed impressive. So, without further ado, here is my review of this delightfully wonderful read:

* * *

Outside Looking In: High-functioning autism from one mother’s perspective
Vivian M. Lumbard

Outside Looking In is an entertaining and very enlightening look into raising a child with autism. This book belongs in the collection of anyone in the educational system, as it provides in exquisite detail the aspects of accommodating the needs of an autistic student. At the very least, a copy should find its way into every teachers’ lounge and school library in the country.

But while educators will find much meaningful information in this book, the target audience will gain even more. Outside Looking In contains myriad tales of life with an autistic child beginning from before the first correct diagnoses through adolescence and into preparation for college and beyond. If you know someone raising a child with this condition, you simply must consider steering them toward a copy. The style of writing is at times fun, occasionally humorous, frequently insightful, always informative, and never dull. The charming family anecdotes sprinkled throughout provide wonderful incentive to propel the reader forward into tackling this sometimes-difficult topic. I learned more about autism from this single source than I have reading countless articles over the course of my lifetime.

As a bonus, the back-of-book material cites many resources for additional information for anyone wanting to learn more on this subject, or for any family who finds themselves raising a child diagnosed anywhere within the autistic spectrum.

Comments Off on Book Review — Outside Looking In: High-functioning autism from one mother’s perspective

Filed under Author, Books, eReaders, Opinion Piece, R. Doug Wicker