You have my apologies! I may have slid back into my terrible blogging habit of not posting very often, but in my defense I have been a busy lady lately. Since I last posted in December, all sorts of things have happened and I haven’t had much of a chance to just sit and write.
So this post’s going to be a bit of a doozy. First off, have I mentioned how cool Wellington is? We love it here. Seriously love it. Wellington (and New Zealand in general) has so much going for it! It’s stunningly beautiful, relaxed, has lots of things to do and I can’t deny I’m having a blast.
One of the first things we did was climb Mount Vic. Technically it’s not a mountain, I know, it’s just a big hill but in my defense that’s what it’s called! It’s located just behind where we live, and where you can get some stunning views of Wellington CBD. We’ve thoroughly been enjoying just walking around the city a lot since we got here. Taking in the stunning views like this:
Weta + Te Papa
When we first arrived we did all the fun tourist stuff too. Top of my list was visiting the WETA cave (the home of WETA digital, who did the visual effects on Lord of the Rings.) You can do a small guided tour where they tell you a bit about the company and the movies they’ve worked on, and there are heaps of movie props all over the place. If like me you are a LotR fan, I would definitely recommend a trip there. We also did most of Te Papa, which is New Zealand’s National Museum and is down on Wellington’s waterfront, it’s free and well worth a visit, I would probably say it’s one of the best museum experiences I have ever had, very engaging, informative and fun. (And I still have a floor left to see!) And another highlight was the New Zealand Parliament Buildings, which I thought was well worth a look.
As I said before we also got into our hiking. I discovered a handy ‘Welly Walks’ app that has some day hikes in the Wellington area. So we’ve done the Southern Walkway a few times and are planning to do some more when the weather starts to cool down.
We also came across a beautiful little stoney beach down Oriental Parade, which is further away from the city than Oriental Beach and tends to be a lot quieter. Every now and then we wander down there with a bunch of comic books and read in the sunshine, go for a swim in the sea and just enjoy being outside.
After a few weeks, we finally received our IRD’s (the New Zealand equivalent to a National Insurance number.) So we started to tone down the whole tourist stuff and the spending and tried to be a bit more frugal and began job hunting.
In classic Ian style, he got a job within days and started working at a cinema in December. (Hello discounted tickets for the new Star Wars!) And I spent December feeling a tad lonely and sorry for myself, handing out CV’s and applying to everything I thought I had a tiny chance at getting. And then never hearing back from anyone. I spent a considerable amount of time being told ‘We did our hiring in October, we’re full for Christmas.’ Which was really not helpful or appreciated. I’ll be honest I was starting to get annoyed with anyone that used that line.
Just before Christmas I did get a trial shift on a food van, but the place really wasn’t for me. It was just me and one guy in a tiny van, working in silence for 6 hours. Although I really needed a job, I really felt if I took that one I would be unhappy. I was hoping to meet people, make friends and maybe actually enjoy my work, and I know I would have been unhappy there. With such slim pickings I did feel very guilty about turning that one down.
And then Christmas was upon us. Christmas out here was weeeeeeeird. Weirder than Canada for sure, with it being the WRONG SEASON and all. The whole holiday felt very lacklustre to be honest, no-one had decorations, no lights, no carols, no nothing! It’s like Kiwi’s really aren’t that bothered about Christmas. But we are, we love crimbo, so we made a fun little day of it. Ian and I got a sack each and agreed to only buy things that could fit in the sack, and to only buy silly cheap gifts, or food items/consumables that can be used up before we travel again, so we didn’t get lots of ‘stuff’ to carry. My personal favourite is my little plush Kiwi bird. He’s been named Archimedes, after the owl from Sword in the Stone.
We had a traditional roast dinner (but no pigs in blankets or stuffing *sadface*) watched some movies, drank lots of alcohol and topped it off with a walk down to the beach. Not bad. And then into the evening we Skyped our families, just as they were waking up and starting their Christmas day. I must say I liked doing things that way around. When we spent our Christmas in Canada in 2013, our families were ahead of us. So by the time we Skyped our respective families, mine were all blindingly drunk and in joyous spirits, and it made me really homesick. This time around I was the drunk one, and it was a bit easier to deal with.
So with Christmas done, the next thing was New Year, where we went to an amazing house party, and my Dad arrived in Wellington for a 3 week visit, which honestly deserves a post of it’s own!