Friday I awoke to a gross, rainy day. I decided that was a sign, since the weekend was pretty full that I should go ahead and do laundry and work from the house that day – so I did.
I also caught up with folks from home via Skype and texting, did a fair amount of work for my RU class, and just generally spent the day being productive (admittedly in my PJs for a large chunk of the day).
Friday night I decided I had a hankering for pizza, and although I could have ordered delivery decided to brave the wet, fairly gross evening to venture to a pizza place. NOt far from the house is a pizza joint I read about, Hell Pizza. While the website and menu might be a little disturbing I was assured by folks that it was good pizza. So I donned my handy Columbia rain jacket – which has been one of the most essential things I brought with me, by the way, and set out to get dinner.
Once there I found a substantial wait, so I hung out while I waited on my pizza – I ordered the snack size “Lust Deluxe”. Interesting fact – they don’t serve beer at Hell (make of that what you will friends).
The pizza was yummy. I finished it and set off for home.
Saturday morning was an early day, as I had a ticket to the Greater Wellington Brewday (Beer Festival) which was in Upper Hutt at the Trentham Racecourse, so I had a train to catch.
Wellington Train Station is small, but like any good train station, there is a Platform 9 and 3/4 – in this case a dry cleaners!
I actually made it to the train station in time to catch an earlier train, so I went ahead and caught it, which gave me time to spare once I got off at the Trentham stop – so I crossed the street and had a nice coffee and toast with “streaky bacon” and a poached egg at the Trentham Mess Hall (probably a good choice before heading to a beer festival)- the decor was on point!
After my brunch I crossed the pathway over the train tracks to the Trentham Racecourse where the event was held. The weather held out better than I expected for most of the day – and the showers were minimally invasive, as I had found a nice spot to camp between samples inside one of the white tents. I chatted with fun people from NZ, Europe and even a fun couple from the US who were in NZ following a cruise and headed home the next day. The music was great – cover bands that played songs I knew, and the people watching was even better. My personal favorite was the guy dressed as a German Bar Maid, fake breasts, stockings and all – complete with a mustache and full beard.
Interesting note though about alcohol service in New Zealand – they are rather stringent with service. If you are intoxicated – you will not be served more beer – period. There are posters everywhere about chilling out before you get more – in bars and restaurants too. I enjoyed sampling beers from local brewers, and have quite a few to try and find for later. It was a fun day, and once things were wrapping up I took the train home, stopped by the grocery, fixed dinner and relaxed.
Sunday morning started kind of rainy and gray, but since I overslept and missed church last week, I thought I should really get myself moving, so I did. I walked to church and arrived with time to spare, so I got to listen to their choir having their first practice of the year, and thumbed through the New Zealand hymnal, looking for familiar, and not so familiar hymns. Worship was great, and I love the tea time following worship, because it kind of forces me to socialize and meet new people. I met some lovely new friends, including a fellow PCUSA’er currently living in New Zealand!
After church I decided to grab a quick sandwich for lunch in a little cafe, and on my way home stopped by a chocolate shop for a coffee (my new obsession – a flat white) and mini chocolate treat.
In the time since I had left the house, it had started to turn into a gorgeous day, so I thought I would go home for a bit and grab my beach gear then take a trip to Oriental Bay and actually get in the water. I waited for the worst of the midday sun to die down – y’all know this girl burns if the sun looks at her sideways, right? Then walked from Aro Valley to Oriental Bay. I even stumbled upon this cool “container coffee cafe”- with a pretty cool story and mission – it was closed, but I plan to visit again soon.
While a little chilly, it was quite nice to spend time in the water, and made me wish I had brought my snorkel gear from the house (I did at the last minute throw it in my suitcase to come here, and I am quite thankful I did). I have never seen so many crabs, sea stars and other sea life right on the floor of a beach like I did today. I did take my phone with its limited waterproof abilities (terrified at every step, mind you) out to capture just a bit of the beauty, but I will go back with the proper go pro and snorkel gear soon.
After my water adventures, I just hung out on the beach, and realized that sunset wasn’t far away, so decided to just hang out and see if it was going to be another spectacular sunset (we have had several nights of just stunningly colored skies). The sunset was not super colorful tonight (still beautiful mind you), but instead of the sunset colors, I was rewarded with a spectacular rainbow that started as a vertical sliver across the bay and later grew into an rainbow that boldly shot across the bay, bright, defined and colorful. It was truly a sight to behold. I also got to see the Oriental Bay fountain and trees light up after dark. Such a neat area!
This image posted on the Wellington Live Facebook and Instagram by @benwoodphoto is just stunning, and captures it beautifully. (I am also in the picture, on the beach!)
At this point, it was late, so I started home, and ended up taking an Uber when I realized that the park path I would take home I wasn’t going to reach until well after 10:00, and it is a little dark up there – my general rule is after 10:00, if I am walking home alone – it is time to spend the $5.00 on a cab or Uber.
What a great weekend!