I scheduled a business trip to Auckland, New Zealand, and Apia, Samoa. I was fortunate that Leslie was able to accompany me.
In Auckland, we stayed at the Stamford Plaza Hotel. One evening we decided to try the Kabuki Teppanyaki restaurant in the hotel. It is a Japanese display cooking restaurant. Along one of the walls are dozens of bottles of various alcohol.
We had been to that restaurant once before and liked it, so we decided to try it again. The second time was even better. Maybe the chef was more flamboyant. What was the most surprising about the meal was my utensils…I was able to eat the entire meal with chopsticks! That is a feat I was never able to accomplish before.
I work with a Japanese colleague. After the trip, I asked her if these restaurants were popular in Japan. She said, not really. It is much more of a touristy thing.
Following our time in Auckland, it was off to Samoa. It is only about a three and one-half hour flight.
Our hotel room overlooked the Pacific. That provided the opportunity to watch ships coming and going from the port of Apia.
Of all the times I have visited Apia, I had never visited the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum. During this trip, we had an opportunity to go. It was fascinating. The Scottish RLS was born on November 13, 1850. Around 1888, RLS made his first visit to Samoa. He fell in love with the island. In 1890 he bought a plot of land and built his home. That is now the RLS Museum.
For about US$20, one can take part in a guided tour of the residence. One of the interesting things about the house are the fireplaces in some of the rooms. Obviously, RLS was thinking of Scotland when he designed the home. A fireplace was indispensable in Scotland; in Samoa they are superfluous.
The grounds are stunning with a wide variety of tropical plants and flowers. The house is at the base of Mount Vaea. He died at the very young age of 44 and is buried upon that mount, overlooking the sea.
Following the photo below of Leslie holding the Vailima beer, I added some additional photographs of the Catholic cathedral in Apia. It is one of the most stunning I have ever seen.