When not traveling out of Wellington for a short-term housesits or sightseeing adventures, I enjoyed finding unusual and fun things to see and do in extremely Windy Wellington!
Be it taking photos of a neighbor's weird mailbox to stumbling onto a Creative Fibers expo or wondering why a 'texting' golden gorilla was sitting on a park bench in the middle of downtown to enjoying my flatmate's annual 'return to Wellington' organ concert, my days were filled with new and fun things to see and do!
There were parties with Pavlova and fireworks to celebrate Guy Fawkes and his aborted attempt to blow up the British Parliment in 1605. Always a good reason to celebrate!
There was that wonderful one-day trip to Auckland to have drinks and dinner with the handsome and wonderful couple of Don & Dennis, Bay-area residents who I met while teaching Engish in Germany last year.
I heard a beautiful rendition of "Cloudbust" by the Wellington Orpheus Choir at the Wellington Cathedral on the night of the huge 7.8 earthquake that left the pipes of their great organ scattered all over the floor.
I had the opportunity, thanks to an invite from the American/NewZealand Club, to see and hear Secretary of State John Kerry dedicate the WWII American/New Zealand War Memorial.
I celebrated Thanksgiving with turkey and all the trimming with the American/NZ Club; volunteered to serve dinner along with the US Embassy staff members to Wellington's less fortunate and welcomed the birth of my first grandson, JT Scott.
Enjoyed attending a Christmas Faire at the home of the British High Commission - lots of yummy homemade goodies to buy, a formal high tea to sip and costumed dancers and musicians to enjoy.
Then there were days just enjoying a drive around the coastline of Wellington on a beautiful day....
No further decorations are needed when the pohutukawa trees exploded into riotous red bloom in celebration of the Christmas/summer holidays.
The weather varied hourly - one moment clouds hung over the water, with only a patch of sun shining through as the small dot of a large cruise ship sails out of the harbor. And the next moment it has cleared and made way for a spectacularly clear night of great music and the New Year's Eve fireworks display.
But the best of times I spent in Wellington were sharing my days with two fabulous women. Kelly & Jenny combined to make my stay memorable - days filled with interesting and fun things to do, movies to see, avocado mashes to eat, museum and art exhibitions to attend, long conversations to solve to world's problems and daytrips near and far as they made sure I saw everything there was to see during my time in Wellington. I miss them already and can't imagine no longer having them as part of my everyday life! 😞
|Kelly & Punter|
Jenny & Me
We spent time wandering through the beautiful Wellington Botanic Gardens, feasting at seaside cafes, having a personal tour-guide through the mouth-dropping and heart-breaking Gallipoli Exhibition at the Te Papa Museum, going to a pick-your-own lavender and sheep farm for an afternoon or just stopping to enjoy the carvings at the entrance to a beautiful Maori marae.
Lunch at the Maranui Surf Club - dessert first!
|Te Papa Museum|
Just one of the massive life-like figures designed by the Weta Workshop for the amazing GallipoliExhibition.
Lavender fields and sheep go hand-in-hand.
The entrance to a beautifulful Maori meeting grounds, a marae.
Jenny organized and Kelly, Punter and I had a marvelous day-trip up and over the Rimutaka Mountain pass and into the Martinborough wine region. There we sipped great 'whites', dined on fresh salmon, drove down rutted, gravel roads with parts of the sea washing over them to reach the lighthouse at Cape Palliser. We were greeted with some of the largest waves of the year and lots and lots of seals who were also enjoying the sunny day!
I was privileged to conclude my stay in Wellington doing a 3-week housesit for a lovely family in the suburb of Karori while they traveled to Zimbabwe. They were so kind, even welcoming me into their family celebrations on Christmas Day. I had the complete and utter pleasure of living in their beautiful 1900's Arts & Crafts home (with an inglenook fireplace!) and spoiling the adorable Punter and Polly.
I so enjoyed my stay with 'the Boys', meeting Kelly & Jenny, seeing so many wonderful things, meeting so many fabulous people, surviving my first (and I certainly hope my last) big earthquake, and having Wellington literally sweep me off my feet! It's that windy!!! I will carry with me always the friendships and the memories I made during my stay - I 💗 and miss you, Wellington!
Until next time.....