Wellington, or There & Back Again

NOTE: hover over the photos to show captions!

A couple of weekends ago, we took advantage of a gap in the Tag schedule and flew down to Wellington for a quick getaway. We left Auckland in horrid squally weather (Mase & Si looking at the nearby planes gives it away as to how bad it was) but when we landed in Welly it was much clearer. Perfect for outdoor breakfast watching the seabirds catch fish at Oriental Bay, walking around the city centre & meeting friends for lunch (hello Catherine & Kerry!!).

We took in the Lego exhibit at Te Papa – huge masterpieces with some very clever detail. Si found Jeremy Clarkson’s Robin Reliant next to Big Ben – if you haven’t seen that episode, please PLEASE stop reading now, go to YouTube and search it up. It’s freaking hilarious to see people’s reactions & he even made a live news broadcast! The Mona Lisa is fully made of the 1*1 blocks – like a plastic cross stitch. The boys even made their own addition to the exhibit with a pokeball (I don’t know the name, can you tell?!).

We’d signed on to relocate a car back to Auckland – a dollar a day, plus insurance waiver, 900 free kilometres plus a tank of gas. I’d do it again, but I wouldn’t use Budget purely because of the customer service at Wellington airport. I actually made a complaint & I don’t normally go that far.

The end of day one found us at the Hacienda Lodge in Palmerston North. I do recommend this place; the hosts were lovely, full of useful recommendations; it’s clean & tidy (we ended up with the end unit which is also wheelchair friendly).

Day two & we chose to drive up the lesser roads as far as we could. I found a church I’d love to relocate! Then five minutes up the road, one I wouldn’t – it was one of those 1920’s concrete ones and to strengthen it the contractors had obvs removed the stained glass windows & replaced with plain aluminium, ick. At least it was in use!

We stopped at Waiouru Army Museum (Te Mata Toa) as we do nearly every time we travel SH1. This time they had a new temp exhibition, which consisted of photographs taken in the tunnels under the WWI battlefields in Arras, France. We couldn’t do the Passchendaele exhibit as we were warned that it was too graphic for Mase, but the kids loved the games and graphics in the Food Glorious Food exhibit, especially the game where you caught the ingredients as a rat knocked them off the shelf.

Late lunch in Taupo, then a quick drive to the rental depot at Auckland Airport. It cost me more than either the Jetstar tickets or the car rental to park our car for the 48 hours but we’ve got lots more in our memory bank.

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

So..the family went away. The kids & Grandma flew to Invercargill on the Sunday, then (as regular readers will know) Si & I went the following Wednesday.

I’ve tried to select some different shots from what I posted on IG, and they should have captions. If you want to know more about a place/time, let me know in the comments.

Enjoy!

On New Year’s Day, Si & I then drove the Toy Car back up, along the West Coast, catching the ferry at Picton, spending time in Wellington then back home.

Travel Recap + WIP Wednesday

Just for Chiara! Here’s a small sampling of our photos from the long weekend.

This is a boutique hotel in Cambridge. I’m thinking it could be the perfect spot for a stitching retreat – altho it would be a pricy one!

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This is B – if you’re on my FB, sorry, as you would have seen this already. From our stop in Taupo. Plus the sundial that is in the Rose Garden next to the play park, on State Highway one as you drive through town.

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Junk shops – we probably stopped at about 50% of those we saw, so Z can look for vintage Commando comics. One of my bosses collects old gramophones – this was in an ugly shop in Havelock North.

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Also in Havelock – Duart House. As soon as I saw it I recognized the resemblance to the family home in Scotland. http://duarthouse.org.nz/ sadly it was shut when we discovered it, so it’s on the diary for the next time we visit Hawkes Bay.

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Day two was in Wellington. We went to Te Papa, the museum where Z started his Lord of the Rings/Hobbit costume search. This is the Elven Lieutenant – love the detail.

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M as a pilot! He’s got his “oh grow up Dad!” face on.

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B designed a plan in the AirNZ exhibit.

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We had drinks then walked around with one of my brothers. We don’t spend much time together and I’m so sorry R – B & M combined can make anyone’s ears bleed! R helped Z find more costumes. Here’s Gloin – one of the dwarves. His costume was sumptuous yet sturdy. Those boots! Huge.

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Day 3 was more Wellington then the drive to New Plymouth. This is one of the houses along the Wellington ocean coast. I have a thing for lighthouses!

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Hawera – the water tower. Again, closed – but had we been 30 minutes earlier we could have climbed to the top. Apparently only takes 10 minutes! Yeah, right. Chiara, I’m sitting on the ground about 300m away from the base to take this. Any further away and I would have been on the road! The oaks surrounding it are planted to commemorate Armistice Day in 1918 by the local dignitaries and a VC winner.

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And the War Memorial in Hawera.

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We didn’t take many photos from New Plymouth to home. Unfortunately we’d done too much in too few hours and everyone was grumpy and ready for their own beds. It was fantastic to get home.

I did get quite a bit of Stargazer done, given that most of this was in the car on the long straights (don’t try to stich thru the Manawatu Gorge. It’s too windy and too beautiful to miss). All that dark yellow was the trip & I’ve pretty much made up my mind to rip the face/hands and re-do it with 2 over 1 tent, to give more detail. One more week of work then I’ll rotate to a small plus some finishing.

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Reading – Monica Ferris’ Needlecraft Mysteries. Gentle (Betsy’s no Miss Marple) & I like the stitching references. I also like the way the author is experimenting with the genre. Luckily there’s a few books so far in the series! Next will be a re-read of Unbroken before I see the movie (it’s been a few years since I read an advanced copy).

 

Windy as in Wellington

Actually, it’s not. I only had to use one hand to hold everything down!

We went to the AirNZ exhibition at Te Papa; funny how many of the little bits and pieces we have at home! I’ll have to add photos when we get home as the mobile app isn’t uploading photos.

Also we caught up with my brother, who helped Z find a few more of the costumes he was missing. I didn’t realize Orlando Bloom was so short, he can’t be much taller than me! 
Today is more exploring Wellington; I think we’re heading out to Miramar and hoping Weta is open, then a bit more in town, then up to New Plymouth via Wanganui. Bye!